Blue Yeti vs. Snowball: Which Is Better for Singing?

Yeti and Snowball are the two series of USB condenser microphones from Blue. Yeti has five variants and a special combo, including a shock mount and boom arm, while Snowball has two. Blue Yeti and Snowball aren’t in the same class of USB condenser microphones, but which is better for singing?

Blue Yeti is more suitable for singing than Snowball. It has 4 polar modes, gain knob, headphone jack, mute button, and high maximum sound pressure level. Snowball can record only 2 polar patterns with a nominal gain or pickup in one mode. Also, Yeti’s sample rate is higher than Snowball’s.

Snowball and its iCE variant are more affordable, and both can record at a 44.1 kHz sample rate, an input setting many singers and recording artists use. Thus, should you prioritize the price and go with Snowball? Read on to find out whether Yeti or Snowball is better for singing.

Blue Yeti vs Blue Snowball

Why Is Blue Yeti Better Than Snowball for Singing?

Blue Yeti is better than Snowball for singing due to the following reasons:

  • Sound quality
  • Bidirectional, cardioid, omnidirectional, and stereo
  • Sample rate up to 48 kHz
  • Zero-latency headphone output
  • Taller form
  • Blinking mute button
  • Blue VO!CE broadcast vocal effects

While the Blue Yeti USB Microphone is clearly better in features and performance, it’s important to point out that the Blue Snowball USB Microphone is a lot cheaper in price. You can check them both out on Amazon.com.

Now let’s dive into the factors that make Yeti generally better than Snowball. 

Logitech for Creators Blue Yeti USB Microphone for PC, Podcast, Gaming, Streaming, Studio, Computer Mic - Blackout
47,037 Reviews
Logitech for Creators Blue Yeti USB Microphone for PC, Podcast, Gaming, Streaming, Studio, Computer Mic - Blackout
  • Custom three-capsule array: This professional USB mic produces clear, powerful, broadcast-quality sound for YouTube videos, Twitch game streaming, podcasting, Zoom meetings, music recording and more
  • Blue VOICE software: Elevate your streamings and recordings with clear broadcast vocal sound and entertain your audience with enhanced effects, advanced modulation and HD audio samples
  • Four pickup patterns: Flexible cardioid, omni, bidirectional, and stereo pickup patterns allow you to record in ways that would normally require multiple mics, for vocals, instruments and podcasts

Last update on 2022-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Logitech for Creators Blue Snowball USB Microphone for PC, Gaming, Podcast, Streaming, Studio, Computer Mic - Black
  • Legendary Blue broadcast sound: 2-capsule design gives your voice exceptional presence and detail for professional-level recording so you can elevate your YouTube videos, Twitch streaming and more
  • Multiple pickup patterns: The USB microphone features a cardioid pattern for recording and streaming, and omnidirectional which puts you “in the room” for conference calls on Zoom, Skype and more
  • Stylish retro design: Record or stream in style with a classic recording equipment design that looks great on your desktop and on camera; available in 3 bold colors

Last update on 2022-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Blue Yeti vs. Snowball: Sound Quality

Blue Yeti has much better technical specifications compared to Snowball. Thus, it’s unquestionably more capable of recording better audio quality. If you’re recording voice or a conversation and not a song, the difference in sound quality may not be of much significance or starkly noticeable.

However, when you record a song or bring in musical instruments, the subtle differences in tone, pitch, clarity, and phonetics, such as plosive or sibilance, are lucidly evident. You’ll also find the Blue Yeti deliver much brighter and warmer sounds than the Snowball.

Check out this Blue Yeti singing test video on YouTube:

If you’re wondering whether the audio is slightly or significantly edited, watch this Blue Yeti vocal test video where you can hear the ambient room reverb:

Now, listen to the vocals and instruments recorded using Blue Snowball in this video:

The three videos should give you a lucid understanding of the differences in audio quality.

However, you may seek a head-to-head comparison. After all, the three singers and their respective settings didn’t cover both Yeti and Snowball.

Watch this video for guitar recordings sans filters and effects using Blue Yeti and Snowball:

Frequency Response

On paper, Yeti’s frequency response is 20 Hz to 20 kHz, whereas Snowball’s is 40 Hz to 18 kHz.

Theoretically, this difference should have no bearing on recording a song. 20 Hz to 20 kHz is the audible spectrum for our species, not the vocal frequency range.

Yet, Blue Yeti delivers much better sound quality. Evidently, the technical specifications, the diaphragm quality, and other engineering or craftsmanship elements are at play. Another stark difference is in the varying audio quality at increasing distances.

Proximity Effect

Most singers are 10 inches to 12 inches (25 cm to 30 cm) from a microphone during a recording. At 1 foot (30 cm), Yeti is better than Snowball.

The Snowball may record breathing sounds and distort the audio if you get closer. You may have a muddy sound due to Blue’s proximity effect.

At 2 feet (60 cm) or farther, Yeti’s recording is still clear, distinctly audible, and workable. Snowball or its iCE variant produces a more distant and low-volume audio recording at 2 feet (60 cm) or greater distances.  

Blue Yeti vs. Snowball: Polar Patterns

Blue Yeti can record bidirectional, cardioid, and omnidirectional patterns. Hence, you can switch modes based on your needs.

Record solos using bidirectional mode. Use cardioid if you tend to move your head while singing. Switch to omnidirectional if you have to record a duet or there are more singers.

Blue Snowball supports cardioid and omnidirectional patterns, but there’s no bidirectional mode.

Thus, if you have a second audio source in a room, ambient sound, or external noises, the microphone may be unsuitable for recording a song.

Condenser microphones are intended to record ambient sound. Hence, you must be in a soundproofed studio or use a few resources to reduce secondary and tertiary noises.

Blue Yeti doesn’t have impeccable noise cancellation, either. However, the bidirectional mode is critical as you can place a pop filter and enable the microphone to record only the nearest audio source from one direction.

Stereo

If you intend to use Blue Yeti or Snowball microphone for singing, chances are you’ll also record music and probably audio from more than one instrument. You need stereo compatibility if you want to record two or more instruments at the same time.

While Snowball does an omnidirectional mode, it’s not sufficient to record multiple musical instruments simultaneously without stereo compatibility. Therefore, Blue Yeti is the undisputed winner here.   

Gain Control Feature

Blue Yeti has a gain control feature facilitated by a knob on the microphone. Snowball has a gain switch that allows you an enhancement of only 10 dB in the cardioid mode. In contrast, Yeti’s sound pressure level range maxes out at 120 dB, which is usually much more than you may need for a song.

Blue Yeti vs. Snowball: Sample Rate

Blue Yeti’s sample rate is 48 kHz. Snowball’s 44.1 kHz sample rate isn’t undesirable and is practically sufficient to record a song. Some artists also don’t use a higher sample rate of 48 kHz.

However, a faster sample rate is quintessential if you plan to use the recorded song in a video.

48 kHz is more suitable for pop music and other types of contemporary songs. Additionally, sound designers and audiophiles prefer much higher sample rates, usually 96 kHz and faster.

Generally, 32 kHz is considered traditional radio quality, 44.1 kHz is CD quality, and 48 kHz is DVD or contemporary digitized quality. 44.1 kHz is acceptable, and also Google or YouTube’s recommended encoding specification for music videos.

However, 48 kHz makes for better broadcast quality, while 44.1 kHz works well for ambient sound and dialogues or conversations. Singing or vocals, musical instruments, and special sound effects are better recorded at 48 kHz. 

Blue Yeti vs. Snowball: Headphone

Blue Yeti’s headphone jack is a handy feature. The microphone has a few crucial headphone amplifier features, too. The headphone’s frequency response is 20 Hz to 22 kHz, the signal to noise is 100 dB, and the total harmonic distortion is a negligible 0.009%.

Blue Snowball doesn’t have a headphone outlet, so you must use your Windows, Mac, or connected DAW to route the recording audio or song to your earpiece. The lack of headphone ports isn’t a deal-breaker for some singers and recording artists. However, the feature is worth noting and appreciating.

Blue Yeti vs. Snowball: Form

Blue Yeti’s dimensions are 4.72 inches x 4.92 inches x 11.61 inches (12 cm x 12.50 cm x 29.5 cm) with the stand. The microphone weighs 1.2 lbs (540 g). The stand weighs 2.2 lbs (1 kg).

Blue Snowball has a circumference of 12.8 inches (32.5 cm) or a 4 inches (10.34 cm) diameter. The microphone weighs 1 lbs (460 g) without any stand. The height of 4 inches (10.35 cm) can go up to 10.5 inches (26.7 cm) with an adjustable stand.

Blue Yeti’s 7.5 inches (19 cm) height goes up to 11.61 inches (29 cm) with the stand. The bigger and taller form of Yeti is irrefutably more convenient for singing.

Ideally, singers shouldn’t crouch or bend while recording unless a particular vocal effect necessitates such postures.

Blue Snowball is smaller and hence more convenient to carry around. The lightweight and portable form may also be a preference of some recording artists in other circumstances, but not for songs.

Blue Yeti vs. Snowball: Mute Button

The mute button mounted on the Blue Yeti makes song recordings more convenient, especially for singers preferring to block all audio input sources during musical interludes. The mute button has a blinking light when it’s activated, thus simplifying its use further.

Blue Yeti vs. Snowball: VO!CE

Last but not least, Blue Yeti is compatible with VO!CE. You get access to the broadcast vocal effects software without any additional cost. Meanwhile, Blue Snowball doesn’t grant you free access to VO!CE.

Most recording artists have their favorite software and other tools for effects. Having another one may not be essential. However, some singers may not be recording artists, music composers, mixing experts, or sound designers. The VO!CE library has tangible value for such users.

VO!CE is available for Blue Yeti, Yeti Nano, and Yeti X, including the World of Warcraft edition.

For more information, check out some of my articles here:

Can You Use a Blue Snowball for Singing?

You can use Blue Snowball for singing, particularly for practice or rehearsals. Snowball is sufficiently useful and capable of recording casual singing or some crooning during a conversation or podcast. However, Blue Yeti’s recording quality is significantly better, especially for songs and music.   

Does Blue Yeti Have Downsides?

Blue Yeti is a premium-quality USB condenser microphone, but it’s still a product for beginners and those with intermediate recording, producing, and post-production skills. In other words, it’s aimed at consumers, not for professionals or commercial setups.

Both Yeti and Snowball are workhorses if you’re limited to recording regular audio content, such as podcasts, voiceovers, and other vocals. Singing inevitably involves other recordings unless you have a different setup for those, or the ensemble and everything else is already available.

Blue Yeti has downsides and limitations, such as compatibility with shock mounts, mixers, and DAW audio settings. You may have to consider the more expensive Yeticaster for the compatible Radius shock mount and Compass boom arm. Besides, noise cancellation or ambient sound remains an issue. 

Shock Mount

A teething issue with Blue Yeti is its incompatibility with many mounting systems. The threading in the mounting port is the standard 0.62 inch (15.87 mm). However, the design is unique. Blue Yeti and Snowball or its iCE variant can be set up with a boom arm, but shock mounts are tricky.

Blue isn’t the only brand that has this tendency to design unique mounts or threads. Many companies have this policy to offer their compatible shock mounts and other accessories for various designs.

If you have a Blue Yeti or Snowball already, you may consider something like this CAMVATE Female Screw Thread Adapter on Amazon.com. The nickel-plated brass thread adapter is perfect for Blue Yeti, and you don’t even need a tool to grasp or unscrew it. 

CAMVATE 5/8'-27 Male to 3/8'-16 Female Screw Thread Adapter for Microphone Stand - 1275
146 Reviews
CAMVATE 5/8"-27 Male to 3/8"-16 Female Screw Thread Adapter for Microphone Stand - 1275
  • 5/8"-27 Male to 3/8"-16 Female thread adapter
  • Convert 5/8"-27 female to 3/8"-16 female
  • Made of Nickel-plated brass

Last update on 2022-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Noise Cancellation and Ambient Sound

Both Yeti and Snowball are effective at recording ambient sound. Hence, complete noise cancellation is almost a nonstarter. You can use pop filters, vocal shields or screens, and other solutions such as foam, blanket, or acoustic tiles to isolate the recording area.

Reverberation may also be an issue in some rooms unless you’re in a soundproofed recording studio with appropriate internal sound absorption. However, these issues are common for most entry-level and midrange microphones, especially the USB condenser types.

Blue Yeti vs. Snowball: Features and Technical Specifications

Here’s a head-to-head comparison of the technical specs of Yeti and Snowball:

AttributeBlue YetiBlue Snowball
Dimensions4.72 x 4.92 x 11.61 inches
(12 x 12.5 x 29.5 cm)
12.8 inches (32.5 cm) circumference,
4 inches (10.35 cm) diameter
Weight (without stand)1.2 lbs. (540 g)1 lbs (460 g)
Capsules4 condensers2 condensers
Knobs / ButtonsGain dial, polar pattern knob, volume control, mute buttonPolar switch
Colors63
Polar PatternsBidirectional, cardioid, omnidirectional, and stereoCardioid, omnidirectional, and cardioid with -10 dB pad
Frequency Response20 Hz – 20 kHz40 Hz – 18 kHz
Sample Rate48 kHz44.1 kHz
Bit Rate16-bit16-bit
Headphone OutputYesNo
Operating SystemWindows 10, macOS 10.13 Windows 10, macOS 10.13
Connector or PortUSB 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0USB 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0
Setup / InstallationPlug-and-playPlug-and-play
Complimentary SoftwareVO!CENo

Disclaimers

Blue used to offer a 2-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects. It was increased to 3 years. Check with the manufacturer or seller for the latest update about the warranty.

The older Blue Yeti and Snowball microphones have some slightly different features. The editions to release in the future will probably have upgraded specifications.

Logitech for Creators Blue Yeti USB Microphone for PC, Podcast, Gaming, Streaming, Studio, Computer Mic - Blackout
47,037 Reviews
Logitech for Creators Blue Yeti USB Microphone for PC, Podcast, Gaming, Streaming, Studio, Computer Mic - Blackout
  • Custom three-capsule array: This professional USB mic produces clear, powerful, broadcast-quality sound for YouTube videos, Twitch game streaming, podcasting, Zoom meetings, music recording and more
  • Blue VOICE software: Elevate your streamings and recordings with clear broadcast vocal sound and entertain your audience with enhanced effects, advanced modulation and HD audio samples
  • Four pickup patterns: Flexible cardioid, omni, bidirectional, and stereo pickup patterns allow you to record in ways that would normally require multiple mics, for vocals, instruments and podcasts

Last update on 2022-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Logitech for Creators Blue Snowball USB Microphone for PC, Gaming, Podcast, Streaming, Studio, Computer Mic - Black
  • Legendary Blue broadcast sound: 2-capsule design gives your voice exceptional presence and detail for professional-level recording so you can elevate your YouTube videos, Twitch streaming and more
  • Multiple pickup patterns: The USB microphone features a cardioid pattern for recording and streaming, and omnidirectional which puts you “in the room” for conference calls on Zoom, Skype and more
  • Stylish retro design: Record or stream in style with a classic recording equipment design that looks great on your desktop and on camera; available in 3 bold colors

Last update on 2022-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion

Blue Yeti and Snowball are worthwhile microphones given their respective classes and prices. The two condenser microphones aren’t designed for identical recording purposes or environments. Hence, you have to choose one or the other based on your needs and the resources available in your studio.

Sources

Vinnie

I'm Vinnie, and I'm here to support you to create your own studio at home, whether it’s for photography, recording audio, podcasts, or videos!

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