USB Microphones have become extremely popular over the past few years, especially for creating podcasts, YouTube videos, doing Voice Over work, and even for home recording. If you want to start a career as a content creator or voice actor, then getting a good quality microphone is the important first step you have to take.
The question is, which microphone to buy from all different brands and products? Worry not, in this article, we will be comparing two of the best-known USB microphones, which are the Audio-Technica AT2020+ and the Rode NT USB so you can get a better understanding of which one you should go for. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Rode NT USB Review
Rode NT USB is currently unavailable on Amazon, but it’s usually sold at $169. It holds a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 from 2,765 customer reviews. This mic weighs 1.15 pounds and has a dimension of 2.44 x 1.97 x 7.24 inches.
Rode is a famous company for manufacturing top quality products with affordable prices, and Rode NT USB is the proof of it. The mic comes with a good filter, a tripod desk stand, a storage pouch to carry it around, and a ring mount to make it stable. Read also: Rode PodMic vs Shure SM7B.
In terms of features, this mic comes with cardioid pop shield polar pattern, tripod desk stand, ring mount, storage pouch, 20 inches USB cable, headphone jack, 20Hz -20KHz frequency response, as well as 48KHz/16-bit sample rate.
There are two controls that you can use if you want to achieve zero latency monitoring on the fly. The two controls can be found on the side, and it can be used to control the volume and the other one is for Direct mix control, or input and output. The Direct mix input can be used to choose to hear only what’s coming from the PC or to only the direct output from the mic, or a mix of the two.
|Rode NT USB||AT2020|
|Shop now at Amazon||click here||click here|
|Product Dimensions||2.44 x 1.97 x 7.24 inches||9.6 x 9.6 x 2.6 inches
|Shipping Weight||1.15 pounds||1.32 pounds
Build quality wise, it’s good enough especially at this price range. Some people who’ve just upgrade from cheaper mic would be very happy with it. The weight feels nice and sturdy, it doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy at all when placed on the desk. The included pop filter is a great addition, besides it’s not common to get one included with the purchase. On the other hand, don’t expect a great pop filter for free. But hey, it works as intended. The mic is compatible on Windows, Apple iPad, and Mac OS.
There is a downside that we found with this mic, or probably you’ve noticed it. There is no Gain dial on this mic, which is kind of weird at this price range. You get everything but a Gain dial. So if you want to control the Gain levels, you have to do it from your PC.
Overall, we’re happy with the microphone. It’s great for recording singing and speaking in general like in voice-over and podcast. But, recording instruments with high volume may be a problem. If it’s a bit too loud or recording from a loud sound source, it will sound as if it’s clipping even though the signal doesn’t clip at all.
Audio-Technica AT2020 is currently sold at a slightly more expensive price of $199.00 on Amazon. It holds a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 from 1,114 customer reviews. This mic weighs 4.75 pounds and has a dimension of 17 x 10 x 4 inches.
Not many brands in the world can say that they’re more famous than Audio-Technica when it comes to microphones. AT2020 is considered to be a great buy for anyone who wants to buy a microphone, especially for home recording purposes. Even many enthusiasts would recommend the microphone to others.
With the purchase, you’ll get AT2020 USB, cardioid condenser USB microphone, a pair of monitor headphones (ATH-M20x), and a studio boom arm complete with a USB cable. It’s pretty much the complete set of equipment.
The boom is a standard one. It’s easy to set up and attached to the desks, tables, and other flat surfaces up to 55 mm in thickness. It has a microphone stand mount and the USB cable is threaded to prevent making a mess. You can use the boom in anyway you want without worrying about the cable. You can rotate it 360° and reposition it quickly whenever you need it.
The mic also has a mix control that you can use to mix microphone with pre-recorded audio. AT2020 can pick up patterns to deliver a great off-axis rejection, while the AD converter with 16-bit 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate guarantees an accurate sound recording.
Another thing that we have to mention about AT2020 is how compact and lightweight it is. You can bring the mic wherever you want. You can record your voice on the go or outside without making it more difficult. And don’t be fooled by the size and weight, AT2020 is a very durable microphone.However, the controls on the AT2020 aren’t as easy to use as we would have liked, since you can’t really tell how much gain you dialed in by just looking at it.
Overall, AT2020 is a mic that offers excellent sound quality, and we mean excellent, especially considering the price, since you probably won’t find another USB microphone at this price range that sounds like it.
Rode NT USB vs AT2020
After comparing these two microphone models, it’s time to make the final verdict. Now, let’s talk about the main differences of Rode NT USB and AT2020 first. The AT2020+ has a crispier and brighter sound, whereas the Rode NT USB sounds a bit darker.
The biggest contrast between the two products is that AT2020 has a Gain control that isn’t present on Rode NT. You can easily change the level at which you want to record your voice at. You don’t need to reach to your PC.
So, if we have to choose one between these two models, we’d have to choose AT2020 any day of the week!