Blue Microphones' Yeti is a USB microphone that uses a built-in analogue-to-digital convertor (ADC). With no drivers to install for PC or Mac, it's good to go straight out of the box.
The Blue Microphones Yeti is billed as a studio-quality condenser microphone that requires no additional power. The built-in headphone amplifier lets you monitor audio recordings in real time with zero latency. A 3.5mm headphone jack on the microphone is also useful for monitoring and playback.
A triple-capture mic array makes the Blue Microphones Yeti a universal microphone, suited to a multitude of recording situations. Podcasters, vocal singers and musicians alike will get great results when using the Yeti in partnership with a music sequencer program.
On-body controls include mic pattern selection, master and headphone volume, mute and gain. The gain control lets you specify the signal strength between the mic and the computer. The Yeti handles high volume without distortion, and is less susceptible to feedback at high-volume settings.
There are four polar pattern selection modes on the Blue Microphones Yeti. These alter the way the microphone 'hears' sound from different directions – something that traditionally requires the use of several microphones.
The cardioid polar pattern picks up sound mainly from the front of the microphone, plus some from the sides. The omnidirectional polar pattern picks up sound equally from all directions.
The bidirectional pattern picks up sound at the front and rear of the mic, making it ideal for recording interviews. Finally, the stereo recording pattern allows you to capture sound in stereo.
The Blue Microphones Yeti is a robust microphone with a metal construction, and operation of its various dials is seamless. A shockproof housing is available as an optional extra.
The Blue Microphones Yeti comes with a long USB cable and a stand that lets you rotate the angle of the microphone. This stand can be detatched for studio use, but note that the Yeti lacks the analogue XLR socket required for traditional studio recordings using a mixing desk (Blue Microphones' £234 Yeti Pro adds this functionality). A universal thread mount lets you use a traditional mic stand if you prefer.
Disappointingly, the Blue Microphones Yeti's digital output is fixed at 16-bit/48kHz, and Blue Microphones has also failed to supply a pop filter. The latter can help reduce the sensitivity of the mic to plosive consonants during vocal recordings.