Best USB Microphone! Blue Yeti Review + Mic Test

Why Blue Yeti is still the best USB microphone after all this time. Here’s my full review + audio tests.
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For years the Blue Yeti has been referred to as the best USB microphone from many different bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers, and it has a nearly perfect 5-star rating almost anywhere you look.

The Blue Yeti is currently $129 on Amazon, but some colors are cheaper than others. Blue Yeti is made of a sturdy metal and stands almost a foot tall & weighs about 3.5 lbs. It comes with a USB cable and is compatible with Mac and PC right out of the box. No drivers or software needed. Just plug it in and start recording. Even though the Yeti can fold down to make it a little better for storing or packing, it’s still mainly designed to stay put on your desk because of its fairly large size and solid build.

At its price range the Blue Yeti is the best choice for most people. If you look at mics below $100 you’ll see they often lack a key feature that the Blue Yeti has, and if you want something that sounds better than the Blue Yeti you’ll most likely spend a lot more money on a complicated setup of an XLR mic with a separate audio interface. The advantages of having a USB mic like the Yeti are USB mics are cheaper & simpler. The Blue Yeti has an internal preamp and analog-to-digital converter that takes the incoming signal, amplifies it, and converts it to digital, and sends it directly into your computer. That means you don’t need any other gear to start recording.

The headphones jack allows latency-free real-time monitoring of your microphone so you can make sure your recording levels are just right and you’re not peaking. There’s also a standard thread mount for attaching the Yeti to a different mic stand or boom pole. The bottom of the mic stand has firm foam on it that allows the mic to stay in one place really well. Under the mesh top there are actually three condenser microphone capsules which make the Yeti versatile for almost any recording situation. It has a pattern selector where you an choose up to 4 different recording settings.

Cardioid mode records sound sources that are directly in front of the microphone, delivering a rich full bodied sound. It minimizes the pickup of noise from the sides and back of the microphone. It’s perfect for recording your voice, whether it’s a voiceover for a video, podcast, gaming commentary, singing/rapping vocals. Cardioid mode is also great for recording solo instruments.

Stereo mode uses both the left &right channels to capture a wide, realistic sound image so it’s good for when you want the listener to hear the movement from one ear to another and also ideal for recording things like acoustic guitar or a choir.

Omnidirectional mode picks up sound equally from all around the mic. It’s best used in situations when you want to capture the ambient noises and want the listener to have the feeling of “being there” like recording a band’s live performance, a multi-person podcast or a conference call.

Bidirectional mode records from both the front and rear of the microphone while the noise from the sides are not picked up. It’s good for recording a duet or a two-person interview or two-person podcast episode. It comes in handy when you don’t have multiple microphones for multiple people.

Blue Yeti records in 16-Bit 48 kHz and is perfect for voiceovers, podcasts, YouTube videos, video chats, live streams, and musicians. The Yeti just does an excellent job at capturing a voice the way it sounds in real life with clarity.

To get good audio quality:
Be sure you’re speaking into the front of the mic (not the top) when you’re in cardioid mode.
Get fairly close to the mic for it to capture that richness of your voice. If you’re super close, invest in a pop filter.
Set the correct gain level using the gain control knob. The more gain, the louder and more sensitive the mic will be.

Also try to eliminate as much background noise as possible (if you don’t want the background noise to be picked up). The Blue Yeti does a fairly good job at not picking up a lot of background noise, but no mic will absolutely eliminate all background noise.

Even though I think the Blue Yeti is the best USB mic overall because it has professional studio sound quality, very solid and attractive design, multi-pattern recordings and tri-capsule microphone array, if your budget isn’t enough for the Yeti I recommend the Audio Technica ATR2100. It’s almost half the price of the Yeti and it is one of my all time favorite USB microphones.

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Mike Upton says:

Also looks pretty nice with the chrome accents. I know that has nothing to do with sound quality, but it’s a plus.

Alpay Bicakci says:

I almost agree with everything BUT, the Blue Yeti is a little B*tch in terms of getting it to stop picking up too much noise – i can hear the cars outside my house, even on low gain levels.

Eric Porras says:

Xm8500/nw-700 with a umc22 interface sounds better than the yeti and cheaper. Or you can spend about 150 (so 20 bucks more) and get the umc22 with an at2020xlr and blow the yeti out of the water. Blue yeti is overrated and the rode nt usb sounds better imo.

Aaron Williams says:

great video mate

Sapele Steve says:

Nice review Andy! Questions: 1. What software would one need to purchase for both recording & playback? 2. If I just wanted to record myself singing & playing the guitar & also be able to email someone my recording would this work for that? 3. Should one also purchase Monitors so that they can hear the playback as opposed to just listening via headphones? 4. Finally, would I be better off just purchasing an Interface like Focusrite (2nd Gen. 2i2) & Monitors to go with it in order to have more recording options? Thanks, Steve

Aaron Duran says:

I’m using a new MacBook Pro like you are but my mic sounds HORRIBLE! It sounds like its picking up electrical interference. I’ve done all I know how to. Any idea?

Pinto says:

Thanks a lot for a great pro review! helped me to get the right one!

SimmerJonny says:

Thanks for this video! Just bought this mic and was so helpful!

Bpru says:

Very informative Andy – we do live training webinars, not sure what microphones they use.
Nice rap. You’re adorable.

JacobYes says:

do you just plug it in to the usb port and it starts working?

Wency Loinaz says:

that rap got yourself a new sub

Android Tech says:

Amazing Review. I just purchased this mic to Record all my Voiceovers.

randomrazr says:

do you think its worth the extra bucks for the blue yeti “pro” model?

Byron Morales Jr says:

Seriously dude you are crazy helpful. And the rap was amazing. Haha so good!!

Simo Belkadi says:

thanks for your amazing review!! can i know what microphone you´re currently using since the audio quality of your videos is just amazing?

Kiddiak says:

Nice video!

SirBacca Gaming says:

Lol i was looking on amazon and it is cheaper to buy it with watchdogs 2 than buying it alone

Andy Slye says:

Do you agree that the Blue Yet is the best USB mic? Let me know!
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Does it work with linux

Bad Max says:

what software to use to record ingame audio while talking to friends

Jake Walters says:

I’m looking to use it for commentary type of recordings, although I can’t have it directly in front of my face, if it was off to the left say and I was speaking forwards, do you think it would still preform well? If so, which mode would you use?

Riley Kayote says:

i was hooked in at “just like big L said” subscribed 🙂

CynikalSnail says:

I still can’t believe people still like this microphone, clearly listening to it with apple airpods instead of real headphones I guess, but it’s still a garbage useless toy.

Pale Pixie says:

can the blue yeti record your voice and computer audio? Thanks! 🙂

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