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Blue Yeti vs. Audio-Technica AT2020+: Which should you buy?

Blue Yeti with iMac
Blue Yeti with iMac (Image credit: iMore)

If all you want to do is podcasting or streaming, then the Blue Yeti is probably perfect for you. However, if you intend to record singing or instruments, the warmth of the Audio-Technica may be better suited to your needs.

The tale of the tape

These two mics are nearly identical when it comes to comparing most of the specs. However, there are small variations in performance, which, depending on your intended use, will likely make a difference. The short version is that the Blue Yeti will probably be better suited for those doing dialog-heavy projects like podcasts and streaming. The Audio-Technica, on the other hand, would be great for musicians looking to make their first foray into home recording without breaking the bank.

The Blue Yet is incredibly simple to set up. It's the winner here when it comes to plug and play ease. It also offers multiple recording pattern modes which will offer a bit more flexibility when it comes to a physical studio set up. Want to do an interview with someone sitting across from you and only have one mic? Set the Yeti to bidirectional mode! This flexibility allows you to only record what you want; don't record your keyboard clacking when you're streaming or get a whole conversation on audio.

Unfortunately, it is a heavy beast of a mic and isn't the best to toss in a bag and take on the road. It can also be a bit on the sensitive side on the high and mid-range. You're likely going to want to invest in a pop filter to keep sibilance to a minimum.

The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ may not have a whole host of pattern modes to choose from like the Blue Yeti, but its sole cardioid setting is great. It can pick up sound in a relatively large patter, so it may not be ideal for streamers unless you actually want the sound of your keyboard to be picked up. All that being said, the internal components of the Audio-Technica offer a beautiful and warm sound which would be perfect for recording singers and acoustic instruments.

Blue YetiAudio-Technica AT2020USB+
Frequency Response20Hz – 20K Hz20Hz – 20K Hz
Bit Depth16 bit16 bit
Sample Rate48 kHz44.1 kHz
Pattern ModesCardioid, Stereo, Omnidirectional, BidirectionalCardioid

USB microphones have come a long way in the past few years. When it comes right down to it, these are both excellent mics for the price. Ultimately, I think you can make your decision based entirely on what you intend to record. The Blue Yeti is an excellent choice for those looking to record dialog and voice-overs while the Audio-Technica might serve home musicians a bit better.