RODE NT-USB vs BLUE YETI comparison
In this comparison blog post, you will see the fight between Rode NT-USB and Blue Yeti USB microphones.
I would like to say immediately that both devices made it to my recommendations list, but at the same time, there are some very important differences between them.
Although they share similar designs, these are two completely different types of microphones by design, with a different purposes in mind.
The first one is targeted primarily towards podcasters, streamers, or gamers who’re looking for a low latency microphone with built-in headphones monitoring which can be connected directly to their PC.
The second one is the most popular USB microphone aimed at content creators looking for high sound quality recordings for podcasts or youtube videos.
Pros Rode NT-USB
Stylish yet minimalistic look, aluminum body with the rubberized bottom surface, built-in pop filter, and removable stand mount (comes with table stand).
Internal cardioid condenser microphone design provides low-noise recordings with natural sound reproduction.
Dual 3.5mm headphone/line output ports allow real time monitoring of the audio while recording without any latency.
A button on the front face allows to switch between stereo and mono listening mode and an LED indicator shows if the device is connected properly or not.
There’s also a volume control wheel which can be quite useful when using plugged into your PC or when you want to reduce its signal level.
An internal microphone is great for recording podcasts and speech, however, due to the cardioid pick-up pattern, it’s not the most suitable choice for recording instruments or groups of people.
The internal microphone can’t be removed and upgraded with another model (it doesn’t have any standard camera screw mount).
A bit bulky in size without a USB cable plugged in, lightweight solution if you unplug the cable.
LED indicator doesn’t automatically turn off when you disable monitoring, which can interfere with your sleep.
Pros of Blue Yeti
Stylish yet minimalistic look, metal enclosure with a built-in stand, and anti-vibration pads on the bottom surface prevent unwanted noise during recordings. Although it has a fairly small size, this microphone features 4 different pickup patterns (cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo) with the capability to adjust the gain on each of them.
This means you can easily configure it for any type of recording situation – speech, instruments or groups of people. It also comes equipped with a 3.5mm headphone output jack which allows direct monitoring while recording without any latency delay.
There’s no LED indicator on the device itself, however, there is one on the USB cable which shows if it’s properly connected or not. Dual capsule design allows lower noise recording than Rode NT-USB in cardioid mode and provides a wider frequency range than its rival.
Although has 4 different modes available for different recording purposes, this microphone is primarily intended for speech and vocals rather than instruments or groups of people.
If you want to use it in noisy environments (e.g. around loud instruments) the only recommended mode would be cardioid with the highest gain possible to reduce ambient noise level – however, there’s a trade-off between sound quality and noise elimination in such a situation, which results in a reduced dynamic range of the recorded audio signal.
There’s no volume control wheel on the device itself, but it does have buttons on the USB cable which allow you to mute or unmute monitor volume during playback or recording.
Summary Both microphones are excellent devices that will remain supported for many years to come due to their great connection compatibility with plug & play option available on all current Windows OS iterations. If you’re on Mac, there’s no need to worry – they both support plug & play operation with no additional drivers required.
Who is the winner?
Rode NT-USB is the winner in this category due to its built-in feature set which provides more options for people wishing to upgrade their microphones further down the road with different capsules or other accessories that won’t void warranty coverage.
Also, it’s important to mention that Blue Yeti supports stereo recording only when USB cable is plugged in whereas Rode NT-USB features two ports – one for mono monitoring and another one for stereo playback so if you have an external sound card, you can always use it as a secondary input source together with your microphone without any problems.
On the negative side, Blue Yeti has a tendency to pick up more background noise in cardioid mode than Rode NT-USB – it can be explained by the fact that the cardioid capsule on this microphone is smaller which allows better sound wave penetration into the diaphragm with the subsequent lower noise level.
When plugged into the USB port, both microphones produce zero-latency playback monitoring via a built-in headphone output jack.
In terms of sound quality, both devices are excellent choices capable of dealing with most common type of noises in different recording environments however there is a slight advantage for Rode NT-USB due to its dynamic capsule design which provides lower noise level compared to cardioid mode on Blue Yeti while still maintaining good sound wave penetration at higher gain levels.
An additional factor being considered is availability of different modes supported by both microphones which is not the case for Blue Yeti due to its cardioid only design – this mode still being capable of performing well in most recording settings so lack of other modes shouldn’t be considered as a deal breaker for this microphone.
Rode NT-USB has built-in headphone output which allows you to monitor your recorded signal at any time, plus there’s also an option to mute or unmute it remotely by means of buttons on the cable itself providing additional comfort during playback/recording operations.
Also there are three different frequency response modes available on Rode NT-USB allowing you set up optimal sound frequency range depending on application requirements with help of included mic stand adapter which provides additional support when using external shock mount with included elastic band.
Blue Yeti also has a volume control option available via included cable with -10dB, 0dB and +10dB available for precise sound level adjustment although there is no similar adapter provided with this microphone which would make it possible to use external shock mount together with it.
On the other hand, Blue Yeti features zero latency playback monitoring via its built-in headphone output jack allowing you to hear recorded signal through your headphones even before recording process is finished which may be useful for last minute fine tuning of your audio source.
If you have an external sound card or already have one with multiple channels inputs/outputs, purchase of an additional standing microphone for your console would probably not worth considering due to compatibility issues between different operating systems and devices with consoles being forced to use specific input/output configuration most suitable for PC users with their Windows 7/8/10 OS iterations.
If you want to use one of the listed microphones with a console, both Rode NT-USB and Blue Yeti can be easily plugged into a USB port of your PC/laptop and used as primary input source. Otherwise purchase any non-standing microphone with 3.5mm plug output instead or use built-in audio feature previously mentioned.