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Blue Yeti Pro

USB Microphone

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Best USB Microphone

Blue Yeti Pro

  • Don Makoviney
  • Last Updated: April 4, 2016

If you need a great USB microphone, I'd definitely recommend the Blue Yeti Pro. For around $250 you get 4 different microphone patterns in one, including a great stereo configuration for recording acoustic guitars and other instruments. It has a preamp built in so you can monitor your sound, with zero latency, right from the mic itself. You also get a 192 kHZ sample rate, which basically means you are recording at a rate better than many devices triple the price. If you want quick, easy, and great sound at a reasonable price, the Blue Yeti Pro is the one to get.


Who Should Get This Mic?

If you are looking for a reliable mic you can plug in to your computer or device directly via USB, this is the one to get.

If you are looking for something cheap and simple to use, USB mics are what you should get.

Many legendary songwriters like Jeff Tweedy are using digital capture tools as a sketchbook of sorts with their songwriting process – often even exporting sounds from their iPhone directly into their DAW.

Our Pick

Most our music gear recommendations revolve around one goal: that you will be able to get up and running quickly. We don’t like spending all our time testing gear – we want to get to making music.

This is why we recommend the Blue Yeti Pro. It has a remarkably high sampling rate – 192kHz. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry – it’s really good!

Most people want to have a couple of different options when recording music. For instance, when recording acoustic guitars, you want

What’s great about the Blue Yeti Pro is they combine all of these patterns into one microphone.

Blue Yeti Pro from Amazon $196.89

The Vocals-Specific Option

shure-usb-collage

If you are someone that likes to sing along to instrumental tracks and post them up to YouTube or Vimeo, you probably just want something that will plug directly into your computer so you can sing and be done with it.

Shure has a digital USB mic expressly for this purpose – the PG42USB. It has a large-cardioid diaphragm (the place where your voice hits the microphone) which is extra-sensitive and tailored for vocal recording. Includes a 9.8ft (3m) USB cable, stand adapter and a carrying case.

Shure PG42USB from Amazon $249

The Mobile Option

apogee-mic-96k

If we were going to be live recording shows or events from an audience perspective, we would get the Apogee Mic 96k.

You can plug the Apogee directly into your iPad, iPhone or other device. No need for any other external gear.

If you are a songwriter that likes using field recordings, or even the bare bits of demo recordings you might have on your devices, this is the mic for you. Jeff Tweedy does something similar with his iPhone:

A lot of my iPhone acoustic demos became the basic tracks we overdubbed to, and they’re still there in the finished record. (That’s why we listed the iPhone as an instrument in the track notes.)

Recording Magazine agrees, saying:

Over all, this is a USB/iOS mic that will do great service in tight spaces, recording high-resolution audio to any Mac, iPod, iPad, or iPhone. I see it as a better-than-the-usual way to capture song ideas, demos, interviews, podcast vocals, and more.

Apogee Mic 96k from Amazon $229

The Podcaster Option

Any of our recommendations above will work great for podcasting. However, if price is an option you can get something less expensive that works well in the spoken voice range.

We like the standard Blue Yeti. It’s only around $100 and does a great job. If you get to watch many podcasters in their home studios you’ll see lots of Blue Yetis. They are kind of the unofficial standard podcasting microphone.

Conclusion

Audio enthusiasts who obsess about tone will tell you not to bother with USB mics because they won’t sound as great as a pure analog mic. Don’t listen to them.

Again, you need to think about what your needs are. If the most important thing is getting a great sounding recording into your computer quickly at a reasonable price, these USB mics will work great.

If it’s good enough for Jeff Tweedy, it’s good enough for you!

 

Happy recording!


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Best USB Microphone

Blue Yeti Pro

Best USB Microphone

Important Specs

Polar Patterns (4): stereo, cardioid, omni, bidirectional
Analog Output Stereo XLR analog
USB Output up to 192kHz sampling
Monitoring Zero-latency headphone output with volume control
Sample Rate 192khz
Bit Rate 24 bit
Power USB powered
Accessories Cable and tabletop stand
more specs

Synopsis:

If you need a great USB microphone, I'd definitely recommend the Yeti Pro. For around $100 you get 4 different microphone patterns with one microphone, including a great stereo configuration for recording acoustic guitars and other instruments. You also get a 192 kHZ sample rate. If that doesn't make sense to you, it's okay. Just trust us - it's very good. :-)

Apogee Mic 96k

For iPads & iPhones

Apogee Mic 96k

Designed to work by simply plugging it into your iPad or iPhone. Lightning and Mac USB cables included. Powered by connection to iPad, iPhone or Mac (no batteries or external power required). Great reviews and reliable.

Shure PG42-USB

Mainly For Vocals

Shure PG42-USB

The PG42USB features a large cardioid diaphragm tailored with high sensitivity to clearly reproduce refined performances. Specifically engineered for lead vocal reproduction, the microphone easily plugs into a computer USB port and contains an integrated preamp for monitoring.

- M

Sources

  1. Joe Fassler, The Atlantic, 20140916
    Jeff Tweedy's Subconscious Songwriting
  2. Trent Wolbe, Engadget, 20110218
    Blue Microphones Yeti Pro review
  3. Mike Metlay, Recording Magazine, 20140501
    Apogee Mic 96k
Originally published: February 15th, 2015

Important Specs

Polar Patterns (4): stereo, cardioid, omni, bidirectional
Analog Output Stereo XLR analog
USB Output up to 192kHz sampling
Monitoring Zero-latency headphone output with volume control
Sample Rate 192khz
Bit Rate 24 bit
Power USB powered
Accessories Cable and tabletop stand
more specs



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