If you want a good quality recording set up, of course the most integral piece of equipment to invest in is going to be a good microphone.
No matter what kind of audio content you are recording, whether it is video, voice-over, podcasting, or music, you are going to need a good quality microphone.
Luckily the popularity of audio devices is growing within the digital space and there is a bigger range of microphones available than ever before at a wide variety of price ranges.
This means that there is a perfect microphone out there for everyone.
One brand is getting more and more popular – the Blue microphones brand is popular for all different types of recording.
Two of the most popular microphones from this manufacturer are the Blue Snowball and the Blue Yeti.
Both of these products are amazing microphones, but because they are both from the same manufacturer, many people struggle to know how to pick between them.
This guide will help you pick between these two microphones from the same company so you will know which is superior and which will be a better fit for you!
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Design Of The Microphone
When it comes to microphones, one of the most important factors is going to be the design as it is what you are going to be looking at and what you are going to be interacting with (also see, ‘Mic Aesthetic’).
You want them to be easy to use.
Both of the microphones we are talking about are convenient for their design being made for them to be standing on a table meaning that you will not have to adjust yourself too much to be able to record with them.
The separate mic stand included in both designs are perfectly tailored for them making them sturdy and unlikely to fall over.
Blue Snowball Design
The Snowball is partially named after its adorable round design and this spherical shape sits on top of the tripod. It looks strikingly similar to another Logitech mic, the Blue Snowball Ice (also see, Snowball Ice Review‘).
While many people enjoy the design of this product because of its unique appeal, some people are not fans. The bulkier design of this product makes it slightly more risky for people who are more prone to accidents.
Luckily though, this USB microphone has a very sturdy build, so you will not have to worry about it getting broken when you are working with it.
The design is definitely more minimalist and does not feature any of the buttons or knobs which the Yeti does offer, the only interactive aspect it has is the USB port it features and this is how it will connect to your device.
The polar pattern switch is seen as a flaw of the design with the switch having a 1, 2, and 3 setting which are very difficult to interpret and means that you will need to use a manual whenever you want to switch so you know what result you will get.
Blue Yeti Design
The Blue Yeti is incredibly distinct from the Snowball and has a more retro appearance and looks more like a typical microphone than the Snowball does.
This USB mic uses a mic stand instead of a tripod and because of its more sleek design, it is going to be far less of a problem for those prone to accidents.
You can also tilt the boom arm to make it easier to adjust your microphone to make recording as simple as possible. You can also get the microphone in black or white depending on preference (also see, ‘What Is A Mic Boom‘).
The Yeti is also much bigger than the Snowball which is also worth noting when it comes to storage.
So, if you have a smaller space to work with, the Snowball may be the preferable option, but if this is not the case, then the Yeti will definitely be more practical.
Performance Of The Microphone
Moving onto the most important aspect of any microphone being how well it performs.
To understand this, we should understand polar patterns which is the area as well as the direction from which a mic will pick up sounds.
This is something you want to be aware of as it will affect how much use you will get out of your microphone.
You will want to understand this as it will also aid with noise cancellation to help block out unwanted noises from recording.
There are three polar patterns which are the most popular being
- Omnidirectional polar pattern meaning sound is picked up from all directions,
- Cardioid polar pattern will pick up noise from the front, and then
- Supercardioid, which as the name suggests has a more concentrated recording zone than cardioid making it great for noise cancellation.
Blue Snowball Performance
The Snowball, as mentioned in the design section, uses 3 polar patterns being:
- Cardioid which is perfect for podcasting or VO work,
- Cardioid with -10DB which is better for when you are recording louder noises like music, and
- Omnidirectional which is good if you are recording from multiple directions like a multi-speaker podcast.
The Snowball produces good sound quality that is both crisp and clear. This is part of the reason why this microphone is such a popular choice and stands above other microphones in the same price range.
The main issue with the Snowball is how sensitive it is to background noises, being a condenser mic. Unlike a dynamic microphone, a condenser is designed to pick up a wider range of sounds, and this can be both a blessing and a curse.
This is made even worse if you are using the omnidirectional setting since it will be picking up on background noise from practically everywhere surrounding you.
For better sound quality, consider investing in a pop filter as this will hopefully filter out some of the noise your microphone is picking up on (also see, ‘Windscreen vs Pop Filter‘).
Blue Yeti Performance
When it comes to the performance of the Yeti, it features one more polar pattern having four, these are:
- Cardioid meaning it records in front of the microphone.
- Stereo, meaning that this will record from both the left and the right side of the microphone which will create a pleasant stereo type sound. This is preferable when recording music but will not be great for VO or podcasting.
- Omnidirectional like with the Snowball will pick up sound from every direction.
- Bidirectional will record from both the back and the front of your mic which is an ideal setting for interviewing, but this is quite a niche function.
Moving past the polar patterns which are available for this mic, the sound quality which this mic records is amazing will a nice natural sound.
This makes it an optimal choice when it comes to recording vocals or podcasting with professional grade sound quality.
This is partially because this microphone makes far fewer hissing or booming noises leading to the noises being more streamlined as well as sounding smoother.
When it comes to comparing the performance of the Snowball and the Yeti, the Yeti wins by a noticeable amount.
This is because of the more practical uses of the polar patterns which are offered by the Yeti, making it more versatile and flexible in use.
And on top of this, the sound quality is much better than the Snowball, the Snowball is by no means bad, but just noticeably not as good as the Yeti, which in the end is what you are looking for in a microphone.
Cost Of The Microphone
This will likely be the main deciding factor since the Yeti tends to cost about double the amount of the Snowball not accounting for any sales.
However, this price difference is definitely justified when it comes to considering the practical uses of the Yeti, as well as its widely improved performance.
However, if you do not have the budget to justify buying the Yeti, and feel more comfortable buying the Snowball, you will still get some amazing results, but it may be worth saving for a little longer to get a Yeti if you want the best possible product.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Microphone
Blue Snowball Advantages
- Has a cheaper price than the Yeti
- Good clean audio quality which eliminates other noises
- Pick up bass in the voice very well
- Works well without much need for a pop filter
- Still comfortable to use
- Good build quality
Blue Snowball Disadvantages
- The switch indicating the polar pattern is confusing using random numbers
- The omnidirectional setting will pick up on a lot of background noise
- Does not offer the extra manual controls the Yeti does
- Low output level
- Does not have a professional sound
Blue Yeti Advantages
- Great stability as an overall product
- Very versatile perfect for recording pretty much anything
- Simple controls give you the options you need
- Good set of options with the polar patterns available
- Great sound quality
Blue Yeti Disadvantages
- USB has to plugged directly into device used to store audio
- No simple on or off switch
- A bit too sensitive mic stand
- Knob controls are a little loose
- A bit too large
- Much more expensive
Hopefully, this guide has given you all the information you need to make an informed decision between these two products, but generally speaking, if you have the budget, opt for the Yeti, but the Snowball will serve you well if this is not the case.