There might be no brand more synonymous with quality, USB microphones than Blue. Their Yeti microphones are widely considered some of the best on the market and the go-to for many people who want to start streaming or record any quality sound. The newest member of the Yeti family is the Blue Yeti X USB Microphone. Does it maintain the excellent reputation of Blue or should you pass on the Blue Yeti X?
Blue Yeti X USB Microphone Specifications
Sample/Bit Rate: 48 kHz, 24-bit
Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, Stereo
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
Weight: 2.8 lbs with stand, 1.14 lbs microphone only
The most important thing with any microphone on the market is the quality of the audio. You are not going to find crisper audio from a USB microphone than the Blue Yeti X. You are going to get loud, clear sound through the mic straight out of the box. The Yeti X provides excellent clarity in sound, especially in the mid- to high- ranges.
A fantastic quality of life addition to the Yeti X is the LED metering. The microphone has a small LED meter on the front that allows you to see if your gain is too high or too low. This may sound like no big deal, but this is huge for someone who could be talking frequently. If you are streaming, you will want to be able to frequently and easily check your levels, so you know if you are blowing the audience’s eardrums out or if they can’t hear you.
The Blue Yeti X also comes with Blue VO!CE audio software. This software is not something that is offered with the other Yeti products, making it one of the biggest differentiators to Blue’s other products in this line. The Blue VO!CE allows you to adjust your microphone and add some post-processing elements to your recording. What does that mean? Using the Blue VO!CE means you can add preset or customized filters to your voice without the need for a separate app. “Filters” does not mean silly voices. The presets on Blue VO!CE are actually very helpful in creating a crisp, clear, confident voice recording without going too crazy.
One of the things that separate the Yeti X from other Blue products is the four-capsule array. This means that the Yeti X has four pickup patterns to choose from when recording your voice, which will allow the mic to perform the best for the given situation. You can choose from cardioid, omnidirectional, bi-directional and stereo.
Difference in Pickup Patterns
Pickup patterns are basically how a microphone picks up the sound. For example, different patterns will pick up the ambient sound in a room better than others. The Blue Yeti X has four different pick-up patterns and here is what each is best suited for.
Cardioid: A cardioid pattern picks up sounds from the front and sides of the microphone. This is typically the pattern you would use if you were to be streaming or recording a podcast solo. This is what most people think of when they think of a microphone.
Omnidirectional: An omnidirectional pattern picks up sounds equally from all directions. You would use this pattern if you were on a conference call and everyone in your area needed to be able to speak and be heard equally.
Bi-directional: A bi-directional pattern picks up sounds equally from the two sides of the microphone. That makes this ideal if you were to record a two-person conversation, like an interview or potentially a podcast.
Stereo: A stereo microphone pattern is the most difficult to explain. But, the stereo pattern excels at picking up sounds from all around and creating a better replication of an entire soundscape. So, if you wanted to capture the fullness of a park filled with people on a sunny day, you would use stereo. This could also be excellently used for things such as ASMR for when you really want to pick up even the smallest noises.
Frankly, finding many cons with the Blue Yeti X is not the easiest endeavor. One would hope for a mic at this price point would come with a pop filter. Though not necessary, it is a nice addition that some of their competitors provide with no extra cost.
If you currently own another Yeti mic, specifically the Blue Yeti Nano, then there is not a lot to entice you to upgrade. Of course, you get one more capsule array with the Yeti X and the Blue VO!CE software is a nice bonus. Are those themselves enough to convince a user to shell out the cash to buy this if they own other Blue products? No. But, they are definite pluses if you are buying your first.
The final minor issue is the size. The Yeti X is a bit big and bulky. Now, this is no real issue if you are using it to record for an audio podcast or you are streaming without a face cam. It may be a little cumbersome if you are looking to stream with a face cam on. This is far from a dealbreaker and really does not apply if you are willing to play with the settings in the Blue VO!CE software to perfect it for you.
There is no need to mince words, the Blue Yeti X might be the best USB microphone on the market. It has a wonderful construction, excellent quality control, everything you could possibly need in functionality and comes with robust software. The small issues with the mic are honestly pretty nitpicky and you need to go out of your way to find issues.
If you were to start streaming tomorrow and you were willing to shell out slightly more money, the Blue Yeti X is the best might choice.