Greetings mate and Welcome aboard. Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so…
Before we get into the official Blue Microphones Yeti Review, grab a snack, sit back, and relax because…
You’ve come to the right place!!
In this review we’ll cover the Blue Yeti and also compare it to the Blue Yeti Nano – discussing everything from features, ease of use, sound, etc.
In addition, I’ll provide some vocal takes from each microphone.
By the end of this article, you should have a clear idea of which will be best suited for your needs.
With that said, let’s get rolling!
In The Box
Blue Yeti USB Microphone (Blackout)
Limited 2-Year Warranty
- Microphone Type: Condenser.
- Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Omni-directional, Stereo, and Figure 8.
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Max SPL: 120dB SPL. What is SPL?
- Signal-to-noise ratio: 100dB
- Colors: Many, varies.
- Connector: USB.
- Weight: 1.2 lb. 2.2 with the stand.
- Impedance: 16 Ohm
- Sample Rate: 48 kHz. Bit depth vs. sample rate.
The Yeti is truly something to behold.
For the longest time, I thought it was pretty standard in size judging from online pictures, but boy was I ever wrong.
I would always read reviews to the effect of, “Yeah it stands about a foot tall on your desk.”
I suppose I never really thought about just how massive that is for a microphone.
Believe me, this thing has some serious girth, and it’s rock solid.
The sound coming out of it is equally as impressive, but I would highly advise a pop filter or windscreen to reduce the plosives and popping sounds you’ll inevitably face.
After owning one for a few years, I eventually invested in one of these mic condoms and don’t regret my purchase in the slightest.
The stereo mode option really impressed me and works great if you want to record yourself singing and playing acoustic guitar at the same time.
It sort of pans your voice to the left and the guitar to the right, creating a nice sense of space and depth.
Other than that, it’s got pretty much everything you need in the form of on-board controls:
- Cardioid, Omni-Directional, Figure 8, and Stereo polar patterns.
- A sturdy gain knob.
- The mute button on the front.
- Volume control on the front.
- Headphone jack for live no latency monitoring in real-time. What is Latency?
- It can also be mounted on a separate mic stand if you please.
- Extremely flexible. The onboard features in addition to being able to record just about anything well are a huge advantage over other USB mics.
- Phenomenal Sound quality. It stacks up well against entry-level XLR microphones.
- Can be mounted on a separate mic stand.
- Built like a Super Mutant.
- Versatile. You can record just about anything with the Yeti.
- It doesn’t have an On/Off switch which would propel it into legendary status. You will have to unplug it from your computer when not in use. Not really that big of a deal.
- It does tend to pick up more ambient and background noise than an XLR, but some Acoustic Sound Treatment goes a long way. There will be a link to that article in a bit.
Video Review & Comparison to the Snowball
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Who this mic benefits?
Endorsed for all of the following:
- Voice recognition software
- Voice acting/Voice-over
- Video conferencing
- Recording videos or animations
What you will need?
Definitely a pop-filter or windscreen. If you want to mount it on a separate stand, you could opt for a scissor arm.
This is the one I eventually purchased, but as you can see below, I used a sock for a while 😛
I wouldn’t recommend a boom stand because this mic is simply too heavy.
I also wouldn’t recommend a desktop stand because it’s super awkward to set up.
A rudimentary understanding of how Acoustic Sound Treatment works will help but isn’t mandatory.
If you want the best, the Rode PSA1 is very highly rated and I may end up investing in one down the road.
That said, the Inno Gear that I linked above works really well but I will caution you it’s a bit stiff and doesn’t move quite as freely as I would like.
This is a minor nitpick but should be noted.
Blue Yeti vs. Blue Yeti Nano
In this section, we’ll go over features, ease of use, and sound.
Ease Of Use
Recently I decided on a whim to buy a Yeti Nano because I was curious about how it compared with the original.
If you’ll recall, removing the original Yeti from its stand was rather simple, but getting it back in?
Hoo boy, GOOD LUCK.
The reason is that it came with like, a bajillion washers, and fitting it back in while trying to screw everything together was a colossal pain in the ass.
It’s 2 screws.
Super easy to assemble and disassemble.
Take a look at the image below if you don’t believe me.
This is all for YOU, dear reader.
That’s right, I’m going to take the original Yeti apart just so I can show you how ridiculous it is.
Which one of these looks easier to put back together? I’ll give you a hint: it AIN’T the first image. Lol.
Whoever thought it was a good idea to include basically 10 washers/bushings better not still be working for Blue Microphones. xD
Why does this matter?
Well, if you’re anything like me, you may prefer a scissor arm instead of the supplied desktop stand.
In this case, it’s super easy to disassemble and reassemble the Nano from its stand.
As far as scissor arms, it’s much easier to record a guitar/vocal take at the same time instead of having to try and record with it on your desk.
A scissor arm is also super convenient. Just push it out of the way when you’re not recording.
- Helpful Tip: Position the Nano roughly halfway between your guitar and mouth, angling it slightly downward. Now sit away from the mic around 10-12 inches. You can play around with this, but this placement will give you a super great recording with minimal post-processing required.
In any event, let’s take a look at Nano’s features.
Admittedly, it’s not quite as versatile as the original, and I’m not entirely sure why they didn’t include some more polar patterns since the Nano is essentially the same price as the Yeti (around $100)
The Yeti had 4:
- Figure 8
The Yeti also had a gain knob on the back which was super useful when trying to achieve proper levels.
The Nano does have a gain function, but you’ll have to use their Sherpa app which may be a bit of an annoyance depending on who you are.
That said, you’re still getting Cardioid Mode and Omnidirectional, and instead of a Volume Dial + Mute Button on the front, they’ve opted for an all-in-one button this time around.
Adjust the volume with the dial, and press it to mute (Red).
The underside of the unit contains your micro-USB jack and 3.5mm headphone jack for live no latency monitoring.
Rounding out the package is some literature as well as a thread mount.
This is a great benefit for those, like me, who have random scissor arms lying around.
Just screw the adapter on the arm and then screw the Nano onto the adapter.
Doesn’t get much easier!
This is where things get rather interesting.
The sound of the original Yeti was super clean and sterile. It sounded fantastic but had a couple of caveats:
- It picked up quite a bit of ambient/background noise.
- It leaned a tad too sterile in some instances and could come across as a bit cold and empty/hollow sounding almost.
You’ll clearly be able to hear this in the recordings below, but what I found with the Nano is that it rectifies these issues.
- Recommended: Shure MV5 vs. Yeti Review & Comparison
It’s still super clear and articulate but has just a smidgen of warmth and body that enables it to sound a little more natural and less cold.
So in my estimation, it adds a bit of low end while also smoothing out the voice a tad and giving it some radio broadcast warmth.
I find it to be a fantastic compromise.
The other cool thing about the Nano is that it records simultaneous vocal/acoustic takes with ease.
I was able to get a really good recording with it using the tips I shared earlier.
I was shocked at how well both came through, and I didn’t have to use a windscreen either.
Yeah, there were a couple of pops that I cleaned up in post, and I certainly did EQ out some unnecessary low-end from the acoustic (something you should do anyway) while also giving it some presence in the mids and a bit of air up top.
But for $100?
The sound here is rather remarkable.
Blue Yeti Nano
No Windscreen, No gain, and no post-processing
Windscreen Used, No gain, and no post-processing
Here is the Windscreen I have.
Windscreen, Omnidirectional Mode, No gain and no post-processing
Blue Yeti (Original)
No Windscreen, No gain, and no post-processing
Windscreen Used, No gain, and no post-processing
Stereo Mode – Windscreen used, no gain and no post-processing
Figure 8 Mode – Windscreen used, no gain and no post-processing
Omnidirectional Mode – Windscreen used, no gain and no post-processing
The features alone make this mic a vast improvement over other similar USB mics in its class.
The Yeti was truly a remarkable investment for me and I’ve been using one since 2017.
It has a proven track record as far as sound, durability, and longevity, and it’s always given me the results that I’m looking for.
The Blue Yeti Nano is a welcome upgrade from the original.
Its tight, compact package is much easier to use in the studio, and I appreciate the fact that Blue rectified the design flaw inherent in the original.
No longer will you be fiddling with washers trying to screw it back onto its original stand, and the sound, to my ears, is an improved, refined version of its predecessor – it adds a touch of broadcast warmth without sacrificing that wonderful sense of clarity and articulation.
Blue has a foothold in the USB microphone niche, and it’s easy to see why.
Not many other microphones in this category that I’ve tried compare to the crisp, clean, detailed sound you’re getting here.
For that, and for everything else we’ve discussed today, I think it’s a rather easy purchase, and a mic I would personally buy over the original if I had to do it all over again.
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve gotten some valuable information out of my Blue Microphones Yeti Review!!
What do you think about the Yeti? Are you likely to take the plunge? A step out in faith? I would love to hear from you.
If you have any other questions or feel I’ve missed the mark on something, please contact me!
I very much look forward to speaking with you…
All the best and God bless,