If you’re recording podcasts, YouTube video voiceovers, or just need to sound good in interviews and Zoom calls, the Blue Yeti X is the mic you want.
And if you’ve been doing this for a while, you know how hard it is to capture crisp, clear audio outside of a dedicated studio. That’s why I love this podcast microphone so much…it makes it sound like I’m in a studio, even though I’m just sitting at my desk.
Here’s what you need to know…
It’s the best desktop podcast mic
I’ve been using the Blue Yeti X for more than a year now, and the sound quality is amazing despite my surroundings.
Yes, I have some foam wedge panels on the wall behind the mic, but that’s it. And when I’m actually using it to record, it’s sitting directly in front of a 34″ LG curved monitor that’s basically bouncing my voice right back at it.
Yet it doesn’t pick any of that reverb up despite being incredibly sensitive. I credit the four distinct pickup pattern settings, of which the Cardioid mode is the most useful for single-person recording. Here’s why:
Cardioid does an incredible job of focusing only on my voice without picking up the general hiss I get with a less directional mic.
That’s because the Yeti X uses a four-condenser array, allowing it to focus its pickup more tightly. And because it’s a condenser mic, it’s great at picking up crisp highs without a lot of noise.
Before I started using the Yeti X, I had a lot of hiss coming through even though I (thought I) had a good mic with the Zoom H5. I was blown away with the improvement in sound quality by switching to the Yeti X.
To be fair, the H5 is a fantastic mic for other reasons, but for a plug-and-play USB mic for desktop use, the Yeti X blows it away.
Custom voice effects & more…maybe.
The Yeti X is USB powered, just plug it in and your computer should recognize it. I’ve used it to record voiceovers in Final Cut Pro X, capture audio in Garage Band, and recorded through Skype and Zoom with no problems. I do have to select it as the source in these programs, but no special software is needed to make it work. Unless you want to use its voice effects…
Owned by Logitech, Blue Mics should be able use their Logitech G Hub app to give you more control over the Yeti X. Like accessing an equalizer and custom voice effects, including “Broadcast” and “Podcast Voice” presets.
The problem is, I couldn’t get the mic to connect to the app to download a firmware update. And comments all over the web complain of similar inabilities to get it to connect with G Hub.
Which is a shame, because you can even change the colors of the lights surrounding the gain/volume dial to match your branding (perfect for vloggers), but I just couldn’t get it to work.
This is more of an annoyance for now, as the mic works perfectly fine without the app, but I do wonder what I’m missing.
The strong, sensitive type
Here’s what’s weird. When plug my headphones into it, I can literally hear my daughter talking upstairs. I can hear my mouse dragging on my desk like it’s sandpaper. Yet, when I hit record, it doesn’t capture any of that. It’s magic.
The geeky specs are below, but a quadruple of condensers is anchored firmly in a heavy base and stand that does a decent job of muting vibrations that could get in the way of clean sound.
Yeti offers both the Compass Boom Arm ($99.99) and Radius III Custom Shock Mount ($49.99) if you need/want to elevate it off your desk and minimize any vibrations. Honestly, I want them because they’d look cool, but I’m not sure they’re necessary for two reasons:
- I haven’t heard any reason to elevate my mic in my recordings, the audio is quite clear and clean.
- Most people are watching my videos through a phone or computer, and hearing the podcasts on earbuds or in a car. All of those conditions would hide any slight sound quality improvements I’d get from investing in additional or more expensive gear.
One last reason to get this mic: It’ll make you sound better on Zoom calls. And Skype calls. Or any internet call. Because you know you don’t want to sound bad on a group call.
Sample audio from Yeti X
In this video, I go from outdoor recording on a wireless lav mic, where you can hear all the ambient noise, to using the Yeti X for the voiceover. The switch starts at 1:22.
And here’s an audio sample…the intro is over background music, but you can hear it without that as the episode starts. I don’t do any post production other than adjusting levels to ensure my guest’s volume matches mine, so this is a fairly accurate representation of what the audio will come out like.
Yeti X pricing & specs
The official specs for the Blue Yeti X are:
- Four 14mm Condensers
- Cardioid / Omni / Bi-Directional / Stereo polar patterns
- 24-bit / 48kHz
- 20Hz – 20kHz frequency response
- 122dB max SPL
- USB 1.1/2.0/3.0
Retail price is $169 (Amazon & Best Buy), making it super affordable compared to “professional” mics. For the semi-pro user, it does a killer job and has all the features I need to crank out two podcasts and tons of videos. It plugs into USB, has gain control and a headphone jack to monitor your output, and it just looks really cool…especially (nerd alert) the World of Warcraft Edition you see here (which actually goes for $199 and comes with some crazy character voice effects).
If you want to level up your audio game, get this mic.
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