Today we’re looking at the Blue Yeti Nano, a streamlined version of the legendary Yeti USB mic favoured by podcasters, streamers and other content creators for its excellent sound quality, durability and ease of use. The Nano promises professional 24-bit sound in a more compact package, and with a suggested retail price of $99, the Yeti Nano is also cheaper than the $129 Yeti. Here’s our review.
Pulling it out of the box and placing it next to the original Blue Yeti, you’ll notice that the Nano is smaller in every dimension. The significantly shorter stature of the Nano makes it easier to use on a desk; you can place it in front of your keyboard without blocking sight of your screen – something that did happen with the full-size Yeti. (If you prefer a proper mount, the Yeti Nano is compatible with the same Radius III mount as the original Yeti.) The smaller size also makes the Nano easier to tote around. However, the premium aesthetic remains, with the metal construction providing a reassuringly solid heft.
Where the original Yeti had a red led on the front that flashed when it was muted, the Yeti Nano has an easier-to-grasp green or red ring on the headphone volume knob. This colour provides a more modern look to the Yeti Nano, helped by the glossy ring around the base of the mic grille.
The four modes of the original Yeti have been replaced with two: directional (cardioid) and omnidirectional, with the (less popular) stereo and bidirectional modes having been dropped. You can switch modes by pressing a flat button on the back of the mic; holding this button for two seconds turns direct monitoring on or off.
The back of the full-size Yeti also contained a gain knob, but this has been wholly excised on the Nano model; you’ll need to control gain via your OS or the simple Sherpa app, which is available on Mac and Windows. As well as adjusting volume levels, the app can change patterns and install firmware updates.
The bottom of the Nano includes a USB input (Micro, not USB-C) and a headphone jack for monitoring, plus a 1/4″ thread for mounting the microphone (a 5/8″ adapter is also included).
We’d be remiss to finish this review without mentioning the sound quality, so let’s do that now. In our testing, we struggled to hear a meaningful difference in sound quality between the original and Nano models; both provided clear spoken word recordings and clear in-game communications.
We found the Yeti Nano easier to position, thanks to its smaller size, while the original Yeti’s gain knob made it easier to set the right volume level quickly – on the Nano, we found that Windows applications often adjusted the sound without respect for our original setting.
Ultimately, there’s relatively little to separate these two class-leading USB microphones. The Nano keeps the best features of the OG Yeti, looks better and costs less, so we recommend it over the original for most people. However, some folks may need the missing stereo and bidirectional recording modes or may not care about the larger size, so for them the original Yeti remains a substantiated choice.