The Blue Yeti Microphone continues to be a perennially popular USB choice for content creators of all types and for good reason. It's well built, it sounds good enough, and priced at $129.99 / $119.99 doesn't break the bank either. If you're ready to take the next step towards a professional streaming setup then this model can get you started well, as it's easily one of the best microphones on the market all things considered.
Design and Features
I think it's safe to say that the Blue Yeti is one of the most iconic looking microphones of all time. This tried and true design has been around for well over a decade now after all. This model is retro in its visual language, but all the better for it. On the front of the Blue Yeti you've got the company's logo, followed by a dedicated mute button and a volume wheel for monitoring. Turning the device over, and you're greeted by a gain dial, and the four-way pickup pattern knob, too.
The Blue Yeti certainly feels premium in its overall build quality thanks, in part, to that 2.2 lbs weight. This is likely due to the thick all-metal chassis. There's a durable confidence to the microphone itself, and the rubber feet also do a great job of securing the Blue Yeti in place when sitting on your desk. The travel in the dials and button presses here are satisfying as well, so you're not getting a light or cheap feeling bit of kit here, that's for sure.
I'll keep things concise when I say that the Blue Yeti sounds good. Simply put, you aren't going to fool anyone into thinking you've got a dedicated XLR / interface setup here, as this USB microphone certainly has a sound profile to it. It's highly likely that you've heard the Blue Yeti before if you're immersed in the Twitch or YouTube gaming landscape, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
While the actual quality doesn't set the world on fire, the biggest strength that the Blue Yeti has over the likes of the Blue Snowball, for example, is the versatility that you can get from the 4-way pickup patterns. The brand does a great job in clearly illustrating what these different options are best for. There are options for your standard Cardioid, as well as Stereo, Bidirectional, and Omnidirectional. What would seem unwieldy to some users has been made clear cut by including diagrams in the box.
Cardioid is of course recommended for podcasters, voiceovers, streamers, and singers (being the most direct) with the other pickup options being clearly and cleverly conveyed. This means no matter your age or experience, there's no need to be intimidated by the options the Blue Yeti gives you; simply turn that dial, plug in a pair of headphones and you're away. It's that ease of use that I can certainly commend here.
I used the Blue Yeti in a variety of different situations from recording voiceovers, to testing vocals in Cockos Reaper, and streaming gameplay while talking to my friends for an extended period of time. The Blue Yeti gets the job done, it sounds good for what it is at the price it's being offered, but for those looking for a more dedicated serious setup, you may need to expand your search in my opinion.
Should you buy the Blue Yeti Microphone?
Despite not being floored by the audio quality of the Blue Yeti compared to some other microphones I've had my hands on over the years, I believe that this model more than earns its reputation for the competitive price point. As a simple-to-use plug-and-play USB microphone with this amount of options that is built so well, the Blue Yeti is a sure-fire hit for anyone starting out with streaming or wanting something that sounds significantly better than what a gaming headset mic can offer.
How we tested the Blue Yeti Microphone
For the past two months, I've been using the Blue Yeti Microphone as one of my main devices for streaming, talking to friends while gaming, having meetings with my colleagues, and testing out in the likes of Audacity and Cockos Reaper.