In my Blue Yeti Microphone review, I’m going to be explaining exactly why this is my #1 recommended external microphone for YouTube videos. It does come with quite a hefty price tag, but does the Blue Yeti prove that it’s worth the money? Let’s find out.
Name: Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com
My Rating: 9.1
About The Blue Yeti Microphone
The Yeti is an external USB microphone made by microphone company ‘Blue’. It has become one of the most popular microphones out there, especially for commentaries on YouTube.
The quality of the microphone is generally seen to be the best on the market within its price range, due to its wide range of customization features and the amazing sound quality. It looks very professional and comes with a stable stand, of which you can tighten or loosen the microphone to, so that you can move it in any direction you want while keeping the stand stationary.
It’s available in either a black or grey color at the moment, and the black version seems to be going for about $15 cheaper. Nevertheless, the big price tag is still off-putting to many people, especially when there are much cheaper alternatives such as the Blue Snowball and the Samson Go Mic on the market.
In this review, I’ll break down all of its key features and evaluate whether it should be your #1 choice of microphone.
The Blue Yeti Includes 4 Different Sound Capture Modes, Making It Suitable For Multiple Purposes
One of the reasons why the Blue Yeti so popular is because it’s suitable for nearly all scenarios, thanks to its different sound capture modes.
On the back of the microphone, there is a knob that allows you to switch between 4 different sound capture modes, which are:
- Cardioid Mode
- Stereo Mode
- Omnidirectional Mode
Those names alone will probably mean nothing to you, so I’ll explain what each of them do.
Cardioid mode sets the microphone so that it only picks up sound from the front, delivering the best quality of sound out of all of the modes.
It is the best mode for doing voice overs, commentaries, singing… Anything that involves you wanting to get the best quality from the microphone when you’re able to be close up to it.
If you watch any YouTubers that use this microphone, then this is most likely the mode that they will use, as it completely focuses on the sounds hitting the front of the microphone so that other background noises are eliminated as much as possible.
In stereo mode, the microphone picks up sound using the left and right channels, as well as the from and pack, but not proportionally.
The mode is specifically configured for capturing a realistic sound image; Blue recommend this mode for recording acoustic guitar or if you’re singing in a choir etc. I’ve never used this mode myself, though, and it’s unlikely that you will either, unless you’ve got some musical talent within you!
Omnidirectional mode picks up sound equally from all around the microphone. This could be useful when you’re out in public and want to capture the feel of the overall atmosphere, such as at a sports stadium or a concert, or if you have speakers all around the different sides of the microphone.
This makes omnidirectional mode ideal for recording conferences involving more than 2 people.
Bidirectional Mode only picks up sound from the front and back of the microphone. This is specially for the purpose of face to face interviews or podcasts, where there is a speaker at either end of the microphone.
The advantage of using biderectional mode over cardiod mode for a face to face interview, is that cardiod mode picks up very little sound from the back, so one of the voices would be much quieter than the other.
Furthermore, it would be more suitable than omnidirectional mode, as it removes the unnecessary noises hitting the side of the microphone.
My only complaint about the various sound capture modes, is that the knob on the back of the microphone is very stiff on my Blue Yeti, making it quite tough to switch between modes. However, I think this is just the case with my microphone, as others don’t seem to be experiencing the same issue.
You Can Also Change The ‘Gain’ of The Microphone
As I just showed you, there are many different modes for capturing sound in terms of the direction that the microphone picks up sound from.
However, you can change the ‘gain’ of the microphone with another knob on the back, which alters how sensitive that microphone is to picking up sound. This is a great feature, as it means you can adapt the sensitivity of the microphone to your set-up, so that you don’t have to change the angle or distance at which you speak too much, although it is recommended that you’re within 6-12 inches of the microphone.
It can be useful for when you want to record really quiet or loud sections of audio, as it saves you from having to move around – simply turn a dial instead.
The Blue Yeti Has Spectacular Sound Quality
The Blue Yeti’s sound quality is very high; if you want your commentaries/vocals to sound as professional as possible without spending outrageous amounts, the Blue Yeti is the answer.
With 3 14mm condensor capsules and a sample rate of 48kHz, the Yeti delivers crisp and detailed sound quality, especially on the cardioid mode.
Check out the video below to see how the Yeti sound quality compares to a standard PC mic:
Even without a pop filter, the Blue Yeti stops p’s and b’s from sounding like a gust of air much better than other microphones. With most external mics, a pop filter is essential, whereas with the Blue Yeti it’s more optional, as it does a good job at preventing the ‘wind provoking sounds’ anyway (although a pop filter would still be beneficial).
In comparison to the likes of the Blue Snowball, which is around $50, the Yeti has an edge in terms of audio quality, but not a huge edge. However, when YouTube is competitive as it is today, you’re going to want every advantage you can get over other YouTubers, and the having the best audio quality is only going to make things easier.
It’s Incredibly Easy to Set-Up and Will Work With Just 1 Cable
If you’re building a gaming set-up, then the chances are that you’ve got enough cables flying around everywhere already and the last thing you want is a bunch more.
Luckily the Blue Yeti only needs a USB cable to function (of which you plug into your PC also), which makes it very easy and quick to set-up.
There’s also the option to plug your headset into the Blue Yeti, which will allow you to hear yourself as you speak and you can alter the audio levels through your headset by using the ‘volume’ knob on the front of the microphone. It’s a nice bonus feature which you can have a lot of fun with.
It Has a Life Saving ‘Instant Mute’ Button
On the front of the mic, there’s a simple mute button you can press that will mute your microphone; while this may not be important for doing voice overs, if you’re into live streaming or use it for talking to friends, it can be a life saver.
I’m sure you’ve all experienced that embarrassing moment when a family member storms into your room during a conversation and says something that you wouldn’t really want the person at the other end to hear, because you couldn’t mute your mic in time.
Thankfully the Yeti helps to save this trouble, lol.
Is The Blue Yeti Worth The Money?
From my experiences, the Blue Yeti is the best external mic under $150 at least. It looks professional, it sounds professional – well, that’s because it is professional. It’s wide range of sound capture modes make it suitable for recording audio in nearly every scenario, meaning that it will surely cover your needs.
Then the gain, volume control and the instant mute button just provide the icing on the cake to produce an essential piece of equipment. It comes with its own stand and you can alter the position of the microphone freely, meaning that there isn’t usually a need for a separate microphone stand.
However, the main problem with the Blue Yeti is that its significant price compared to the Blue Snowball can seem unjustifiable. For a $70 increase in price, it provides slightly better audio, much better aesthetics, and more customization options.
Also, the Blue Yeti neutralizes the need for a boom stand in most cases, whereas the Snowball doesn’t quite have the freedom of movement that the Yeti has, so it will need a separate stand a lot of the time and a pop filter is much more necessary for the Snowball.
Therefore, if you put the price of a stand and pop filter together, that comes to about $30 if you get relatively cheap ones. This reduces the price gap between the Snowball and the Yeti significantly.
The Blue Snowball is definitely worth the money if you know that you’re going to use it a lot. There’s no point in getting it if you’re only going to use it a couple of times.
The other factor that comes into the equation is the budget that you’re on; if you can afford to go the extra mile with the Blue Yeti, then I would go for it. However, if you’re on a tighter budget but you still need high quality sound audio, I would go with the Blue Snowball.