An incredible microphone packed full of features - for an amazing price [VIDEO]
Here is my full video review of the Blue Yeti microphone that I made for my YouTube channel. In this video I cover the build and sound quality of this great microphone. Thanks for watching and enjoy!
Blue Yeti Microphone In Action and Sound Test Comparison
NOTE: I used the Blue Yeti Microphone to record this Video Review
Blue Yeti Review Summary
The Blue Yeti is an excellent plug and record USB microphone that has dramatically increased the quality of my voice recordings. It has a solid & sleek build, is easy to use, and most importantly clearly records my voice.
Introduction - Who I am and how do I use this product
My name is Antonio and I own and operate ATailoredSuit.com; I have been using the Blue Yeti since February to speak with clients on Skype and to record podcasts and videos about men's style and custom clothing. Prior to owning the Blue Yeti I used the Blue Snowflake for one year; before that I used the built in microphone on my computer and headsets. For the last 6 months I have been looking at purchasing the Blue Snowball; when this microphone came out I decided to make this purchase instead.
Pros - Things I Love
1. Sound Recording Quality - The most important quality in a microphone; from my limited 30 day use and when compared to the past types of microphones I am used to (Blue Snowflake, Logitech Webcam 9000 Microphone, Various Headset microphones, Built in Computer Microphones) this Microphone beat them all.
2. Plug and Play - I have seamlessly used this microphone on 3 separate computers, one running XP, the other Vista, and on a Windows 7 machine. In each case it was immediately recognized and clearly marked as the Blue Yeti
3. Simple Knobs and Design - Mute, Mode, Headphone Volume and MIC Gain Control. Stand can be tightened and microphone removed.
4. Solid Build - Overall, Solid (One small complaint below). The 10 foot USB cord was a nice touch.
5. Playful Approach - Blue has decided to present the Yeti in a playful manner. They appeal to the creative and make the manual much more approachable for those of us not technically inclined.
Cons - Things I am not happy with
1. Size - It weight 3.5 pounds and stands 1 foot high - I am used to this now, but be prepared for a big footprint!
2. Looseness of Volume & Gain Controls - A small complaint, but for an overall solid device these feel like they will be the first things to break.
The Blue Yeti is an amazing microphone that was well worth the investment. It has already dramatically increased the quality of my voice recordings and I recommend it to any podcaster. I give this product 9 out of 10 stars (5 out of 5 for OnlineShopDealer!), my only knock that the price maybe too high for some.
Yeti or Snowball? Watch the video and decide. (and another way to add a pop filter)
Bottom line: Outstanding value for a great sounding mic!
What I liked:
- Superior sound (watch, and more important listen to, the video)
- Solidly built with a sturdy stand
- It looks cooler than a Snowball (imho)
- It worked immediately with my 64-bit Win7 system. No downloads, additional drivers, or other confusion. True plug and play.
- Has a gain control
- Has a mute button
- The pattern select switch is clearly marked with the mic pattern
- Uses a standard USB to Mini cable. The Yeti comes with one that's about 6' long.
- Very reasonable price given the quality
What might have been better
- It would have been really, really nice if there was a place to securely connect the pop filter to the Yeti stand. After living with my duct tape and cable tie solution for a little while, I like it better than even if the champ had worked. It provides a rock solid connection between the filter and the mic and nothing sticks out/up as it would with the clamp. You can, if you like, go back to the beginning of this point and remove one or two of the "really's".
To watch for:
- The Yeti couldn't get enough power to run when I connected it to an unpowered hub in place of the Snowball. (Blue says you should always connect their mics to a USB port directly attached to your computer, not a hub. I got lucky with the Snowball.) After I switched to a different (powered) hub it works fine. The Plugable USB 2.0 10 Port Hub (with Power Adapter) is the hub that worked with the Yeti and it's excellent in many respects.
- In the video I used Scotch Transparent Duct Tape, 2 Inches x 20 Yards, Clear (2120-A). It comes in handy for a great many things besides connecting a pop filter to a microphone.
And finally, if you're still uncertain, here's my recommendation. If you already have a Snowball then there may not be a reason to upgrade. The sound is better but maybe not better enough to justify buying a whole new mic. However, if it's a choice between the two, I would recommend the Yeti, both for sound quality, features, and (yes) appearance.
BTW, I feel that honest, effective reviews, accompanied by detailed videos, can take the place of first-hand experiences that are often lacking in online shopping. I've always appreciated the help I've gotten from other reviewers and try to return the favor as best as I can. I hope you found this review helpful and the video at least entertaining. If there was anything you thought was lacking or unclear leave a comment and I'll do what I can to fix it.
Blue's latest is a home run
Blue has become famous for its striking microphone designs, and the retro-modern Yeti is a worthy addition to the company's product lineup.
The first thing you'll notice is what a beautiful, well-designed object this is. The Yeti has a solid custom desk stand that provides a bit of built-in cable management for headphone and USB cords. Despite its outdoorsy name, the Yeti is not the ideal choice for recording in the wild -- it's really big and heavy. That said, the swivel-stand arrangement allows you to rotate the body of the mic upside down into the base if you do need portability. (Unlike Blue's higher end studio mics, no travel box or road case is included, but at this price point, that's not a surprise.)
On the front: a mic mute button and headphone volume dial. On the rear, mic level control and a pickup pattern selector. The dials are just a bit jiggly and plasticky for such an otherwise elegant design. On the bottom are the zero-latency headphone jack and mini-USB connector. The swiveling body makes accessing the USB and headphone ports a snap. Another thoughtful addition down-under is a 5/8 inch threaded hole that allows you to remove the base and mount the Yeti on a standard microphone floor stand.
The Yeti houses a trio mic elements to offer stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-eight pickup patterns. The selections give the mic a versatile bag of sound tricks, whether you're recording a solo podcast, taping an interview or meeting, or laying down some vocals in GarageBand. The headphone amp doesn't exactly go to 11, but the mic delivers a pretty respectable output level. We're talking 16-bit USB audio, so the Yeti doesn't have quite the full warmth and sonic detail of a "real" large-diaphragm condenser like Blue's pro studio models, but the sound is surprisingly good for a USB mic, with much less noise than similarly-featured competitors like the Samson G-Track.
No drivers needed -- just plug in the included USB cable. On a Mac, select "Yeti Stereo Microphone" for both input and output in the Sound control panel of System Preferences. Configuring Yeti in GarageBand's Audio preferences is a snap, too.
To avoid P-pops and breath sounds when working up-close, you might want to invest in a pop screen of some kind, though it seems a shame to put a big foam hat on top of such a beautiful head.
Did we mention how cool The Yeti looks sitting on your desk? The streamlined aluminum styling matches the finish of Apple's current product lineup quite well.
The Yeti's sound quality and multiple pickup patterns raise the bar for USB mics, and leave even Blue's much-beloved Snowball playing catchup. For the price, a product that looks and sounds this good is going to be pretty hard to beat. Highly recommended.
The easiest solution for computer recording (and more)
The latest addition to my desktop is the most flexible recording device I've yet found: The Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone. Long known for their line of high-end condenser microphones, Blue is increasingly known for their computer-ready USB microphones, like the Snowflake and the Snowball, and the Yeti is their latest and certainly greatest computer-ready microphone yet.
Advertised as the first fully THX-compliant (a standard devised by Lucasfilms) microphone, the Yeti is a large (12" tall on its removable stand), hefty, multi-pattern microphone suitable for recording, podcasting, or any other computer-related audio activity. It features four switchable patterns- omni, carodid, figure eight, and stereo- a built in headphone amplifier, gain control, headpohone volume, and a mute button. For even more flexibility you can remove it from its desk stand and mount it on a standard 5/8"microphone stand or boom.
And it sounds great, too- even better than their well-regarded Snowball series. I've been using it for recording music practice, building tracks with Audacity on my Windows and linux boxes, and with Apple's GarageBand, and making calls with Skype. The ability to record in full stereo or mono is a real plus. Up to now I've been using a variety of microphones together with various microphone preamps and an A/D converters- a mass of cables and power supplies that bad enough on the desk, but a real hassle when trying to use with a laptop away from home. The Yeti has it all in one package. It may not sound quite as good as a multi-thousand dollar condenser microphone and vacuum tube preamp, but for the money it simply can't be beat.
Great Podcast Mic!
Sets up easy. Sounds fantastic. Very solid build quality. Looks great on your desk.
The Yeti Lives on Top of the Mountain
I have used many microphones, from expensive Neumanns, Sennheisers, Sure, AKG to the less expensive Berringer B2 Pro and Sony. I spent over 8 years in professional radio and 30 plus years doing voice over recording and sound mixing, so I have heard and used all types of mics and I have to rate the Blue Yeti at the top of my list for many reasons. First is sound quality, all the patterns have a smooth, open sound, the cardioid pattern has added richness for voice over work, comparable dare I say to a Sennheiser or Sure. The sound in all the patterns was not colored or muted at any frequency level, which what is I was expecting in the stereo mode, but in that pattern, voices sound great and an acoustic guitar sounded rich, plucky and natural. Next is the construction of the mic and stand, from the pictures I was expecting plastic, nope, it is made of very solid metal , except the buttons and switches. Third is the versatility, you can record almost anything in any type of circumstance not just adequately, but with excellence, try that with a $2,000.00 Neumann! The set up could not be easier, just plug it into your USB jack and let her rip. I only paid $100.00 on OnlineShopDealer,a true bargain, for what is a top notch piece of gear, where the engineers of this product really took their time to design something of real quality and looks like a piece of art. The Yeti also stands up to audio processing, where I have to say all of the other mics I have used for under $200.00 show their weaknesses. The only thing I would like to see is a shock mount made for this mic, it is just too big for all of my other mounts, but the Yeti does not seem to pick up as much vibration from the table as other mics do (I also use a slab of 1/4" neoprene padding to absorb some table shock), and the Yeti has no real audible self noise. If you want a great microphone at an incredible price, the Blue Yeti is the one for you!
My complaint about the shock mount has been resolved, with the Blue Radius, which I received a week ago from OnlineShopDealer, which I love. Makes this great, and I mean great microphone even better. I have done side by side comparisons to the Neumann U87, the Sennhieser D421, the Lawson L47, all top notch and very expensive studio mics. The Yeti sounds as good. Of course you have to learn how to work a microphone properly to get the right sound. I cringe at some YouTube demos of this mic, some of the folks are not using this, and I'm sure other mike's correctly to get the best sound. Also the more I use the Yeti, the more seasoned it becomes, in comparison recordings done a year ago, the Yeti seems to get a smoother sound, as time goes by.
Excellent, Studio Quality, Affordable USB Mic
I purchased this mic from OnlineShopDealer recently and am absolutely impressed with the sound quality. The package came in way faster than expected under the free shipping arrangement plus OnlineShopDealer had a great price on it. :-)
The mic at first looks big and kinda heavy - once you get over that - you connect it to your favorite laptop or desktop and start your trials.
I tried several different combos - from close to the mic to singing from a distance of about 2-3 feet - using the 4 polar patterns - and in each case could hear the difference in the sound output in crispness and depth. For the first time ever, I liked my own voice from a mic!
Ease-of-use : The desktop stand provided with the mic is ideal only for podcasts or speech based recordings. For singing vocals, I'd recommend getting a mic stand along with shock mount. The mic itself has very easy controls and the convenience of a headphone jack from the mic itself is a big advantage (plus the huge advantage of 0 latency of output to the headphones). The mute button is just a click away. Once you set the gain level and polar pattern in the back side of the mic, you are set. I prefer using either the cardioid mode or the stereo mode for singing vocals.
Sound quality : At 48khz sampling rate 16 bit mode, this is fairly high quality - studio recording mics typically range in the 96 Khz sampling at 32 bit mode but in the end what matters is the audio playback equipment's ablities - most receivers run at 48Khz. The frequency response range is impressive - 20 hz to 20 khz - most cardioid mics in this price range have a smaller range between 50hz and 15Khz - makes a big difference in the crispness, depth and quality of sound capture. The sensitivity of the mic is another measure of its quality - 4.5mV/Pa at 1 Khz is another indication of high sensitivity at 1 Pa (pascal) - it has a high ratio of sound waves at the diaphragm converting to electrical signals. The Max Sound Pressure Level (SPL) at 120db refers to the pressure the mic can take at less than 1 inch from the mic to the performer's mic before it distorts and at a THD (total harmonic distortion) ratio of 0.5% at 1 Khz this mic is a great bargain. Most other mics in this range have standard 74 to 94 db max SPL. Many manufacturers use different measures to depict sensitivity and this is often very confusing.
Ease of thread mount to a stand - I had trouble finding a mic stand that can handle the wider thread mount (typically found in European mics) - most thread mounts are smaller so I needed to get an adapter from Guitar Center.
Hope you find this review helpful - [...]
Best USB microphone EVER.
Yeti Versus AT2020USB (and AT2020USBPlus): Listen and Compare
*** HD version of this video, as requested, in now available, at: http://youtu.be/O5CdRY0O5gA ***
I was interested in a USB microphone for acoustic guitar and vocals. My research had led me to choosing between the Yeti and the AT2020USB. In this clip, I review the features briefly, then play a little acoustic and sing with both microphones recording simultaneously. During playback, I cut back and forth, labeling each as I do. The tracks have no compression, reverb, EQ, or normalizing - they are presented exactly as they were captured.
In the end liked the features of the Yeti but the sound of the AT2020. So I returned them both and got the AT2020Plus. I feature it at the end of the video, after the comparison of the other 2 mics. I think it might actually have BETTER sound than even the AT2020. The nuances of voice captured by the AT2020Plus are astonishing in my opinion - especially for the price and the fact that it is USB, straight to digital.
I hope that this review proves useful to you in your decision-making process.