Microphone is a crucial tool in your setup if you are working with audio whether it is for streaming content like podcasting and video sharing or even music recording. Microphone quality will also decide you audio quality and both of MXL 440 Vs AT2020 are two amazing options to consider if you are in the market for reliable performance without the hefty price. For those who are considering to get one of these models, go check what they can offer below and pick the best mic for your setup.
In this article, we are going to give you information about:
- How to Choose a Microphone
- What are MXL 440 and AT2020
- What MXL 440 and AT2020 Look Like
- How are the Build Quality of MXL 440 and AT2020
- How are the Performance of MXL 440 and AT2020
- MXL 440 Vs AT2020
Choosing the Best Microphone
Choosing a microphone is like picking which camera to buy because different people have their own preference and application to consider and it can be the same or not depending on what you are going to use the unit for. An expensive professional models seems tempting but you may need to pair it with a costly mic amp as well and while it is ideal for studio setting, this type of microphone is not the best option for beginners or those who just want to record their demos.
If you have been using a microphone or did few shopping in the past we are sure you are already familiar with what needs to be considered when getting one but, if this is your first microphone, there are some specs that you may want to know.
- Polar patterns is the first thing people usually check about a microphone and as the name suggests, this is the microphone’s field of sensitivity. For example and omnidirectional mic will pick up sounds from all directional while bi-directional will pick up sound from two sides or east and west. In addition, there is unidirectional that will reject rear-axis and off-axis sounds coming from behind the mic or from the sides. There are also multi-pattern microphones like Yeti that you can check on our Samson Q2U Vs Yeti.
- The next important factor is frequency response and this number state the range for frequency from low to high in which the microphone is able to pick up measured in hertz. In general those ranging around 80 Hz to 15kHz are already a great option to go if vocal is what you are doing while recording snares and toms required those lower or start from 50 Hz while amd drum mics should start from 40 Hz.
- Next is response curves and this is going to tell you the overall range a mic can produce. For example the microphone that have spike in the upper midrange will be better for vocal purpose because they will be smoother and more intelligible when reproducing voice.
- There is sensitivity and SPL-handling capability for a microphone used to determine how the mic can detect quiet sound while SPL is Sound Pressure Level represented as dBs to describe the maximum volume it can handle.
- Last but not least is proximity effects and while not all of us will need to pay attention to it, this means how the bass effects becomes stronger when a source is getting nearer to the microphone.
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|Product Dimensions||2.5 x 2.5 x 7.7 inches||9.6 x 9.6 x 2.6 inches
|Shipping Weight||1.54 pounds||1.72 pounds|
About MXL 440 and AT2020
Shopping for a new microphone can be as simple and as complicated as you want because we can either just grab any recommended microphone from a store or go check their specification and what people say about the product first. Besides the specifications and performance, it is great to also decide how many budget we can spend for the microphone so then we can eliminate the options faster. Another method is go check what similar users are going for because chances we will love their picks as well.
Among various different microphone manufacturers in the market, MXL and Audio Technica are two of the most popular and well-known brands to choose from. Both of them are known for the high quality products and we are sure most people are already familiar with their companies as well. Another thing we love from these brands is their wide price range and competitive with the peers while options or models are available for different purpose so we can always get the one match to our application.
For those who are trying to find a good microphone for their voice recording activity, MXL 440 and AT2020 are a very ideal options you may want to consider. Both of them are very similar to each other and are designed for studio purpose for voice recording session. What’s impressive about them is their price point which is very affordable thus, we understand many people are skeptical about their reliability in act yet, these two are not just any cheap microphone for the sound is also very good.
These two will be a nice backup to your regular USB microphone or to be your main gear instead. MXL 440 and AT2020 are condenser microphone which is more common being used in studio setup than its dynamic friend. A condenser microphone in general will be better when it comes to capturing more delicate sounds and higher frequencies while dynamic microphone on the other hand is better for capturing strong sounds like drums or vocals we typically experience in live setting.
MXL 440 and AT2020 Design
Side by side these microphones are looking like any other condenser microphones out there with a tubular body while the head is itself is slightly different with MXL being made to be flat on each side and AT following its main body, round with housing at the surrounding. If you ever used the MCA SP1, MXL 440 will be very similar in style in terms of circuit and diaphragm capsule which is mounted within a brass ring.
Audio Technica AT2020 is also a solid microphone with a body weighed around 12 oz. and sturdy metal casing with a tough wire mesh to protect the screens and capsule. As for the open circuit itself, both of them are at 15 Mv/Pa and 14.1 Mv/pA while their quoted noise figure is slightly on the high side of average because they are similarly at 20Db. In addition, the dynamic range is at 130dB and 124dB respectively.
MXL 440 and AT2020 Build Quality
When it comes to build quality, as it has been mentioned above that AT2020 is surrounded by metal casing, this microphone is robust and feels solid that it can take quite abuse in case you also travel with them while MXL 440 is not very much. It is not bad or flimsy but when you compare them side by side, the difference becomes prominent and this is probably why they are cheaper. If you want to spend more, there is a package with MXL 441; a smaller condenser microphone.
MXL 440 and AT2020 Performance
Moving further, let’s see their performance part and in this side both of them are working amazingly because they are picking up sound very good with enough details. The first thing you may want to keep in mind is MXL 440 and AT2020 are a condenser and it means we will need a phantom power to use them so we will have to own an audio interface to hook them into a computer and in addition you will also need the cable for none of them come with one.
Their frequency response is 30Hz to 20kHz and 20Hz to 20kHz respectively while in practice they can pick up a very strong and detailed sound especially from your voice. Without a filter, they will pick up everything from your voice so we recommend to add one to prevent that “breathy” effects when you speak close to them. Side by side they are very loud and powerful with an identical result while also good for recording instrument like acoustic guitar.
For those who are going to use these microphones for recording music, the result in comparison will be somehow show MXL 440 as a bit muddy thu editing them with equalizers is needed while the AT2020 is slightly better in this side so we don’t have to do much with the mixer. This is probably because the former is more natural sounding than its rival and in our opinion it depends on your personal taste as well when deciding which fits your project.
MXL 440 vs AT2020
MXL 440 and AT2020 are an amazing microphone for the budget and coming from below $100, they are equally impressive in terms of performance with a clean sound and they can also pick everything from your voice or ambience noise in the room in which sometimes can be annoying. MXL 440 sounds a little bit more natural but then we have to do more adjustment while recording while the AT2020 will aid the processing a little bit, cutting your effort.
From the outside, AT2020 is a more robust microphone and it feels to be built to last with thick casing while the MXL 440 is not that impressive in built quality. It is not fragile but comparing to Audio Technica it is still not as solid.
All in all there is no bad option between the two because we love them equally and it all depends on your taste but if you are looking for the best budget microphone, we will highly recommend the MXL 440 because with only $69, you can already get a reliable performing mic with a natural sound.