Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano: Which is better?

Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano

The Blue Yeti has been pretty much the go-to USB microphone for podcasters and YouTube content creators for over a decade now.


But there’s a new (or at least newer) kid on the block, the Blue Yeti Nano.

Is the Nano as good as the original? Is there anything more to it than just a smaller version of the Yeti? Is the Blue Yeti still worth the extra cost now that the Nano is out?

These questions are exactly what we’re going to address today.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano comparison:

  • Sound quality
  • Size & weight
  • Polar patterns
  • Connectivity
  • Build quality
  • Controls
  • Color choice
  • Price & Value For Money
  • Pros & Cons

Ready? Let’s get started…

30-Second Summary: Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano

So when it comes down to Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano, which one should you choose? Here’s a quick overview:

  • Go for Blue Yeti if you need 4 polar patterns, a dedicated gain control, and excellent sound quality, and you don’t mind the extra weight and size. By nearly all measures, this is the better microphone.
  • Go for Blue Yeti Nano if you’re a traveling podcaster, YouTuber, musician, or sound engineer. The Blue Yeti Nano weighs about half of what the full-size Yeti does, and it’s quite a bit smaller, so it’s definitely more portable, even if you sacrifice a couple of polar patterns.

1. Sound quality: Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano

Let’s start by looking at the factor that really matters when choosing a new mic: the sound quality.

Sound quality: Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti has pretty much become the standard quality of USB mics.


Sure, it might not be as glorious as the Neumann U87, or as strong at rejecting background noise as Shure’s SM7B, but it’s a fraction of the price of these mics, and it connects via USB.

The Yeti is a fairly forward-sounding microphone, thanks to a reasonably sharp boost in the upper mids, peaking at 4kHz.


This gives voice recordings a tonne of clarity, and can actually make them sound a little nasal, depending on your vocalist.

A subtle dip just below this (around 2kHz) seeks to combat this, and then it’s a soft roll down to 300Hz, where the Yeti falls off very quickly.

That means it doesn’t have a whole lot of boomy low-end: great for voice recordings, not so great for recording instruments like bass guitar or piano.

The Yeti samples at 48kHz and records at 16-bit, which is fairly decent, however…

Sound quality: Blue Yeti Nano

The Blue Yeti Nano does win in one area, as it records at 24-bit.

This extra depth allows for a greater dynamic range in recordings, so if you’re singing a very dynamic piece, then the Nano is likely to serve you better.

The frequency response of the Nano is a bit different, too. Not worse, just different.

It doesn’t have the sharp presence boost, just a few dips at 500Hz (removing boxiness), 2kHz (removing nasality), and 8kHz (targeting sibilance).

It doesn’t roll off in the low-end til around 200Hz, where it drops quite quickly.

So, a little more bass response than the full-size Yeti, but not a whole lot.

Sound quality: Bottom Line

Overall, the Nano has a more crafted frequency response that is a bit more ‘ready to go’ straight out of the box. Despite this, and the extra bit depth afforded by the Nano, the standard Yeti mic still comes out on top.

It sounds more natural, more present, and gives you a more malleable sound palette that gives you a bit more room to develop your own vocal chain in the mix.

Sound quality Winner: Blue Yeti

2. Size & weight: Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano

Size & weight: Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti is pretty standard in the size and weight department.

It has a total weight of 3.4 lbs, or 1.2 lbs without the stand (it’s removable and clearly quite heavy).

The mic itself is about the same weight as a U87, so there’s not much to complain or write home about here. It’s around the same size too.

Size & weight: Blue Yeti Nano

The Yeti Nano is, perhaps to little surprise, a whole lot smaller and a whole lot lighter.

The total weight of the Nano, including its standard, is a minimal 1.39 lbs.

In terms of dimensions, it’s a little smaller in width and depth but a good third shorter in height, which is where the size really differs in the Nano.

This is mostly due to a smaller stand and shorter mic body.

Size & weight: Bottom Line

Assuming your goal when assessing the size and weight of a mic is to get the smallest, lightest microphone possible, then the Blue Yeti Nano is the winner in this department.

It’s super compact, weighing less than half of what the full-size unit weighs, so it’ll fit nicely in your backpack or carry-on luggage.

Size & weight Winner: Blue Yeti Nano

3. Polar patterns: Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano

Polar patterns: Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti is super flexible when it comes to polar patterns, offering pretty much all the different patterns you’d like to see in a capable condenser mic:

  • Cardioid
  • Bi-directional
  • Omnidirectional
  • Stereo

This allows you to record a full-band demo, a vocalist, a group, or a two-person interview.

Polar patterns: Blue Yeti Nano

The Nano, on the other hand, is a bit more limited on the polar pattern front.

It offers just cardioid and omni pickup patterns, which, to be fair, are the ones you’re most likely to use.

The reason for this difference is that the other two patterns require another mic capsule (the Nano has two, the Yeti has three), so it’s a part of cutting down on size, weight, and price.

Polar patterns: Bottom Line

The Blue Yeti is the pretty obvious winner here, offering twice as many polar patterns as it’s little brother.

Polar patterns Winner: Blue Yeti

4. Connectivity: Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano

USB

Both microphones are USB class-compliant devices, meaning they should connect to your computer instantly without the need to download drivers.

You’ll get a USB cable with each, though if you’re using a USB-C device (like a modern MacBook Pro), then you’ll need to grab a converter as well.

Headphone jack

Both the Yeti and the Yeti Nano have a 3.5mm headphone jack on the underside, allowing you to monitor your signal on the way through for zero-latency recording.

XLR

Neither microphone offers XLR connectivity; it’s USB only here, sorry!

Connectivity Winner: Tie

5. Build quality: Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano

Build quality: Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti feels undeniably like a well-built, professional-quality microphone.

Part of is the weight of the mic itself, and part of it is the finish. Overall, though, it’s the attention to detail in things like the mic grille and the feel of the desktop stand.

The full-size Blue Yeti comes with a 2-year warranty.

Build quality: Blue Yeti Nano

Though the Yeti Nano is still a quality microphone, it lacks the sophisticated feel of it’s big brother.

It’s in the subtle details like the mic grille ring, and the action of the desktop stand.

Plus, the Nano is only backed by a 1-year warranty.

Build quality: Bottom Line

The full-size Yeti wins this round.

It feels more sophisticated and polished, and has a longer warranty.

Build quality Winner: Blue Yeti

6. Controls: Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano

Controls: Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti is stacked with controls.

Here’s what you get:

  • Polar pattern selector switch
  • Microphone gain control
  • Headphone volume control
  • Tap to mute button

Controls: Blue Yeti Nano

The Yeti Nano, on the other hand, is a little more limited on the controls front. You still have a polar pattern selector, though it’s a button rather than a switch as you only have two options, and a headphone volume control.

There is no mic gain control, but you do have an on/off button on the other side.

Controls: Bottom Line

It’s pretty obvious that the original Yeti wins this round, given it offers more flexibility in terms of controls, most notably with the mic gain control, which allows you to dial in the perfect preamp gain for your vocal performance.

Controls Winner: Blue Yeti

7. Color choice: Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano

Color choice: Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti comes in three colors:

  • Black on black
  • Nickel with silver grille
  • Blue with silver grille

Color choice: Blue Yeti Nano

The Blue Yeti Nano offers a bit more on the customization front, with quite the selection of color palettes:

  • Black on black
  • Gold on gold
  • Red onyx with dark silver grille
  • Shadow grey with dark silver grille
  • Blue with silver grille

Color choice: Bottom Line

The Nano offers nearly twice as many color choices as the original Yeti does, so it’s got to be the winner of this round.

Color choice Winner: Blue Yeti Nano

8. Price & Value For Money: Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano

Price & Value For Money: Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti is one of the most affordable professional-quality USB mics out there, coming in at around $130.

Considering it offers 4 different polar patterns, direct headphone monitoring, and a really clean sounding response, we’d say it offers pretty good value for money, all things considered.

Price & Value For Money: Blue Yeti Nano

Okay, so the Nano is a little bit cheaper, at around $100.

It’s still good value for money, however, it misses out on some of the key features of the Yeti, like the stereo polar pattern and the dedicated gain control.

Price & Value For Money: Bottom Line

We’d say that for the extra $30, the original Blue Yeti is well worth the money.

I mean, $15 more per polar pattern is enough justification, right?

Price & Value For Money Winner: Blue Yeti

9. Pros & Cons: Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano

Blue Yeti Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • 4 different polar patterns
  • Plug-and-play USB class-compliant device
  • Dedicated mic gain control
  • Push to mute button

Cons:

  • Bulky compared to the Nano
  • More costly than the Nano

Blue Yeti Nano Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • You still get the 2 main polar patterns
  • Plug-and-play USB class-compliant device
  • Headphone output and volume control
  • Small and lightweight = super portable

Cons:

  • You miss out on the bi-directional and stereo polar patterns
  • Side by side, the full-size Yeti feel and sounds a bit more professional

Conclusion & Takeaway

To summarize our findings in this Blue Yeti vs Blue Yeti Nano comparison, here are the winners for each category:

  • Sound quality – Blue Yeti
  • Size & weight – Blue Yeti Nano
  • Polar patterns – Blue Yeti
  • Connectivity – Tie
  • Build quality – Blue Yeti
  • Controls – Blue Yeti
  • Color choice – Blue Yeti Nano
  • Price & Value For Money – Blue Yeti

Overall: Blue Yeti

Looking at these two mics side by side, there is a clear difference.

Obviously, there is a difference in size, but even comparing specs you can see that the standard Yeti is the better mic, with more polar patterns on tap, a dedicated mic gain control, a push to mute button, and a slightly more polished sound.

Plus, it feels more well-built and comes with a longer warranty.

For the most part, we’d say the original Yeti is the better mic.

However, there are two reasons you should get the Nano. The first is if your budget is super tight. It’s still a really nice mic, all things considered.

The second is the fact that the Nano is much smaller and lighter, so if you’re constantly traveling, especially on airlines, then this mic would be a better fit for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCSJzaXXzQ0 

Product Links:

Blue Yeti

https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Yeti-USB-Microphone-Silver/dp/B002VA464S 

Blue Yeti Nano

https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Yeti-Premium-Recording-Streaming/dp/B07DTTGZ7M 

Products Comparison Table:

Spec / Feature

Blue Yeti

Blue Yeti Nano

Power Required/Consumption:

5V 150mA

5V 150mA

Sample Rate:

48 kHz

48 kHz

Bit Rate:

16-bit

24-bit

Capsules:

3 Blue-proprietary 14mm condenser capsules

2 Blue-proprietary 14mm condenser capsules

Polar Patterns:

Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo

Cardioid, Omnidirectional

Frequency Response:

 20Hz – 20kHz

 20Hz – 20kHz

Max SPL:

120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz)

120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz)

Dimensions (extended in stand):

4.72″ (12cm) x 4.92″(12.5cm) x 11.61″(29.5cm)

L: 4.29” (10.9cm) W: 3.78” (9.6cm) H: 8.31” (21.1cm)

Weight (microphone):

1.2 lbs (.55 kg)

n/a

Weight (stand):

2.2 lbs (1 kg)

n/a

Weight (total):

3.4 lbs (1.55kg)

1.39lbs (0.63 kg)

Headphone amp Impedance:

16 ohms

16 ohms

Headphone amp Power Output (RMS):

130 mW

58mWrms per channel (R Load = 16 ohms)

Headphone amp THD:

0.009%

n/a

Headphone amp Frequency Response:

15 Hz – 22 kHz

15Hz – 22kHz

Headphone amp Signal to Noise:

100dB

100dB

System requirements

WINDOWS

Windows 10 or higher

USB 1.1/2.0/3.0

MACINTOSH

macOS 10.13 or later

USB 1.1/2.0/3.0

WINDOWS

Windows 10 or higher

USB 1.1/2.0/3.0

MACINTOSH

macOS 10.13 or later

USB 1.1/2.0/3.0