Blue is back and better than ever with the Yeti X. The Blue Yeti X upgrades from its original form to a sleeker design, fully customizable LED lighting and an amazing EQ software that allows for improved recording quality.
However, at $169, it's a little pricey, and doesn't necessarily warrant an upgrade if you already have a good microphone.
But overall, the Blue Yeti X is, without a doubt, one of the best USB microphones you can buy.
Design and features
With the Blackout Noir Yeti X sitting on my desk, I felt like Batman side hustling it as a Twitch streamer. Unlike its bulky predecessor, the Blue Yeti X sports a slimmer, more attractive frame lathered in sleek black, with silver accents at the base, on the logo and around the microphone grill.
Once this baby booted up, an LED light on the knob lit up green and the 11 dots around it began measuring the meter of my voice. The knob controls the gain, but if you hold it down for two seconds, it switches to headphone volume control, and holding it for another two seconds switches it to the controls for balance of headphone and microphone audio.
On the opposite side of the microphone you'll find a button to switch the polar pattern. The mic features cardioid (good for streaming), bidirectional (good for a two-person podcast), omnidirectional (good for multi-person podcasts or conference calls) and stereo (good for musical instrumentals and Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) polar patterns. The symbol of each pattern is backed by an LED that lights up when that pattern is active.
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The bottom of the microphone has a headphone jack for playback, a microUSB port to power it, and a hole for a 5/8-inch thread to attach a boom arm to. The base that keeps the microphone in place extends from a circular bottom to curve outward and inward to meet the microphone, holding it together with the easy screws. There are less moving parts on the Yeti X than the original, so the only piece that comes off are the screws, as the rubber bit that holds the screws is attached to the base.
Logitech G Hub and Blue Voice
While the design improvements are certainly a boon, all the action happens in the Logitech G Hub app.
The most important part of the app is the Blue Voice function. At first, you'll only be able to customize the gain and the polar patterns from the app, but once you enable Blue Voice, a plethora of new settings open up to you: These give you access to the master output level as well as the lows, mids and highs. You can even adjust the width settings to change how wide or narrow each level is.
There are also settings like High-Pass Filter (helps remove low-frequency sounds), De-esser (compresses high frequencies like hissing), Noise Reduction (helps remove consistent noises like fans), Compressor (makes your voice more consistent in volume), Expander/Gate (sets a threshold to only pick up audio when you talk) and Limiter (limits audio to pass a certain volume).
All of those settings can be a little overwhelming for someone who isn't a complete audiophile, which is why it's great that Blue Voice also comes with 11 presets, such as Broadcaster 1 (a sharp, but full-sounding setting), Crisp and Modern (exactly what it sounds like) and Classic Radio Voice (also exactly what it sounds like). You can also save custom presets, which I will dive into later.
Customizing sound isn't the only thing you can do within the app. You can also customize all of the LED lighting that the Yeti X has to offer, including lighting for the Live and Muted states, the gain levels, headphone monitoring and direct monitoring. You can even change the lighting for the metering, which typically goes green (normal), yellow (high) and red (peak), as well as the lights for the polar patterns. All of the lighting can be set at either a fixed or a breathing state.
The 3.5-mm headphone jack not only allows you to directly monitor your audio levels, but also lets you hear everything going on from your PC. The benefit of doing that via the Yeti X is that the Logitech G Hub also has a tab to customize the output sound. You can change basic settings like the treble and bass, but it also gives you access to an entire EQ. That tab also has its own set of custom presets, like FPS, MOBA and Bass Boost.
Unfortunately, the Logitech G Hub app is only available for Windows right now, but support for macOS is coming soon.
The Yeti X upgrades from the original Yeti's three-capsule-condenser array to a four-capsule array. But without the Logitech G Hub app, it didn't sound too different from the original Yeti.
I personalized my sound via the Logitech G Hub, and my favorite setting was a custom version of High Voice - Loud. Within that preset, I turned the gain down to 30 and the master volume down to 40, which allowed my voice to sound clear and full, without sounding too sharp or too bassy. I chatted over Discord, and one of my friends said I sounded "Crispy," and continues to say that everytime we chat again. The only complaint I had was the fact that the microphone picked up the vibrations from my scroll wheel.
The Blue Yeti X is an excellent microphone. It sports a sleek design outfitted with colorful and customizable LEDs. On the inside, you have a solid, four-capsule-condenser array backed by great audio software. However, all of that is a little pricey at $169, especially for streamers and podcasters who are just starting out.
If you're looking to save a few bucks, we recommend getting the original Blue Yeti, which costs $109 and can still capture solid sound. But you won't get the cool features that the Yeti X has.
Overall, the Blue Yeti X's price is worth the amount of improvements you get over its predecessor, and since the original was already one of the best USB microphones around, this one most definitely takes the throne.
Credit: Laptop Mag