Today I’m going to be sprinting towards you all stoned-faced like Super Mario with another in-depth comparison review! This time I’ll be outlining the differences between the Samson C01u vs. Blue Yeti!
So sit back, relax, grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy the show…
To start off, there are a few different versions of this microphone, and I’ll be discerning the differences for you real quick:
Samson C01UCW. This was the first installment of the mic. It can still be purchased and comes with Sonar’s Cake Walk software, hence the “CW” in the name. This is the mic I will be reviewing today, as it has the most reviews on amazon. I also happen to have read them all!
Samson CO1U Pro. This is an updated version of the mic and improves on a lot of the shortcomings of the CO1UCW as mentioned above.
There is also the CO1U bundle which comes with a shock-mount, pop filter, boom stand, the original stand, and software. The mic itself is not the CO1U Pro, however. If you ended up going this route, you would face all of the shortcomings of the original version.
Lastly, the CO1 XLR version. What is XLR? I own this and have had it since 2007. It’s rock-solid like the CO1U but requires an interface or mixer (48v Phantom power) to operate. Check out my Samson C01 Review!
The CO1U has overall very good reviews on Amazon, and there are plenty of good qualities about the mic. There are also some flaws however that you should be made aware of. Right off the bat, the stand that it comes with has gotten a lot of complaints and doesn’t really do this heavy mic justice. The mic itself is 1.1 pounds, but the stand is flimsy and weak. What was Samson thinking here? A good desktop stand or boom stand is a must. 2 good options are:
Other than the stand issue, this version also has a latency problem that is resolved with the pro model. A lot of people were saying that it’s really sensitive, but they had a hard time using EQ to positive effect. The distinct humming, distortion, and noise when the volume is turned up present problems as well, and it’s said to not have headroom. Headroom basically enables you to record without distortion, noise, hissing, and clipping, as well as a compressed or lifeless sound. You may have to record with this mic at slightly lower levels.
That said, one reviewer commented that Audacity’s noise reduction feature helps. It also helps to place the CO1U at about 5-6″ from your face while recording. This is the sweet spot according to some reviewers.
Finally, it has some compatibility issues as well, and the Cakewalk software isn’t very intuitive. Most everyone said just use Audacity. One reviewer said it best, there is the Windows camp that loves this mic, and the Mac users who hate it. In a nutshell:
Does not work with Windows Vista. This won’t be a problem for 99% of people.
Works best with Windows XP. This may present a problem for most, because again.. it’s 2016.
Works well with Windows 7, with the mic levels around 80.
Doesn’t work with Windows 8,and the sound output on 8.1 is too low. It tends to pick up a lot of noise at high levels.
Solid and heavy. Build quality is fantastic, and it can take quite a bit of abuse.
Best in voice-over type applications: pod-casting, you-tube videos, spoken word, video tutorials, and live commentary.
Spider Shock-mount is nice.
Great with Audacity and Adobe Audition.
Clear, crisp vocals.
A lot of people said it’s good for rapping and singing. Not its primary use though.
Good for demos, kick drums, and someone even said they recorded a band with it.
Plug and play. Works out of the box with minimal hassle.
Good for small starter home studios.
Full, rich sound.
Only records in mono.
Provided stand is weak and too light for this mic.
The carrying case leaves dye stains on the mic.
Doesn’t work well with Mac.
Provided software (Cake Walk Sonar) is not intuitive at all.
Doesn’t do well with loud recording. It produces unwanted noise as well as white noise.
Increasing the gain on this mic makes the humming problem very apparent.
No backup drivers; Instruction manual outdated.
No switches, controls, or features on the mic itself.
Cakewalk doesn’t work with Windows 7 100% of the time.
Recording with an HP laptop may cause static.
Check out the video review!
Who this mic benefits?
People who need a good voice-over solution.
People who want a rock-solid and durable mic.
What you will need?
A better mic stand for sure.
A good pop filter, I use the Samson PS01.
A good shock-mount, the Samson SP01.
It’s really hard to sum up this mic. The reviews are somewhat polarized. Some people swear by it, others can’t get over its flaws. Across the board, people say it’s a better mic than the Blue Yeti. It’s rock solid and durable and does extremely well with voice-over. Standout flaws include a poor stand, latency issues (remedied with the pro version), humming/buzzing sounds, bad included software, hard to EQ, and the protective case issue.
This is a really popular mic and for good reason. Standing about a foot tall on your desk, it’s got a great sound, is really solid, reliable, and most importantly it’s convenient. I know many of you don’t really want to bother with the whole XLR setup. You just want to be able to plug and play. If that sounds like you, then this may be a great option. What is XLR?
Being that it’s USB, you won’t have to tinker around with extraneous gear. Some folks get scared off from USB setups because they seem cheap, easy, but not satisfying. What you’re getting here is a versatile piece of equipment with great sound quality. Speaking of:
Called exceptional, this mic handles a variety of applications very well. I’ve seen it endorsed mostly for Skype, conference calls, pod-casting, you-tube, and anything that requires voice-over. You may not want to pick this up as your primary vocal mic, but it has been known to handle that as well.
It has a very nice build, is made of metal, and feels solid in your hand 🙂 Some have complained that it leaves a rather large footprint on your desk, because of the fact that it stands about a foot tall.
The sound quality is exceptional.
Solid build (made of metal) and a great mic stand that comes with it
Convenient, just plug and play.
Recognized by all windows platforms.
Has a mute button. simple knobs and design.
Good USB cable provided.
Versatile. You can record almost anything in any type of circumstance.
4 different polar patterns for amazing versatility
Gain control and headphone jack on the back for real-time zero-latency monitoring.
Needs to be plugged directly into a USB port on your laptop/computer. Some say it doesn’t do well plugged into a separate USB hub.
The mic does not actually have a switch to turn it off.
Extremely sensitive picks up everything (this can be a good and bad thing).
Check out the super informative review! (mic test comes around 7:30)
Who benefits from this mic?
people who do video conferencing
pod-casters, people who need to do voice over
people who want to Skype
people who need to record for videos or animations
So many people rave about its sound quality, build, convenience, and versatility. It’s really an all-purpose mic that is super easy to use. Complaints include size (a bit large), and you can’t include a standard pop filter unless you Jerry rig it. People were also saying it’s hyper-sensitive, but recording in the right environment greatly helps.
This is one of the best options you can go with if you’re looking to record with skype, doing any pod-casting, you-tube videos, video conferencing, and anything similar. I wouldn’t recommend it much for vocals, although it can be done. The 4 different polar patterns, its rugged build, and remarkable versatility make it an affordable and valuable option…
Similarities & Differences
Both are really solidly made, and pretty heavy.
Both are USB condenser microphones.
Both do well in voice-over applications.
Both have a very similar look to them, being all silver with comparable grills.
Both have a pretty similar sound and compete heavily with each other. Many people say they prefer the Yeti’s sound over the CO1U. You be the judge!
Stand. The Blue Yeti has its own built-in stand, while the CO1U comes with a small tripod stand.
Size. The Yeti looks sort of like a mini spaceship, while the CO1U resembles that of a normal microphone. Lol. Some criticize the Yeti’s size, being that it’s ginormous and takes up a lot of room on your desk (it’s about a foot tall).
Features. The C01U has no features. The only way you’ll know it’s on is the little green light on the front. By contrast, the Yeti has a ton of extras. It has 4 different polar patterns, a gain knob, a headphone jack, and a mute button. The updated CO1U pro does have a headphone jack.
Sound. Blue Yeti is a bit less noisy than the C01U.
Ease of use. Samson is a bit easier to use, and it’s smaller and more portable. The Yeti is difficult to protect and very heavy.
Pop filter. Both need one, but the Samson does still sound pretty good without one.
To sum up this review, I would say that both mics are very similar regarding sound. By every account I’ve read, The Blue Yeti is slightly favored, and remains a studio staple. In fact, the Blue Yeti is the best USB microphone on the market. It slightly edges out the Audio Technica AT2020 because it’s an all-in-one solution and has everything you need in a complete package to get you started recording. Interested in learning all about it? Check out my in-depth and informative:
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.