Blue has been in the microphones industry for a long time already and it was the one that set the standard for the new breed of "Streaming Mics", after all the Yeti has been the ultimate desire of many people after almost all streamers had one on their desk during their videos or live events.
Logitech has recently acquired the company and has already put it to good use, it's newest headset - the Logitech G PRO X - has its microphone tuned by Blue itself to improve clarity and noise rejection and we should see more products tuned by Blue coming in the future as well.
Right now we are going to review the Blue Yeti and to compare to its main competitor, the HyperX QuadCast, see what we like and dislike about this and say if it is worth it or not.
Is the Blue Yeti still the best?
External Build and Design
One thing that the Yeti does have going for it is build quality, the materials are of a very high standard and feel premium not only on the looks but when you touch it as well, hence why it weights over a kilogram when fully assembled.
The classical silver with chrome top calls lots of attention when sitting on the desk and this is the colour scheme that has been known for years now. Anyone who watches a bit of YouTube or Twitch has certainly seen this somewhere and might have already wanted to buy it - or still want to do so.
At the front we can find the volume button, it lights up red when you are muted and is blue when unmuted. You also have control over the playback volume that is built into the microphone, even tough I would have preferred to see the gain knob in the front, but that is just my preference.
In the back we get more stuff, we find the gain knob here as well as the mode selection after all this one has 4 different recording modes, very useful in case you use the mic in different scenarios, which is exactly our case. We are going to explore this better in the next section of your review.
Underneath we can see two different ports, the mini-USB one is used to power up the mic and connect it to your PC, so yes, this is a USB powered condenser microphone. The port on the right of the picture is used to plug in your P2 headphones and use them as monitors in case you would like to hear yourself.
The stand is the heaviest part, it weights over half a kilogram and the word Overbuilt fits it perfectly. We have one screw at each side to hold the microphone in place and you must tighten both to be able to hold the position as it is very heavy and likes to incline backwards.
Underneath we can only find some generous rubber feet to keep it in place and that's about it, not much else to talk about this one as the design has been the same for over 10 years now. Well, enough talking about looks and other stuff, let's get to testing this thing.
One thing that these kind of microphones bring over the studio ones are the different recording patterns, in my Samson CO1 I only have the Cardioid pattern however in the Blue Yeti I can find 4 different modes: Cardioid, Bidirectioncal, Omnidirectional and Stereo.
Also, you can change between modes on the fly without any interruption, something that might not be generally useful but certainly helps a lot with keeping things simple to use.
To quickly go over the differences between the four different modes:
- Cardioid captures mainly what is in front on the microphone, ignoring almost anything behind it.
- Stereo captures from both sides and can be used to troll people, pretending to be speaking on their ears.
- Omnidirectional captures sound from all directions, it is not recommended in empty rooms as lots of reverb goes through the mic as well.
- Bidirectional captures sound from the front and back, especially useful in podcasts that don't have lots of room for equipment.
Now let's get to the real test, below you'll find an audio track to listen to what the microphone sounds like, all four modes have been shown in the recording and no audio effects or anything of that kind has been used in it.
Audio by Márcio Bohrer
As you could hear, the sound comes very clean and has no exaggeration of any kind, it does lack that bass that some other products around this price range can offer, although you'll need some extra equipment to be able to run the other ones.
Other ways you can get around it is to get very close to the microphone or use an EQ to up the bass a bit, but that won't do justice for the better options out there, just remember that those will be more expensive.
In the end the Blue Yeti is far from being a bad microphone, it just does not have all the quality that some people might say. It indeed sounds fine, but does not exceed any quality standard or anything like that, it is just a good condenser mic with 4 patterns to choose from and a USB interface, and that's about it.
If you really need and will use the different patterns in your work then you should indeed consider it, but if that is not the case I strongly recommend you look for a cardioid only mic that will provide better sound for your use.
So what do I recommend? Well, let's consider that you do not need 4 patterns or are looking into cheaper options, here is a small list of some that are pretty good and that are all USB powered as well:
- Samson Q2u (Cardioid only, better sound)
- Audio-Technica AT2020 (Cardioid only, better sound)
- AKG Pro Lyra (4 patterns, bit better sounding but loses in other areas)
Now if you really enjoyed what you listened, needs the different patterns that it offers and is able - and willing to - spend around 130USD to 140USD, then just go for the Blue Yeti, it probably won't disappoint you.