Audio Technica AT2020 VS Rode NT USB – Head To Head Comparison


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Audio Technica AT2020 VS Rode NT USB

Audio Technica AT2020 VS Rode NT USB

Every podcaster or musician needs a way to help record their thoughts or their latest song, and using a small and powerful microphone that plugs into the computer to allow them to record is the best way to do this. Instead of having to rent out a recording studio or worry about feedback or background noise lowering the quality of the recording, using an external microphone improves the sound quality while making it much easier to produce the recordings you desire.

No matter if you are in your room at home or out on the road when inspiration hits, being able to plug your microphone into the USB port on your computer makes recording fast and easy.

Beginning songwriters and podcasters can benefit from this equipment, as can seasoned artists. When you choose a better USB microphone, you can rest easy that your ultimate product, the sound recording, will impress your listeners.

To help you accomplish your goal, we have placed the Audio Technica AT2020 head to head with the Rode NT USB so you can more easily compare the Audio Technica AT2020 vs. Rode NT USB.

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Our Comparison And Review

It can be complicated to judge microphones, especially when you are new to choosing the right equipment for your needs. Using a point system that ranges from 1-100 makes it very simple to select the right microphone.

By comparing three main features, it’s quite simple to make an informed decision.

The microphone that has the best average score from the three categories will be the clear winner and is the microphone that will best meet your needs.

Microphone Type

The two most common types of USB microphones that you’re going to be able to buy are condenser and dynamic. While they may look the same, they operate very differently.

Dynamic microphones are great for use in live situations as they are not as sensitive as condenser mics so that they won’t pick up as much background noise. They do a great job recording percussive sounds and instruments due to their narrow frequency response.

Condenser microphones, on the other hand, are great for vocals and acoustic instruments. They have a broader frequency response range but are a lot more sensitive to louder noises.

Audio Technica AT2020

This is an excellent quality condenser mic that is perfect for home use but won’t be able to stand up to the noise and rigors of live recording music.

While it’s usually a significant problem to drop condenser mics as they are easily damaged or destroyed by a fall, this microphone is a very sturdy one that has been incredibly well-built and can withstand falls and knocks without it negatively affecting how the microphone records and the sound quality that it can achieve.


Another condenser microphone, the Rode NT USB ensures good sound because of how sensitive the microphone is and how quickly it can pick up the softest singing or the quietest acoustic guitar.

While this microphone won’t do a perfect job recording live music or multiple sound sources, the condenser is strong enough to give you good quality audio from a single source.


Audio Technica AT2020 – 80 Points
Rode NT USB – 80 Points

Deciding between a condenser and dynamic microphone is essential but is generally a personal decision that you will have to make based on what kind of recording you’re going to be doing. Even so, choosing a microphone that is high-quality is best, as you want to get the most out of your recording time.

If you want a microphone that will be able to easily record any music, singing, or podcast that you want to make, you should consider a Blue Yeti Pro.

However, if you are OK with just podcasting or recording a single voice or instrument, then either one of these microphones will do an excellent job for you.

Recording Resolution

CD-quality recording is 44.1 kHz and 16-Bit. Most USB microphones are going to record at this rate, which is just fine for quality home recordings, but if you want something that will sound a little more professional, then you will want to make sure that the microphone you choose has a higher recording resolution.

In this case, you may have to opt for a professional microphone, but with careful consideration, you can still choose a basic one that will sound more professional.

Audio Technica AT2020

With a 24-bit and 96 kHz sampling rate, this microphone is relatively standard.

While it won’t do the best job of creating the highest-quality recording, when you use the Audio Technica AT2020 you can be assured that you’re going to have a recording you’ll be pleased with.

While it won’t do the best job of creating the highest-quality recording, when you use the Audio Technica AT2020 you can be assured that you’re going to have a recording you’ll be pleased with.


Able to produce sample rates of 16-bit and 48kHz, the Rode NT USB has less recording resolution than the Audio Technica AT2020.

This means that it will create lesser quality sound and recordings. Depending on your use, this will work well for podcasts and other less strenuous recording jobs, but it will not be as professional in quality.


Audio Technica AT2020 – 70 Points
Rode NT USB – 50 Points

The Audio Technica AT2020 is the apparent winner in this regard, with the best recording resolution out of these microphones.

This means that you will produce the highest-quality sound recordings that you can in your home and you won’t have to wonder if you sacrificed quality when opting for this microphone. You can rely on it to do a great job picking up nuances in speech and recording single instruments so that your listeners get the full experience when they are listening to you.

With the Audio Technica AT2020, you’ll be blown away by how professional you can sound.

Polar Pattern

You have to consider how your microphone is going to pick up the sound before you buy one, as some microphones will do a much better job picking up sounds from specific directions than others will.

Being able to choose between different polar patterns when recording allows you to cancel out noises that you don’t want to be included in your recording and improve the overall sound of your final recording.

This means that you will have a more professional final product that is focused on the speaker or musician without very much unwanted ambient noise.

Audio Technica AT2020

This powerful microphone unfortunately only offers a cardioid polar pattern that allows you to record in one direction.

While it’s perfect for one person podcasting or playing an instrument, it will not be able to capture the full sound created by more musicians.

This lets you cut down on outside noise, but you won’t get the full and rich experience that you can with other polar patterns.


The Rode NT USB is very easy to plug in and use, and part of the ease of use is that it only records in a cardioid polar pattern. When using this pattern, you will enjoy the precise quality of your vocals or music, but it can be challenging to get a full, rich feeling, especially if you are playing with other people.

If you are going to share the microphone with another user, you will need to be side by side for the best possible result.


Audio Technica AT2020 – 50 Points
Rode NT USB – 50 Points

To ensure that you get the best possible sound no matter what or where you are recording, you will want to make sure that you have different polar patterns to choose from.

Both of these microphones have only a single cardioid polar pattern. They will do an excellent job for what they are designed to do. But don’t try to do live music recordings with them. You will be disappointed.

Final Score

Audio Technica AT2020 = 200 points.
Rode NT USB = 180 points.

Overall, the microphone that is going to give you the best recording possible when comparing the Audio Technica AT2020 vs. Rode NT USB.

When you compare microphone type, recording resolution, and polar patterns, it is undeniable that this microphone is incredibly powerful and able to complete any task that you need.

From single recording instruments to podcasting, when you opt for the Audio Technica AT2020, you can be sure that it will exceed your expectations each time you use it.

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Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone, Black

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Last update was on: January 23, 2020 5:01 am
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Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Last update was on: January 23, 2020 5:01 am

Our Choice

As people who love great sounding music and podcasts, we choose the Audio Technica AT2020 as our choice when choosing between the Audio Technica AT2020 VS Rode NT USB.

Duke Taber

Duke Taber has been a Senior Pastor of various churches since 1988. Prior to that, he was involved in the Christian rock scene opening for such notables as Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Rez Band, and once played briefly with Darrel Mansfield. Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world. He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center.