Blue Yeti Microphone Review: A Detailed Look at Its Specifications

blue yeti in a studio

When it comes to recording an array of sound applications that require multiple microphones, having the right multi-pattern microphone is essential. However, with a wide selection of microphone brands and series available in the market, choosing the perfect product for your up-close sound recording sessions can be rather confusing.

Are you well-acquainted with Blue’s Yeti? If not, here’s what you need to know about it.

Blue Yeti – What is it and How Does it Work?

Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Silver

The Yeti is a USB microphone from Blue. It is one of the most popular multi-pattern microphones available in the world of audio production. It is commonly used by streamers, music producers and podcasters, and in almost any up close recording situation that demands fantastic audio quality.

So, how does Blue’s Yeti work? The USB connection allows you to connect your microphone to computer equipment and record sound. Simply plug the included USB cable into the USB port on your computer and your mic will be added to your setup.

Key Features and Specifications of the Yeti

Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Silver

Take a look at the top features and specs that the Yeti brings to the table.

Proprietary Tri-Capsule Technology

Blue Yeti’s innovative tri-capsule array is ideal for recording sound in virtually every situation. It delivers flexibility in recording by giving users the option to choose from multiple sound capture patterns – stereo, cardioid, bi-directional, and omnidirectional.

Each pattern selection has a setting symbol. You select the desired pattern selection by setting the matching symbol on a selector dial found at the back of the Yeti. The symbol for stereo mode is two circles intersecting each other, cardioid mode is heart-shaped, bi-directional mode has a figure-8 shape, and omnidirectional is a circle.

Stereo mode is best for recording a singer’s vocals, instruments such as acoustic guitar, or choir. Cardioid mode is great for podcasts, voice-overs, vocals, and instruments. Bi-directional mode is best suited for vocal duets, interviews, and instruments. Omnidirectional mode is ideal for conference calls, field recordings, and orchestra/events.

For optimal results, what you’re using your mic for should determine which pattern mode you should select.

Sound Quality

The Yeti mic from Blue can capture sound quality of up to 16-bit/48 kHz res, with 16-bit as the bit range and 48kHz as the sample rate. The frequency response of this microphone is 20Hz - 20kHz.

While these technical specs may not be sufficient to meet the needs of the most demanding microphone users such as high-frequency radio broadcasters, it delivers terrific results for podcasters, streamers and other semi-discerning users.

As a matter of fact, audio recorded using the Yeti is generally considered to be good enough for virtually every sound recording application. It’s not unrefined and sub-standard like the kind of sound produced from an inexpensive mic.

Gain Control

Being able to control the sound that comes from your mic is imperative if you want to capture high-quality audio. Remember, fixing distorted audio can be really difficult, or sometimes even impossible.

The gain knob on the Yeti was incorporated to give you the power to adjust the sound from your mic, so you get cleaner, more refined audio after recording sessions.

Including a gain knob is not a new thing for mics of this grade. However, cheaper USB models may not feature them typically.

Instant Mute Function

There are numerous situations when you may need to mute your Yeti. If you’re podcasting, for example, you may need to use the instant mute button when you want to take a break.

The button should be solid red and not blinking when it is enabled.

Instant Mute Function

There are numerous situations when you may need to mute your Yeti. If you’re podcasting, for example, you may need to use the instant mute button when you want to take a break.

The button should be solid red and not blinking when it is enabled.

Headphone Jack

If you look at the bottom part of the Yeti mic, you’ll see a 3.5mm headphone jack, which comes standard across various audio devices. The headphone jack features real-time monitoring capabilities, so you can hear how you sound through a headphone or headset at exactly the same time your audience can hear you.

This is a useful addition that saves you the trouble of having to constantly ask your assistants if they can hear you clearly.

You can adjust headphone volume up or down by turning the knob on the front of the mic.

System Requirements

The Yeti microphone is compatible with Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher) and Windows (Vista, 7, 8 and 10) OSes. In addition to that, it requires USB 1.1/2.0 (or newer) and no less than 64 MB of RAM.

Stand

Holding a mic in your hand during a lengthy podcast or interview can be quite tedious. Blue’s Yeti includes a stand used for pivoting the mic in a range of angles to ensure proper placement when in use. This eliminates the need to hold your mic when in use.

Foldable Design

Is the Yeti easy to carry around? Because it’s built on a solid hinge, the Yeti can be folded down into a much smaller volume to allow for easier storage. Plus, the mic only weighs 1.2 lbs, so portability shouldn’t be a problem.

Threaded Base

Even though the Yeti comes with a stand included, it can still be attached to just about any standard mic stand thanks to its threaded base. This way, you can always easily replace your stand if the need arises.

Power Consumption

The Yeti requires 5V 150mA of power supply to work.

Pricing and Availability

Sale
Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Silver
  • Tri-capsule array - 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation.
  • Multiple pattern selection - cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo.
  • Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output.

How much does the Blue Yeti cost? Where can you buy it?

The price of this USB mic varies by seller and country. Generally speaking, however, it retails at a starting price of $129.99. You can check its price and availability on Best Buy and Amazon.  

How Does the Yeti Compare with its Main Competitors?

Blue Yeti vs Blue Snowball

Sale
Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, Cardioid - Black
  • Custom condenser capsule offers crystal clear audio for Skype, Messages and FaceTime
  • Record vocals, create podcasts, and add narration to your home movies
  • Add crystal clear audio to recordings for YouTube. Frequency Response: 40 -18 kHz

One of Blue Yeti’s main rivals in the USB microphone market is a sister product called Blue Snowball.

Both mics are condenser-type mics, Mac- and Windows-compatible, and have similar accessories. But that’s just about where the similarities end.

One of the areas where the Yeti and Snowball variants are clearly different is in the construction design. While the Yeti comes in a retro mic design, the Snowball has a ball-type design that looks really cool and fancy. The downside of this fashionable design is that the mic can easily be knocked over when in use.

Another notable difference is in the size of the mics. The Snowball is much smaller than the Yeti, a feature that makes it easier to pack and carry around.

Unlike the Yeti, which employs tri-capsule technology to deliver four polar pattern options, the Snowball uses dual-capsule array to give users a choice from three sound capture modes – cardioid, cardioid with -10dB pad and omnidirectional.

Aside from offering fewer pickup settings, the Snowball features a narrower frequency response (40Hz – 18kHz) and a lower sample rate (41.1kHz). Plus, it comes with fewer controls, meaning it gives you less control over the quality of sound captured.

Given that the Yeti outshines the Snowball when it comes to the technical stuff that determine sound quality, it’s the superior choice for various recording situations.

If you are a basic mic user, Blue’s Snowball version can serve you just fine, but if you are a discerning user, the superior sound quality you’ll capture will justify the extra cash you’ll spend on the Yeti.

Blue Yeti vs Fifine Plug and Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone - K668

FIFINE USB Microphone, Plug &Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone...
  • Plug and Play and Portable-Simply plug it into any available USB port, select it as your input in your software settings, and you're ready to create your own audio.Windows and Mac compatible,and no software to install.
  • Distinctive Omni pick-up pattern-- Noise cancellation and isolates the main sound source, Good for home studio, Chatting, Skype,Discord, Yahoo Recording, YouTube Recording, Google Voice Search and Steam.
  • Smooth,flat frequency response of 50Hz-16KHz--Extended frequency response is excellent for singing, speech and Voice over, Performed perfectly in reproduces sound, high quality mic ensure your exquisite sound reproduces on the internet.

The Fifine Plug and Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone (K668) is sufficiently popular to deserve mention as one of the Yeti’s top rivals in the USB market. In fact, the Fifine K668 mic is one of the best sellers on Amazon.

Its plug-and-play design makes it easy to set up. Like the Blue Yeti and many other USB mics available for semi-demanding users, you simply need to plug the included USB cable into your computer’s USB port, and you’ll be ready to create and capture audio.

This USB mic from Fifine is compatible with both Windows and Macintosh, and comes with no software pre-loaded. This mic can work with just about any audio software you already have.

With a wide frequency response of 50Hz to 6KHz, this Fifine USB mic is designed to give your audio recordings a truly professional touch. Its cardioid pick setting ensures you hear and capture clean, high quality audio, devoid of unwelcome interferences such as fuzzy background noise.

The Fifine K668 is a great choice for speaking, singing and voice-over recordings. If you are looking for the perfect starter or back-up mic and you’re on a small budget, Fifine’s K668 is the way to go.

However, you won’t get as many polar patterns as the Yeti provides.

Pros and Cons of Blue Yeti

Having seen how the Blue Snowball and the Fifine K668 compare to the Yeti, you might also want to know about the benefits and downsides of the Yeti.

Pros

  • ​​​​​​​Versatility
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Recording Control
  • Aesthetic Design
  • Driver-free operation
  • Two-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Higher price tag

The Good

Versatility

One of the biggest advantages of the Yeti is its versatility. Yes, this USB mic is ideal for recording and capturing audio in almost any situation, thanks to its multiple selectable pickup patterns.

From recording vocals and musical instruments to streaming and podcasting, to live performances and conference calls, the Yeti is capable of capturing virtually every moment.

Easy to set up and use

The clever plug-and-play design of the Blue Yeti makes it easy to setup and use. Simply plug the included USB cable into your computer’s USB port and you’ll be ready to get started.

Because the Yeti is built on a solid and steady hinge, you can adjust and pivot it with regards to the sound source. Once you’ve set it to an appropriate angle, simply secure it in place by hand-tightening the set knobs.

Excellent sound quality

Generally speaking, a wider frequency response and higher sample rate are desired when it comes to improving sound quality. The Yeti is capable of delivering sharp and crisp audio recording, thanks to its wide frequency response and high sample rate.

Recording Control

Blue Yeti features a range of controls to make sure you’re in control of your audio recording. From the multiple selectable pickup settings and gain control knobs, to controls for headphone volume and instant mute, you’ll have everything you need to be in control of every aspect of the recording process.

If you want to silence an offending participant during an interview, you can enable the instant mute option. If you're experiencing background noise distortion while recording a loud source, just use the gain control knob to adjust the microphone's sensitivity with the gain control.

Aesthetic Design

Blue Yeti features a beautiful visual design that imitates the look of retro microphones. Its shiny frame and metal grille create a flashy look that’s worth a second look.

If you’re a big fan of classic recording equipment, you’re going to fall in love with the aesthetics of this USB mic.

In addition, the Yeti comes in various color options, including blackout, cool grey, silver, and whiteout, so you can choose the color that you like the most.

Driver-free operation

The Yeti doesn’t require any software to operate. In fact, it can work with any software you may have, so you don’t have to worry about installing software post-purchase.

Two-year limited warranty

The Yeti comes bundled with a two-year limited warranty from Blue, meaning that you have a two-year grace period to return your USB mic in case of any factory defects.

The Bad

Higher price tag

At a price of about $130, the Blue Yeti is quite expensive for a microphone. With cheaper options available in the market, many mic users shy away from buying the Yeti is because it is relatively pricier.

The Verdict

Product

Details

Rating

Price

01 Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Tri-Capsule Array

3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation


Multiple Pattern Selection

Cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo


Compatibility

Windows 10, Windows 8 (including 8.1), Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher), and requires a minimum of 64 MB of RAM


Suitability

Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voice-overs, interviews, field recordings, conference calls

4.3 out of 5.0

02 Blue Snowball

Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone

Custom condenser capsule offers crystal clear audio for Skype, Messages and FaceTime


Record vocals, create podcasts, and add narration to your home movies


Add crystal clear audio to recordings for YouTube.

 

Frequency Response

40 –18 kHz


Easy plug and play directly to your Mac or PC-no drivers to install


Snowball iCE is a USB 2.0 device

4.3 out of 5.0

03 Fifine Plug and Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone - K668

Fifine Plug and Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone - K668

Plug and Play and Portable

Simply plug it into any available USB port


Distinctive Omni Pick-up Pattern

Noise cancellation and isolates the main sound source


Smooth, Flat Frequency Response

50Hz-16KHz


Record Directly to Your Computer

Ideal for everything from studio vocals, to speech, gaming, podcast, and desktop recording

4.4 out of 5.0

Available at about $130, Blue Yeti isn’t a low-cost option. However, the relatively higher price tag is most justified by the terrific benefits that are up for grabs. The Yeti delivers excellent audio quality, allows users (and their audience) to hear sound in real-time, and gives users direct control over audio recordings. Don’t forget that the Yeti is perhaps the most versatile USB mic available in the market.

If you think these advantages are worth the extra money you’ll need to spend, then you should consider giving the Yeti a try. Else, buy a cheaper mic.

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