Rode Procaster vs. Audio Technica 2020

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Even if you have the best audio equipment and an audio expert, there is little you can do to transform poorly recorded audio to sound professional.

The fundamental element to consider when podcasting is a good microphone that records high-quality audio. It will smoothen every aspect of your podcasting journey, from post-production to having a deeper connection with your listeners.

The Rode Procaster and the Audio Technica 2020 are well-known mics you can use to produce exceptional sound quality.

Here, we explore what makes the two mics great for you to decide on the best one to purchase.

Related: Rode Procaster vs Shure SM7B 

Overview

Rode Procaster

The Rode Procaster is among the best dynamic microphones that provide you with value for your money. The mic is considered best for professional broadcasting like voice-over recording, radio, podcasting, and related applications.

Being a dynamic mic, it does not require phantom power, and you can use it on a broad range of audio interfaces.

Related: RØDE Procaster for Podcasting: A Setup Guide

Audio Technica 2020

The AT2020 is a reasonably priced condenser mic designed to provide a perfect home recording studio. It offers wide-ranging versatility making it ideal for content creation, such as recording music, social media content, podcasting, and live streaming.

Since it is a condenser mic, it requires phantom power to operate. Therefore, you need to have an audio interface that can supply power to the mic.

Sound Quality

Rode Procaster microphone on an arm

Clarity

Rode Procaster

The Rode Procaster mic is tailored to capture speech accurately with negligible disparity. It has an internal pop filter, but you can still add an external one to support reducing the effect of plosives. The built-in shock mount aids in ensuring the mic is silent when transmitting sound.

These features, plus the mic’s voice frequency response, enable it to produce a clear and crisp sound. Unfortunately, the mic has a low input sound, requiring a lot of gains to boost the sound to a decent level.

Since the higher the gain, the more noise and coloration you add to the audio, you require a high-quality preamp to maintain a smooth and clear sound.

Alternatively, if you are using an entry-level preamp, it is best to incorporate a Cloudlifter in your setup to boost the sound before reaching the preamp. It will reduce the amount of gain required from your preamp, thereby lessening the sound distortion.

Audio Technica 2020

The AT2020 is a side-address mic offering a much-admired sound quality. It is more versatile than the Rode Procaster in producing studio-quality audio. The mic naturally handles high SPLs and captures loud sound smoothly with the slightest noise and misrepresentation.

With its extended frequency and first-class transient responses, the mic efficiently reproduces various sound sources, including speech, vocals, and instruments. The mic lessens the pop’s effect and delivers unmatched sound quality when streaming. Moreover, the mic is relatively silent, generating minimal self-noise.

It would be best to include both an external shock mount and pop filter to take advantage of the capability of this microphone to produce professional sound.

Background Noise

The Rode Procaster is a passive listener, and when combined with its cardioid polar pattern, it becomes very effective in rejecting ambient background noise. You can use the mic in an untreated room, and the mic will only detect the sound directed to it while ignoring all other sounds from the environment.


In contrast, the AT2020 is an active listener, making the mic very sensitive to sounds. Even with its cardioid polar pattern, the sensitive nature of the mic picks up undesirable sounds from the surrounding. Thus, the mic is best suited for use in treated rooms or recording rooms with minimal background noise.

Price

AT2020 mic with a pop filter on a stand

The Rode Procaster sells at over double the price of the AT2020 mic. You can get a Rode Procaster at around $230, whereas its rival, the AT2020, goes for nearly $100. The Rode Procaster comes with a stand mount and a zip pouch, while the AT2020 package includes an adapter in addition to its stand mount and protective pouch.

Though the Rode Procaster comes at a hefty price compared to the AT2020, its performance is worth its cost. The AT2020 offers an affordable multipurpose mic that you can use to produce high-quality audio.

Summary

A quality microphone is essential when you want to record professional audio. The Rode Procaster and the AT2020 can deliver superior sound quality for your podcast.

When you debate which one to purchase between these two mics, the first thing to consider is their accompanying equipment. The AT2020 requires a preamp that can power the mic, and the Rode Procaster would perform best with a high-end preamp or low-end preamp plus a Cloudlifter.

Secondly, the purpose and environment you will be using the mic. If it is podcasting in a treated room or low noise environment, the AT2020 could suffice, but the Rode Procaster would serve you better in a noise-prone area.