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AT2020 vs AT2035: A Side-by-Side Comparison

AT2020 vs. AT2035

Torn between the Audio Technica AT2020 vs. Audio Technica AT2035?

Don’t worry! We’ve reviewed both, so you don’t have to!

They’re both from the same reputable brand and known in the industry as great beginner mics that feature cardioid polar patterns, but where do their similarities end?

Are they equally good? Is the upgraded Audio Technica AT2035 worth it? Which will give you more value?

Audio Technica AT2020 vs AT2035? Let’s settle it now!

Table of Contents

AT2020 Overview

AT2020 Overview

Specs

  • Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz
  • Open Circuit Sensitivity: -37 dB (14.1 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
  • Maximum Input Sound Level: 144 dB SPL, 1 kHz at 1% T.H.D.
  • Noise: 20 dB SPL
  • Dynamic Range: 124 dB, 1 kHz at Max SPL
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 74 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa
  • Phantom Power Requirements: 48V DC, 2 mA typical
  • Weight: 12.1 oz (345 g)
  • Dimensions: 6.38″ (162.0 mm) long, 2.05″ (52.0 mm) maximum body diameter
  • Output Connector: Integral 3-pin XLRM-type
  • Element: Fixed charge back plate permanently polarized condenser

The Audio Technica AT2020 is a good starter condenser mic for those serious about getting into professional audio recording.

This dynamic mic works best for recording vocals! So if you’re someone who records spoken words, voiceovers and podcasts, it’s the perfect choice!

It also works excellently with recording electric guitars and guitar cabinets.

This microphone is perfect for your home studio or any starter studio since you get high quality audio for just a few tens!

Before we get deep into the features of the Audio Technica AT2020, let’s first look at what we’ll get!

What’s in the Box?

  1. Microphone
  2. The pivoting stand mount is included in the standalone version
  3. The microphone stand adapter lets you hook up the mic mount to stand.
  4. Padded pouch for storing the microphone
  5. 20 feet XLR cable

Main Features

Now let’s move on to what makes the Audio Technica AT2020 special!

Let’s start with the physicals.

All-Metal Body

Something that the two microphones have in common is their excellent build quality.

The Audio Technica AT2020 is fully metal, so even if it’s marketed as a beginner mic, it will last you longer than your beginner phase.

Even the microphone mount is metal!

Durable

Thanks to its full metal body, it can definitely take some beating! Perfect for taking it to the road!

Some users report it lasting up to 4 years and counting!

But even with this, remember that a condenser microphone is more sensitive than other microphones, so you still have to be careful handling it.

Lightweight

And even though the Audio Technica AT2020 mic is fully metal, it only weighs 12.1 oz!

It’s just the right heaviness!

Sounds Great

Its frequency response is 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz. That means it has ALL the range you need in a microphone since it picks up every audible frequency that a human ear can hear!

The AT2020 also has some nice boosts towards the high end in the frequency response curve.

This mic will also give you maximum versatility thanks to its high SPL handling and wide dynamic range!

The Audio-Technica AT2020 is more neutral-sounding, so it has a flat response. This is what makes it ideal for acoustic guitar and recording voices.

Condenser Mic

The AT2020 is an XLR condenser microphone that requires a full 48-volt phantom power. It won’t work if it isn’t plugged directly into your computer.

Pop Filter

The Audio Technica at2020 also comes with a pop filter! A pop filter is great for reducing popping sounds, sometimes even removing them completely.

Additionally, the pop filter in the Audio Technica AT2020 also prevents saliva in your mouth from accumulating while recording sounds.

Pros

  • Durable build quality.
  • The back and front are clearly labeled. Perfect for setting up in a rush!
  • Barely picks up audio from the back, top, and bottom of the microphone. So you won’t have to worry about it picking up unnecessary sounds.
  • Best for acoustic instruments
  • Compatible with most microphone stands

Cons

  • Does not come with a microphone cable
  • Sounds a little bit flat when compared to the At2035
  • There is no roll-off at the end, so the frequency range flattens slightly in the lows.
  • No shock mount included

AT2035 Overview

AT2035 Overview

Specs

  • Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz
  • Low Frequency Roll Off: 80 Hz, 12 dB/octave
  • Open Circuit Sensitivity: -33 dB (22.4 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
  • Maximum Input Sound Level: 148 dB SPL, 1 kHz at 1% T.H.D.; 158 dB SPL, with 10 dB pad (nominal)
  • Noise: 12 dB SPL
  • Dynamic Range: 136 dB, 1 kHz at Max SPL
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 82 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa
  • Phantom Power Requirements: 11-52V DC, 3.8 mA typical
  • Switches: Flat, roll-off; 10 dB pad (nominal)
  • Weight: 403 g (14.2 oz)
  • Dimensions: 170.0 mm (6.69″) long, 52.0 mm (2.05″) maximum body diameter
  • Output Connector: Integral 3-pin XLRM-type
  • Element: Fixed chargeback plate permanently polarized condenser

The Audio Technica AT2035 is a later and upgraded version of the AT2020.

It’s the result of customer feedback from the previous models and is made to cater to the changing needs of its market.

Of course, it’s also a bit more expensive than the AT2020. But the improvement and added features make it all worth the extra cash!

It’s great for all levels, from professional and home studios to beginners and aspiring sound engineers.

What’s in the Box?

  1. Microphone
  2. Standard shock mount
  3. Plastic mic stand adapter
  4. Padded carrying pouch

Main Features

Like the AT2020, this one is also built for the road…

All-Metal Construction

The AT2035 has all the good stuff the AT2020 has to offer. A solid, tough, all-metal body that boasts unbeatable durability.

It also has a nice substantial weight that feels just right. And the mic mount is made of plastic but still feels solid and sturdy.

Cardioid Mic

The Audio Technica AT2035 features a polar pattern that is flatter and wider at the front and tapers towards the back.

With this polar pattern, the mic receives more of your voice from its front.

The mic can also tune out other sounds around it, sounds that you don’t want the mic to pick up anyway.

Additional Switch Feature

Unlike the AT2020, it has 2 switches on the back of the mic.

  • The first option is a 10 dB pad, which helps with loud sound sources like a guitar amplifier.
  • The other is a bass roll-off that cuts a bit extra of the low frequencies below 80 Hertz. This is especially helpful with rumbles in the low-end frequencies.

Frequency Response

It also has the same range of 20 Hertz to 20 KiloHertz. Again, that’s all you will need to record sound that can be heard by the human ear.

Frequency Range

The AT2035 produces a natural curve from the lows, and low rumbles cannot be heard.

The line becomes flat as you get to the mids and produces a natural sound. In the highs, you will get a lot of boost!

Additional Features

The Audio Technica AT2020 is a base model mic of the company. So after feedback from its customers, the company improved on it in its subsequent models.

Let’s look at the upgraded features one by one:

  1. High pass filter – This prevents the low rumble from being recorded. You also won’t have to worry about recording the room sound as much!
  2. -10dB pad – This will be very useful for recording loud sounds. You also get more flexibility!
  3. The shock mount – Like the high pass filter, this will reduce even more rumble from the sounds your mic will pick up.
  4. More flexible phantom power – The Audio Technica at2020 will need 48 volts, but the Audio Technica at2035 can work from 11 volts to 52 volts. You don’t have to worry too much when you’re on the road with this mic.

Pros

  • Amazing build quality, just like every other mic in the 20 series.
  • Shock mount included
  • High pass filter and shock mount to reduce rumble
  • Flexible phantom power
  • Unbeatable in its price range. Overall a great value mic

Cons

  • Pad switches can be stiff
  • Single polar pattern

AT2020 vs AT2035: Performance Comparison

AT2020 vs AT2035

After looking at the AT2020 and the AT2035 individually, let’s look at them side by side!

Build and Design

Both condenser microphones have amazing build quality, thanks to their all-metal construction without being heavy.

You know the sturdy mesh grills on both mics are built to last and that they can survive years of wear and tear and even some pretty decent beating.

They also basically have the same aesthetic design, both sleek and stylish.

The AT2020 is slightly smaller than the Audio Technica AT2035. The difference in size isn’t that big unless you put them together side by side.

Usage

The biggest difference between the two models is the switches. The AT2035 features a 10dB pad and a low cutoff.

Sensitivity

The sensitivity of the AT2020 is -37dB, while the AT2035 is at -33 dB.

AT2020 is a little bit more sensitive. You might find this a deciding factor when dealing with the noise when you’re in the recording studio.

Dynamic Range

AT2020 comes with a dynamic range of 124 dB, and the AT2035 with a dynamic range of 136 decibels.

Signal to Noise Ratio

The AT2035 wins this round.

The signal-to-noise ratio is 74 dB for the AT2020 vs AT2035, which is at 80 dB.

Frequency Response

From lows to highs…

Lows

The biggest difference between the two mics is that the AT2035 has a low cut-off option. With this, you can roll-off 80 Hertz.

Those sounds are actually noises you don’t really want to be part of your recording most of the time.

Mids

For both microphones, the mids are mostly flat.

Highs

Now for the highs, the curves are also fairly similar. The AT2035 also has a bit more presence boost.

Audio Interface

For both the Audio Technica AT2020 and the Audio Technica AT2035, you will need audio interfaces for them to work.

Cardioid Polar Pattern

Both mics also feature a cardioid polar pattern, so it is heart-shaped and tapers towards the back.

This design is made to minimize the unwanted sounds from being picked up from the two sides and the back of the microphone.

You no longer have to worry about tapping away on your keyboard while speaking into the mic!

Sound Quality

The AT2035 has less of a rumble than the AT2020.

When compared to the AT2020, the frequencies aren’t all as clean as the AT2035. The AT2020 also sounds a little airier.

Both of them also work well even in untreated rooms, especially if you’re close to the microphone stand.

When we look at the overall sound quality, the AT2035 is a full package upgrade from the AT2020.

Pricing

Obviously, the AT2035 is more expensive as it belongs to the line of more advanced models. But if you already own the AT2020, an AT2035 upgrade will be well worth it!

The price difference isn’t even that big, so if you’re debating which one to get, you could go straight to the AT2035 without hurting your wallet!

The AT2035 is an excellent beginner mic and an even better upgrade from your old existing ones.

Overall, it is a better value than the AT2020 since it only costs a little more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

You do still have questions? We’ve got you!

The next section will tackle some additional questions you may have about these two mics!

What is a Diaphragm Mic?

The mic diaphragm is one of the essential parts of a mic. It is the transducer that is in charge of converting acoustic energy to electrical energy.

Mics with a large diaphragm tend to be more sensitive and pick up a wider range of sounds and get more detail recorded. It also means that it won’t have lower self-noise.

Meanwhile, mics with small diaphragms work best with acoustic guitars, voice recordings, and almost anything recorded in a professional or home studio.

What is the Difference Between Large and Small Diaphragm Microphones?

A large diaphragm microphone uses a larger membrane, and a larger membrane collects more acoustic energy, which results in a higher signal voltage.

The only specific feature that large-diaphragm mics have an advantage over small diaphragm mics is that it has lower self-noise.

In all the other aspects, small diaphragm microphones are better performing.

Small diaphragm mics offer greater transient response because they can more precisely track sound waves, have more consistent pickup patterns, and have a higher frequency response.

What is a Cardioid Capsule?

The capsule of a mic is the part that is in charge of converting the sound waves it picks up into microphone signals.

In the Audio Technica AT2020 vs AT2035, both of them have the cardioid polar pattern as a critical aspect of their design.

The capsule is shaped in such a way that it mostly picks up sounds only from the front.

The sides and back hardly pick up anything, which makes cardioid polar pattern mics the best choice for podcasts and other voice recordings.

Is Audio-Technica Good for Recording Vocals?

YES!

If you’re reading this article, you probably are already a fan of the Japanese company since you’ve narrowed down your choices to just the Audio Technica AT2020 vs AT2035.

Audio Technica has built a good reputation in the industry thanks to providing consistently good-sounding microphones with superb engineering.

Compared to other brands in its price range, both the Audio Technica AT2020 and Audio Technica AT2035 outdo most competitors.

Final Verdict: Which Audio-Technica Mic is Better?

Final Verdict- Which Audio-Technica Mic is Better-

To end the Audio Technica AT2020 vs AT2035 battle, here’s what we think.

Get the Audio Technica AT2020 If…

You’re on a tight budget.

Or, if your music is also more on electric guitars and guitar cabinets, the Audio Technica AT2020 is definitely the right choice for you.

Get the Audio Technica AT2035 If…

You don’t mind investing a little more in exchange for a few more features (like the high pass filter!).

And if your recordings will also mostly include acoustic guitars, the Audio Technica at2035 is the better choice.

The best value microphone between the Audio Technica AT2020 vs AT2035 debate will all come down to your budget, needs, and personal preferences.

But if You Still Can’t Decide…

Personally, we advise that you get the Audio Technica AT2035 since it’s what will give you the most value.

The Audio Technica AT2035 is feature-packed and thoroughly upgraded by just paying a little more for it.

So unless the only reason that’s stopping you is your allotted budget for this, the Audio Technica AT2035 is the clear winner!

Conclusion

And that’s all!

We hope you found this article helpful and that you were able to arrive at the best decision for your recording needs.

About the author

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After becoming obsessed with the beats that were the soundtrack to his youth, Nick became a student of hip hop, digging for vinyl records, looking for the perfect break. Before he got his hands on an MPC sampler, he would mash these records, beats, and breaks into mixtapes and live DJ sets.