No doubt you’ve heard of the Blue Yeti USB microphone, but do you know why it’s a top seller?
Amazing bang for the buck and excellent audio! So let’s find out more in this review!
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First of all, you can’t argue with looks. This mic is so darn appealing, it almost screams “the person who bought me knows what the heck they’re doing!”
I own a Blue Yeti myself and love it in the standard silver, but looky here:
it also comes in a special Blackout Edition
as well as a Steel Red version!
Not enough choices?
Believe it or not, as of this writing there are 11 COLOR CHOICES IN ALL!
However, you don’t buy a microphone for the looks. It has to perform.
How does the Blue Yeti USB microphone perform? Let’s start with the specs.
Blue Yeti specifications and Blue Yeti USB microphone settings:
Versatility: One of the things that make the Blue Yeti so versatile and desirable is what they call the “Tri-capsule array” (you can’t see it, but it’s part of the magic under the shiny metal screen on top.)
It’s 3 condenser mic capsules that you can select as part of your Yeti Blue settings to record in practically any situation, depending on the pattern you select.
There’s a knob right on the body that allows you to select the pattern. Depending on the selection, you get either stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, or bidirectional patterns.
- Stereo makes use of both the left and right channels. This produces a realistic, spatial sound image and grabs multiple sound sources in front of the mic.
- Omnidirectional picks up sound in a uniform pattern around the microphone. This makes it excellent for conference calls and sound that immerses you in the conversation, like you’re there.
- Cardioid is best for podcasting, game streaming, Skype calls, vocals, instruments, even FaceTime! This is because it captures sound from directly in front of the microphone. The result is a full-bodied sound. Nice!
- Bidirectional records from both the front and the rear of the microphone, so when you’re sitting across from someone (perhaps podcasting and interviewing), it gets both parts of the conversation.
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz (what is that?) it’s the range of frequencies that the microphone will pick up. The numbers go from lowest to highest and are measured in Hertz. So, 20Hz is the low limit of normal human hearing and 20kHz (20,000 Hz) is the highest. So this mic catches it all!
Yeti Blue Settings and Controls: it comes with easy to select gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output (that means you can monitor what you’re saying and there is no delay.)
Headphone Jack: headphones attach via a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack built-in, and check this – there’s a control on the mic so you can adjust the volume of your headphones! Sweeeet.
Blue Yeti on Mic Stand: The big hole on the bottom is where you screw the Blue Yeti USB mic onto the microphone stand (either the included desktop stand, shock mount for Blue Yeti, or mic boom) – you can also use a pop filter on the Blue Yeti!
Use Cases: The Blue Yeti handles almost anything – podcasting, vocals, musical instruments, voiceovers, conference calls, interviews, even field recordings!
Sample Rates and Mounting: Record sample rates of 16 bit/48Kz.
No Drivers Needed: None to install and it’s compatible with Windows 10 down to Windows XP (Home and Professional) PLUS Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher), and requires a minimum of 64 MB of RAM (remove existing and upload)
What cable does the Blue Yeti use? The Yeti uses a standard mini USB to regular USB 2.0 cable, you can get one here.
Pros and Cons of the Blue Yeti USB Microphone
- Excellent voiceover microphone for YouTube videos
- Doesn’t need a pop filter or foam cover (but as with all microphones, you’ll be better off with one, see details below)
- Great for live streaming gameplay or streaming radio stations
- Audio clarity works well with dictation software, too
- Simple and easy to use, very versatile mounting options
- It’s solid, so well suited for desktop or boom stand
- Mic plugs directly into the computer, no interface required
- Volume control allows you to adjust the loudness of your voice when you are monitoring
- Easy to read instruction guide
- Superb mic PLUS the headphone jack allows you to skip using your cheap-sounding boom mic headset, just plug in your earbuds and go
- Control knobs are solid, well-placed, and easy to use
- ASMR – This is definitely a mic for that! Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is described as a physical response to certain voices, events or sounds (the “triggers”) and these responses can differ from one person to the next. They can be something euphoric like a tingle across the top of your head, which can even move down your spine, or sort of relaxing. The Blue Yeti has found favor among ASMR fans for sure! The Blue Yeti’s built-in stereo pick-up makes it perfect for ASMR.
- Well-packaged (unboxing is a treat)… SPOILER: the styrofoam cutout is tight so that last step where you remove the mic both extends the joy and gives you mini-fits
- Adjustable mic gain (you can turn up the loudness of your recording as necessary)
- Are Blue Yetis good for rapping? Bottom line, yes, according to researched viewpoints. Hey, I can barely rap a present so I have to rely on the internet here. Basically it’s considered a “best cheap microphone for rapping!”
- Is this the best USB microphone for vocals? Heck no, think of all the uber professional studio mics out there. However, reviewers DO rave about it being a superior, budget-friendly USB mic for singers, so I gotta give it an upvote.
- Not portable – it’s a USB mic, so you do have a cable that goes from the mic to the computer
- Some people report the mute button is a little inconsistent, I’ve never had a problem with it.
- USB cable is under the mic, and a little care is necessary when adjusting the mic position (leaning it back) to avoid pressure on the connector
- The desk mount can pick up some sounds if you use a keyboard or bang the table – using a shock mount or boom stand alleviates that issue
Pop Filter details
Q. Do I need a pop filter for the Blue Yeti?
A: First – a “pop filter” is a screen that goes in front of your microphone to stop it from picking up any popping sound made when you say words that start (mostly) with the letter “P”. That letter, and sometimes others, cause a small burst of air pressure to hit the mic and cause a popping sound. That’s annoying to listen to and ruins a recording. A pop filter catches that air pressure wave and dissipates it before it hits the mic. So, even though the Blue Yeti has a good mesh screen between you and the mic heads, the letter “P” can still be a problem if you’re close to the mic.
Q: What’s the solution, then?
A: Get a good pop filter. It is typically a round frame with a fine mesh cloth in it. The frame is attached to a “gooseneck” clamp that attaches to the mic stand. In this way, the pop filter can be adjusted in front of the mic to provide the best protection against popping-p’s.
NOTE: In a windy situation (if you were recording outside, for example) a pop filter won’t be as effective. You’ll be much better off with a wind filter in that case. Here’s a good one for the Blue Yeti USB microphone.
Is the Blue Yeti USB microphone a best buy? Why yes, and the internet holds that to be true. More importantly, does it serve those who purchased and use it? Does it do a great job? Does it provide great audio and strong bang for the buck features?
The answer is a resounding “YES”
If you’re looking for a great USB mic, you owe it to yourself to check this one out. I’ve had mine for about 4 years now and it still works great. Anytime I have a serious recording need (I do freelance voiceover for media projects), I use my Blue Yeti.
Check it out, leave a comment, and please share this post with others!