It’s no secret that Blue are making waves in the game streaming and home podcasting market. Their microphones are simply amazing for the price they sell them. We’ve been using the Blue Yeti while streaming to our YouTube channel for some time now and for the most part, have been very pleased with the results. But it’s a chunky piece of kit and can take up an annoying amount of real estate if kept on your desk. Which is why Blue have just released their Blue Yeti Nano, a microphone that packs the same amount of punch as its older sibling, but is housed in a much smaller, more convenient package. But does it compare? We’ve put them both to the test.
As expected, the Blue Yeti Nano was plug-and-play, with a small tweak inside our sound options on Windows to make it the default recording device. It uses a newer microUSB cable to plug it into your PC. The Blue Yeti microphone stands at around 13″ tall on its desk stand while the Yeti Nano stands at 8″. With its weight and girth I would say it probably stands at around half the size overall making it a very compact option for space conscious desks. What’s annoying if you’re using it on its desk stand is the Nano is lower than the standard Yeti, making it a lot more difficult to record directly into as you’re going to have to hunch over to get close. Stick it on a boom arm. It’ll save your back. It’s still coated in its smooth metallic finish and comes in several colours being black, blue and a rose gold colour which we’re using here. The body is however made from plastic, while the microphone grill is still metal.
On the bottom is the same IO as the full sized Yeti. You’ve got a microUSB port to power it straight from your PC and a 3.5mm aux port for monitoring your audio with a set of headphones, something that’s saved me many times when streaming games as I can hear when the microphone is clipping in real time. There is an adjustable volume knob on the front which doubles up as a mute button too. On the back is a button that changes the microphone between a front-facing cardioid mode and an omnidirectional one.
This is where it differs from the original Yeti as there are no front and back bidirectional and stereo modes. But who uses those modes? You’ll be hard pressed to find someone. It’s also missing a gain knob too, which is important for the microphone’s sensitivity. There is a software named Sherpa where you can manually change the gain level if you wanted some more fine tuning options.
One big difference between the two Yeti microphones is the fact that the Nano can record audio in a 24 bit, 48Hz format as opposed to the 16 bit recording output of the original full sized Yeti. But, to tell you the truth, I couldn’t tell much difference between recording with the Blue Yeti and the Blue Yeti Nano. Sure there seems to be slightly more bass with the Blue Yeti, but the quality of the mids and highs are certainly better with the Blue Yeti Nano. So it’s swings and roundabouts on what’s more important to you.
So is the Blue Yeti Nano a great contender for those of you who need great vocal audio for your game streaming or home podcast? Absolutely. It’s easily a microphone that can keep up with the original Blue Yeti in terms of audio quality, but I feel that you will definitely need to stick it on some kind of microphone stand or desk boom arm so you can get the microphone closer to your mouth. The build quality of the Yeti Nano is absolutely superb too and I would have no problem with sticking this in a bag to travel around with me. You do lose out on those two directional modes, but it’s not a huge problem as they’re the least popular options. For more information head over to the Blue website.