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- Excellent sound quality
- You can choose between four polar patterns to give you the best recording quality
- You don’t need any additional equipment
- No installation needed – plug and play
- Excellent value for money
- We love the retro design
- THX certified
- The microphone is heavy, making it difficult to move around
- The stand is too big, taking up a lot of space on your desk
- The stand mount doesn’t have standard dimensions
- There have been reports of flimsy buttons and controls
Setting up a home studio can be a costly exercise, especially if you want quality equipment. Professional microphones, for example, are in the region of $1000 upwards. Before you do a mic drop and walk away we’ve got great news. If you’re an amateur who spends some time doing podcasts, recording interviews, musicians or playing an instrument, the Blue Yeti microphone offers a lot of value at a fraction of the cost of a professional mic.
We personally love the retro look and feel of the microphone but there’s far more to this little beaut’ than that. It offers four recording modes along with excellent sound quality and is an excellent choice if you don’t need or want a dedicated studio.
Look It’s a Yeti
If you’re wondering why this USB microphone is named after the very large (mythical) abominable snowman, you need to see it in front of you. It is massive, almost disturbingly so, and makes other mics look like a Happy Meal toy. It weighs around 3.5 pounds and stands about a foot tall but while some see its size and weight as a problem, there are others that enjoy the peace of mind knowing the mic won’t be knocked over easily.
The microphone itself is somewhat bulky, but that’s what we like about it, and the shape, silver body and chrome tip adds to its retro appeal. The Blue Yeti has a Mute button, a USB and 3.5mm jacks on the bottom. There is also a screw mount for when the mic isn’t on the stand. While you can use it this way we suggest you don’t. Once removed there is a handful of washers on each side that need to be aligned to get it back on the stand – in our opinion, it’s more frustration that it’s worth.
The build quality and retro design are one thing, but the microphone’s key selling point is the four different recording modes, or patterns, that enhance the audio and recording quality. A simple dial lets you change the setting to suit your needs: stereo, omnidirectional, bidirectional and cardioids geometries, making the Yeti a versatile mic at a very affordable price.
The patterns are able to change how your recordings sound, whether you’re using it on your own, with a group or if you’re playing an instrument. You can block out the surrounding noise for clear, crisp recordings, include the right kind of sounds for ambiance or open up the recording area if it’s a group.
Let’s take a look at how the four polar patterns work: the cardioid mode is very good for voice calls and podcasts, and the omni and bidirectional modes work well for group discussions and for interviews.
It’s important to mention the mic is extremely sensitive and picks up wanted and unwanted sounds, however, if you position it correctly and pick the right mode you’ll be able to cancel out unnecessary noise. For example, if the noise is coming from behind the mic the cardioid pattern will help; the bidirectional mode will help if it’s being picked up from the sides.
Another feature that makes the Blue Yeti stand out is the THX certification. Usually associated with far more expensive microphones, THX guarantees quality sound and that the frequency range is delivered correctly – and this is very much the case with this particular microphone.
Room for Improvement
While we can all agree that this microphone is excellent value for money and does a really good job recording quality audio, it might not cancel out enough noise for some people, especially professional sound engineers or recording artists. The problem is that any vibrations travel up the stand from the desk, so if you’re typing on your PC or laptop the same time you’re recording the quality will be affected. While you can use a shock mount, the Blue Yeti has non-standard dimensions, which means shop-bought shock mounts won’t fit.
Who’s it For
So, let’s have a look at who will enjoy the Blue Yeti microphone and discuss why in particular.
The USB microphone is made for podcasts and voiceovers, conference or Skype calls as well as singing or if you’re playing a musical instrument. It’s also great to record concerts or multiple voices in a room. For a reasonable price, you’ll have a mic with as-close-as-damn-it professional quality and you don’t have to get any other sound equipment. Whether you’re using it with your laptop or desktop, it’s a very simple set-up; all you have to do, quite literally, is plug it in and it’s good to go.
The Yeti from Blue is perfect for a home recording set-up when you don’t want to, can’t, or won’t pay $1000 for a mic. The audio quality is really solid and whether you’re using it for interviews, amateur musicians and podcasts we give this a thumbs-up. If, however, you’re looking for something a little more portable, and backpack friendly, then you won’t like it. It’s called Yeti for a reason and is better suited to stay on your desk in your home studio.
Would we recommend it? Absolutely! It’s a USB microphone that is ridiculously kind on your wallet and offers excellent sound quality. The THX certification sets it apart from its competitors and the four recording patterns also add to its features.
While we don’t suggest it for professional recordings, or if you’re looking for a mic that’s more mobile, you aren’t going to get much better than this, in this price range.