Audio-Technica AT2020 Studio Condenser Microphone

Recording vocals at home? For the price, you can't beat an AT2020! And with SPL handling up to 144 dB, this large-diaphragm condenser shines on loud sources.

With all the budget-priced condenser microphones now available to the masses, there are only a few that deliver serious bang for super-low bucks. Among them is the Audio-Technica AT2020, a decidedly no-frills, rock-solid condenser with performance that belies its low price. With a low-mass capsule capable of faithfully reproducing fast transients, this versatile mic captures instruments admirably, and its crisp top end paired with lower-mid warmth is consistently flattering on vocals. And since the AT2020 is priced to fit into any home studio's budget, it's an ideal "first condenser."

Sturdy Construction

You may have heard that condenser microphones are more fragile than their dynamic cousins. True as that may be, the AT2020 sports a heavy, durable build quality that puts much higher-priced condensers to shame. Check the customer reviews for reports of folks unceremoniously dropping this bad boy -- with no harm done to the microphone. Although it's not recommended that you deliberately knock about your AT2020, it's inspiring to have a piece of gear that feels this sturdy and solid on its stand. After all, you'll want to be using this microphone for a long, long time.

Innovative Back-Electret Capsule Design

Being built like a tank is one thing, but when you're shopping for an all-around studio condenser, you need a mic that can deliver the goods sonically. To see what sets the AT2020 apart, take a close look at its unusual back-electret capsule design. Like most read more condenser microphones, the AT2020 requires 48V phantom power. But while most condensers send this charge directly to the diaphragm element, Audio-Technica instead runs the voltage to the back-plate of the condenser, so the diaphragm itself can be much thinner and more responsive -- a feature often found in professional measurement microphones. Additionally, the AT2020's diaphragm is 16 mm in diameter, considerably smaller than the standard 1-inch diaphragm -- giving it a faster transient response that's great for instruments, or paired up on drum overheads. A gentle 5-15 kHz boost delivers a clean, crisp, airy top end, and an intrinsic low-mid-frequency warmth makes it a favorite on male and female vocals. So don't be fooled by the price -- this mic produces sound quality characteristic of Audio-Technica's higher-priced models without the "hyped" characteristic found in cheap condensers.

High SPL Handling for Loud Sources

The AT2020 is rated at a maximum sound pressure level (SPL) of 144 dB, so it can accurately reproduce loud instruments and strong vocals with clarity and precision. A jackhammer at a distance of one meter measures approximately 100 dB SPL, so you get an idea of the Audio-Technica AT2020's capabilities. Bring on the close-miked horns, crashing drums, and screaming vocals -- this mic can handle them. Whether it's your first studio condenser or just an affordable addition to a well-stocked mic closet, this mic is designed to be as versatile as it is durable.

Cardioid Pickup Pattern: Ideal For Vocals

If you're building a budget-minded home studio, it's likely you'll be recording vocals in the same room as your computer. And that means excess noise in the recording environment. All the more reason to use a vocal microphone with excellent off-axis rejection, like the Audio-Technica AT2020. Its cardioid pickup pattern helps isolate your performance, rejecting sound from the sides or rear. It's the classic pickup pattern for recording vocals, and it's useful for building stereo X-Y pairs or ORTF setups with two microphones -- after all, at this price, you may well want to pick up a pair.


- Unbeatable price/performance ratio for a studio condenser
- Sturdy build quality reminiscent of much more expensive models
- Unique low-mass diaphragm reproduces fast transients faithfully
- High SPL handling: record loud sources, even without a pad
- Excellent off-axis rejection -- ideal for home studios with computer noise
- Included stand mount for easy placement
- Excellent "first condenser" and introduction to Audio-Technica quality
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Element: Fixed-charge back plate, permanently polarized condenser
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Frequency Response: 20 - 20,000 Hz
Open Circuit Sensitivity: -37 dB (14.1 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
Impedance: 100 ohms
Maximum Input Sound Level: 144 dB SPL, 1 kHz at 1% T.H.D.
Signal to Noise Ratio: 74 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa
Dynamic Range (Typical): 124 dB, 1 kHz at Max. SPL
Phantom Power Requirements: 48V DC, 2 mA typical
Self-noise: 20 dB SPL
Output Connector: Integral 3-pin XLRM-type

Accessories included:
- AT2020 (black model): Stand mount for 5/8"-27 threaded stands; 5/8"-27 to 3/8"-16 threaded adapter; soft protective pouch
- AT2020V (limited-edition chrome model): AT8458a shock mount; 5/8"-27 to 3/8"-16 threaded adapter; soft protective pouch

Weight: 12.1 oz (345 g)
Dimensions: 6.38" (162.0 mm) long, 2.05" (52.0 mm) maximum body diameter
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Shipping Weight: 1.75 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 3 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): AT2020
Black, with Tripod Boom Stand and Mic Cable
Shipping Weight: 7.6 lbs
Black, Pack with ATH-M20x Headphones and Desktop Boom Arm
Shipping Weight: 4.9 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 5 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): AT2020PK
Blemished, Black, Pack with ATH-M20x Headphones and Desktop Boom Arm, USED
Shipping Weight: 4.9 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 5 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): AT2020PK
Warehouse Resealed, Black, Pack with ATH-M20x Headphones and Desktop Boom Arm, USED
Shipping Weight: 4.9 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 5 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): AT2020PK

Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Mic

Audio-Technica's stringent consistency, reliability and quality standards bring professional performance to an extremely affordable price point in home/project studio microphones.


- The AT2020 has the price/performance standard in side-address studio condenser microphone technology.
- It is ideal for project/home-studio applications.
- High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility.
- Custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response.
- Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source.
- Pivoting, threaded stand mount attaches securely for easy and precise placement of the microphone.d mount attaches securely for easy and precise placement of the microphone.

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. (140 ratings)
Submitted October 18, 2008 by a customer from

"great great great"

Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
for now this complements my colection of Shure and AKG dynamic microphones, and i hope that i'll never had the need to buy any other. this will do for now, and i feel that it will work for a long time.
It sounds really good, at this price range i dont believe there is any other that can beat the at2020, sounds very clear, havent tested with instruments cause i'm a lead singer of a rock band, and i bought it just for recording vocals, but still i'll try it next rehearsal. it looks as good as it sounds.
got tell you, the one thing i really dont like is the mic suport for the stand that comes with it, this product deservs shock mount, or at least a small case for safe keeping, other than that it's a very simple straight forward mic
Ease of Use
just plug in to phantom powered source and rock on.
at this price, wow, it's really good, it looks very sexy, well builted, rubst, great design, it stands out in our studio, it sounds fantastic.
again, in this price range, the best
Manufacturer Support
dindt really need support
The Wow Factor
very sexy very appealing, it seems ultra professional.

Musical Background:

Lead singer of rock band, producer of the same for more than 15 years

Musical Style:

rock alternative progressive
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