The AudioTechnica AT2020 USB Plus (+) microphone is my favorite. It has an amazing sound, amazing portability, a headphone jack, and it also plugs in nicely via the Apple Camera Adapter to your iPad, should a Mac or PC not be around.
And it’s really inexpensive.
But is it possible for it to be even less expensive? Like, just $60??
I love the AT-2020 USB Plus.
Depending upon how Amazon is feeling that day, you can pick one up for $170 or so.
Which is a huge-ass bargain.
But…every so often, I get an email from a client or student or friend or relative or stranger, telling me that they got an even better deal. They didn’t pay even $170 for it. Or $100 or $70. In fact, they brag, they got the AT-2020 for around $60. How ’bout them apples, David H. Lawrence XVII?? Hah!
I hate having to burst their bubbles, but I proceed to do so, gently, and for their own good.
That mic they picked up for $60 is not the mic I told them to get.
Oh, it looks like it (although it’s black, not gunmetal gray).
Sounds like it, pretty much exactly (if they could ever get sound out of it).
Named like it, pretty much exactly. But, it’s not it.
What that AT-2020 they got such a great deal on is missing is three letters: USB. See, AudioTechnica makes three versions of the mic, two USB (the USB Plus version I recommend, and the old AT-2020 USB – note, no Plus in the name – that lacks a headphone jack and runs about $120), and one that’s an analog studio mic with a typical XLR connector jack…that costs about $60.
And sure enough, I get another email from them a few days later when the $60 AT-2020 arrives.
They usually ask two questions: “Where’s the mic cable??”, and if they’ve already gone to the music store to get a compatible XLR cable, “How do I plug this in on my computer??”
There isn’t one. And you can’t.
So please – I beg you to listen closely – if you’re getting a typical Audacity/AT-2020 set up, please pay attention, and order the AudioTechnica AT-2020 USB Plus, NOT the AudioTechnica AT-2020 (without the USB in the model number/name). I’m not even going to link to that version of the mic, so you’re not confused.
And if you see what you think is the USB version for $60 or so, rest assured that it’s not the one you need – it’s cheaper because it’s not the USB version, and doesn’t have that awesome pro-quality analog-to-digital circuitry in it.
I hope I’ve saved you a week of ordering, scratching your head, returning and then getting the right mic.
Hope this helps.