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Blue Yeti Mic Review: Mythical USB Sound
A sound purchasing option for recording great sound.
Our verdict: Is the Blue Yeti mic any good?
Audiophiles may not mind messing around with complicated and expensive sound setups that reap great results but have a steep learning curve. The Blue Yeti is a microphone that’s designed to give studio-quality recordings (or close enough) to the masses, minus the extreme cost or time investment required to set it all up. Lack of portability drags it down a notch, otherwise the Blue Yeti USB microphone is wholly recommendable.
Data effective 27/07/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
With working from home very much a way of lifethese days, people are understandably looking to invest in peripherals that are going to improve the quality of that experience. There are headsets, keyboards and mice to factor in for everyday use or those essential procrastinating gaming sessions.
But a versatile peripheral upgrade that may go overlooked unless you’re playing back recordings is the not-so-humble microphone. By investing in a plug-and-play solution like the Blue Yeti USB microphone, not only will your videoconference or VOIP colleagues, friends, and family thank you, you’ll also have access to a mic that does more than crisper sound. It’s worth noting that this review is for the Blue Yeti, not the Blue Yeti Nano, Blue Yeti Professional, or the newer Blue Yeti X.
These are the key specs for the Blue Yeti USB microphone:
- Price: $199
- Recording angle: side-address
- Sample rate: 48kHz
- Bit rate: 16-bit
- Capsules: 3x Blue-proprietary 14mm condensers
- Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
- Max SPL: 120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz)
- Dimensions (w/d/h): 120x125x295mm (extended in stand)
- Weight: 1.55kg (with stand)
- Compatibility: USB 1.1/2.0/3.0 Windows 7–10, macOS 10.10 or higher
- Power required/consumption: 5V, 150mA
What’s in the Blue Yeti box?
One of the best features of the Blue Yeti is that it’s plug-and-play out of the box. In that box you’ll find the Blue Yeti microphone, which is attached to an adjustable desk stand, as well as basic setup instructions. There’s also a generously lengthy three-metre USB 2.0-to-Micro USB cable that connects to the bottom of the microphone.
Blue Yeti initial setup
Connect the USB 2.0 end of your Blue Yeti cable to your PC or Mac, then the Micro USB end to the bottom of the Blue Yeti microphone. That’s it for initial setup and there’s no need to manually download Blue Yeti drivers. Speaking of the Yeti’s bottom, here’s where you’ll also find a 3.5mm headphones jack for no-latency monitoring of what you’re recording. Underneath you’ll also find a standard thread for connecting to a microphone stand. Simply unscrew the knobs on the side of the desk stand to free the Blue Yeti for another stand or boom arm.
Blue Yeti apps and software?
As a plug-and-play device, there is no need to download software or an app to configure the Blue Yeti USB microphone. Instead, once you’ve selected the Blue Yeti as your microphone in Windows or macOS, it’s ready to use. Whether you’re looking to record on Audacity, meet on Zoom, or stream games on Twitch, select the Blue Yeti as the default recording device in your OS and then in the corresponding software to enjoy the full-bodied audio recording.
Blue Yeti polar presets
It’s a shame the Blue Yeti is so cumbersome because it’s versatile in its four recording presets. Cardioid mode isolates a front-facing speaker, which is perfect for most common person-versus-microphone uses. Stereo mode is intended for musos seeking to capture a horizontally wide soundscape. Omnidirectional mode is meant for full band recordings, conference chats, or a one-mic solution for group podcasts. And Bidirectional mode captures crisp sound in an interview scenario for two people sitting either side (front or back) of the Blue Yeti.
Is the Blue Yeti worth the price ($199RRP)?
The Blue Yeti is intended for people who record a lot of audio and want to stop their voices from sounding hollow or tinny. It’s a premium price for a top-tier USB microphone, and there’s a reason why it’s a go-to for streamers, podcasters and garage musos looking to add some quality to their sound without having to mess around with complicated studio mics. Outside of the price, it’s the lack of versatility that holds the Blue Yeti back from true USB mic perfection.