As we know, home studios are becoming the staple for digital entertainment production.
USB microphones are at the forefront of this revolution, and choosing the right one is THE make-or-break decision for all content creators.
Leading this market are the Rode NT-USB and the Blue Yeti. Both mics have a great sound quality and even similar technical specifications.
Now… we know what you’re thinking “how will I know which one is better for me?”.
Welcome to our ultimate Blue Yeti vs. Rode NT-USB comparison guide.
Ready? Let’s get into the nitty-gritty details.
Rode NT-USB Overview
The Rode NT-USB is a lightweight studio-quality cardioid microphone that fits perfectly in your home studio.
It rocks an integrated headphone amplifier and is regarded as the top pick of professional voice-over artists.
The Rode NT-USB microphone brings portability to the extremes.
This mic is compatible with basic and mainstream DAWs like Garage Band and Audacity. It even features direct compatibility with an iPad (more on this below).
Setting up is quick and easy with its conveniently placed USB port.
It also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a volume level and mix knob, making for great zero-latency monitoring.
Included with this mic are the following:
- 6 meter long USB cable
- Detachable pop filter
- Tripod desk stand
- Ring mount
- Storage pouch
List of Specifications
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency Response: 20Hz- 20kHz
- Sample Rate: 48kHz/16-bit
- Max SPL: 110dB
- Signal to Noise: 75db
- Weight: 1.1 lbs
This mic comes with everything you need to have in a desk mic setup.
In addition to this, you can even use Rode’s Reporter app to record and upload through your Apple mobile devices.
The cardioid pattern of this mic makes it perfect for recording vocals, spoken word, YouTube videos, podcasts, and acoustic guitar sounds.
Say goodbye to background noises because the NT-USB is designed to only pick up sounds from the front of it!
The detachable pop filter of this mic is ideal for noise canceling. Furthermore, it also has an internal pop filter for eliminating plosive sounds.
Unlike other mics on the market, the direct on-mic volume and mix control of the Rode NT-USB allows you to play pre-recorded tracks during a live transmission.
Compared to other USB mics, the Rode NT-USB is a bit pricey.
This mic only has one pickup pattern, which could be limiting. There is also no gain knob or control feature for audio distortions.
Blue Yeti Overview
The Blue Yeti is one of the most popular mics on the market for a good reason.
This professional-quality USB mic is your perfect companion for recording instruments, streaming content, gaming, etc.
The Blue Yeti rocks a 3.5mm headphone jack that guarantees zero latency audio output.
It also comes with a convenient USB port that allows quick plug-and-play compatibility for Mac and Windows.
Unique to the Blue Yeti is the mute button, where you can instantly cut off the sound input.
The Blue Yeti features 4 knobs for gain control, headphone volume, and a pickup pattern knob.
This feature-filled mic is nestled in an adjustable stand compact enough to place anywhere on your desk.
Lastly, it gives you access to Blue’s VO!CE software that allows for vocal effects, modulation, and many more.
List of Specifications
- Four Polar Patterns: Cardioid, stereo, Omni- and bidirectional
- Frequency Response: 20Hz- 20kHz
- Sample Rate: 48kHz/16-bit
- Max SPL: 120dB
- Signal to Noise: 100db
- Weight: 1.2 lbs
The Blue Yeti brings unparalleled versatility with its FOUR different pickup patterns.
This mic is perfect for recording instruments like an acoustic guitar or when you’re jamming with your band.
Gone were the days when you did a stereo recording with two mics because the stereo pickup pattern on the Blue Yeti is great for music production.
Another benefit of this mic is the gain control up to 20db, which makes singing high notes the least of your worries!
Lastly, the Blue Yeti has three condenser capsules for a more accurate sound wave to mic signal conversion.
The Blue Yeti has no mix control, which means you cannot blend pre-recorded audio with live sounds.
This mic does not come with any pop filter or shock mount.
Rode NT vs. Blue Yeti: Performance Comparison
The Blue Yeti microphone and the Rode NT-USB are side-address condenser mics that allow for analog to digital conversion and vice versa.
Both these USB mics also have built-in headphone amplifiers and integrated audio interfaces.
Here is our detailed comparison of the differences between these two USB microphones.
One of the main differences between the Rode NT USB and the Blue Yeti is their options for pickup patterns.
The Blue Yeti has 4, and the NT USB only has 1.
Both the Rode NT USB and the Blue Yeti have this pickup pattern. A cardioid pickup pattern recognizes sound sources directly in front of it.
This pattern is great for YouTube videos, voice-overs, and podcasting.
Here is a visual representation of the pickup area:
This is the only pattern available on the Rode NT-USB. However, they have made sure that it is of the highest quality.
The Rode NT-USB offers more noise-canceling benefits than the Blue Yeti, which brings the best out of this pattern.
The Blue Yeti has a stereo pattern that can capture and record a wide range of sounds using the left and right channels.
When paired with the great zero latency and the pristine sound quality of the Yeti, this mode makes stereo recording very simple.
This polar pattern works best when you want to immerse people with your voice, vocals, and music.
The omnidirectional pattern mode makes the Blue Yeti mic pick up sounds from all directions.
Use this mode when recording live performances and multi-person podcasts. This pattern works best when you want your listeners to feel like they are physically with you.
Lastly, the Blue Yeti features a bidirectional pattern that uses both the mic’s front and back to record.
With this mode, the work of two microphones is mixed into just one.
This polar pattern is great for singing duets and conducting face-to-face interviews.
The fact that the Blue Yeti offers multiple polar pattern options means that you have more creative control over your content.
With that being said, The Blue Yeti is the better mic for this category.
The sampling rate determines the number of audio samples taken from a continuous sound signal to form a digital signal.
It is closely related to the analog to digital conversion feature of both the Blue Yeti and the Rode NT-USB.
But why is the sampling rate so important for microphones?
This is because a person can only hear frequencies up to 20000Hz. To reach the upper limit of 2000Hz, you’ll need a sample rate of approximately 40kHz.
The standard sampling rates for microphones and audio interfaces are 44.1kHz or 48kHz.
- 44.1kHz = up to 22’oooHz
- 48kHz = up to 24’000Hz
Both these mics provide a sampling rate of 48kHz/16-bit.
This means that the Blue Yeti and the Rode NT-USB are tied in terms of the sampling rate.
Sound Pressure Level
The sound pressure level (SPL) determines how much volume it can take before the audio distorts or fails.
Furthermore, if a microphone is kept at a pressure level above its maximum range, it can cause damage to the condenser capsule.
With this in mind, having a higher SPL offers more versatility and is better for recording the louder sounds of drums and percussions.
Compared to the mics, the Blue Yeti has a higher max SPL at 120 dB and is the winner of this category.
Build and Design
Both the Rode NT-USB and the Blue Yeti have similar builds. Both are made with durable aircraft-grade aluminum.
However, the Rode mic is easier to carry around since it is lighter and smaller than the Blue Yeti.
A major difference between these mics is their design.
The Blue Yeti has a more metallic and retro design than NT-USB’s modern studio look.
In addition to this, the innovative design of the Blue Yeti allows you to adjust and pivot the mic relative to the sound source.
While the Rode NT-USB is indeed portable, in terms of positioning, it needs an extra boom arm to match the convenient design of the Blue Yeti.
If you are particular about looks, the Blue Yeti comes in a variety of colors that you can mix and match with the aesthetic of your desk setups.
The Rode NT-USB has 2 knobs on its body. The first knob is for headphone output control, and the latter is a mix knob for on-mic mix control.
On the other hand, the Blue Yeti sports 3 knobs. There’s a volume control knob, a gain knob, and the knob to access the four polar patterns.
It is safe to say that these knobs are of great quality. Now, you have to choose between having gain control or mixing control.
The Rode NT-USB and the Blue Yeti USB mics boast easy plug-and-play connectivity with Mac OS and Windows.
- The Rode NT-USB comes with a USB 2.0 Type A to Type B cable.
- While the Blue Yeti comes with a mini USB to USB Type-A cable.
In terms of DAWs and recording software, both these mics are compatible with almost all the mainstream platforms.
Here are just some off the top of our heads:
- FL Studios
However, unlike the Blue Yeti, the Rode NT-USB is iPad compatible. You’ll need an Apple USB camera connector kit and the Rode Rec app to use this feature.
This feature, paired with the portability of the Rode NT-USB, is great for on-the-go content creators.
For this reason, the Rode NT-USB wins this category.
The Rode mic uses a 0.50″ condenser capsule that delivers crisp and detailed audio output in terms of sound quality.
This Rode mic also has enhanced treble, and superb background noise canceling that will truly make your voice sound good! Furthermore, the audio quality is amazing if you combine those features with the detachable pop filter.
On the other hand, you have the Blue Yeti, which uses 3 condenser capsules that work just as great.
- The Blue Yeti has more bass and a more balanced treble that shines when recording vocals, instruments, and music.
- This mic doesn’t require a pop filter because it was designed to work well without it.
With that being said, choosing which mic has better audio quality is like choosing between apples and oranges.
The Rode NT-USB and the Blue Yeti are premium side-address studio mics top under the $200 bracket.
However, there is a $50 difference between these two USB microphones, with the Rode NT-USB being the more expensive one.
The Blue Yeti offers great value, more polar patterns, and many features for an affordable price. It is your budget option for USB microphones!
So Which USB Mic Should You Get?
After reading through this Blue Yeti vs. Rode NT-USB comparison guide, you probably have a ton of helpful information about the Rode NT-USB and the Blue Yeti.
This section is dedicated to summarizing it all.
Choose The Rode NT-USB If…
- You prefer a mic with virtually no background noise being picked up.
- You want a great cardioid polar pattern.
- You like direct on-mic volume and mix control that guarantees zero-latency monitoring.
- You like having direct iPad compatibility.
- You fancy a mic with enhanced treble.
- You want a mic that filters out plosive sounds.
Choose The Blue Yeti If…
- You value versatility since the Blue Yeti offers multiple polar patterns.
- You want access to vocal and sound effects through Blue’s VO!CE software.
- You like having a mute button and on-mic gain control.
- You fancy a mic with more bass and a higher max SPL.
- You prefer a mic with multiple color options.
- You are on a budget.
Alternative to Consider: Rode NT-USB Mini
If you think neither choice suits your needs, you can always look at some alternatives!
Here is one to consider.
Rode NT-USB Mini
The Rode NT-USB Mini is, by NO means, just a miniature version of the Rode NT-USB.
This small but powerful USB microphone is capable of professional studio-level recording with its vibrant sound quality and multiple applications.
It has all the features you liked in the Rode NT-USB:
- Zero-latency monitoring.
- An internal pop filter.
- Cardioid pattern.
- Class-compliant USB output.
In addition to that, here are some of the features that make the Rode NT-USB mini a worthy substitute:
- An integrated 360-degree swing mount.
- Detachable magnetic desk stand.
- Fully compatible with Rode Connect software that gives you access to noise gates, compressors, and more.
- Does not require an audio interface.
- Sample Rate of 48kHz/24-bit.
- Output Connection: USB-C
- Higher SPL.
Rode NT-USB Mini vs. Blue Yeti
The Rode NT USB Mini is a good microphone for beginners who record voice-overs and want a great-sounding mic.
To compare the two, here are some Blue Yeti features that outclass the NT-USB Mini:
- Multiple polar patterns.
- More Bass.
- Mute button.
- Gain control.
The Blue Yeti is the more appropriate microphone for other purposes beyond the ones mentioned above.
That wraps up our Rode vs. Blue Yeti comparison guide! To be honest, you can’t go wrong with getting either microphone.
These mics are full of features that WILL upgrade your home studio, plus they sound great.
However, these USB microphones work better for different applications.
- If you want a mic to enhance your voice solely, we recommend getting the Rode NT-USB.
- On the other hand, if you want a great mic for recording music, instruments, vocals, and more, we recommend the Blue Yeti.
We hope you enjoyed this Rode NT vs. Blue Yeti comparison guide, and we wish you the best with your content!