A good quality mic is an essential part of the sound arsenal, regardless of whether you’re a YouTuber or a podcaster or anyone who likes to record audio.
Due to the growing popularity of audio in the digital world, your options for a good quality mic is huge. But one name that stands out in the world of mics is the Blue brand. The microphones from this brand seem to be popular among many users around the world for their design and performance.
Two products from the same company that often vie with each other are Snowball and Yeti. Both of them are excellent in their own way, but which of the two is right for you? Let’s explore their features in-depth followed by a quick glance at their pros and cons to decide which of the two is better, and more importantly, which out of these two are right for you.
Table of Contets
Blue Snowball vs Yeti – Comparison
Blue microphones are popular, especially the two models that we are going to discuss today. Let us compare them against different features to get an idea of which is more suitable for you.
The design is one of the key aspects, both in terms of appearance and ease of use. When the mics have the right design, it makes it easy to use and at the same time, enhances its performance.
When it comes to Snowball and Yeti, their design is one of the biggest selling points because both these mics are designed to be set up right on your table, so you don’t have to bend down or adjust your posture while recording. You can simply sit up straight and talk right into it.
To top it, both these mics come with beautiful and sturdy table stands, so they don’t topple off while you talk. This also saves you money because you do not have to buy a separate mic stand to hold these mics in place.
Now, let’s go specifically into the design of each of these mics.
Blue Snowball looks cute and adorable, and its design also explains the name. It is round like a snowball and sits on a small tripod. It has a metallic white finish mixed with shining black coating for the stand. Overall, it looks slick and nice.
There are many mics that are built mainly from the aesthetics perspective, but the good news is Blue Snowball is built with users in mind. As a user, there is always a possibility for us to knock the mic down while trying to fetch something, or just while we talk with gestures from our hands. With Blue Snowball, the possibility for you to knock it down is very less, provided you are fairly safe and aware. It is quite sturdy when compared to other mics in this price range.
That said, the design of this mic is more conducive for accidents, especially if you’re one of those people who tends to knock off things around easily. This very design, with a ball at the top and a tripod at the bottom makes it accident prone for some users.
Now, this may seem contradictory to you. Essentially, what it means is that the mic is sturdy when compared to other mics and works well for most users. But, if you are particularly accident-prone, this design could make it easy for you to knock it off.
Besides this design, Blue Snowball is minimalist in terms of design. There are no complicated knobs or a ton of buttons that need to be handled often. It comes with only one USB port. This minimalist design is easy to set up and great to use, but it may not give you as much control as you would like. So, again it is a personal choice between usability and control.
One design aspect of Snowball that is a sure problem is the polar pattern switch. This switch comes with just three numbers – 1,2 and 3. As a user, you’re not given any clue as to what each of these numbers stands for. For the first few times, you will have to grab the manual to know what each of these numbers stands for, or you’ll have to experiment with each switch to find the right setting you want. This lack of explicit pattern can be frustrating!
Moving on to Blue Yeti, this mic looks nothing like Snowball. In fact, it has a cool and retro look that is sleek and eye-catching. Yeti has a stable stand and no tripods, so the possibility for knocking over, even for those prone to accidents, is way less. The base is circular and solid, so it gives good stability to the product as a whole.
The boom arm or the side planks that hold the mic can be adjusted to meet your preferences. You can tilt the mic towards you or you can push it away from you while not using it. This flexibility gives you more control over your mic, and more importantly, reduce the chances of accidents.
The entire mic comes in white or black color, and this is sure to go well with any decor.
In terms of design, there is one significant difference between Blue Snowball and Yeti. Out of the two, the Yeti is much bigger, at least about three to four inches taller than Snowball. This means the Yeti will also take up more space when compared to Snowball. So, this is something to keep in mind, especially if you’re working with small spaces.
So, overall the design of both the microphones is different and unique in their own ways. Obviously, there are pros and cons that come with each design. The choice depends totally on your personal taste and preferences. In general, if you work with small spaces, Snowball is a better choice. But if you are one of those people who tend to knock down things around you often, Yeti is a better bet.
As far as the verdict is concerned, both the mics are winners because they look cool and great in their own respective ways.
Next, we’ll move on to the most important aspect of mics, which is their performance.
A defining aspect of performance for any microphone, in general, is a polar pattern. Simply put, a polar pattern is an area and direction from which a mic picks up the sound. Depending on this pattern, every mic is more sensitive in some directions when compared to others. Understanding this pattern is essential if you want to use good noise cancellation to remove unwanted noises from your recording. For these reasons, polar patterns have a big impact on the performance of mics.
Generally speaking, three polar patterns are popular. Omnidirectional is where the mic picks up sound from all directions, Cardioid patterns pick up sounds from the front and Supercardoid is a narrower version of Cardioid and offers a higher level of noise cancellation.
Blue Snowball offers three kinds of polar patterns, and each of these three stand for the numbers 1, 2 and 3 respectively displayed on the mic.
- Cardioid – This polar pattern is most ideal for recording anything in front of the mic and is the perfect choice for podcasting, YouTube videos and even for live streaming.
- Cardioid with -10dB – This is the same as Cardioid, except that the volume is ten decibels lower than regular Cardioid. This difference is most ideal to record loud sounds like musical instruments because the sound is spread out more evenly.
- Omnidirectional – This choice picks sound from all directions and it can be particularly useful when more than one person has to talk on the same mic, like guest shows or a group review.
Other than the polar patterns, the sound itself is crisp and clear in Snowball, when compared to similar models. In fact, we can even say that Blue Snowball’s sound performance is top-notch and scores well over similar models in the same price range.
One downside with Blue Snowball is that it is sensitive when it comes to background noises, especially when you use the omnidirectional mode. One way to overcome this problem is to use a pop filter to improve the performance of recording.
What about the Yeti?
To start off, the Yeti supports four polar patterns.
- Cardioid – Like Snowball, this option records all the sounds in front of the microphone.
- Stereo – This pattern will record from the left and right side to create a nice stereo sound. This option is most ideal for recording musical instruments, though not so much for YouTube videos and podcasts.
- Omnidirectional – This pattern picks sound from all directions.
- Bi-directional – This is an interesting pattern that allows you to record sounds from the front and back of the mic. This option is most ideal if you are interviewing someone on your show or there is some kind of a conversation between two individuals.
Besides the polar pattern, the overall sound quality is amazing as well. The recordings sound natural and well-rounded, and this focus on sound clarity makes it most suited for podcasts and voice-overs. When compared to other mics, Yeti has less booming and hissing sounds and this makes the recording smoother and more streamlined.
When you compare the two mics on performance, Yeti is hands down the winner for two reasons. First off, the polar patterns supported by Yeti have a lot of practical application and they give you the much-needed flexibility for any type of recording. Secondly, the overall sound quality of Yeti is way better than that of Snowball. This doesn’t mean Snowball is bad, but when you compare the two, Yeti is far better as the sound is natural and present.
So, overall the winner in performance is definitely Yeti. If you are planning to start a podcast or a YouTube channel, Yeti can give you better sound than Snowball.
There is a big difference in terms of cost between the two mics. Blue Snowball costs less, while the Yeti costs twice as much. Is the difference worth it?
The answer is definitely a yes. The performance of Yeti is way better than that of Snowball, not just in terms of sound clarity, but also in terms of the flexibility and versatility it offers. The design is great too and is ideal for all types of people.
Due to a combination of these factors, Yeti is a much better choice than Snowball and it also justifies the extra price you would pay for it.
4. Blue Snowball vs Yeti – Pros and Cons
Let’s quickly glance through the pros and cons of each product to help you get a glimpse of what each offers, so you can make the right buying choice.
Blue Snowball Pros
Here’s a look at the pros of Blue Snowball:
- The build is good and sturdy.
- Small sized and fits well in any space.
- Cheaply priced, when compared to other models. The set of features that it offers for this price is excellent.
- Easy to set up and use.
- USB cable is strong and solid.
- Works reasonably well even without a pop filter.
- The microphone is automatically detected when plugged in.
- Works well with EQ.
- Excellent customer support.
- Clean sound as the microphone does a great job of eliminating noise.
- Picks up the bass cleanly in your voice.
- Comes for a long time.
- Easy to carry around.
Blue Snowball Cons
The cons of Blue Snowball are:
- Doesn’t sound too professional. feels more like a high consumer grade product than a professional one.
- Picks up background noise, especially in the omnidirectional polar pattern.
- Has little controls, so you cannot have complete control over the recording process.
- Output levels are low, so you may have to speak up to get high levels of recording.
- The numbers 1,2 and 3 in the polar pattern do not explicitly explain which number equates to which polar pattern.
- Features are highly limited.
- There is no on or off switch.
- No mute button on this microphone.
- Tends to be heavy on the top.
- Likely to fall over when you don’t handle it well.
The pros of the Yeti are as follows:
- Sound quality is exceptional and top-notch.
- Solid build as it is made of metal.
- A fantastic mic stand comes with it, and this gives a lot of stability for the product as a whole.
- Fantastic versatility. You can record almost anything and everything with this mic.
- The design is simple and comes with a few knobs that give you the control you want in a recording.
- A good USB cable comes with it.
- It supports four different polar patterns for any kind of recording.
- Gains control with zero-latency monitoring.
- Recognized by all kinds of Windows platforms.
- Convenient to use. All that you have to do is plug and play.
Yeti comes with some shortcomings too, and they are:
- One of the biggest limitations is that you can plug directly into a USB port on your laptop. It doesn’t work well when plugged into a separate USB system.
- There is no switch to turn on or off the mic.
- Extremely sensitive and picks up everything around it. This can be a good and bad thing, depending on how you use it.
- The knobs are wobbly.
- Has a large size and does not fit well in every place.
Overall, these pros and cons of both the products should give you an idea of how well these products are suited for you.
Blue Snowball vs Yeti – Final Verdict
Now that we have come to the end of this review, it is time to decide which of the two is better.
From a design perspective, both are good, though we think the Yeti slightly scores over Snowball. But it is a personal opinion. During the testing process, Snowball fell over multiple times, but Yeti stood firm and stable. Also, the flexibility in yeti’s design made it easy to move around easily. Snowball was not so easy to move around because it was toppling over often and we had to move the entire piece. Whereas in Yeti, we could simply move the mic away from us without having to touch the base at all. This convenience greatly helps when you want to take a pause during a recording for a small sip of water.
The other aspect is that the Yeti is slightly taller and this made it easy to talk into it. Of course, we have to mention here that some of our reviewers are quite tall, so they liked the design because they didn’t have to bend over so much.
Another personal choice was the color schema. The all-white or all-black color of Yeti was much better than the metallic and black combination of Snowball.
For these reasons, we think yeti scores better than Snowball in design.
In performance too, the Yeti is better because the sound quality is phenomenal. Crystal clear sounds and a clean recording make it a great product to talk into. Also, the fact that it supports four different polar patterns adds to its versatility. With such a mic, you can record almost any kind of audio. Noise cancellation is top class as well.
All this does not mean Snowball is bad. It offers excellent sound quality for this price range. In fact, it is much better than many other models in the same price range, but it is not a professional grade sound quality. It is rather a high consumer grade quality and the difference is fairly evident when you compare it with the recording made on a Yeti mic.
Finally, Yeti is more expensive than Snowball. But then the price difference justifies the quality and design superiority of the product.
Due to all these reasons, Blue Yeti is better than Blue Snowball, and the winner of this comparison is Blue Yeti.