This is the review of the comparison between two microphones from two popular brands such as the Blue and the Audio-Technica. The comparison here is between the Blue Spark SL and the Audio-Technica AT2020. There is around fifty dollars difference in their price range. To know which one is better than the other for the price, go to the detailed review.
|Blue Spark SL||Audio-Technica AT2020|
|BUY NOW||BUY NOW|
Great mic response.
XLR connection for pro users.
Natural and smooth sound on vocal.
Applications are Flexible.
100Hz high pass filter.
-29 dB output signal.
|Good sound on vocals and instruments.|
Extremely versatile and can be used for just about anything.
The authentic dynamic response captures the nuances of a recording.
Picks up the Ambient noise.
|Noise level slightly higher than average.|
Only features a cardioid polar pattern.
|HEADER||BLUE SPARK SL||AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020|
|Product Line||Blue Microphones Spark||Audio-Technica|
|GENERAL||BLUE SPARK SL||AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020|
|Recommended Use||Professional audio||Professional audio|
|MICROPHONE||BLUE SPARK SL||AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020|
|Microphone Operation Mode||cardioid||cardioid|
|Sensitivity||34.9 mV/Pascal||-37 db|
|Microphone Power Source Voultage (DC)||48 V||48 V|
|Frequency Response||20 Hz||20 Hz|
|Signal-To-Noise Ratio||73 db||74 db|
|Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)||0.5%|
|Max Sound Pressure||136 db||144 db|
|Audio Input Details||Cardioid – 20 – 20000 Hz – Output Impedance 50 Ohm||cardioid – 20 – 20000 kHz|
|AUDIO SYSTEM||BLUE SPARK SL||AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020|
|Recommended Use||Professional audio||Professional audio|
|Specific Applications||broadcast, recording, voice||recording, voice|
|DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT||BLUE SPARK SL||AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020|
|Width||1.8 in||2 in|
|Depth||1.8 in||2 in|
|Height||8.7 in||6.4 in|
|Weight||11.85 oz||12.17 oz|
|FEATURES||BLUE SPARK SL||AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020|
|Features||XLR connection integrated perfectly with USB audio interfaces and mixers. |
Custom, large-diaphragm cardioid condenser capsule for superbly detailed, focused sound.
Blue’s Class-A JFET electronics deliver rich harmonic audio.
100Hz low cut filter increases clarity, reducing rumble from your room or desk.
-20dB pad keeps your stream free of distortion when things get intense.
|Custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response.|
The price/performance standard in side address studio condenser microphone technology.
Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source.
High spl handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility.
Blue Spark SL
The Blue Spark SL comes in two editions, one is the regular edition and another one is the Blackout edition. Also, the Blue Spark SL is the successor of the Blue Spark. This microphone is retailing for around two hundred dollars currently which is along with the higher price range. This microphone has one condenser capsule which performs the cardioid polar pattern.
This is one of the best condenser microphones, that you can buy for your home stereo environment. Whether you are a beginner or a starter or just looking for a decent condenser microphone to improve your current home studio situation, this microphone will not let you down. This microphone is retailing for around a hundred and fifty dollars currently as a whole kit.
Blue Spark SL
On the front of the mic, we have the legendary Blue logo but we also have two switches the one on the left is a cut-off switch meaning when the switch is pressed all the way to the left, the microphone will cut off the lower frequencies when recording. This is a useful feature if you want to eliminate the background noise. The right switch however is a toggle between a zero decibel default gain and a negative twenty-decibel default gain. Generally, you’ll want to always have it on negative 20 to get the best sound from the mic itself, then do all your amplification and such over a dedicated preamp or at the very least a mixer.
The Blue Spark SL comes in two editions one is the normal one and another is the Blackout Edition. The difference between the Spark SL and the Spark SL Blackout Edition isn’t anything on the hardware level, it’s purely on its looks that being said, the all-black design with the matte finish on the mic body and the more reflective surfaces on the accents, really make this mic just look stunning. Currently Blue is kind of like the Apple microphones, they focus on the design and look of the product as much as the internal components that go into making them, and that’s something I can respect.
The exterior design of the microphone is really good and it is not fully made of metal. However, it has some metal finish to it and it does feel substantial by the touch itself. It has a black finish to it and it gets bend slightly on your desk which makes you comfortable to talk on it. It quite heavy too, so no need for you to worry about it getting fall from your desk.
On top of the microphone is where you have got the mount on it, so you can attach it to an arm and use it by positioning it as you want it to be. Also, you can use the tripod stand that comes in the kit to mount it if you want this microphone on your desk. This is a USB condenser microphone so you have got the USB port on it where you have to connect the USB cable that you get in the kit to your computer. You have got one condenser capsule in this microphone which performs the cardioid polar pattern.
Blue Spark SL
Even the way the microphone is shipped is nice, it comes in a nice padded wooden box. The box even includes a shock mount for this part which makes mounting it to any Mike arm or mic stand in place. This is an XLR microphone, those of you who may have used or at least heard of the Blue Yeti or the Blue Snowball you’re probably more familiar with the USB connection that those microphones make use of. The Yeti is a great microphone for anyone just zoning out with commentary but the USB connection has a few major downsides to it when it comes to the amount of control and the sound you can get directly off the microphone itself. Overall, XLR is just a way more flexible connection and will deliver a higher quality sound.
The included shock mount is very nice, and I have no issues whatsoever attachment to my mic arm on my desk. Despite its small size, the microphone and shock mount do have a bit of weight to them, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It makes it feel pretty solid and like you won’t have to worry about it breaking if it falls down from your desk by mistake. Overall, though it’s still a lot less in terms of weight than the Yeti and the Yeti shock mount, which probably makes it more compatible with Cheaper. Since they don’t need to take the weight of the massive Yeti.
Audio-Technica’s high quality and consistency standards set the AT2020 apart from other mics in the market. Its low mass diaphragm is custom-engineered for extended frequency response and superior transient response. With rugged construction for durable performance, the microphone offers a wide dynamic range and handles high SPL with ease. The Audio-Technica AT2020 is the new standard for affordable side-address studio condensers.
As far as the specifications on this microphone, the frequency response of this microphone is 20 Hertz to 20 kilohertz, as this uses only one condenser capsule it has only one polar pattern that is the cardioid pattern which means it will pick up the sound from the front and the sides leaving the back of the microphone, then the impedance of this microphone is 100 ohms, Phantom power requirements is 48V DC, Maximum input sound level is 144 dB SPL, the Noise level is 20dB SPL, 1 kHz at Max SPL, Dynamic range is 1254 dB, and 1 kHz at 1% T.H.D.
Blue Spark SL
I’m pretty satisfied with the performance of this microphone, I like having more control over the sound of my audio before it gets recorded and before I add post-processing to it, and even its bass sound, like the sound I got directly after plugging it in and setting up was much richer and deeper than the sound that you get from the Yeti. The mic head on the Spark uses a cardioid pickup pattern meaning the microphone will best pick up sound that is coming from a source directly in front of it, and as you move around the microphone the audio it picks up will be less and less. If you are going to use this microphone primarily for speaking and narration, this is the ideal pickup pattern.
The Blue Spark SL is retailing for around two hundred dollars which is more than the retailing price on the Audio-Technica AT2020 and for that extra money there is one extra item that you get with the Blue Spark SL and that’s why it is a little more expensive that is your shock mount but at the end of the day, the most important thing one looks at when purchasing a condenser microphone is sound quality. The point I want to clarify is that the ratio of sound quality to the price of a condenser microphone has a limit and if you got past that limit, it just makes no more sense to buy a microphone for a higher price and only gets slightly better quality than a $150 microphone. And in that way, you are getting a good sound out of this at this price range.
WHICH ONE IS BETTER?
In my opinion, the Audio-Technica AT2020 is better than the Blue Spark SL if you’re just a beginner who may be starting out, so just want to improve from a cardioid microphone then the Audio-Technica AT2020 is the one for you. You’re getting a good product from a very well-known music brand, you’re getting very good sound quality, and you’re getting it at a great price.
Expert Reviews of Blue Spark SL:
By gear diary
That microphone I’m speaking about is Blue’s Blackout Spark SL. A tried and true condenser microphone, my use of this particular microphone does come with a disclaimer: While it’s not a DYNAMIC microphone (which is more ideal for recording podcasts both solo and with groups), the Blue Spark SL is…
By music connection
Blue Microphones Blackout Spark SL is a cardioid (only) condenser microphone designed for professional recording, podcasts, drum recording–really just about any application you can think of as I found out myself in the…
By performer may
Housed on top of the satin red housing is a well-guarded condenser capsule that functions in a cardioid pattern. The only variables are a 100Hz Hi-pass filter, as well as a -20Db Pad. It’s fairly universal, working well with pretty much any acoustic…
I have no qualms in saying that, if you are serious about podcasting, game casting, radio presenting, or want to up your home music recording game, then the Blue Blackout Spark SL will not disappoint. Yes, I do like the black finish, but my love for this mic is more than…
The original Spark SL came out earlier this year and more recently the Blackout version has arrived. The Blackout Spark SL being more on the pro-side than the entry-level side, it doesn’t feel like it. This is a super-lightweight mic…
Expert Reviews of Audio-Technica AT2020:
By Sound On Sound
As a low-cost, general-purpose capacitor microphone, the AT2020 is hard to fault other than on account of its noise level. I particularly liked the well-balanced sound this microphone produced, both on voice and on acoustic…
By old-time music
We don’t need to spend too much time discussing the positive points of the Audio-Technica 2020, because we have already highlighted so many. Also, we have already discussed that at this price point, it represents great value. It may…
It is a sensibly priced microphone for a low-budget set-up. It has an airy sound and captures good clean vocal takes. It has a smooth, crisp, and well-balanced dynamic…
The AT2020 delivers super audio but requires more parts to get up and running than a dedicated USB mic. This is for people serious about audio quality, but given the limitations of streaming, the…
The Audio-Technica AT2020 is an ideal budget-friendly condenser mic for home studios that are expanding to capture loud sound sources. It is a great supplementary mic if you already have a large-diaphragm condenser, and…