Blue Yeti vs AT2020: Best One to Get in 2020?

Posted by StreamerStartup on May 3, 2020

Stuck Trying To Find A Good Quality Microphone?

Trying to decide which one of these mics you should get?

The Blue Yeti and Audio Technica 2020 are both very great microphones. The build quality of the Blue Yeti mic and AT2020 mic offers exceptional sound quality and amazing frequency response when recording audio for its user.

There isn't a wrong choice between these two. Both of them will likely fit your needs.

That being said, the Blue Yeti and AT2020 do have their pros and cons in regards to how you will be using them which might play a factor in deciding a favorite.

Comparing The Specifications

Preview
Best All-In-One
Blue Yeti USB Mic for Recording & Streaming on PC and Mac, 3 Condenser Capsules, 4 Pickup Patterns, Headphone Output and Volume Control, Mic Gain Control, Adjustable Stand, Plug & Play – Blackout
Blue 1967 Yeti Pro USB Condenser Microphone, Multipattern
Best Budget
Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone, Black, Ideal for Project/Home Studio Applications
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone, Black, With Built-In Headphone Jack & Volume Control
Title
Blue Yeti Microphone
Blue Yeti USB Pro Microphone
Audio-Technica AT2020
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
Polar Pattern
Cardioid / Bi-Directional / Omni-Directional / Stereo
Cardioid / Bi-Directional / Omni-Directional / Stereo
Cardioid
Cardioid
Sample Rate
16-bit/48kHz
24-bit/192 kHz
Depends on Mixer used
16-bit/44.1 kHz-48 kHz
Connection Type
USB
USB or XLR
XLR
USB
Best All-In-One
Preview
Blue Yeti USB Mic for Recording & Streaming on PC and Mac, 3 Condenser Capsules, 4 Pickup Patterns, Headphone Output and Volume Control, Mic Gain Control, Adjustable Stand, Plug & Play – Blackout
Title
Blue Yeti Microphone
Polar Pattern
Cardioid / Bi-Directional / Omni-Directional / Stereo
Sample Rate
16-bit/48kHz
Connection Type
USB
Where To Buy?
Preview
Blue 1967 Yeti Pro USB Condenser Microphone, Multipattern
Title
Blue Yeti USB Pro Microphone
Polar Pattern
Cardioid / Bi-Directional / Omni-Directional / Stereo
Sample Rate
24-bit/192 kHz
Connection Type
USB or XLR
Where To Buy?
Best Budget
Preview
Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone, Black, Ideal for Project/Home Studio Applications
Title
Audio-Technica AT2020
Polar Pattern
Cardioid
Sample Rate
Depends on Mixer used
Connection Type
XLR
Where To Buy?
Preview
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone, Black, With Built-In Headphone Jack & Volume Control
Title
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
Polar Pattern
Cardioid
Sample Rate
16-bit/44.1 kHz-48 kHz
Connection Type
USB
Where To Buy?

Last update on 2020-07-04 | Affiliate Link | Amazon API

Polar Patterns Explained

Omni-Directional Polar Pattern

Omnidirectional

This pattern works and picks up the sound in a 360 degrees range. As a result, it equally picks up the sound of its surrounding, so it doesn’t matter where you speak in the microphone, it will all sound the same. If you want something that picks up everything in the room, you want one that has this polar pattern included.

Bi-Directional Polar Pattern

bi-Directional

This type of microphone will work by equally receiving the same amount of sound from the front and the back of the microphone (Figure-8 Pattern). This polar pattern is useful if you have two sound sources to pick up at the same time.

Cardioid Polar Pattern

Cardioid

Considered the heart-shaped pattern, this polar pattern has a tighter pickup. It tends to pick up in a wide range in front of the microphone while minimizing the sound that gets picked up from the back. As a result, it’s made to focus on the sound source.

Blue Yeti microphone - The Best All-In-One USB Mic 

Blue Yeti Microphone
  • Tri-capsule array - 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation.
  • Multiple pattern selection - cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo.
  • Frequency Response of 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Sample Rate of 16-bit/48kHz
  • Gain control, mute button, and zero-latency headphone output.
  • Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls.

Last update on 2020-07-04 | Affiliate Link | Amazon API

The Blue Yeti Mic is very flexible with its multipolar pattern support. It features four patterns: omnidirectional, bidirectional, cardioid, and stereo. This gives you the versatility to record in any setting, whether it would be for YouTube, streaming, recording sessions, music, vocals, podcasts, etc.

Because it is a condenser mic, it tends to pick up a lot more noise and background noises, such as fans and keyboard noises, etc.

There are 2 knobs on the back of the Blue Yeti, it has a gain control knob and its multipolar pattern knob. Also found on the bottom of the mic, there is a zero-latency headphone output (headphone monitoring option) in case you want to listen to your voice during your projects.

In front of the Blue Yeti, you have the mute button and the headphone volume knob.

The design of the Blue Yeti consists of being a heavy metal mic weighing in at 1.2 pounds (2.2 pounds with the stand). It comes in various colors to fit any style you want.

The Blue Yeti mic stand offers good stability and is nice as it allows it to sit a bit higher up. This, in turn, makes it so you don't need to hunch over trying to talk into it if you don't get a mic boom arm (depend on your setup). We always try and recommend everyone to get a boom arm for their setup.

Using a boom arm does have its advantages, but using them with the Blue Yeti can cause some issues because of the weight of the mic. Make sure to get a boom arm that can support the weight.

Audio Technica AT2020 - The Best Budget XLR Mic 

Sale
Audio-Technica AT2020 Microphone
  • Uses the cardioid polar pattern which reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear.
  • Custom engineered low mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response (20Hz-20kHz) and superior transient response
  • Requires an audio mixer with Phantom Power to power the mic
  • XLR Input (Not USB)
  • Lightweight (0.75lbs) and goes well with most boom arms
  • Perfect for streaming, youtube, voiceovers, interviews, etc. (Everything in front of the mic only)

Last update on 2020-07-04 | Affiliate Link | Amazon API

The Audio Technica AT2020 mic has incredible sound quality. It’s only limited by only being able to use the cardioid pattern. The difference is, the AT2020 is built for improved isolation as this is its primary function.

As a result, if you are looking for a streaming mic, you should typically be using one that has a cardioid pattern anyways as to limit the background noise of keyboards, fans, etc. This is why the cardioid pattern helps, as it isolates the noise around it to some degree.

Since the AT2020 is a condenser microphone, it will sometimes pick up too many sounds if the gain on it is too high. But because the AT2020 is an XLR mic, you will be able to set that up on the audio mixer you will need to purchase with it. Using a mixer will provide you with the best audio quality you can get.

I wrote a review on the some USB Mixers that I recommend.

There is another version of the AT2020 (AT2020 USB - the USB version), in case you don't want to go the XLR route, which is included further below in this review.

With the AT2020, you pretty much get what you see. There is no volume or gain control on the mic nor is there a headphone output for listening to your voice for monitoring.

The AT2020 comes in one color, black. It also comes with a small stand that I would not use as it picks up vibrations very easily. It is very lightweight only coming in at 0.75 pounds, thus making it very compatible with most boom arms.

I highly recommend getting a boom arm and a shock mount for your AT2020.

Other Alternatives

Blue Yeti pro USB Microphone

Last update on 2020-07-04 | Affiliate Link | Amazon API

I know what you might be thinking. Isn't this the same as a Blue Yeti?

Sort answer. No.

The Pro version has upgraded components and some added features that the basic Blue Yeti does not have.

It still features four patterns: omnidirectional, bidirectional, cardioid, and stereo similar to its predecessor. But the difference is the improved sound quality that this has over the regular Blue Yeti. It offers a recording frequency response of 24-bit/192kHz with its USB output.

It's able to record sound 3-4 times faster than the regular Blue Yeti sitting at 16-bit/48kHz.

It also includes an XLR output, which allows you to connect this to an audio mixer and get even better quality out of your recordings. (It comes with a USB cable and an XLR cable)

The Blue Yeti Pro has the same layout as the regular model (volume knob, mute button, build quality, etc.)

Audio Technica AT2020USB+

Last update on 2020-07-04 | Affiliate Link | Amazon API

In the event that you did not want to go the XLR route since it can get a bit more complicated, we wanted to provide you this alternative.

The AT2020USB+ comes with a bit more features than the AT2020. Similar to the Blue Yeti, it also now includes a Headphone jack, a headphone volume control, and a mix control (allows you to blend pre-recorded audio with your mic signal).

You will also know when the AT2020USB+ is turned on and which direction to talk into it. You will have a blueish light in the front of the mic when it is turned on. This is the direction you will be talking or recording yourself from.

This mic also comes with a USB cable which allows for easy plug-and-play.

AT2020 vs Blue Yeti For Streaming

Now you might be asking yourself which one is the better one to use while streaming?  It’s hard to give a proper answer as both of them provide excellent sound quality.

Let’s look at what kind of trouble they might give you instead.

Blue Yeti vs AT2020 - Pros And Cons

The Blue Yeti has the advantage of having more polar patterns. However, for streaming, you should only be using the cardioid pattern unless you are doing a live podcast with people in the room with you.

The rest of the patterns will pick up too much noise in the background worsening the audio in your stream.

The AT2020 only uses the cardioid pattern, so you don’t need to fiddle around with it. You will need to purchase a separate audio mixer for the XLR model, but this route will provide the best flexibility.

If you decide to get the AT2020USB+ model, it has a blue light that shows up when it is powered so you can easily tell where you have to talk. At the same time, you have this blue-ish light in your face at all times. This can typically be hidden with a pop filter of some sort that will cover it.

The Blue Yeti will have some issues with getting a budget-friendly shock mount that can hold the mic in place as it is pretty big and bulky.

The Blue Yeti is a heavy microphone and tends to give boom arms some problems with supporting it. On the other hand, the AT2020 is lighter and can be used easily with any boom arms without issues.

They both come with a stand themselves, but if you place it on your desk, it will pick up any vibrations and keyboard strokes that happen. If you hit your desk or table, it will vibrate through the microphone. Therefore, this is why I would always recommend getting a boom arm to avoid this issue.

In all honesty, these are all good mics and you will not be disappointed in choosing versus the other.

Audio Technica AT2020USB+ Vs AT2020 XLR

Last update on 2020-07-04 | Affiliate Link | Amazon API

Last update on 2020-07-04 | Affiliate Link | Amazon API

Last update on 2020-07-04 | Affiliate Link | Amazon API

I’ll be honest. My preference is the AT2020 XLR. The amount of control I can get with an XLR microphone and a mixer is fantastic. With the AT2020USB+, you are very limited to what you can change.

The AT2020USB+ comes with a headphone jack and volume control. As a result, it allows you to control and monitor the microphone signal with no delay.

However, the plug and play feature of a USB microphone is amazing for non-techies.

You plug it in, and you can start using your microphone right away. You might need to make some adjustments in the windows sound options for the microphone itself, but it’s minimal and easily done.

On the other hand, with an XLR mic, you need to adjust your compression, your low and high equalizers, any FX sounds, and make sure you have Phantom Power for the microphones that need it.

Lastly, the AT2020 XLR is cheaper than the AT2020USB+, but you need to buy a mixer for it.

Furthermore, you will also need to configure your windows sound settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it so expensive?

These are some of the best entry-level microphones you can get for high-quality sound. You don’t need to fork over for an XLR setup since they tend to be a bit more expensive. However, one of these USB microphones will significantly improve how you sound while doing your projects.

Will this work with my system?

The USB microphones will easily work for anyone as they are plug and play. Especially the AT2020USB+, as it does not require drivers. If you’re worried about functionality, get the AT2020USB+. It works on everything.

In Conclusion

All these well-built microphones provide fantastic sound quality. You need to pick the one that meets your needs. Below I listed some situations you might be facing or dealing with. 


I will provide my recommendation for each type of situation in hopes that it guides you if you haven't made up your mind.

1. Are you doing studio type work with multiple people? (This is meant for podcasters, a musician, anybody with a bunch of people in the room, etc.)

Get a Blue Yeti. It will be easier to set the proper pattern you need to get optimal results from the recordings.

2. Are you streaming or doing a YouTube video? (This is meant for streamers, single content creators, solo podcaster, voice-overs, etc.)

Get the AT2020 USB+ or AT2020 XLR


I will always recommend XLR mics vs USB mics as they always sound better and have more options to adjust the sound to your liking.

Make sure if you do get an XLR mic that your mixer has a Phantom Power switch or functionality included to be able to power the mic itself.

If you want better customization for your mic, pick one of the XLR models.

In my honest opinion, you cannot pick a bad mic from this list and I am sure you will be happy with what you end up with. These are good brands with high-quality products.
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