Blue Yeti USB Microphone (Comparison Test)

blue yeti usb microphoneYou'll notice in the photo that when I flew to meet up with Paul Colligan and learn how to create a podcast, there's a Blue Yeti microphone sitting right there between us.

This is the same microphone that we used to record the latest IMTW podcast (episode #45) when we recorded it live in San Diego.

I have a Plantronics Wireless Headset that I currently use to host my webinars, do interviews, participate in the IMTW Podcast, etc - and I love it. It's been an awesome headset. It's great for web-based audio, but I really admired the Blue Yeti mic and asked Paul why I might want that over my Plantronics headset...

An obvious benefit is recording audio live with multiple people. In the IMTW episode, there were 5 of us sitting around a table, for example. And of course the Blue Yeti worked beautifully sitting between Paul and I during our recording session as well.

All I need is my Macbook Pro (or any laptop) and the Blue Yeti, and I can record a high quality interview or podcast live on the spot anywhere. A definite perk!

blue yeti microphonePaul explained the quality differences to me, something about digital vs analog, and also the hardware differences between something like the Blue Yeti and built-in or headset mics. I can't remember it well enough to repeat it, but suffice it to say I was convinced to upgrade.

One of the things that convinced me, other than the option to record "on location" with other people in the recording, is the fact that I may want to take my audio off the web at some point - to CD or DVD quality production.

Plus, you gotta admit - the thing just looks good! ;)

I left the Expert Studio that day, and ordered the Blue Yeti USB Microphone from Amazon as soon as I returned to my hotel room.

It arrived yesterday :D Amazon is fast!

I really expected it to be a high dollar gadget, but I discovered it was barely over 100 bucks. That really sealed the deal for me, as it seemed like a small but great investment into this new podcast that I fully intend to take to pro level.

I just unboxed the Blue Yeti this morning, and I was especially curious how it would perform compared to my Plantronics Wireless USB Headset. So I decided to record from both, and share those two recording with you here so you can check out the comparison as well.

Mic Comparison Audio File:

[powerpress url="http://www.clicknewz.com/podcast/blueyetitest.mp3"]

This one audio file starts with audio recorded from my Plantronics Wireless USB Headset, and leads into audio recorded from the Blue Yeti USB Microphone.

Results...

I turned up the volume and listened to the playback. The first thing I noticed is that the headset is catching my breath and creating an audible noise in the recording, while the Blue Yeti has a much smoother playback.

There's definitely a difference in the audio quality. I'm sold!

I'm still very happy with my Plantronics Wireless Headset, especially for Skype conversations and other web uses where I can listen & talk without being attached to my desk. But for professional quality recording, the Blue Yeti is definitely IT ;)

Best,

p.s. One of the things I love most about the Blue Yeti USB Microphone so far is that it comes with an extremely long USB cable. This gives you plenty of room to work, and... no limitations!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 15 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. How about a test at a cafe or something with background noise. That'll be interesting.

  2. Traci Knoppe says:

    I still like my Blue Snowball mic. Works great, and first heard it recommended by Ed Dale!

    However, the Blue Yeti definitely looks like an awesome microphone. Love that it's also USB.

    • Yeah, they are both made by Blue and both exceptional products from what I understand. I really love the look of the Yeti, which is what sold me on it :D

  3. Bruce Carse says:

    The Blue Yeti sounds considerably better than the Plantronics. I was in San Diego when the LIVE recording of IMTW was done and the room was indeed noisy. Probably 30-40 people milling around and talking - definitely apparent to anyone in the room. Listen to Episode 45 http://bit.ly/HXAR and hear the LIVE recording. For the comparison you did on the above post, Lynn, the quality of the Yeti is certainly the winner. I'm going to be doing some interviews over the coming months with sound mixers and sound editors in Hollywood's film industry. I'll let you know what they think.

    Thanks for the comparison.
    Twitter: @Bruce_Carse

  4. I thought both microphones sounded very good, but the Yeti does have a better quality. As for breathing sound being picked up with a headset mic, you can minimize that by raising the mic to about the level of your nose tip.

    The Yeti must be a new Blue model and certainly looks like a bargain for the price. I like the switchable bi-directional capability for use by two people. And it's the first microphone to be THX certified, which is impressive. I think it may become podcasting standard equipment.

    • Definitely impressive, and I do love the features for various uses. Thanks for the tip on the headset - I thought of that after I did the recording. I hear it often in my replays though, no matter how I position the headset...

  5. I own a wireless Plantronics Mic & Headset and think it's great for my needs. However, after listening to your comparison there's no question that the Blue Yeti has a much better sound.

    Jim

  6. Great comparison, Lynn - and very timely.

    I've been meaning to research and find a Mic to create audio and voice-over video PLR products for several weeks and literally just got around to asking for recommendations earlier today (as you know! :) )

    Will definitely take this into consideration before I make a purchase!

    Trish

  7. I use my logitech USB headset for skype calls and XLR condensor mic attached to a external audio interface for CD quality recordings. The Yeti sounds deeper and less "hollow" when you speak.

  8. Blue yeti looks great to me. Hope to get one like that soon.

  9. Thanks for this great review.
    I always thought that my current headsets mic (Microsoft something) had a good quality as people on skype always complemented me on the sound, but the Yeti sounds so much better that I really think of investing in it. For creating audio products, superb quality is a must!

  10. What bandwidth and internet speed will it require for communication without voice break? In which format it stores the audio file?

    • The format depends on the program you're using to record the audio. I use audacity which puts out a .wav file, then convert it to MP3 via iTunes. A little trick I learned from Paul Colligan, and super quick & easy!

      Since I record then edit on computer, internet connection is not even required - so no issue with sound quality/connection. If you're streaming live, you want to be hard-wired in with high speed internet.

  11. For that price you really can't beat the Yetti. I always thought Plantronic were the leader because I have been using a Plantronics headset for a couple of years for my sales job and it's been great. Time to reconsider. Thanks Lynn

  12. WOW what a difference in sound. Love the Blue Yeti and the price is so reasonable.

  13. Don't you just love the Yeti Microphone.

    I got my Yeti for $85 thanks to Google. You see Sam Ash has the Lowest Price Guarantee, of course they don't tell you, all the merchants that sell the Yeti, have signed contracts, stating they cannot advertise the Yeti for less than 149.00. Unless they do a "Must add to shopping cart to see the price" which means there not advertising it lower than 149.00. You might have noticed Amazon, B&H Photo etc do this.
    But Thanks to B&H holding a special shopping cart price of $85 and Google Shopping Results Indexing their Shopping Cart Special in the top 10 search, Sam Ash not so happily sold it to me for $85.
    PS. I just Google searched Yeti Microphone and B&H has it for 109.00 I guess Google is still indexing their cart, which is counted as advertising :)

  14. mondex1 says:

    Based on the comparison, I think I will get Blue Yeti for my new microphone. I never had the chance to have that smooth kind playback with my microphone now. Thanks again for a very great comparison. :)

  15. Hi, Terry. Was i glad that i am a subscriber. I am looking for a mic and was thinking of Plantronics as well until your article!

    Thanks for the tip! I will definitely get one.

    Cheers!

  16. Lain Ehmann says:

    Wow! Sounds fab!
    One thing I've noticed with the Plantronics (not just you, but several people who I know use one), there is an occasional "knocking" noise, almost like the mic is getting hit... I am not sure what this is coming from, as I don't have one myself. But I've heard it on several podcasts. You won't get this with the Yeti!

    I would love to hear a comparison between this and the Snowball and maybe some other tabletop mics.

    Looking forward to the podcast!

  17. I got my Yeti about three months back and I love it. Easy to use and fantastic audio quality. I'm on Windows 7 and sometimes I have to unplug it and plug it back in for it to work with Skype. That's a small price to pay for the quality and ease of the microphone. It seems like I had spent my life before trying to tweak my sound card. I LOVE USB.

    By the way, it was fun to be there live for the recording of the IMTW in San Diego. Great post. Thanks.

  18. Hi Lynne

    Thanks for this review and they are available in the UK!! what a result. I have endless touble with headsets and "breath" sounds even with a pop screen. Maybe I am too enthusiastic.

    Had to laugh at the difference in price in the UK!! I know the exchange rate is low for us brits and $1=£1 is going just a bit to far. Mind you I guess we did not complain when it was $2 to the pound

    Best Wishes

    Denise

  19. I've only heard good things about the Yeti and also the Snowball. Coincidentally, I interviewed an audio pro just yesterday for my site and he answered a lot of questions about mics for recording. His suggested studio mics were around $300 and I wondered if the quality would sound very different. Oh well, I guess I won't find out!

  20. Thanks so much for this post, Lynn!
    You said the Yeti had an extremely long cord... how long is it?

    Deborah

  21. Jeff Jung says:

    You caught me right when I needed a good mic to record my narrations for my video travel guides. So, I'm going with it. Hoping for good things! Thanks for the recommendations.

    • You're most welcome - I'm really glad I had the opportunity to work with the Yeti and see the results for myself. It can be really hard to choose the right equipment (mic, camera, you name it!) without seeing it in action firsthand. The Yeti really impressed me, and I was sold without even having to go through the trouble of comparisons & reviews.

      Glad I could pass on that recommendation, as that's how I fell in love with it myself ;)

  22. Lisa Marie Mary says:

    What an awesome difference in sound quality - I love it! Definitely going to have to stick one of those in my Amazon shopping cart! Thanks for making the comparison audio like that. Very helpful, for sure. :)

  23. Hi Lynn,

    I am interested in this microphone for a different reason. I'm trying to record my 93-year old mother as she tells me family stories. I bought a cheap microphone for my laptop. It didn't work well, and I lost about 30 minutes of her recording.

    Would this microphone be able to pick up both of us at the same time, like a conversation between us?

    Thank you!

  24. Would you still say the blue Yeti USB is one of the better USB microphones today or did better ones come out in that price region?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] my podcast, I decided to go to a higher quality mic and chose the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. You can listen to a sound quality comparison of the two at that [...]

  2. [...] for my own office. I’ve had the opportunity to see this at a conference and Lynn Terry featured this microphone on her blog recently with sound quality comparisons. The only drawback to this microphone is it is [...]

  3. [...] good news for those of you using USB mics plugged directly into your computer is that distortion is rarely a problem. Just make sure that any [...]

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