One of the most important factors of a stream is audio quality. A dedicated mic is a great way to achieve the best sound quality for your audience.
While some viewers may watch if the video quality is less than average, most won’t stick around if a mic sounds harsh, laggy, or if there is no sound at all. All streamers need to look into mics for Twitch, YouTube, or whichever platform they choose.
There’s one specific microphone you keep hearing about: the legendary Blue Yeti. In this article, we will discuss and review some of the features the Blue Yeti offers and if it’s worth spending the money necessary for the upgrade.
Blue Yeti Features
The Blue Yeti is a USB microphone, meaning it’s simply a plug-and-play microphone. There are no drivers or software needed. The microphone offers several fantastic features that make it great for streamers, podcasters, and content creators. A few of its more popular features include:
- Design and Build Quality – metal exterior, plastic knobs
- Polar Patterns – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo
- Gain Control – easily manipulate the mic’s sensitivity
- Mute Button – quickly mute yourself when necessary
- Headphone Jack – listen to yourself record to ensure quality
- Volume Control – easily control the volume from a knob on the mic
The Yeti is great for new and intermediate streamers, podcasters, and other content creators online. It is affordable but still offers its users a lot of quality and versatility.
1. Design and Build Quality
The Blue Yeti USB microphone has a unique and unconventional design but looks classy. It boasts a metal exterior and plastic knobs and definitely feels very sturdy. It comes with a metal base stand and weighs 3.4 lbs with the stand or 1.2 lbs on its own.
The Blue Yeti comes in many different colors, including Blackout, Silver, Platinum, Midnight Blue, Aztec Copper, Lunar Gray, Space Gray, Whiteout, and Prime Red.
2. Polar Patterns
The Blue Yeti features four polar patterns that will each pick up different sound patterns, depending on your needs. In my opinion, the variety in pickup patterns makes the Blue Yeti such a versatile microphone. The four pickup patterns are:
1. Cardioid Mode: This is the most common mode for streamers, podcasters, voice-overs, and recording music. When this mode is selected, the microphone will pick up the sound directly in front of the microphone and minimize the sound from the back and sides of the microphone. I use the cardioid pattern as a streamer since it will minimize certain sounds like PC fan noise and keyboard and mouse clicks.
2. Stereo Mode: This is the most common mode for immersive experiences such as ASMR because it captures a wide and realistic sound, separated on the left and right channels.
3. Omnidirectional Mode: This is the most common pickup pattern for conference calls or multi-person podcasts since it will pick up sound from all directions.
4. Bidirectional Mode: Of the four polar pattern options, this mode is best for a two-person interview or podcast where you have one person on either side of the microphone since it will pick up sounds directly from the front or back of the microphone.
Choosing among the four pickup patterns depends on how you plan to use your Blue Yeti microphone. You may want to use different polar patterns when streaming and recording podcasts.
3. Gain Control
Most of the best mics have the gain control feature. The gain knob on the back of the Blue Yeti microphone is where you can control how much sound the microphone will pick up. The lower the gain, the less sensitive the microphone will be. The higher the gain, the more sensitive the microphone will be and the more loud and distorted your audio will be.
The Blue Yeti is known for being a very sensitive microphone right out of the box. This was definitely true for me, but it was easily adjustable. When I’m streaming, I place the microphone about 4 to 10 inches away from my mouth, and my gain is set at just slightly above zero. If you have your microphone further away from your mouth when streaming, you can turn up the gain, and it will pick up your voice more easily.
Note that having a sensitive microphone can pick up some background noise. It’s important to adjust the gain knob accordingly.
4. Mute Button
The Blue Yeti can be easily muted and unmuted by pressing the mute button on the front of the microphone just below the Blue logo. When the red light on the button is solid red, the microphone is on.
When the red light is flashing, the microphone is muted. This is a great feature because you can mute yourself directly on the microphone easily and without having to fiddle with your audio settings on your computer or streaming software.
5. Headphone Jack
On the bottom right side of the microphone, you will find a 3.5-millimeter-headphone jack where you can plug in your headset and listen to exactly what you are recording without any latency whatsoever.
As a streamer, I have not used this feature too much, but it is a great way to monitor your audio levels, or even your computer audio, when recording.
6. Volume Control
The volume knob on the front of Blue Yeti mics controls the volume output of the headphone plugged into the 3.5-millimeter-headphone jack.
Headphone Amplifier Specs for Blue Yeti
- Impedance: 16 ohms
- Power Output (RMS): 130 mW
- THD: 0.009%
- Frequency Response: 15 Hz – 22 kHz
- Signal to Noise: 100dB
Is the Blue Sherpa Software Easy to Use?
The Blue Sherpa Software is relatively easy to use. With this software, you can download firmware updates and customize your microphone settings from the gain to the polar patterns.
Although you can already control all these settings directly on your microphone or even on your computer, with Blue Sherpa, you will not have to worry about making any noise while fumbling with the knobs during a live stream or a recording.
Download link for the Blue Sherpa Software: https://www.bluemic.com/en-us/products/sherpa/
Blue Yeti Accessories
There are a few accessories that I recommend purchasing, along with the Blue Yeti. When purchasing any of these accessories, it is important to verify the compatibility with the Blue Yeti because of its unconventional design.
The first is a pop filter, which will prevent the loud popping sounds from certain words (usually that start with the letter “P”). This will certainly help the Blue Yeti sound better. I use a simple foam pop filter, which was under $15 on Amazon and does the job.
The second accessory I recommend is a boom arm, which will be mounted to your desk and used to get your Blue Yeti as close to your mouth as possible. There are plenty of options that vary in price.
The last accessory I recommend is a shock mount, which will isolate your microphone from external vibrations. If you hit your desk out of frustration, those vibrations will not be picked up by the microphone and will not be heard by your audience.
You can build a relatively inexpensive setup with the right and essential microphone accessories for the Blue Yeti mic.
Yeti Professional Bundle
For those willing to spend a bit more, you can purchase the Blue Yeticaster Professional Broadcast Bundle, which comes with a shock mount and boom arm. With this package, you can produce the best sound quality with the Blue Yeti microphone.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Blue Yeti is one of the most popular starter mics today. This is because Blue microphones are known for their outstanding audio recording quality.
In addition, the Blue Yeti is a USB mic, making it an excellent choice for beginners. So, if you choose to get yourself a Blue Yeti mic, it won’t disappoint you.