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Blue Yeti Microphone Review

blue yeti review

TL;DR:

Blue Yeti Review. The Yeti is a high quality USB desktop microphone featuring multiple polar patterns with iOS, Andoird, Mac OSX, and PC integration for under 100. It is ideal for bloggers / vlog, production applications, voiceovers and more.


Review Preface:

Having reviewed numerous consumer products from the avant-guarde microphone manufacturer ‘Blue Microphones’, we have consistently noticed a supreme effort to produce technology that both empowers and inspires users to create technical masterpieces. However, it is today that we are lucky enough to bring you Blue’s greatest consumer hit yet; The ‘Yeti’.


Unboxing, and Build Quality:

Considering the fact that this microphone has been modelled on the persona of a so-called ‘mythical’ beast, Blue’s Yeti is actually quite a surprisingly well produced package that is both complex and detailed.


Even before the retail package is opened, the Yeti sleeve accurately introduces you to this lovable microphone with a series of cartoon characters that help the user to understand the power and features that the microphone represents. Perhaps a little too twee for the hardened professional, this outer packaging can easily be cast aside and, in doing so, the Yeti is awoken from its slumber to show a simple cumbersome design that almost completely juxtaposes the jokey friendly exterior. This is not an attack, simply an observation of the physical aesthetics; it is not just something that looks great on a table. However, along with your tamed beast, you will find an unremarkable 10ft Micro USB to USB cable, and a handy illustrated user manual that helps you understand what you can do with this microphone.


Although it can be removed and mounted upon the top of a microphone stand with an adapter that is not included, as default the Yeti is lassoed to a heavy weight desktop stand. This stand is certainly of good quality and practical, but the plastic screws that drill into the Yeti housing feel cheap and could do with some style. Because of this, and the fact that this very same construction is mimicked on the Volume, Mute, Pattern, and Gain potentiometers, the Yeti is cold and grey. Don’t get me wrong, the Yeti is a solid product built like a tank, but if it had a similar design to some of Blue’s other consumer products then it would be much more favourable.


Blue Yeti Features:

The Yeti is a real complex, yet powerful, beast. Deep inside the head are three premium, high sensitivity, 14mm condenser microphones in a tri-capsule array. This doesn’t mean that the Yeti has multiple digital outputs, instead the user can feel like a kid in a candy shop with the ability to select any of the four polar patterns on offer; Stereo, Cardoid, Omnidirectional, and Bidirectional.


With the Yeti almost every eventuality is catered for. No matter what you can say about the design, this is a microphone with outstanding capabilities that can only empower creative users to explore the world of sound around them. In fact each and every time that we powered up the Yeti we felt drawn into its charm and never-ending possibilities. You do have to take into consideration that this is a USB microphone that can draw a considerable amount of power from your connected device (if not connected to a mains supply) so please think about this before use, it may mean that you need to fully charge your device to have a good home studio session.


With the design of the Yeti it feels strange how they have arranged the various buttons and switches. Located on the back of the microphone you can find the polar pattern selector along with the gain. In order to access various settings for individual instruments you will just need to turn the microphone around; not exactly a problem, it just seems odd. Anyhow, on the front of the microphone you do have quick access to the ‘mute’ button and headphone volume control. As said previously, I feel that Blue could have installed some better quality buttons and switches to make the Yeti visually pop and feel nicer in the hand. Regardless of this, the functions do work well and are easily accessed.


Performance and Sound Quality:

With the Yeti operating at either 44.1kHz or 48kHz we found that this is a very competent microphone that is ideally suited to recording instruments such as guitars and vocals. However, even during tame performances, plosives felt uncontrolled and desperately needing relief from a pop shield. Unfortunately Blue does not currently produce a pop shield that discreetly attaches to the Yeti body meaning that the easiest thing to do is buy a desktop mounted device. Whilst we feel that this omission, or ineffective state, is slightly frustrating please don’t let this put you off, the Yeti is a powerhouse of a microphone. Actually, on the other end of the spectrum, the Yeti appears to feature an internal shock mount that is very well constructed to inhibit transference from the base and into the capsules so we give thumbs up to the Yeti here.


So, let’s talk about sound… Blue’s Yeti has been awarded the prestigious THX certification! Now this is not just any old award, to achieve this standard the Yeti had to pass rigorous lab testing that only seems to reinforce the Yeti’s real life performance. Even when used on the desktop the Yeti held a ground of its own, working especially well with vocals. To record vocals we set the microphone to the ‘cardoid’ setting and found that they sounded crisp and clear with slight top end sparkle to help them cut through a mix quite nicely. When we set the microphone to record gang vocals (in omnidirectional mode) or duets (in bidirectional mode) either side of the Yeti it sounded engaging, balanced, and perfectly acceptable for use on a semi-professional record. Likewise guitars were articulated and captured great detail with a soft approach; a quality that is very difficult to achieve. As both of these instruments will be the Yeti’s main use we find its results to be startling and, in the knowledge that this microphone can be used for so much more, the Yeti is a serious bargain.


Due to the fact that the Yeti has so many polar patterns that are effortless to activate, the Yeti feels like four microphones in one. Almost certainly this is a workhorse microphone that empowers the user to experiment with sound and placement. This is such a desirable quality that allows creativity to thrive and we can only applaud Blue for producing a brilliant microphone.


Review Conclusion:

The Yeti is a very competent microphone that is competitively priced. It is possibly the best microphone that you can buy for the low retail price and we certainly fell in love with it from the first time we pulled it from its slumber. With huge theoretical possibilities, superb A2D, and a charming sonic signature the Yeti is a microphone that you want on your desk. Yes, the Yeti feels like it is built like a tank, but only a couple of issues with build quality mean that we have to reluctantly award it with only four stars.


Edd Harris

Edd Harris - 19th March 2014

US RRP: $149.00 | UK RRP: £99.99

Editors Rating:

Four Star Award
Blue Microphones Yeti
4/5 stars
Blue Microphones Yeti Review. The Yeti is a high quality USB desktop microphone featuring multiple polar patterns with iOS, Andoird, Mac OSX, and PC integration for under 100. It is ideal for bloggers / vlog, production applications, voiceovers and more.