“USB” is NOT a Type of Microphone: A Guide for Podcasting and Home Recording

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all “nice microphone“. There are different types of mics for different types of recording jobs. If you’re looking at podcasting, spoken word, interviews, or voice over recording, here’s a quick primer on some of the microphones you might want to consider!


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CES#2014: Sennheiser MOMENTUM and G4ME ONE Headphones, with microphone test!

Working in voice over, I know Sennheiser from their mics, and I think they make fantastic recording solutions. I don’t actually have a lot of experience with their various headphones, but my all time favorite pair of studio monitors are their HD25’s.

I was stoked to try out some of their consumer solutions on the show floor, and even used the built int headset mic on the Momentum to record the audio for this video. Spoiler: I was very impressed with the sound of that little mic…

Ask Juan: Yeti USB Microphone for Youtube Video VO?

Screenshot (88)A question from Timi on Twitter:

How good is the Yeti mic. $149. Looking for something to dub review videos.

I’m a big fan of the Yeti. I recently reviewed the Yeti Pro (black version) here on the site. It’s one of the more versatile USB mics you can pick up.

But do you need that versatility?

If your main use is to record yourself for the voice over behind video, the Yeti might be overkill. Having variable polar patterns which change the “shape” of what the mic will pick up probably wont be necessary if you’re recording videos with similar tone and if you’re in a consistent space while recording those voice overs. I’ve also produced a video explaining polar patterns if you need more info.

The Yeti also makes for a fine interview mic, so maybe it’s worth grabbing it if you think you might want to do that. If that’s not really on your radar however, you’ll be spending cash on features you wont be using.

Some alternatives? 

Taking a step down to Blue’s Snowball can save you some cash, and it now comes in fancy new colors.

You could also take a look at Audio-Technica’s lineup. The AT2020 USB is an entry level standard, and many have started their home recording careers with that mic. If you don’t mind the price tag bump, A-T recently updated the AT2020USB Plus to include on-mic volume and headphone controls. Compared to the Yeti these mics aren’t as versatile, but in my opinion they do their one job better than the Yeti does that one job.

Now all of these will be fine options for dubbing a review video, but in terms of maximizing your bang-for-buck, you just need to be honest with yourself regarding what capabilities you actually need.

Happy hunting!

Review: Blue Microphone’s Yeti Pro USB Microphone

Screenshot (88)An oldie, but a goodie.

Let’s take a look back at one of the best USB microphones currently on the market. The Yeti Pro is still chugging along as a great solution for those wanting to improve their home recording or podcasting capabilities.

Time to go hands on with this multi-pattern wunder-mic!