Audio comparison: Blue Yeti vs headset, webcam microphone, video

You know how you sound lower-pitch to yourself and higher-pitch to others? (Science says it’s because of bone conduction.)

I sound high-pitch to myself. I’ve always sounded like a kid. Friends teased me about voice-acting for anime. I tried to avoid being self-conscious about it, but you know how sometimes that sneaks in anyway. I found it difficult to listen to recordings of my presentations or podcasts. I ended up paying other people to transcribe them.

As it turns out, this might be one of the things you can fix with money. Here’s a quick comparison of:

  • the Blue Yeti
  • the Logitech H800 headset I usually use
  • the Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 I use for video
  • my computer’s built-in microphone

With the Yeti, I can deal with listening to myself. Hmm. That’s something. It’s not cheap, but if this is one of those rare occasions you can spend money to get around confidence barriers… bring it on!

I justify the expense by telling myself that this will encourage me to make more videos and screencasts. Let’s see how it works out. For recording and webcasts, I put the Yeti on a thick stack of fleece to help muffle the vibrations from the desk.

I know there are even fancier microphones out there. I think those will have to wait for a better setup, though. I’m fine with the quality of the Yeti, and I’ve learned not to let my expenses outpace my senses by too much.

If you’re thinking of getting your own, try getting it from a brick-and-mortar store so that you can return it if it doesn’t work out for you. Apparently, microphones do different things for different voices. Here’s an affiliate link to it on Amazon, if you’re inclined to get it online: Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Silver Edition. =) (I’ll get a tiny fraction of the purchase price, which is handy for buying the occasional book.)

Hope this helps! I’d love to hear (from) you.

  • http://samflint.com/ Sam

    Personally, I like the samson Go Mic, it’s small, USB based, and simple

  • Charles Cave

    The Blue Yeti microphone sounds the best in this recording. I have a Blue Yeti microphone at the office, but at home I use an MXL condensor microphone (and a pop filter) connected to an audio interface.

    Have you done any voice training / voice prodution courses? I think you would benefit to learn some vocal production techniques and help add power to your voice and a richer tone. I have done a course on voice production and yesterday I signed up for a voice production course on Udemy – on special for only a few dollars!
    https://www.udemy.com/enhance-your-speaking-voice/#/

    • http://sachachua.com sachac

      I’ve been thinking about voice training, but I’ve never pulled the trigger because I haven’t had clear goals. I should be able to find someone who can help me tweak how I speak. :)

      I want to keep the smile in my voice. People often tell me I sound so cheerful. It would be good to be able to share that while also speaking clearly enough so that my voice doesn’t distract or get in the way. I think it might be interesting to sound enthusiastic while not sounding breathless, as I tend to get. My thoughts trip over themselves and tumble out a mess.

      Part of it, I think, is figuring out a “me” that still sounds natural, but slower and more organized. If I reduce my speed by 10% while keeping pitch, I still sound like me, although a little more sedate. It’s hard to remember that in the middle of a buzzing conversation, so I’m trying to train myself with recording. I’m also working on getting better at breathing, relaxing, and thinking during conversations, which is one of the reasons I’ve been doing more podcast interviews.

      I’d love to learn more about manipulating the specifics of how I speak – becoming aware of what I can tweak, exercising the relevant muscles, practising breathing and diction. I’ll see if I can take the course you mentioned, and I’ll look around for other resources too. Thanks!

      • Charles Cave

        I agree that you don’t want to lose that happy sound – I can hear the smile in your voice! As I work through my voice training course and reviewing my old course notes I will share on my blog – and maybe share some audio as well!