Blue Yeti USB Microphone Review

Updated July 19, 2017  |  by Hollagully  |  in MUSIC, TECHNOLOGY

If your needs in a USB microphone include versatility, durability, aesthetic, and you are committed to the purpose of the microphone as to spend just slightly above the average price point for related products, then we suggest you cut your hours of research an just go straight for the Blue Yeti USB microphone. It can be used in a wider range of circumstances than other USB microphones, delivers high-quality results across the board and offers a rich warm tone perfectly fit for voice recording applications.

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Blue Yeti

Specifications:

  • Type: Condenser
  • Sample Rate: 48 kHz
  • Bit Rate: 16 bit
  • Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Dimensions (with stand): 4.7 x 4.9 x 11.6 inches

Pros:

  • Extremely easy to set up and use
  • Condenser mic is very sensitive with warm, rich tone ideal for vocal applications.
  • No need for outboard equipment like preamps or audio interfaces.
  • Heavily durable while maintaining aesthetic appeal.

Cons:

  • Highly sensitive without a pop filter to prevent heavy B’s, P’s and Pops.
  • Does not include a separate tripod to attach pop filter to.
  • No shock mount to reduce the amount of vibration and unwanted low-end sounds.

Let’s examine the versatility. Constructed with a tri-capsule condenser diaphragm, the Blue Yeti offers the choice between four polar patterns: Stereo, Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Bidirectional. This selection of polar patterns is the true competitive advantage that the Blue Yeti holds over it’s competition.

You may be a single source of audio hosting a podcast or webinar, or multiple members of a conference call.  Maybe you’re a musician seeking an intimate take of an instrument or instead include the acoustics of a given space. Whichever profile you fit, the Blue Yeti will get you the results you’re after.

Aside from the buttons and knobs which are made of plastic, the entire unit is made of solid metal, stand included. This makes the Blue Yeti one of those most durable choices for USB microphones while at the same time accomplishing a retro-meets-contemporary aesthetic that is sure to fit well in any office space.

While in many cases this is a huge bonus, it does mean that the Yeti is rather heavy compared to other models and can be inconvenient to travel with. If you’re constantly on the go then Yeti may not be the best choice of microphone to bring along with you, but at it’s reasonable price it is surely worth having in the toolbox.

Another key selling point of the Blue Yeti is it’s plug ’n play simplicity. Connect it to any recording device via the included 10’ USB cable. Whether you’re using Apple or Windows, a portable recording device, or even an iPad (via Apple’s Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter) you can be up and running in an instant without the need of downloading any drivers. Just be sure your recording device selects the Blue Yeti as it’s sound source.

For controlling all of it’s features, the buttons and knobs are straight forward and require very little explanation. On the front face of the Yeti you will find a mute button which does exactly as the name describes – mute your audio while continuing to record, allowing you to avoid picking up any sneezing or similar unwanted noise while recording an interview. On the face there is also a master volume control which will turn up the volume of your recordings playback.

On the bottom of the Yeti are a zero-latency headphone output (volume controlled by the master volume control) and a USB mini jack connecting you will connect to your computer or audio device. Also on the bottom is a standard threaded mic stand mount which allows you to connect the Yeti to all standard mic stands for more elaborate mic positioning if need be.

Finally, on the rear side of the Yeti are your controls for microphone gain and polar pattern selection. Be sure not to confuse this mic gain with the master volume control. The mic gain will increase the sensitivity of the Yeti and feed more signal into your recording device. This can overload and cause the signal to “clip” and produce a distorted recording.

Always check the amount of signal going into the device and leave yourself a reasonable amount of headroom. This will leave more options for treating the audio with things like compression and EQ afterwards for clearer results. The volume control in comparison will only increase the volume being sent to your headphones.

The solid metal custom base of the Yeti allows you to wrap the USB cable underneath it as to not have too much excess cable cluttering up your work space. This base is very sturdy and is sure to keep your microphone secure and stable. However, you may find that it picks up some vibration from the environment such as any thumping, tapping or passing vehicles.

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