We are going to compare two popular microphones for streaming and podcasting, Razer Seiren vs AT2020. You can get either of these two with the same amount of budget. However, you need to consider whether you only need a practical microphone that can register your voice with enough clarity, or you are really chasing for that audiophile-grade quality.
Continue reading our discussion below if you want to learn further about:
- The analysis over each mic’s design and build quality
- The distinctive features of Razer Seiren and AT2020
- Which mic that is generally easier to set-up and use
- The sound quality of Razer Seiren vs AT2020
- Which mic that is more recommended for your purpose
Razer Seiren: Design and Build
Like most gaming-focused microphones in the market, Razer Seiren comes with an electret condenser, a wide diaphragm, and a beefy shock protection. It is sitting on a solid, heavy stand. Surprisingly, Razer hasn’t gone way too far with the gamer look of the Siren; this mic comes out decent-looking and professional.
Compared to the likes of Audio-Technica AT2035 vs Blue Yeti, Razer Seiren is quite smaller and more compact. This is one of the reasons this microphone has become the go-to USB microphone for many gamers, streamers, and podcasters. It can fit easily into any available space on your desk, and it won’t impinge on your face on camera.
The large diaphragm of Razer Seiren is well-suited for human voice. It can provide rich sound while at the same time minimizing self-noise. Then, the large shock protection of Razer Seiren comes in handy for minimizing unwanted noises from the desk, such as knocks and scratches.
The mic is available in three color options: matte black, mercury white, and quartz pink. The black and white variants tend to blend well with the environment, but if you want people to notice your mic, the pink variant will do the trick.
Overall, the build quality of Razer Seiren is good. While this mic is suitable for many purposes, it is especially great for people who are often on the go. You can easily fit this mic into your suitcase, and it has enough quality to perform well in different situations.
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|Product Dimensions||4.1 x 7.7 x 8.4 inches||9.4 x 13.6 x 3.1 inches
|Shipping Weight||13.4 ounces||2.34 pounds|
Razer Seiren: Features
Feature-wise, there are a few notable differences between Razer Seiren vs AT2020. To begin with, Razer Seiren comes with an integrated stand and shock protection. Then, Razer Seiren has an on-board volume dial and mute button. It connects to your computer via USB.
Inside the box, you can find the mic together with the stand, cable, and setup guide. While the included stand is good, we recommend you to get a shock mount and boom arm. This will greatly reduce any desk noise that may happen during your streaming, and, by elevating the mic, you will also reduce the noise coming from your keyboard and mouse.
Razer Seiren is equipped with a zero-latency 3.5mm output for direct monitoring. This is useful when you want to hear your voice in real time. However, keep in mind that this output will only reproduce your voice that is picked up by the mic, and not the game sound.
Razer Seiren: Performance
Razer Seiren comes with a supercardioid polar pattern. This is just like the traditional cardioid which picks up from the front and rejects the sides and rear, except that the pick-up angle is tighter. In other words, you will have to speak right in front of the mic. Any sound that is coming from any other angle will be muffled.
However, that is just the theory. In practice, Razer Seiren vs AT2020 is still able to pick up room ambiance as well as mouse and keyboard clicks, at least to some degree. So, you still need to think carefully about your set-up in order to minimize noise.
Unlike microphones for podcasting, the gaming-oriented Razer Seiren only has one polar pattern. This is somewhat inconvenient because, ideally, a USB microphone should be able to adapt to different needs and situations. With just one supercardioid polar pattern, Razer Seiren won’t be suitable for recording interviews, discussions, and the likes. It is strictly only for a solo user.
In terms of sound quality, Razer Seiren is good. One cool feat of this mic is that it is able to capture fine details in the higher frequencies. It also has a breathy sound character which suits gaming and streaming well. It doesn’t have much bass, but there is still enough to be present in the mix. Running a compressor on the recording will give extra clarity and crispness to the voice.
But, then again, Razer Seiren is not recommended for anything musical or audiophile. Being a USB mic, it outputs a 16-bit digital sound which has some limitation in the tweak-ability. It only has a maximum SPL handling of 110dB, so it won’t be able to handle loud vocals or instruments. Compared to Audio Technica AT2020, the sound of Razer Seiren is not as warm, rich, and detailed.
Audio Technica AT2020: Design and Build
Now, we’ll take a look at Audio Technica AT2020. First thing first, this is NOT a USB microphone. This mic requires an XLR cable, which unfortunately isn’t included in the box. This mic will require some effort to be set-up. But, if you are after top-notch sound quality, it will be worth all the work in the end.
What you will find in the box are the leather carrying pouch (which looks really nice) and a stand adapter. Pretty much the bare essentials. The problem arises if you want something that will work right out of the box. You will need to buy at least the XLR cable and the mic stand separately.
The mic itself looks plain and simple. It is a standard professional-looking front-facing microphone, clad in a black finish. Whether this is good or not depends on your taste.
The build quality, however, is outstanding. Audio Technica has been known for their superior build quality, and the AT2020 isn’t any different. This mic has a very robust construction. The grille feels rugged and solid. When choosing between Razer Seiren vs AT2020, if you want the mic that will last for the longest possible time, go with AT2020.
Audio Technica AT2020: Features
If you have little to zero knowledge in professional audio equipment, setting up Audio Technica AT2020 may bring some headaches. It requires an XLR cable and 48V phantom power. For that, you need a mixing board or a voice recorder which accepts XLR input and provides phantom power.
The lack of a mic stand is also another issue. Well, you can just pick a cheap mic stand from the market, but then you will need to think about where to place it and how to store it. Professional users certainly understand the benefit of a mic stand over a basic desktop stand, but streamers and podcasters who are just starting out probably don’t really need it yet.
Unlike Razer Seiren, Audio Technica AT2020 does not have any kind of on-board control. Everything, such as the input gain and EQ, has to be controlled through the mixing board, recorder, or computer. If you need zero-latency monitoring, you must rely on the mixing board or recorder, as the mic itself does not provide any other output besides the XLR one.
Audio Technica AT2020: Performance
The primary reason to choose Audio Technica AT2020 is the outstanding sound quality. If you want to capture the richest and most accurate sound, this should be your choice. Well, such perk is not necessary if you are only streaming your gaming activities. However, if you are a streaming singer or musician, that is the absolute necessity.
The polar pattern is cardioid. The AT2020 picks up sound mainly from the front side. However, it is quite sensitive, so make sure that the room is quiet enough without unwanted noise before you start recording.
Unlike the USB-based Razer Seiren, the XLR-based Audio Technica AT2020 outputs an analog sound. The mic does not need to perform any kind of conversion, so there is no loss of information. As a result, the overall output quality is better, and the reproduced sound can be tweaked and fine-tuned more easily.
The sound of Audio Technica AT2020 is lush and rich, with excellent detail and clarity. It also has more warmth and precision, which is exactly what to expect from a studio-grade microphone. The self-noise level is 20dB, which is low enough not to cause any issue.
Audio Technica AT2020 can work well with a wide range of musical instruments. The maximum SPL handling is 144dB, which is impressive. It will be able to mic drums and guitar amps just fine.
Razer Seiren vs AT2020
For gaming, streaming, or podcasting, Razer Seiren is generally a better choice. It is much easier to use. You just need to plug the USB cable to your computer. The sound quality is good enough for speech and voice chat. However, if you are a singer or musician, you should choose Audio Technica AT2020 because of the superior sound quality.