Let me start off by saying I have a thing for microphones. I am not exactly sure why, since I rarely use them. I don’t do much personal podcasting but I do contribute to several.
What I mostly use microphones for are VOIP calls, acoustic instrument recording and vocal recording- all just for fun. Those use cases were the the primary ones I tested. The Blue Yeti Pro let’s you connect VIA XLR through a powered amplification source or VIA USB. Most of the microphones I use, I plug in VIA XLR but in this case I wanted to test the USB audio quality. The Yeti Pro boasts recording at full 24 bit rate and 192 khz sample rate. Inside the housing to capture audio is 3 Blue-proprietary 14mm condenser capsules.
To test I ran a series of audio quality tests so let’s start with audio quality.
I don’t have as critical of an ear as several of those I know who are recording engineers but I would say I can appreciate audio quality when I hear it. Vocal quality was crisp and clear and the instrument capture was equally crisp and full of nice tones.
The weight of the mic added to the stability and the foam padding on the bottom of the stand assisted to dampen vibrations. The tones both of vocals and acoustics where impressive and I noticed quality nuances in the sound in both the high and the low ends.
There are two features that I appreciate the most with this Mic. The first was the four polar pattern selector on the back of the microphone. This button allows you to switch polar patterns from Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, and Stereo based on the type of recording you want. This is extremely useful for recording anything from one single person to a group sitting around the mic and even full room acoustics.
The other feature was the zero latency headphone jack on the bottom of the mic. Not only would the audio play back in its full 24 bit quality but compared to a powered mic setup, this solution was much more elegant to get an accurate sound of what was being recorded.
The headphone jack was also amplified which made listening to audio output being recorded extremely nice as well. This was a big deal because with the right headphones this is a alternate solution to expensive studio speakers.
Overall this is a quality microphone fully capable and delivering performance in not just XLR mode but also in USB mode. The ability to switch polar patterns on the fly is one of the more compelling features and I was impressed with the quality of each setting. Most microphones in this price range are average at best with their primary pattern and the Yeti Pro excels at all four.
The Yeti Pro’s tagline is the “Ultimate USB Microphone” and i’d have to say I completely agree.