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CNET First Look
Blue Microphones YetiThe Yeti USB microphone offers fantastic sound quality and flexible recording options, but its size is a little overwhelming.
[ Background music ] >> Donald Bell: Hey I'm Donald Bell Senior Editor for digital audio MP3 and today we're taking a first look at the Yeti from Blue Microphones. This is a USB microphone that runs $149 and it's more or less targeted at the amateur podcasting and bedroom music studio crowd. Now Blue is already doing pretty well in this space with their popular $99 Snowball mic. So what's the big deal about the Yeti? Well you get a few more options such as a mute button and a volume control on the front and a mini USB port, mic stand mount and zero latency headphone jack on the bottom. On the back you have a knob that lets you directly control the gain and finally beneath that is the real crown jewel of the mic a multi pattern selector switch with 4 recording modes. Like the snowball you have an Omni directional mode for picking up sound from all directions and a cardioid pattern that picks up sound just from right in front of the microphone. But the real secret here is that the Yeti has a total of 3 microphone capsules packed into the top instead of the 2 capsules packed into the Snowball or the single capsule used by most other microphones. This 3rd capsule allows for 2 more recording patterns, a stereo mode and a bidirectional mode that sound from directly in front or behind the microphone. A long story short you get a lot of options here way more than you'll find other mics in this price range. Of course you're also paying for sound quality. In general we found that the Yeti offers a richer and deeper sound than its competitors which is perfect if you're trying to get that radio voice type of sound. If you take stock in these kind of things the Yeti also bears the logo for THX-certification which tests for sound quality but also tests for the consistency of sound and component quality from device to device. Theoretically this means that you're less likely to get a lemon which is a good thing. Alright so what's the downside? Well I wasn't thrilled about the knobs on the Yeti that were made from a flimsy plastic. The volume knob in particular jiggles around a bit which over time could result in a bad connection. Mostly though the biggest drawback to the Yeti is its size. The thing is frickin huge. It's a foot tall and weighs about 3.5 pounds with the base attached. It folds down, sure, but it still doesn't make it exactly portable. Then again if you're a podcaster with an inferiority complex the Yeti's monolithic size will make all other microphones cower and tremble begging for mercy as your THX-certification stomps and rips their puny capsule designs and go pile of smoldering garbage. For CNET.com I'm Donald Bell. [ Music ]