Audio Solutions Question of the Week: Can the AT2020 Microphone Be Used To Record Into a Computer?

Can the AT2020 Microphone Be Used To Record Into a Computer?

AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Answer: Yes. But, as always, you will want to make certain you have the proper setup to ensure that all of your equipment is compatible. The AT2020 is a side-address studio microphone that utilizes a standard XLR output. Also, it is a condenser microphone that, as discussed in our Condenser Microphone Question of the Week, requires phantom power to operate. So you will need to use an adapter to connect the mic to your computer. Most XLR to USB cables and adapters won’t work since they don’t, generally, provide the phantom power needed. These adapters do work well with dynamic microphones, such as the PRO8HEx microphone, or condenser microphones that receive power by other means (such as the battery with the AT897 microphone). An XLR to 3.5 mm cable won’t fit the bill, either, since, like the USB input, the computer’s 3.5 mm jack won’t provide the necessary phantom power.

But there are plenty of adapters available that will allow you to plug your AT2020 microphone into your computer, properly convert the analog signal to digital, and provide the proper voltage for the microphone. Please check to make certain the adapter you choose will work by contacting our Audio Solutions Department. Audio-Technica also offers the AT2020USB+ and AT2020USBi microphones, which give you the same high-quality performance of the original AT2020, but are engineered to plug directly into a computer, so no adapter is required. AT2020 Microphone LineupOnce your AT2020 microphone is properly connected to your computer, you’ll be able to enjoy the convenience of today’s robust recording software and make great music for years to come. See the AT2020 microphone in action in our Recording Drums on a Budget video. If you have questions about using any AT2020 microphone with a computer, feel free to contact our Audio Solutions Department. And be sure to stop by next week for another Question of the Week.

* Quick Tip from ATMicMan:

The AT2020 microphone is a side-address and NOT an end-address microphone!AT MicMan Quick Tip




  1. I have a 2020usb mic which I recorded some radio (practice) music into my HP computer. It appeared that it was recording. How do I find it on my computer to see if it recorded. Also, can I arrange to store the music in my window media file? Any help fot this 80 yr old will be greatly appreciATED. thanks

  2. I just bought an AT2020 microphone for streaming, and I’m not getting great sound quality in my streams. I have it hooked up to a 48V Phantom power supply and a XLR to 3.5mm cable running from that into my PC. I am getting the same quality as a $20 microphone I bought on amazon. I am wondering what I can do to improve the sound quality. Please let me know what you think.
    Thank you.

    • Hi John, please reach out to your Amazon distributor in reference to the issues you’re experiencing with your AT2020 microphone. Thanks! – A-T USA

    • That’s because you’re running it from an XLR to 3.5 mm. Get an audio interface or usb mixer and run the XLR through that.

  3. My AT2020 mic I bought was from the Audio Technica Amazon account and I am still have the same quality as a $20 dollar microphone. The tones are also very bland. Is there something I need to buy other than an interface to improve the sound quality? Thank you.

  4. I want to run sound from my iPad sound output jack to my ATW-T210 UHF Transmitter. Is there a adapter for this purpose or work around?

    • Hi Tim! There is a third party product available through Roth Electric Sound called the Kenny Kable that will allow you to do this. Thanks! – A-T USA

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