Rode NT USB vs Blue Yeti: The Battle of the Podcast Mics

Rode NT USB vs Blue Yeti 2

It’s one thing to record a podcast/stream, and it’s a whole other thing to make a podcast that sounds good.

For that, simple USB microphones, like Blue Yeti and Rode’s NT USB can be real lifesavers. Additionally, they’ll also come in handy for home recordings and demos if you’re into that.

With integrated audio interfaces, you’ll be able to do recordings in a real-time setting, along with direct monitoring for headphones.

But here’s the million-dollar question – which one is better?

Here’s what we’ll cover in this Rode NT USB vs Blue Yeti comparison:

  • Main Specifications
  • Features and Connectivity
  • Sound Capture Quality
  • Practical Use
  • Price & Value for Money
  • Pros & Cons

Ready? Let’s get started…

30-Second Summary: Rode NT USB vs Blue Yeti

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

Go for Rode NT USB if you prefer a simpler mic with a “flatter” frequency response. It’s mostly focused just on the vocal works but can handle some instrument recordings as well.

Go for Blue Yeti if you need a mic with more character, more controls, and multiple polar patterns. This makes it an awesome choice if you also need something for both voice and instrument recordings.

1. Main Specifications: Rode NT USB vs Blue Yeti

Frequency Response

When it comes to the range of frequencies that they cover, Blue Yeti and Rode NT USB are pretty much the same, at least on paper. However, there are some differences when it comes to the frequency distribution.

Just looking at the graphical representation, we can notice that the Rode mic has a bump from 2 to 10 kHz, with a peak at around 5.5 kHz. Meanwhile, Blue Yeti has a small bump at around 1 kHz and another one between 2.5 to 7 kHz.

Overall, the Rode mic is a bit “flatter” in response, but we’ll get to that later.

Polar Pattern(s)

When it comes to the pickup pattern, Rode NT USB has the classic cardioid pattern, which is normal for every vocal-oriented mic. However, Blue Yeti comes with a multi-pattern feature, allowing four different modes of operation.

Aside from cardioid, we have omnidirectional, bidirectional, and stereo modes. This makes Blue Yeti more versatile, allowing it to work in many different settings.

Maximum SPL

Maximum SPL is the maximum sound pressure level, or pretty much the mic’s ability to handle air pressure before experiencing clipping.

Essentially, the higher the max SPL (expressed in dB), the more pressure it can handle.

And in this regard, Blue Yeti is slightly better, measuring at 120 dB and beating the Rode mic for 10 dB.

Although it’s not much, the higher max SPL makes a Blue Yeti more versatile choice for those who need something versatile that can also handle louder settings.

Analog-to-Digital Conversion

Of course, both of these are USB mics. But there’s more to it than just a USB connection. These are practically audio interfaces with microphones. And they both feature analog to digital and digital to analog conversion.

Blue Yeti and Rode NT USB are pretty much equal when it comes to this conversion to 1’s and 0’s. They both come with a 16-bit depth and a 48-kHz buffer size. It’s the standard minimum for audio interfaces today.

Main Specifications Winner: Blue Yeti

2. Features and Connectivity: Rode NT USB vs Blue Yeti

Features and Connectivity: Rode NT USB

While it may seem simple at first, Rode NT USB is more than just a mic. As mentioned, it also comes with an integrated audio interface that has controls and other stuff on it. So aside from the direct plug-and-play connection with your computer, the mic also allows for headphone output, headphone volume control, and mix control.

This “mix” control allows for a balance between the direct microphone signal and the software used on your computer. But other than that, it’s a fairly simple mic with a plug-and-play operation for both Windows and Mac devices.

Features and Connectivity: Blue Yeti

While it’s a USB mic, just like Rode NT USB, Blue Yeti has a bit of a different configuration. The main difference is that it doesn’t have the mix control, and it comes with a mute button. However, aside from the output volume control, there’s also the input gain and the switch for its four polar patterns.

Features and Connectivity: Bottom Line

While there are differences between the two, making these both mics good in their own way, we couldn’t help but put the Blue Yeti ahead.

This is due to the microphone’s ability to change polar patterns, making it useful for plenty of different settings. Sure, both are intended for podcasts and content creators, but it’s still good to have more versatility.

Features and Connectivity Winner: Blue Yeti

3. Sound Capture Quality: Rode NT USB vs Blue Yeti

Sound Capture Quality: Rode NT USB

While the mic covers pretty much the entire audible spectrum, anything from 20 to 20000 Hz, Rode NT USB is a bit “flat” in its response. This can come in handy to anyone who prefers such a setting and who likes to further shape the input using EQs, compression, and other effects.

Sound Capture Quality: Blue Yeti

Blue Yeti, on the other hand, has more character. And it’s not only that. By choosing different polar patterns, you change the way it captures the sound and specific frequencies in its proximity. But it’s not just the versatility, but the overall character that it gives.

Sound Capture Quality: Bottom Line

Both of these are condenser mics, intended for voice recordings. Additionally, they’re both with the same audio resolution and they work the same way. The sound quality is at the same level, although the mics are different.

Rode is a bit “flatter” while the Blue Yeti has its character. You choose what works the best for you.

Sound Capture Quality Winner: Tie

4. Practical Use: Rode NT USB vs Blue Yeti

Practical Use: Rode NT USB

Overall, Rode’s NT USB is a mic intended primarily for vocals. Due to its “flatter” response, at least compared to most other similar mics, it’s awesome for anyone who likes to use a bunch of plugins for EQ and various effects.

But this “flat” response is why we wouldn’t always recommend it as an instrument mic. Sure, it can do its job if you need such a mic, but it’s mostly for vocals.

What we really like, however, is the stand and how it makes things so practical. It’s easy to adjust and it looks cool. What more would you possibly need?

Practical Use: Blue Yeti

On the other hand, Blue Yeti is far more versatile. Sure, its stand and overall design might not look as cool as the Rode NT USB. You may think that looks don’t matter, but these are content creator mics.

But when it comes to capturing various sources, Blue Yeti brings a lot of versatility with its multiple polar pattern options. Sure, it’s good for podcasts and YouTube videos, but you can also record various instruments as well.

Practical Use: Bottom Line

This was another difficult choice to make. But we can’t help but put Blue Yeti ahead. Its multiple polar patterns and an overall “character” make for a better podcast mic.

Plus, you can do more than just that with it. Rode NT USB is a pretty great choice too, just bear in mind that it’s not as versatile.

Practical Use Winner: Blue Yeti

5. Price & Value for Money: Rode NT USB vs Blue Yeti

Price & Value for Money: Rode NT USB

Rode NT USB isn’t an expensive mic, at least considering the qualities that you get with it. This mostly comes down to the sound and build qualities, although its design is pretty awesome as well. It’s definitely one of the mics out there that you won’t regret buying, especially if you need something solely for voice.

Price & Value for Money: Blue Yeti

To be fair, there’s a reason why Blue Yeti became an “industry standard” among content creators and most podcast hosts. YouTubers and various streamers, for instance, have used it for quite some time, raising the mic’s popularity over the past years.

It’s relatively cheap, considering its qualities, it can also be used for music purposes, and it’s fairly simple to figure out.

Price & Value for Money: Bottom Line

Both of these mics are good. However, there’s a significant difference in price, where the Blue Yeti is cheaper.

Now, while the Rode NT USB is more vocal-oriented, it’s still not exactly a pro-level mic.

In fact, the overall sound quality and practical value are at the same, or similar, level. So the value for the money prize goes to Blue Yeti.

Price & Value for Money Winner: Blue Yeti

6. Pros & Cons: Rode NT USB vs Blue Yeti

Rode NT USB Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Great sound capture quality
  • Awesome build quality and design
  • Simple to use

Cons:

  • It could be a bit more versatile

Blue Yeti Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Great sound capture quality
  • Versatile, can also be used for instruments
  • Well-made
  • Really easy to use

Cons:

  • Nothing for this price level

Conclusion & Takeaway

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

  • Main Specifications – Blue Yeti
  • Features and Connectivity – Blue Yeti
  • Sound Capture Quality – Tie
  • Practical Use – Blue Yeti
  • Price & Value for Money – Blue Yeti

Overall: Blue Yeti

Even though it seems like Blue Yeti is way ahead of Rode NT USB according to the info shared above, this isn’t really the case. In fact, we wouldn’t ever discourage you from buying Rode NT USB since this is a pretty awesome mic.

In a practical sense, Blue Yeti could be referred to as “superior” since it’s more versatile, it’s simple to use, and it’s pretty cheap.

But on the other hand, Yeti is kind of a “Jack of all trades” where it does multiple different things equally well. Meanwhile Rode NT USB is something more focused on voice, be it a podcast, live streaming session, or singing.

In the end, the choice is up to you – they’re both awesome mics.

Product Links:

Rode NT USB

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/NTUSB–rode-nt-usb-usb-condenser-microphone

Blue Yeti

Products Comparison Table:

Spec/Feature

Rode NT USB

Blue Yeti

Maximum SPL

110 dB

120 dB

Polar pattern

Cardioid

Cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo

Frequency range

20 Hz to 20 kHz

20 Hz to 20 kHz

Weight

1.15 lbs

1.2 lbs