Q: What microphone do you recommend for use with VO auditions at home?

Depending upon how involved your at-home setup is, your microphone choices will change. Let’s look at the least expensive, best quality USB microphone choice.

The Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Plus (+) Microphone

at-2020-usb-plusThe USB Plus (+) version of AudioTechnica’s amazing AT2020 microphone is the ONLY USB MIC I recommend. I put that in all caps not to shout, but to make sure that you read it clearly.


Because no other USB microphone has the clarity of sound that the AT-2020 USB Plus (+) has, because AudioTechnica uses high quality analog-to-digital conversion hardware (the circuitry that converts your voice to data) in their product, something that the Snowball and the Blue, Samson and other mics recommended elsewhere don’t. This means there’s no hiss under everything you record, something you are going to hate with those other mics.

And, the AT2020 USB Plus (+) has a very good headphone jack for monitoring yourself in real time. This is imperative, as it allows you to quickly make adjustments in how you “work” the mic, and lets you hear playback through the very same headphones without removing them every time and listening on speakers.

WARNING: Do NOT confuse the USB versions of the AT-2020 microphone with it’s sister STUDIO version of the microphone: that mic is the same quality, but is the traditional XLR version, with no digital output. It’s attractive because it’s usually about $60 less than the USB version, but you won’t be able to use it without some sort of bridge or digital connector. Make sure that you purchase the USB Plus (+) version – USB will be a part of the name of the mic: AT-2020 USB.

You can use any sound software with this microphone (except for ProTools, whose hardware usually requires a standard, XLR-connected studio mic) – I suggest Audacity for a lightweight, fast and agile piece of software. Get more details on the VO Software page.

Click here for Amazon’s best price on The Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Plus (+) Microphone.

And that’s it! Don’t purchase the Snowball or the Yeti or anything else they try to sell you. Seriously. There’s a reason those mics are cheaper. They’re cute, but they don’t sound all that great.

4 Responses to Microphones

  1. Mitch January 29, 2019 at 6:05 am #

    You must have written this at a time before the Rode NT-USB came out. It is comparable to the AT-2020 specs and sound.

    • David H. Lawrence XVII January 29, 2019 at 12:56 pm #

      I actually was a beta tester for the Rode. So, yes, I was aware of it when I wrote this.

  2. Karen Sisneros February 21, 2020 at 10:59 pm #

    Have been reading about issues with the USB driver for microphones on computers running Windows 10. Getting ready to purchase a microphone but now worried about which computer to use it on (my new laptop or PC with best specs but Windows 10 OR older PC running Windows XP).

    Have you been able to successfully use this microphone with Windows 10? or are you on a Mac?

  3. David H. Lawrence XVII February 21, 2020 at 11:05 pm #

    It works fine on both Mac and Windows 10.

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