Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone


93 out of 100. Incorporating 15550+ ratings and reviews.

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Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Audio Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Gearank High Notes

Gearank Recommended

The AT2020 first appeared on our recommended list for Condenser Mics Under $100 from December 2015 until October 2019 when it was removed due to being out-ranked by other mics.

Then in September 2020 it had high enough ratings to go back on the recommended list where it remains today.

It was also on our recommended list for Microphones for Recording Acoustic Guitar from January 2016 until March 2020.


It features a low-mass diaphragm that lets it handle high SPL (Sound Pressure Levels) better than many other condenser microphones.

General Home / Project Studio Use
It has a smaller 16mm-diameter black-electret capsule, which gives it a subtly brighter sound. This complements certain applications like female vocals, closed-miked horns, small bodied acoustic guitars, drum kit overheads and more. Its cardioid polar pattern reduces noise, for better focus on the desired sound source. It has good noise reduction for the front and rear improving isolation. All these features make this a good mic for home recording.

Additionally, the components are protected by a high quality and modern looking cast metal exterior. Mic assembly is solid, which makes it easy to store and easy on the eyes. This side address mic looks good on stand mounts, and are especially secure when used on threaded stands.

Recording Acoustic Guitar
Its wide dynamic range makes it is a great entry level mic for recording acoustic guitar players.

The Audio-Technica AT2020 works really well in reproducing the high frequency zing of spruce top acoustics, without having to drill a hole in your pocket.

This particular small diaphragm mic handles loud instruments well with a max SPL of 158dB with pad, without compromising much of the low end compared to other small diaphragm mics in this price range. This gives it a brighter sound which is ideal for steel string acoustics. In a band setting, it does a good job blocking sound from the sides and rear improving the focus on guitar. Note that this mic connects via XLR cable.

The AudioTechnica AT2020 is a high quality budget-friendly condenser mic. It is ideal for home studios that are expanding to capture loud sound sources. It is a great supplementary mic if you already have a large diaphragm condenser. And it can also be a good all-around mic with good sound quality. It is ideal if you're miking different instrument types, including wind and percussive instruments.


  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 100 ohms
  • Maximum SPL: 144 dB
  • Applications: Recording vocals & instruments
  • Power Requirements: 48V phantom power

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Sound On Sound Paul White 90/100
Gearspace Tom Higgins 85/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.