Samson C01U Pro vs AT2020

Microphone plays a huge role in deciding your audio quality because they don’t sound exactly the same. It is important to choose the mic based on your application or personal preference such as Samson C01U Pro Vs AT2020 which are not only good for voice but also versatile for other applications. These microphones are highly rated for their performance and sound quality so if you are interested to have one, let’s see below about what they can offer and which of the two will be the better choice.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • What to Pay Attention on Microphone Setup
  • What are Samson C01U Pro and AT2020
  • How are the Design of Samson C01U Pro and AT2020
  • How are the Setup of Samson C01U Pro and AT2020
  • How are the Sound Quality of Samson C01U Pro and AT2020
  • What else Samson C01U Pro and AT2020 can offer
  • Samson C01U Pro Vs AT2020

Microphone Setup

We are sure most people are familiar with microphones because they are a basic audio tool that is used in lots of setup whether it is a small home studio, professional studio, and even live applications such as live performance and in various events. They will capture your voice and it can then be transferred somewhere for amplification or for further processing such as in recording or streaming purposes. Not only the microphone’s quality, we also had to pay attention to the way it is installed.

First, there are two types of microphone called dynamic and condenser. Dynamic is what we often use on the stage and it is used from the front of the microphone itself. It is less sensitive which is why they are ideal for usage in a loud environment to prevent the microphone from picking too much or unintended or background noise. Condenser microphones on the other hand are often seen in recording studios and they are more sensitive to pick up the tiny nuances including the acoustic of the room.

Second, depending on the design of the microphones, they can be facing upward or the sides and differ in pickup pattern. Of course a microphone that has a narrow pick up pattern will be ideal to isolate the sound source in order to prevent other noise being picked up by the unit. Usually if they are facing the side, there will be a labeling on the microphone’s casing to let you know which is the front and back of the pickup area so we are always sure that we are speaking on the correct size. 

Third, there is proximity effect as well and in general it is approximately 12 inches away from the sound source so we may have to adjust the table mounting, the distance where you sit or the arm of the microphone’s mount if you decide to use a dedicated mount. Overall, as we close the 12 inches gap, the more prominent the bass volume but the less its frequency. Different microphones may produce different proximity effects and different polar patterns can affect it too. 

In addition, it is about the importance of preamps. When we record the signal from a microphone, they have a very low electrical amplitude and this is the same as volume. We can’t just crank the volume because it also means increasing the noise too. Preamp can turn the signal without increasing the noise to allow you to get that high-quality recording. Some people even argue that preamp is more important than the quality of the mic itself.

Samson C01U Pro AT2020
Product Dimensions2.12 x 7.08 x 2.12 inches
6.38 x 2.05 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight15.8 ounces
3 pounds
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About Samson C01U Pro and AT2020

If you are here then it means you are also currently looking for a good microphone for the setup. They may vary widely but we always recommend to go with what most people are choosing because chances are they will fit yours as well. They may not be exactly the same to what you want them for and if it is possible, we should shop after listening to the sound from the microphone itself. For the options, we have more than plenty to consider already.

We can choose based on the brand, budget, or what they are designed for. If you are going to use the microphone for home studio setup, the popular brands like Samson and Audio Technica are two of the most popular options that we can rely on. These brands carry some of the most interesting and beloved choices in the market and the best thing is probably you can match them really well for a wide range of budget depending on how much you will want to invest on them.

For the application that is focusing on voice, the Samson C01U Pro and AT2020 from Audio Technica are just very promising. They are highly rated for the clean and clear sound that are preferred by most users who want their voice to be flat and easy to the ears. The characteristics of these microphones are not very prominent but are suitable for a wide range of applications where you want the sound to be more natural. Yet, we also don’t think they are as ideal for music.

However, as two different microphones made by different companies, the Samson C01U Pro and AT2020 are not going to be identical to each other, especially on the high-end in which we do think the latter is brighter. They are probably ideal for different types of users and different types of applications or how you want the recording to sound like. We may have different preferences too so it is wise to consider which you like the most.

Samson C01U Pro and AT2020 Design

Before checking what these microphones can offer, first let’s see the unit. If a microphone is built well, it means they will most likely last for a good amount of time. The Samson C01U Pro and AT2020 are impressive and built to accompany your journey as the whole housing is made of metal, including the grill. There is no flex with regular pressure on the grill but the grill of AT2020 is wider than C01 Pro. The AT2020 doesn’t come with a cable so we have to purchase it first.

The great thing is at least the microphone’s mount is actually metal as well so for built quality it is very solid. The C01U Pro comes with a microphone stand too, the type we put on the desk but it is not shock mount and is not as rigid as for example the Yeti, that you can check in our Samson C01U Pro Vs Blue Yeti. You will find a headphone jack on the C01U Pro but it is not available on the AT2020.

Samson C01U Pro and AT2020 Setup

Next let’s see the setup first because Samson C01U Pro and AT2020 are quite different. We are sure most people are aware that AT2020 is an XLR microphone while the C01U Pro is a USB microphone. Both are condenser types but we will need to put an interface to bridge the XLR to a computer and this is also to provide the microphone with a phantom power. So, if you plan on getting the AT2020, make sure to have an audio interface with phantom power as well.

Samson C01U Pro and AT2020 Sound Quality

Now for the most important part, let’s hear the Samson C01U Pro and AT2020. Both are actually quite similar when it comes to audio quality as they are quiet and clean sounding so we can rely on them for delivering messages clearly. The frequency response is also similar from 20Hz to 18kHz or 20kHz respectively just like many other options. In comparison, they are pretty flat but the C01U Pro is probably the flatter among the two since the response from low to high are about the same.

The AT2020 is lowering some of the very low frequency, keeping the mid similarly flat, while boosting the high a little bit. This microphone is probably best for vocals as it can capture more nuance from your voice on the high-end, making it slightly brighter. On the other hand if you prefer something that is comfortable to listen to, especially talking voice like voice overs, CO1U Pro is not as prominent on the high and keeping the bass range neutral as well.

Samson C01U Pro and AT2020 Features

Lastly, we want to talk about the added features in Samson C01U Pro and AT2020 or, on the C01U Pro specifically. We actually love the convenience of this microphone the most because we don’t need an interface so it is more straightforward. This microphone is also featured with zero-latency monitoring from the unit which sometimes does lag a bit but is still very useful. To monitor using AT2020, you will need to connect headphones to the interface and while it also gives you more options, not all of us have one.

Samson C01U Pro vs AT2020

In terms of audio quality, the Samson C01U Pro and AT2020 are impressive for the budget. They do sound really good for voice and are fairly neutral too, especially the C01U Pro. It probably sounds less prominent or not as strong in character compared to AT2020 but some people may like this type of recording better. If you want to capture highs better, such as recording instruments, we do think AT2020 is more ideal for the application.

- Professional USB Studio Condenser Microphone brings pro-quality audio to digital recordings
- Simple plug and play operation with Mac OS and Windows, no driver downloads required
- 1/8” headphone output with zero-latency monitoring
- Supercardioid pickup pattern provides excellent coverage of sound sources in front of the microphone, while rejecting unwanted noise from the side and rear
- CAPTURES EVERY NUANCE OF VOCALS AND ACOUSTICS - The Audio-Technica AT2020 features 16mm low-mass diaphragm that captures every sonic detail across the 20Hz~20kHz frequency range.
- HANDLES HIGH SOUND PRESSURE LEVELS - The versatile microphone can be used for recording vocals, string instruments, and even a Leslie amp. It has up to 144dB SPL and a dynamic range of 124dB.
- PROVIDES BETTER NOISE ISOLATION - The cardioid polar pattern of AT2020 reduces the sound pick up from the rear and sides. You can record vocals and instruments clearer with this mic!
- IDEAL FOR PROJECTS AND HOME STUDIO APPLICATIONS - The low 20dB self-noise of AT2020 makes it well-suited for sophisticated digital recording. Its custom-engineered diaphragm provides a superior transient response.


Both are good choices depending on how you want to use them and what type of sound that is preferred. For those who are more serious about audio quality or want more character from the microphone, we recommend the AT2020 but for a microphone that sounds good and straightforward or mostly used for voice only, the C01U Pro is very easy to use.