For the podcaster

Blue Yeti

For the musician

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

The Blue Yeti is incredibly easy to get started with. Plug in the USB and you are ready to start capturing good audio. Just be prepared to deal with it being a bit oversensitive. It also has a size and weight that can make it a pain to travel with

$129 at Amazon

Pros

  • Easy USB plug and play.
  • Multiple position patterns.
  • Decent frequency response.
  • Solid build quality.

Cons

  • Large and heavy.
  • Controls feel a bit cheap.
  • Can be a little on the noisy side

The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ may be a mouthful to say but you'll sound great as you say it. This is a good option for those who want to record music but its large recording pattern may be a deterrent to streamers. In addition, you're likely going to want to toss the complimentary tripod into the trash immediately.

$150 at Amazon

Pros

  • Excellent frequency response.
  • Headphone output for no latency monitoring.
  • Solid build quality. -Clean and warm vocals.

Cons

  • The large pattern could pick up unwanted sounds.
  • A near useless tripod will need to be replaced.

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 Yeti Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
Frequency Response 20Hz – 20K Hz 20Hz – 20K Hz
Bit Depth 16 bit 16 bit
Sample Rate 48 kHz 44.1 kHz
Pattern Modes Cardioid, Stereo, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional Cardioid

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.

Get it for dialog

Blue Yeti

The choice for podcasters and streamers

If you're planning on recording a podcast or want to do some streaming, then you can't do much better than the Blue Yeti. It may be a heavy and large beast of a mic but it sounds great.

Get it for music

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

The choice for singers and musicians

The Audio-Technica may not boast all the recording mode patterns that the Yeti does but singers and musicians are going to want a mic captures the warmth and beauty of their instrument. The Audio-Technica can most certainly do that. It would be a perfect addition to any burgeoning home studio on a budget

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