For months, I’ve been asking Verge audio maestro Andrew Marino for his recommendation of the best podcasting microphone, and he keeps telling me the Blue Yeti I already have offers the best quality. But the Yeti is a cumbersome beast. (See what I did there?) It’s tall and heavy and I can’t keep its cable plugged it when I pivot it down for storage. That cable happens to be extra long and also uses the ancient Mini USB connector, so I always have to have it bulking out the Yeti’s already considerable frame. Most of these woes are now being corrected by Blue, as the company has just announced a new Yeti Nano that’s roughly half the size of the original, and costs a more affordable $99.
Blue claims it has kept the same studio-quality sound of the original Yeti in this new model — it supports sample rates up to 24-bit/48kHz, as with most of Blue’s microphone lineup — though that obviously hasn’t come without trade-offs. The bigger Yeti has three condenser mic capsules inside it, whereas its smaller sibling has two. The elder Yeti also has four pickup patterns, meaning it can record sound four different ways: one is for focusing on the user in front of it, another is for generating a wide stereo image, the third is tailored to conducting interviews, and the last is omnidirectional, capturing everything around the mic. The Blue Yeti Nano only has the single-target and omnidirectional modes, which, frankly, will be sufficient for most people’s purposes.
With the compact Blue Snowball already on the market, I had to ask Blue what role the Yeti Nano will play in its product portfolio, and the company said the Nano is intended for those who want to have a more stylish, professional-looking setup but couldn’t afford the price or the desk space that the full-size Yeti demands. Overall, the Yeti Nano does look like the necessary simplification that the Yeti lineup needed, though I really would have liked to see Blue moving on from Mini USB to a port that’s more modern and durable, such as the USB-C that powers every one of my other gadgets. The connector on my old Yeti has gotten loose with all the connections and disconnections it’s endured over the years, and it’s the solitary part of that microphone’s design that doesn’t feel super solid and durable.
The gray Blue Yeti Nano is available to buy now for $99 / £89. Over the coming month, handsome blue, red, and gold variants will also become available. No YouTuber should have to sacrifice looks or elegance for the sake of better sound quality.