The Yeti certainly looks the part, thanks to its studio-style capacitor mic design and sturdy, heavy base. It rotates easily around a central pivot, which allows for a wide range of mic placements, making it suitable for many different kinds of recording.
The Yeti’s strength is that it incorporates four distinct settings – stereo, cardoid, omni-directional and bi-directional. Stereo captures a realistic stereo image and works well for recording conversations, vocals and acoustic instruments; cardoid focuses on what’s right in front of the mic and cuts out everything else, making it good for podcasts; omni picks up everything equally and is good for recording outdoors, discussions or conference calls; bi-directional records front and rear, so it’s good for interviews where you might normally try to get by with a stereo mic – or take along a pair.
Results are uniformly excellent. This is a professional-level mic and we produced great recordings of conversations, interviews, podcasts and intimate acoustic performances using a variety of programs like GarageBand and Audacity. There’s a headphone socket for easy, latency-free monitoring and simple volume and mute controls on one side; though the volume and recording settings are inconveniently sited on the other side, where you can’t see them.
Of course, you can do all this with a conventional mic and audio interface, but if you don’t normally record electric instruments and keyboards, this’ll save money and you’ll have less to cart around – though because it’s quite heavy you won’t want to use it too often for in-the-field recording. It costs a hefty £129, but we’ve seen it for £99 including delivery, at which point it becomes an attractive proposition for anyone who’s serious about their audio recordings.
We loved the Yeti’s versatility and the way it made vocals sound rich and radio-friendly. It has enough tonal nuances to make recording vocals and guitar straight into GarageBand satisfying and is easily good enough for recording small live events with multiple acoustic instruments. The bi-directional mode is great for interviews. It’s quite big and heavy, though.