If you are planning to buy an USB microphone for your home recording studio you are probably looking for one or all of the following features:
- Great audio quality
- Easy to setup
- Easy to transport.
The best USB Condenser Microphone
Blue Yeti USB Microphone is the perfect recording device for vocals, all kind of musical instruments, podcasting, movie or commercial voiceovers, interviews, field recordings and conference calls. Ever since it was released on the market, this USB condenser microphone was referred highly praised by experts, podcasters, youtubers and bloggers. No matter where you’ll find it online, it has a nearly perfect 5/5 star rating. In some of the reviews, this microphone scored better than any non-USB microphones on the market. Oh, and it combines all of the features that I was mentioning above: affordable, great quality, easy to setup, easy to transport.
What’s inside the box
Once you manage to open the box, you will notice that this is not a small or a cheap-looking microphone. It is made of sturdy metal with great finish, it stands 1-foot tall and it weights around 3.5 pounds. The grey model works great with all Apple products in terms of style and color. In the box, you will also find an USB cable that allows you to plug it in any PC or Mac. No audio interface and no Phantom power is required to set Blue Yeti. It doesn’t need you to install drivers or additional software, all you have to do is plug it in and start recording!
Included preamp and AD converter
You don’t really need a preamp for this mic, since it already features a dedicated amp and a AD converter internally. This USB condenser microphone features simplicity with just enough pro features that gives you the best quality sound you will find at this price. Blue Yeti USB records at a bit rate of 16-bit and a sample rate of 48 KHz. The maximum SPL of this microphone is 120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz). The frequency response is between 20Hz and 20kH.
On the front of this microphone you will find the logo, the mute button and the headphone volume knob. On the bottom, besides the USB port, you will find the headphone jack. It allows real time monitoring of the microphone, but you can also listen to your computer’s audio feed. If you have want to use this microphone on a mic stand, don’t worry. The desktop stand is removable and you will find a mount for the stand on the bottom.
On the back of this microphone you will find a gain knob that basically works as a preamp knob, allowing you to set the sensitivity or loudness of the microphone. Below it, you will find the pattern selector that allows you to choose up to 4 recording settings:
- Cardioid mode – adds more body to the voice, perfect for voice overs and podcasts. It captures sounds just from the front of the microphone.
- Stereo mode – allows you to record in stereo with a wide realistic sound (left and right channel)
- Omnidirectional mode – if this mode is enabled, the microphone will pick up sounds all around the microphone. It is great for conference calls or multi person podcasts.
- Bidirectional mode – if this mode is enabled, the microphone will pick up audio from the sound and the back of the microphone. Perfect for recording a two person conversation.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone – The best quality at this price
Currently, you can find it between $110 – $150 on most online stores, depending on the color. You will soon learn that Blue Yeti USB Microphone is the best thing money can buy, especially in this price range. But you don’t have to take our word for granted. Just look at other microphones under $100 and you will quickly notice that they lack the sound quality of this microphone. It comes in four colors: Whiteout, Silver, Platinum and Blackout .
Blue Yeti USB Compatibility
- PC – Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, XP Home Edition or XP Professional, USB 1.1/2.0, 64 MB RAM (minimum)
- Macintosh: Mac OSX (10.4.11 or higher), USB 1.1/2.0, 64 MB RAM (minimum).
- Linux – Ubuntu based systems. Read here how to set it up.
The best way to record with Blue Yeti USB condenser microphone
First, you should set it in a way that allows you to speak directly into the front of the microphone (you should see the logo while you record), especially when you have the cardioid mode option enabled. You can record the audio in any apps you like. There are plenty of free and paid apps to choose from. (Audacity, Garage Band, Cubase, Pro Tools)
In order to get the best audio quality, you should speak at 3 to 4 inches from this microphone (depending on the type of recording). This way, the mic should capture the richness of the voice perfectly. If you feel that there are unwanted sounds on your recording, you should probably invest in a pop filter that will remove all the plosives and it costs under $20. Setting the correct gain level is also important! The more gain you have, the more sensitive the microphone will be. You should use the monitoring function and a test recording to see if the gain level is right before the actual recording session.
Try to minimize the background noise as much as possible. You don’t want the microphone to capture unwanted sounds on your recordings, right? Don’t forget to mix and master your recordings after they are finished!
Mark Thoser –
It is hard to believe that a $100 microphone offers high audio recording quality that’s comparable only to studio mics priced over $500. This is a great microphone! I would definitely recommend this one to everyone that wants to build a home studio on a low budget. It’s a win!