With more and more people beginning to take up vlogging and podcasting, recording audio with a built-in or even webcam microphone no longer offers sufficient audio quality. While we all want the best quality audio for our videos many of our budgets do not extend far enough to allow us to purchase professional equipment. Thankfully stand-alone USB microphones have come a long way and can be picked up for much more reasonable price.
One of these microphones is the hugely popular Blue Microphones Yeti USB series. They recently released the ‘Blackout’ version of this series, with the only difference being in its colour scheme. However without a doubt, the blackout edition is the best looking of them all.
Straight out of the box you’ll be able to feel how well built this product is. The stand is constructed from steel and gives the microphone a solid base to ensure it stays put when recording. This also helps with removing any vibrations that the mic may pick up.
The stand also has a pivot feature so you can rotate the microphone to different angles to suit your recording position. When placed upright it measures around a foot in height, including the stand.
The microphone itself is cylindrical shaped which is capped with a matte mesh. Further down its body you’ll find dials for the gain, mode and volume as well as a mute button to pause recording. There is also a 3.5mm jack so you can listen to what you’re recording live through headphones.
As mentioned above there is a dial which will allow you to change the mode, or pattern. There are four settings to choose from including stereo, cardioids, omnidirectional and bidirectional. The choosing of a setting will depend on what and how you are recording, and they each work very well for different situations.
In terms of the quality of audio the Yeti records, it’s fantastic and completely surprised me. The two main pattern settings I use are the cardioid and bidirectional. Cardioid is perfect for podcasts, voiceovers, vocals and even instruments. It picks up audio from the front of the microphone only, hence why for podcasts etc. it is perfect.
The bidrectional setting, on the other hand, will record audio from sources both at the front and back. So if you’re recording an interview and a vocal duet this is where you’ll want the dial set.
Throughout my tests, voices were recorded clearly and during playback the clarity was exceptional. There was little external noise picked up, and the gain dial came into use when recording quiet audio. However a pop shield would have been ideal for optimal results.
If you’re an amateur musician looking for a decent microphone, or even just looking to record an interview or podcast then look no further than the Yeti Blackout. It offers quality audio recording, and the choice of four patterns makes it very versatile.
It won’t be replacing your studio microphone just yet though, and is more aimed at those who are at home recording. They’ve proven extremely popular for those who create YouTube content and I think this will continue. You can check out the Yeti Blackout using the link below where it’s available for £85.99.