Blue Yeti Nano Review

👤by Weston Dakin Comments 📅12-10-18
Performance Testing (Audio)

For testing, we opted to leave the Yeti Nano on its stand as that is how it arrives. The test parameters though are as follows. These will stay the same throughout the testing phase unless stated otherwise.

Test 1 - Distance

Format = 24bit, 48kHz
Gain = 90
Distance from audio source = 2ft / 0.6m
Testing both cardioid and omnidirectional back to back - one video
Prewritten script

Test 2 - Close up

Format = 24bit, 48kHz
Gain = 60
Distance from audio source (Approx) = 0.32ft / 0.1m
Testing cardioid only
Same script as test 1

Test 3 - Typing test

Typing test to capture keyboard noise pickup - Cherry MX Silver Speed switches used
Format = 24bit, 48kHz
Gain = 90
Distance from keyboard = 0.49ft / 0.15m
Placed on an extended mouse mat
Testing cardioid only
Typing out the voice script used in both test 1 and 2
Gaming use - Overwatch and Fortnite

Side note - Your experience will likely be different depending on how you have the mic setup, and the settings you use, these tests are just to provide you with a basis to how the Yeti Nano performs in different use case scenarios.


Test 1 (Cardioid & Omnidirectional) - In this test, we placed the mic around 2ft away from the audio source, we opted to use a gain of 90 due to the distance away. After listening back to the audio though, we could have easily lowered the gain as the volume output is quite high with the settings we used. In reality, you’d spend a lot more time setting up the mic to perfect it, and therefore this would be a non-issue.

In terms of quality, the audio captured when using the cardioid pickup pattern is very clean, extremely clear and contains a lot of detail. Bass pickup is strong which adds depth and body to the audio so that it doesn’t sound thin. Vocals sound natural with a nice tonal quality, and there are no artefacts in it at all. We did note that the Yeti Nano did pick up some fan noise from the test system which is located under a desk. This, however, is due to the high gain being set and of course, will be reduced by lowering the gain. We also noted that even with the high gain setting, there were no plosives or excessive sibilance present in the audio.

Switching to the omnidirectional pickup pattern, we noted that there was a slight dip in quality. The first change we noticed was that the vocal wasn’t as clean as it was with cardioid pattern, it also had a slight artificial tone to it as well. Background noise was also heightened due to the nature of this pickup pattern. Again lowering the gain would help this, but it wouldn’t fix the other issues. Bass pickup though remains strong and the audio is still clear, but if you’re recording solo then cardioid is the best choice. It's also worth noting that with a bit of time and effort some of the issues mentioned could be fixed, but as is, direct from the mic, there are some issues with this pickup pattern.

Test 2 (Cardioid close up) - For this test, we used the parameters set out in the list above. This test revealed that the audio quality is equally as good up close as it is at a distance. The audio capture is again detailed with great levels clarity. However, due to the close proximity of the microphone to the audio source we noted that in the audio there were a few plosives as well as pops from breathing, this would be reduced if a pop filter was used to separate the mic from the audio source. So if you are planning on using this mic at close quarters, then it will be worth investing in a good pop shield.

Test 3 (Typing and Gaming test) - Here we kept the Yeti Nano placed around 15cm away from the test keyboard. The Yeti Nano was also placed on a full-sized extended mouse mat which does somewhat help to reduce any vibration from typing, so if you don’t use a large mouse mat, then your experience will be different. To see how much the Nano picked up keystrokes we typed a small paragraph at the set distance as well as played a game of Overwatch and Fortnite to try a simulate what it would sound like if you were using the mic while streaming or capturing gameplay with a commentary.

Here is what we experienced. We observed that even with the dampening effect of the mouse mat that the Yeti Nano did still pick up some vibration from typing. The keystrokes were also quite prominent due to the style of the mechanical switch and force used for typing - which was just normal typing levels. Again there are a lot of factors that could reduce this, one of them would be to drop the gain which in turn would lower the amount of audible noise picked up. The next and better solution would be to mount the microphone onto a boom arm, this would increase the distance the mic is away from the keyboard as well as bringing it closer to you, then you could again alter the gain and further lower the levels at which the keyboard can be heard.

In summary, setting up a microphone is a long process as each of our setups is different, we also speak at different volume levels as well as having different sources of noise to contend with. What why have tried to do is to simulate a few use case scenarios that the mic could be used in and from what we have, the Yeti Nano has continuously impressed.

Testing Extension - Repeating Test 1 & 3

As we set the gain too high in both test 1 and 3 we decided it would be best to lower the gain to 65 and repeat the test under the same conditions. The video below is what we captured using the same parameters as test 1 and 3 but with a reduced gain.
*Note - Retested the Cardioid, Omnidirectional and typing.

This final test yielded results similar to test 1 in terms of clarity and detail, but at a reduced volume. Also, there was hardly any background noise at all, some of it was still audible but not at a level like in test 1. Again the Omnidirectional pickup pattern was slightly worse in terms of quality, but it was superior to what we experienced with the initial test. Typing noise was also more bearable in this retest as it wasn’t as loud as it was with a higher gain. It's also worth noting that the audio in all of the above samples has been compressed by YouTube and is, in fact, better than what you can hear above.

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