Hello everyone, for this review I have something a little different, it’s a standalone microphone from Blue, the type of which you would often see with streamers and youtubers.
Blue have been around a good while and as of the second half of 2018 is now a subsidiary of the mighty Logitech who are very well known in the industry for quality products.
The product I have today is the latest incarnation in the Yeti series the Yeti X. What can this condenser microphone offer I wonder?
Blue Yeti X Professional USB Microphone Specifications & Features
Microphone and Performance
- Power Required/Consumption: 62mA – 203mA
- Sample/Bit Rate: 48 kHz, 24-bit
- Capsules: 4 Blue-proprietary 14mm condenser capsules
- Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, Stereo
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Max SPL: 122dB
- Dimensions (extended in stand): 4.33″ (11cm) x 4.80″ (12.2cm) x 11.38″ (28.9cm)
- Weight (microphone and stand): 2.8 lbs (1.28kg)
- Weight (microphone only): 1.14 lbs (.519kg)
- Impedance: 13 Ohms min, 16 Ohms typical
- Power Output (RMS): 72mW per channel
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Signal to Noise: 100dB
Blue Yeti X Professional USB Microphone Closer Look
The Yeti X is presented in a large and pretty heavy box. We get a picture of the microphone on the front along a description saying its best for gaming, streaming and podcasting, also there are a couple of stickers at the bottom which tell us it’s certified for Discord and Blue Voice which must mean it’s part of a range.
On the back of the box we have an in use scenario picture showing the Yeti X standing on a desk – I will explain why I think this is a bad representation later. Additionally there is further marketing in English and French.
The box contents are quite minimal; the microphone mounted on a desk stand, a long looking USB – micro-Usb cable, a very basic instruction card and some disposal/warranty information.
Well here we have the Yeti X itself and a handsome fellow it is. I do have some amateur recording experience (and I mean amateur) from dabbling in my own music and that of the family over the years and have enjoyed using the likes of Rode microphones. This appears to be a very solid offering with some serious weight to it, the materials are of good quality throughout, nice one Blue. The volume knob on the front has excellent resistance and the stand is built well enough to hold the microphone in place, maybe not on a desk though.
The left view gives us a great perspective of the cradle capability of the stand and the very well finished mesh filter on the top.
Right view is the same except opposite, still great to look at though.
Around the rear we have a pattern button, this is quite interesting as it allows for digital control over the cardioid microphone behaviour, virtual shielding for different pickup modes.
Tilting the microphone down reveals the base which at the centre has a standard screw mount for stand/arm mounting. To the left there is a headphone throughput, this I do like, what an excellent feature. To the right we have the micro-USB socket at least it’s a standard plug although I would have preferred type C for that devil may care any side up plugin success.
When plugged in the Yeti X lights up discreetly but yes, it does have RGB. As a little treat function the volume knob can be pushed to mute the Microphone which then lights the ring up red. The input level meter is very functional with an input detection LED in blue followed by green until you start to get a little loud where it hits yellow followed by red LED’s which will likely result in distortion and clipping, and we don’t want that.
Being a very new edition of the microphone, it took me a little while to locate the software, the biggest sign of Logitech’s involvement is the use of their unified desktop software Logitech G-Hub.
The main screen for the microphone is very impressive. Now my audio knowledge hits a limit here and I had to do some reading up on many of the functions before testing them out, there are a good amount of mixing desk level options available for managing both the inputs and outputs of the microphone to tweak things like external noise and essing which itself is normally handled by physical pop filters. Blue Voice presets are available for voice styling along with the capability to create and edit your own profiles. Many of the options have further advanced options for extra tweaking and you would probably spend hours tuning the microphone just how you like it with a great mic test recorder included so you can try settings in-app.
The lighting menu is where you get to play around with the little bit of RGB available, great for changing the lights to suit your taste, I did find the default colours very useful however.
Headphone throughput is a fantastic feature, there’s lots of EQ available here and the built in headphone amp (soundcard) is controllable with presets for different types of audio such as FPS play.
The Blue Yeti X Professional USB Microphone Review: The Verdict
So I have spent a fair bit of time playing and tweaking and attempting to learn things about this amazing microphone. It is very well built out of premium materials, which you would expect at this price point. The sound quality is excellent but it picks up everything and I mean everything. The different cardioid shielding modes do work to an extent however you will likely want a proper pop filter and shield to really isolate the capture area. Standing on a desk the microphone picks up every keystroke, every mouse click and any other noise such as a nice hot cup of tea being placed on a mat. Microphones this sensitive really do need an arm or stand to isolate as much noise as possible.
- Sound pickup and quality is excellent
- Studio quality build
- Headphone throughput
- Standing on a desk not ideal
- USB-C would have been a better connector
- Needs more equipment to fully benefit from this Microphone
Over the past couple of weeks I have had lots of fun with the Yeti X. This is a professional level microphone and should be treated as such, while plug and play is available you will find yourself altering the acoustics around the microphone and around your room to get the sound right, the high sensitivity is great for ensuring a quality capture however this comes at the price of isolation and you hear everything going on around. The headphone throughput at default settings is amazing, with a perfect balance of audio and microphone playback so you can hear yourself, this is great in gaming especially when the action gets exciting and you find yourself shouting, this will help limit complaints. The build quality is top notch, I would put this on a par with some Rode microphones and its classic design allows it to fit in nicely with studio equipment. The excellent capture range would easily be great for audio recording, the included software offering some mixing desk level options. Being part of Logitech’s unified software solution has the benefit of running alongside other peripherals for a one stop configuration shop.
Using the microphone for online gaming took lots of tweaking, and moving the unit to a separate table and adjusting capture angles helped with Discord use, again an arm or stand is pretty much crucial to getting the best out of this microphone. The onboard soundcard is excellent and the headphone throughput was of a very high quality.
At the time of writing the Yeti X sells for around £170 it is actually well priced since you will often pay a fair bit more for this kind of build and sound quality. You will however find yourself spending around another £100 or so on all the extra equipment and sound dampening to get this sounding just right. If you are serious about your audio and maybe want to pair this up with some really good headphones then you can’t go wrong with this as your microphone solution. Blue achieve our Platinum Award for fantastic quality and a decent price for such a high performing specification.
Thanks to Blue for sending a sample of the Yeti X Professional USB Microphone in for review.