Two cardioid microphones manufactured by Audio-Technica. Similar specifications and design. However, the devils are in the details. There are some small differences when comparing AT2020 vs AT2035 that could make or break your home studio or podcasting setup.
In today’s post we are taking a deep dive into the subtle differences of the two models so you can make the right choice between AT2020 and AT2035!
Let’s get started.
Side by side comparison
Audio Technica AT2020 was first introduced over 10 years ago and has since then become the go-to mic for beginner home studio producers all around the world. AT2020 is a cardioid microphone with unbeatable value in its price range and offers well-tuned and realistic recordings.
AT2020 is available in two versions, XLR and USB. It’s worth mentioning that this is a condenser microphone so it requires a separate audio mixer or audio interface with phantom power to work properly.
However, the USB-version of the AT2020 doesn’t require additional equipment to be used (phantom power will be supplied over the USB cable). There are some differences between USB-mics and XLR-mics but that’s another conversation!
When comparing the AT2020 vs AT2035 we looked at the USB-model of the AT2020
Also, don’t miss our detailed Audio Technica AT2020 review!
|ELEMENT||Fixed-charge back plate permanently polarized condenser|
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE||20-20,000 Hz|
|OPEN CIRCUIT SENSITIVITY||–37 dB (14.1 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa*|
|MAXIMUM INPUT SOUND LEVEL||144 db SPL, 1 kHZ at 1% T.H.D|
|NOISE||20 dB SPL|
- Crisp sound
- Highly versatile
- Flat response
- Great design and durable build
- Great value for beginners
- Noise level above average
- No switches
- No included shock mount
Audio Technica AT2035 is a condenser microphone with cardioid pickup that delivers a balanced sound with low noise floor. The microphone has a large diaphragm that works for both vocals and instruments. Thanks to the -10dB PAD you can cut your output signal level in case you are recording loud instruments or strong vocals.
It also has a built-in HPF (High Pass Filter) that cuts the sometimes unwanted low-end frequencies. One big advantage is that the AT2035 can operate at between 11V to 52V which means you could use a battery-powered preamp for maximum portability.
Audio Technica AT2035 uses standard 5/8“ – 27 mounting thread and the package include a adapter nut for 3/8”. One big advantage is that you also get the AT8458 shockmount which bought separately will cost you about $50-60.
|ELEMENT||Fixed-charge back plate, permanently polarized condenser|
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE||20-20,000 Hz|
|LOW FREQUENCY ROLL OFF||80 Hz, 12 dB/octave|
|OPEN CIRCUIT SENSITIVITY||-33 dB (22.4 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa|
|MAXIMUM INPUT SOUND LEVEL||148 dB SPL, 1 kHz at 1% T.H.D.; 158 dB SPL, with 10 dB PAD (nominal)|
|DYNAMIC RANGE||136 dB, 1 kHz at Max SPL|
|SIGNAL-TO-NOISE-RATIO||82 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa|
|PHANTOM POWER REQUIREMENTS||11-52V DC, 3.8 mA typical|
- Extremely versatile
- Can handle high SPL without distortion
- Switches: HPF and 10dB pad
- Built to last a lifetime
- No cons
AT2020 vs AT2035
Side By Side Comparison
The microphones have similar design, quality and build. Both AT-2020 and AT-2035 have a full metal construction and they feel like they are built to last and stand the test of time. The AT2035 is slightly bigger due to the larger diaphragm.
However, there are some differences in sound.
AT2020 vs AT2035: Differencies
Like mentioned above, the AT2035 has some features that the AT2020 don’t have. That includes:
- High-Pass-Filter (HPF)
- -10dB PAD
- Lower phantom power requirements
- Included shock-mount
Let’s start by investigating how they can aid you!
HPF (High-pass filter)
The HPF helps you remove unwanted rumble from your recordings. If you are living in an apartment with thin walls and loud neighbors you don’t want them leaking into the recordings. The HPF can help you with that! Many users claim that this could easily be done in the post production process.
That’s true, but the ease of a switch control is hardly matched! If you record in a controlled studio environment that’s probably not an issue though.
The -10dB PAD helps you record loud instruments without getting a distorted sound. You can also turn up the gain on the preamp without worrying about distortion and add a nice colorization to the recordings.
Phantom power requirements
Phantom power between 11V-52V gives you the ability to record into small battery-powered preamps found in portable recorders and cameras.
The included shock-mount prevents vibrations traveling up to the mic stand from getting into the recordings. Do you need one? If you usually combat vibrations on your recordings it could help you a lot!
Audio Technica AT2035 has a flatter frequency response than the AT2020, giving it a much more natural sound. The AT2035 has a slight boost in the high-ends which gives it a little better presence. Due to the larger diaphragm, the AT2035 is a bit more sensitive than the AT2020 meaning if you would pass the exact same signal through both microphones the output from AT2035 would be stronger. Thanks to more advanced technology it also has a better signal-to-noise-ratio, 74dB compared to 82dB, which means that the noise generated by the microphone itself is lower on the AT2035.
“AT2035 requires less amplification which gives a more natural sound”
The AT2035 is priced relatively higher than the AT2020 and costs $149 compared to $99. The AT2020 is the first model in the AT20 series and its performance is kind of basic compared to the more advanced options. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a very priceworthy microphone and one of the best at this price range. If you are a beginner and looking for a solid microphone you will do just fine with the AT2020.
Both microphones are built on quality which makes them very durable. The metal grille protects the diaphragm and built-in wires effectively. An equally robust construction is the foundation on both microphones and why Audio Technica’s microphones are loved by both entry-level and more experienced producers!
Both microphones have a relatively flat frequency response between 20 – 20.000hz. When comparing both mics we found that the AT2035 being more natural in its characteristics. The AT2020 has some slight cuts around 70-80Hz and boosts the mid-range frequencies to help sound sources better cut through the mix. If you want a true natural recording you are better off with the Audio Technica AT2035!
Which one should you choose?
Both these microphones are excellent choices for producers and podcasters alike and will be able to give you great audio quality. The AT2020 is one of the best condenser microphones available for under $100 and offers great value at an extremely affordable price.
So is AT2035 still worth the extra $50?
Yes it is!
The included shock-mount itself is probably worth that extra $50 and buying one separately would probably cost about the price difference anyway. The reduced noise levels and the built-in controls offer more flexibility and you will end up with a much cleaner recording.
That being said, with all the extra features on the AT2035 combined with what the AT2020 already provides, we have a clear winner in the AT2035! The microphone is an improved model of the AT2020.
It’s worth mentioning that if you are on a tight budget the AT2020 is a really good choice and you are still getting a microphone that will do everything you need it to! This is probably the best mic on the market in its price range!