When it comes to online and game streaming, it’s not just your gameplay that needs to have good sound quality.
You want views from the gaming and streaming community, right? Well, that’s not going to happen if you’ve got a poor-quality picture or audio. (also see, ‘Best Microphone For Streaming‘).
Ensuring you have the right equipment to play and display your content is just as valuable as the content itself.
No one wants to listen to cracking, fuzzy, or unclear sound quality.
And with so many streamers all competing for viewers, these types of technical difficulties can be the difference between someone watching your stream and someone flicking over to a different channel.
Those views are important.
This is why I am going to review two of the best microphones that are currently on the market.
Poor audio quality really isn’t something you’ll have to worry about with either of these products.
But which one is truly best? Let’s keep reading to find out.
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Elgato Wave 3
This microphone is quite literally designed for content creation. It’s undoubtedly fantastic.
It’s easy to use, has amazing audio quality, and has a streamlined workflow.
A new mixing program has also been introduced with this microphone.
The Wave link software works to make life easier for content creators who use platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, or podcasting sites.
- Polar pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency Range Response: 70 – 20,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -25 dBFS (min gain) 15dBFS (max gain)
- Max. Sound Pressure Level: 120 dB (140 dB with clipguard)
- Dynamic Range: 95 dB (115 dB with clipguard)
- Sample Rate: 48/96 kHz
- Resolution: 24-bit
- Dimensions: 153 x 66 x 40 mm
- Weight micro and U-mount: 280 g
- Weight stand: 305 g
Blue Yeti Microphone
There aren’t many audio issues that the Blue Yeti can’t solve.
I think it’s a pretty universal experience to attempt to use your PC’s built-in microphone and it only takes one attempt to realize that it’s a bad idea.
Well, say goodbye to that tinny, thin, and distant sound thanks to the noise reduction on this plug-and-play USB microphone (also see, ‘Can You Use A USB Mic With An Audio Interface?’).
This really will raise the caliber of the audio you are recording and is absolutely perfect for video voiceovers and podcasts.
Blue Yeti Features
- Power Required/Consumption: 5V 150mA
- Sample Rate: 48 kHz
- Bit Rate: 16-bit
- Capsules: 3 Blue-proprietary 14mm condenser capsules
- Four Different Pickup Patterns: Cardioid Pattern, Bidirectional Frequency Response, Omnidirectional, Stereo Pattern
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Impedance: 16 ohms
- Power Output (RMS): 130 mW
- Signal to Noise: 100dB
Elgato Wave 3 Vs Blue Yeti Mic
Round One: Performance
Elgato Wave 3
This microphone’s performance is amazing. For the best results, you’ll want to place it around 8 inches from your mouth.
But thanks to the cardioid polar pattern, it cleverly picks up the sound from the front while rejecting sound from the sides and back.
This means you won’t get the whizzing and whurring of your computer coming through your mic (also see, ‘How To Make your Mic Sound Better‘).
The mic can also be attached to a boom arm so you can be sure that you have some extra space around your computer.
I tried it while attached, and it does a great job of really honing in on your voice while you’re speaking.
As with all USB microphones, once you plug in this microphone via its USB port, the computer recognizes it instantly, so you don’t have to worry about messing around with set-up for an hour or so first.
This mic produces great audio quality with very natural sounds (also see, ‘Can You Use A USB Mic With An Audio Interface?‘).
The only real issue I have with the Yeti is that it can sometimes still pick up vibrations from your PC which can cause the recording to have a hum.
This can be easily fixed though by popping the mic on a thick object such as a book on a desk stand.
A Blue Yeti does not necessarily need a shock mount or pop filter, although they are recommended for optimal sound quality and to reduce plosives, background, and other physical noises.
Round Two: Features
Elgato Wave 3
Elgato’s wave three is a great microphone that comes with plenty of amazing features. The very first thing I noticed was that it comes with an 8-foot USB C cable.
The fact that this is so long is fantastic as it means you don’t need to get extension leads involved. The next thing I noticed was that it has a tap-to-mute button feature.
The fact that you can mute the mic with one simple touch will be such a handy tool. It even has LED indicators to let you know when the mic is or is not muted too.
Finally, the clip guard features help to prevent audio clipping.
Like most USB mics, its power comes from your device, and so I think the fact that it won’t run out of battery while you’re using it is a great feature.
Its four different polar patterns also mean that it really cleverly can alter how it listens to the environment around it.
Blue Yeti microphones are most sensitive to the sound directly in front of it, so it focuses most on your voice and your spoken word.
This technology also helps to ensure less background noise.
Every Blue Yeti mic comes with VO!CE software, a suite of recording and vocal effects. This software allows users to tailor their recordings with a variety of settings such as pitch correction, high pass filter, reverb, chorus, and more.
Round Three: Design
Elgato Wave 3
Elgato’s matte black design is very sleek and elegant. The build quality has almost a vintage aesthetic and will fit in with pretty much any gaming set-up.
The stand is sturdy and substantial and the rubber underneath helps to reduce sound dampening.
This silver design will also fit well with most set-ups.
There is an option to add a headphone connection and you can even adjust the headphone volume with the gain button on the front.
So who is the winner between these two microphones? I hate to be the person that sits on the fence, but both of these microphones offer outstanding quality audio. So, personally, in terms of the best microphone, it’s a tie.
There really isn’t anything that sets either one massively apart from the other. I think it really is just a case of personal preference.
However, one thing is for sure. Your podcasts, streams, voice-overs, and any other content you create is sure to be massively improved by either of these two wonderful microphones.
Which do you think has better sound quality?