You can’t expect to get ahead with your musical journey without buying yourself a decent microphone. Buying the right gear is important even if you’re a newbie and want to start off with a brand new YouTube channel.
I’ve already written a comparison guide featuring AT2020 vs. Blue Yeti. Now, it’s time we move forward with two very similar contenders aka the Blue Snowball Vs.Yeti. This time, both products are from the same company – Blue. This company does an excellent job when it comes to creating some of the best musical gear out there.
Before I get started, I’d like to emphasize that both these products perform considerably well. But each one has its own unique purpose and specialty which is why I’m writing this detailed guide. I’ll be providing you a detailed review, listing down its features and of course the pros and cons.
Blue Snowball – An Overview
Before I start a detailed discussion, let me provide you with a brief overview of this product. The Blue Snowball features a unique design owing to its name. The overall style is pretty minimalist and is easily compatible with any system. As for the appearance, it features a nice aluminum frame that looks rather nice. Some notable features of the product:
- Easy plug and play design, does not require installing a software
- Can be used for recording both quality vocals and instruments
- Compatible with both PC and Mac computers
- Includes three polar patterns: cardioid, omni-directional mode, and cardioid mode a with -10 dB pad
- Switchable patterns that make the mic more versatile
Blue Yeti – An Overview
The Blue Yeti is a fuss-free, USB microphone that offers a lot more than you’d expect. It features a nice retro design with a heavy base. The mic is a sight to see and proves to be incredibly versatile with its multiple polar patterns:
- Includes three condenser capsules that work incredibly well for capturing sound
- Three unique polar patterns to choose from – cardioid, omni-directional, bi-directional and stereo
- Great for recording vocals, musical instruments, podcasts and much more
- Includes a mute button, gain control
- Fuss-free, easy plug and play model
You can’t buy a product without taking its design and appearance into mind. As far as both the designs are concerned, Blue has done a pretty good job. Both mics can easily be set up on your desk. This makes the gear easy to use and allows you to reap maximum results.
Also, you don’t have to worry about bending or adjusting the product. It really is quite straight forward to use. Although, the Snowball is a bit shorter so if you’re really tall, you might want to stack the mic on top of something or simply opt for its contender.
Another reason why I love both the mics is that they feature a sturdy base. This prevents the gear from toppling over which can be a real pain.
Now let’s discuss each mic in detail starting off with the Blue Snowball.
As the name indicates, the Blue Snowball features a distinct round design. And while the product looks cute, it definitely packs a punch. The pudgy thing rests on a little tripod. The overall look is pretty good with a shiny exterior.
Going back to the construction and design, the top of the mic is obviously much heavier than the bottom. While this is unique in terms of style, it makes the mic potentially accident-prone. So if you’re one of those people who have a tendency to knock down things, you’re better off with another model. Of course, you could try being more careful – that would work too. In any case, I wouldn’t call this design element a flaw because it thoroughly depends on how you intend to use. It is pretty sturdy after all, especially when you compare it to other products that fall under this price range.
Overall, I’m not that big on aesthetics, as long as the design does not comprise on the functionality of the product – you won’t see me complaining. Yes, it definitely helps if the product looks good but you if you don’t mind the minimalist design, this should work well.
Moving forward with the Blue Yeti now…
Now in case you’re wondering, the Yeti looks next to nothing like its snowball-shaped contender. It features a distinct yet more professional look that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing to look at. For starters, it features a nice solid base at the bottom so you won’t have to worry about knocking the mic down. It is certainly less accident prone when compared to the Snowball. This offers the product increased stability which is definitely a good thing.
You can adjust the side planks on the mic according to your ease and preference. This comes in handy if you want to push the head away when you’re not working. I’m a bit of a multi-tasker, so I like having more control over the mic which is definitely a feature I like. Now, moving on to the color, the mic is available in either black or white; hence it’ll look just fine in every setting.
I personally like how the Yeti is much taller and bigger than the Snowball. I’m quite tall, so I hate constantly having to fidget when the mic is too small. This can be quite annoying and that primarily why the Yeti doesn’t disappoint. The only minor downside is that is takes up more space, but that isn’t something you should be too worried about.
So who wins this round?
To be fair, both mics feature a unique design and can be used in its own unique way. My personal choice is quite obvious in terms of design – I’d choose the Yeti over its contender any day of the week. But for others, it completely comes down to your personal taste and style. However, if you have even the slightest reputation of being a klutz, I’d say that you too are better off with the Yeti.
Now, let’s get down to business and understand what’s really important here. Let’s have a look at performance starting with the Snowball.
The Snowball features three polar patterns namely cardioid, omni-directional and lastly, cardioid mode with -10 dB pad. I’d also like to highlight a flaw in the design while discussing the polar patterns. The patterns are labelled as numbers on the mic. Hence, you’ll have to memorize what each number stands for. This can be a little frustrating at the beginning, I do recommend you have a look at the instructional manual to avoid any problems.
Coming back to the main purpose of our discussion, the polar pattern plays an important role in terms of noise cancellation and what angles the mic is able to pick up sounds. I would always recommend users to opt for mics that include multiple polar patterns. Such products are much more versatile and provide better functionality.
Let me offer you some more detail on each polar pattern:
- Cardioid Mode: This is among the most popular polar patterns. It is best suited for those who wish to use the mic up close for recording vocals, podcasts or anything else which requires the sound source to be positioned in front of the mic. I’d definitely recommend it to the pros and for folks who record YouTube videos.
- Omnidirectional: As the name suggests, this mode is capable of picking up sounds from all directions. It is great for musicians who want to pick up the ambience of the room – great for live sessions. I’d also suggest it for folks who do group performances. Overall, it’s a nice added feature to have even if you only intend to record vocals.
- Cardioid with -10 dB pad: This is pretty much same as the cardioid mode but with a lower decibel (10 decibels lower to be precise). I’d recommend this for loud recording sounds, it’s especially great for recording musical instruments.
So over all, I found the sound quality to be pretty decent. Blue did a pretty good job, and the sound was pretty crisp. I don’t have much to complain about regarding the sound quality since it is pretty top notch, especially when you compare it to products of the same price range.
The only potential downside is that you might want to use a pop filter while using the mic in the omnidirectional model. This is increasing important because the mic has a tendency to pick up background noise. But to be honest, most omnidirectional mics work that way so I wouldn’t say that it’s a serious problem.
Moving on to the Yeti…
The Yeti takes things up a notch by supporting four polar patterns. This obviously contributes to its versatility and makes the mic great for multiple purposes. Now let’s talk about what you get:
- Cardioid: As mentioned above, cardioid is great for when the sound source needs to be placed in front of the mic. Great for recording vocals, YouTube videos, and other stuff.
- Omnidirectional: Recommended for picking up sounds from various directions including the back of the mic. I’d recommend this if you record sessions in groups.
- Stereo: Records in a horizontal pattern, picking up sound from left to right. While this is great for recording musical instruments, I wouldn’t recommend it for podcasts.
- Bi-directional: This polar pattern picks up sound from the back and front of the microphone. It works well if you have to record two people speaking such as in an interview. Good for folks who have YouTube channels and invite guests.
So overall (keeping the polar pattern in mind), the sound quality is exceptional. I’ve used the Blue Yeti quite a lot and can’t help but rave about its performance. The overall sound is natural, making it great for recording vocals. I’d also say that this mic offers pretty good value for money. You’d have to pay some pretty hefty bucks to achieve this kind of quality.
Now, you’re probably wondering who wins this round. Well, that’s pretty obvious – the Blue Yeti. This model offers exceptional sound quality, and I’m not saying that the Snowball isn’t any good, it’s just not as great compared to the Yeti. If you’re looking to achieve natural sound, then I highly recommend you stick to this product.
PS Are you looking for a good pair of headphones? Check out my comparison guide between Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro Vs. Premium.
Pros and Cons of the Snowball
We can’t’ move ahead without discussing the pros and cons of each model. Let’s start with the Snowball:
- Nice, minimalist design, doesn’t take much space
- Decent sound quality
- Three polar patterns
- Costs lesser compared to the Yeti
- Easy to setup
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac
- Accident-prone design since it’s heavier at the top
- Picks up background noise in omnidirectional mode
- Sound quality isn’t as good as the Blue Yeti
- Overall design lacks a professional feel to it
- No mute button
- No on/off button
Pros and Cons of the Blue Yeti
And now it’s time for the Yeti:
- Professional-grade design, sturdy mic
- Exceptional sound quality
- Four polar patterns
- Incredibly versatile
- Better value for money
- Easy to setup
- Compatible with Windows programs
- Includes a mute button
- Offers better control for recording
- Sturdy design
- No on/off switch
- Knobs feel a little flimsy
- Larger in size, might not be suitable for some users
- Can pick up background sound since it is highly sensitive
This isn’t the first time that the Blue Yeti has managed to beat its contender. But to be honest, both mics are pretty good – it all depends on what you use it for. If you’re a professional, I highly recommend you start off with the Yeti since it has all the features that you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you’d rather settle for a more cost-effective product, I’d highly suggest you opt for the Blue Snowball.
Is there something you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments below. Better yet, recommend me some products to review, you might end up seeing it in my next blog post.
Be sure to check out my post about the best laptops for music production.