AT2020USB vs. AT2020XLR w/Blue Icicle USB Pre-Amp vs. Blue Yeti USB


Mar 25, 2015
I am a starting youtuber and need a new microphone. I have narrowed it down to a couple choices, but if you have any other suggestions, let me know. I need it to be roughly $150 or less as I don't have a huge budget. I like the AT2020 for the design and noise reduction. I also think the features of the Blue Yeti seem helpful. I need it to be USB, but have heard the AT2020XLR with a Pre-Amp sounds better than the USB version, so I was wondering if the Blue Icicle would be a good USB Pre-Amp. What you do guys think?
both the yeti and 2020 are good microphones and are better than even some veteran youtubers use. picking either one you would not be disappointed.

the yeti has different pickup modes (although you will only be using cardioid likely so its not really a huge plus) while the 2020 is much smaller (the yeti is rather big). personally i like how the 2020 sounds (from hearing recordings... i dont own either of them myself).

the at2020usb (or at2020usbplus if you want a jack to plug your headphones into to listen to your voice as you talk without audio delay) is a good choice if you want something easy to use that you can plug and play with minimum equipment.

the at2020 (xlr) version would however give you more control (via a mixer instead of needing to adjust in software). usually you would use it with a usb audio mixer or audio interface. given the high cost of the icicle yet extremely limited features i think you would be better off getting an interface/mixer as that would give you some additional options. the only real benefit of the icicle is its small form factor.

you may want to make sure you have a shock mount, pop filter and boom arm or floor stand for the microphone as well. remember proper positioning (the mic should be fairly close.. and certainly closer than any other noise generating object in the room). also remember the 2020 is a side address microphone so you speak into the side not the top.