Due to its wide variety in terms of options and polar patterns, Blue Yeti is one of the best USB microphones. Yeti is quite a popular microphone and has been used by almost every youtuber once in their career. The microphone allows high-quality audio recording and its steel body and mount ensure durability. Blue Yeti is a great microphone – no doubt in that! But all these features and quality comes at a price. The only thing that bothers people about the Yeti is its pricing. Which leads people to look for blue yeti alternatives. Despite offering unbeatable features at its price range, Yeti isn’t right for some people due to its unusual size. Hence, for those who’re just starting their career and looking for a budget microphone, Blue yeti might not be a handy option.
If you care about your audio and looking for midrange USB microphones that work when connected with a computer, Blue Yeti is bang for the buck. Read my review about the Blue yeti here.
To get the best out of yeti, you’d have to purchase a handful of accessories. Although, microphone industry is big, and there are a ton of microphones available. We have microphone under and above blue yeti’s price range offering same, or even more features than Blue Yeti.
Best Budget Blue Yeti Alternatives
#1. Blue Snowball
Snowball comes from the same house as Yeti. The only major difference between Blue Yeti and Snowball is that Yeti offers all polar patterns like Stereo, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and cardioid. For offering 4 recording modes, the yeti has 3 capsules inside it. If you think you won’t be using all these 4 patterns, then Snowball will get the job done. Blue snowball only has an omnidirectional and cardioid mode. If you’re planning to record only your voice or podcast/interviews, Snowball will work fine for you.
Unless you’re an audiophile, you won’t notice any difference in the sound quality. The output level of Snowball is a tiny bit low then the Blue Yeti (as mentioned in a ton of comparisons and reviews). Quite like Yeti, Snowball also emphasis on picking low-frequency noises. If you’ve used Yeti, you’d know that it picks up every little noise. On the other hand, snowball picks less noise. The microphone also has awesome build quality, beautiful design & quality. Depending on your needs, this microphone could be the best alternative for Yeti.
Pro tip: If you want to record your voice over, or record only yourself, or conduct interviews for your podcast, this microphone would work great.
#2. Zoom H1
Zoom H1 serves as more than just a microphone. It can perform as a complete audio recorder. You can use it with your computer ( like most of the microphones), but it also performs like a charm if you use it standalone on the go. The best part about Zoom H1 is its versatility. You can use this microphone in multiple ways, either you can use as desktop USB microphone by connecting it via USB cable, or you can simply mount it over your DSLR using a shoe mount, or simply hold it in your hands.
If you go with Zoom H1, do consider buying accessories as well. Accessories include things like hard case, mic holder, tripod, windshield, AC adaptor and a USB cable – things which would help you maximize your potential. The microphone is ultra-portable, so much so that it is smaller than a smartphone. The microphone can be carried anywhere and is great for conducting interviews. Zoom H1 consists of an XY mic setup to record in stereo. It also has options to configure your gain levels and choose between Wav and mp3 formats. The microphone can also be used along with a lavalier microphone. If you’re low on budget, you can purchase a cheap wireless lavalier microphone and attach it to Zoom’s line in port.
Apart from lavaliers, you can also connect shotgun microphones or any condenser microphones. It is a travel-friendly microphone that you could carry anywhere.
Pro tip: If you travel often and need to record on go, this microphone is what you need.
#3. Audio Technica At2020
This one gives a close fight to the Blue Yeti. Although it is affordable and priced low than the yeti, it offers almost the same quality. The reason it is not as popular as Yeti is it due to lack of multi-pattern recording. Audio Technica at2020 only records in cardioid mode, and there are no options to switch to omnidirectional or bi-directional mode. Also, keep in mind that if you get this microphone, you’d require a pre-amp to power it up. On the blue yeti is plug and play and you don’t need any extra accessory for the Yeti. Audio Technica At2020 also comes in USB variant but that variant is priced around $200.
Pro tip: If you need a microphone to record podcast or record videos where only are the speaker, this microphone would work like a charm.
#4. Samson Meteor
A good alternative microphone for the Yeti. But unlike the blue yeti, this microphone doesn’t offer multi-pattern recording. You can only record in a cardioid mode with this microphone(much like audio technica at2020). The sound quality of this microphone is pretty close to Blue yeti. Just like the Yeti, this microphone is extremely sensitive, which means that it will pick up the noise of AC or fan running in your room. Although you can cancel out that noise easily via audacity. This one is also a USB microphone like yeti and hence setup is simple. All you need is plug this in and start recording. Build quality is great and would last long.
Pro tip: If you want a microphone for ASMR or podcasting, this one would work.
#5. Samson Go
Samson GO is the most versatile microphone under $50. If you’re looking for cheap blue yeti alternative, this can be the right microphone. It is a portable microphone which can be plugged into your USB port and can be used for recording. Like the blue yeti, this one is also a plug and play microphone and needs no additional drivers or installation. The microphone is travel-friendly and is very compact. The best part of this microphone is, despite being at this price range, it comes with omnidirectional and cardioid recording patterns.
The omnidirectional mode works great for interviews or discussions. Blue yeti’s sound quality is a bit better than Samson go, and also has a bidirectional audio pickup pattern. But, if you don’t need that, this microphone offers same features. You can easily clip this microphone to your laptop for skype and podcasting.
Pro Tip – If you need to do skype calls, or you’re just starting a podcast and don’t wish to risk a lot of dollars, get this microphone.
Verdict: These were some microphones that fall in the same price range ( or below ) as the blue yeti. It is up to you, and what purpose you need the microphone for. I’d recommend the Blue Snowball and Zoom H1. Also, figure out your purpose very clearly before purchasing the microphone.
For example, the majority of the people who purchase the blue yeti, never use all of its polar patterns!
If you don’t need to record in a group, cardioid mode works fine. Also, cardioid mode picks up way less noise as compared to other pickup patterns. Blue Yeti is a condenser microphone and extra sensitive on top of that. It’ll pick up every noise in the room. You can minimise this by lowering the gain or removing the noise in audacity.
The reason I suggest Zoom H1 is for its portability and the ability to record standalone. If you make vlogs or take interviews while traveling, it would be hard to make a proper microphone setup, hence the Zoom H1 would work like a charm.
On the other hand, the Blue Snowball is great for voice overs and podcasting. Keep in mind that it comes from the home of makers of Yeti!