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How do the Audio-Technica AT2020 and Shure MV7 microphones compare in terms of sound quality, build, and features for general-purpose podcasting and streaming?

The Audio-Technica AT2020 is a side-address condenser microphone, which means the grille is located on the side of the microphone, as opposed to the Shure MVi7, which is an end-address microphone with the grille located on the front.

Both microphones have a cardioid polar pattern, which is designed to capture sound from the front and minimize sound from the rear and sides, reducing ambient noise.

The AT2020 has a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, while the MVi7 has a wider frequency response of 20 Hz to 40 kHz, capturing higher frequencies that may not be audible to the human ear but can affect the overall sound quality.

The AT2020 has a sensitivity of 2.5 mV/Pa, while the MVi7 has a lower sensitivity of 1.3 mV/Pa, which means the MVi7 requires a higher sound pressure level (SPL) to achieve the same volume level as the AT2020.

The Shure MVi7 comes with a touchpad located at the base of the microphone for controlling the headphone volume, microphone gain, and monitor mix without the need for additional software.

The Shure MVi7 also comes with a pop filter and USB cable for direct recording to a computer, while the AT2020 requires a separate XLR cable and audio interface for computer recording.

The MVi7 features both USB and XLR connections, allowing flexibility in connectivity, while the AT2020 uses only XLR connectivity.

The Shure MVi7 is more expensive than the AT2020, with a suggested retail price of $299 and $169, respectively.

However, the MVi7 is considered more ruggedly built and compatible with a wider range of devices and operating systems.

The Shure MVi7's touchpad and software allow for additional features, such as voice isolation, auto-level mode, and treble boost.

Both microphones are suitable for general-purpose podcasting and streaming, but the MVi7's wider frequency response and higher SPL handling make it well-suited for loud instruments and higher-volume vocals.

While both microphones require phantom power, the MVi7 features a dedicated power LED and a power switch, while the AT2020 does not have a power switch or LED.

The Shure MVi7 has a dynamic range of 114 dB, while the AT2020 has a dynamic range of 122 dB, meaning the AT2020 can handle a wider range of sound pressure levels.

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