Blue Microphones Yeti USB Mic Price: $149 ($99 on Amazon) Rating: Recommend+ If you're a podcaster or any type of recording professional, you know that onboard microphones don't cut it. This is where the Yeti comes in. With its classic design and 4 recording modes, the chrome-toned microphone wants to fill in the gap where hobbyist meets professional grade equipment. Does this stylish package deliver? Let's see if they put their money where their mouth is. First off, build quality. This thing is a beast! The entire body is made of a solid, aluminum construction with built-in cable management and a swivel ability for portability (although because of the sheer weight of it, we don't really recommend taking this one out on the road).
On the front, we have a mic mute button and a headphone volume dial. The back has a mic level control and a pickup pattern sensor. On the bottom, you have a headphone jack output and a mini-USB connector, along with a 5/8 inch threaded hole to mount on a standard microphone floor stand. Despite the superb construction of the rest of the mic, we were surprised to find how plastic-like the knobs felt. But that's alright. Not a deal breaker.
You also get a number of recording modes, which work best depending on your situation (for instance, the cardioid recording mode worked wonders for voice while omindirectional would be better for video conferencing). Being touted as the world's first THX-certified mic, the Yeti has some expectations to live up to. Testing it with vocals and live music, we found the Yeti not only toppling over some of our other 'pro-grade' stuff (Logitech's webcams and headsets, for instance), but the USB connectivity made it a seamless addition to our pseudo-GarageBand recording studio. We invited Allie Hillman, a singer friend of ours for a theater production, and a rock-pop band, Heliotropes, over to our offices to test out the Yeti mic. Both segments are recorded in cardioid and really showcases how clear you can get, even with background traffic noise and bloggers typing away.
All in all, the Yeti is a pro-grade consumer product marketed with a promise of ease and accessibility for newcomers to the recording field. While $149 may not get you anything you'd find in a real professional studio, for the starving artist, this microphone is a must-have. Just don't toggle those knobs too hard or try recording at Coachella - this show-stopper belongs in the home studio. Pros: Perfect for amateur podcasters, plug-n-play, extremely affordable Cons: Not as portable as they make it out to be, quite heavy, slight bumps make lots of interference noise Our Ratings: Strong Recommend Recommend+ Weak Recommend Don't Recommend Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did loan us the product for testing and review purposes.