Elgato Wave 3 vs Blue Yeti 

Both are USB microphones that offer great sound quality combined with superb ease of use. However, Elgato Wave 3 vs Blue Yeti are not exactly identical microphones. They differ in terms of size, features, software, and sound character. Continue reading below to learn more about these popular USB mics!

After reading this article, you will understand better about:

  • The design and build quality of each USB microphone here
  • The features of Elgato Wave 3 vs Blue Yeti
  • Why the software of Elgato Wave 3 is really useful
  • When the adjustable polar pattern of Blue Yeti can be handy
  • The sound quality comparison between Elgato Wave 3 and Blue Yeti
  • Which USB microphone is best for yo

Elgato Wave 3 vs Blue Yeti: Design

Elgato Wave 3 is a USB microphone designed with streamers and podcasters in mind. It can be classified as a mid-range model, as it is not the cheapest but definitely not really expensive. It offers the plug-and-play ease of use and provides great sound right out of the box. It even comes with a stand adapter if you ever need to use a full-size stand.

Elgato Wave 3 looks nice and stylish with the black eggshell finish. It comes with a detachable desktop stand and a weighted base so that it can be put on your desk easily. The desktop stand is really nice because it is stable, and it allows you to angle the mic upward or downward as needed. The build quality is good, but Elgato Wave 3 is notably much lighter than Blue Yeti at barely 280 grams (0.617 pounds). So, it can be very portable. It is easy to bring along when you need to travel with your mic.

Blue Yeti is similar, being a USB mic with an integrated desktop stand that enables easy plug-and-play operation for streamers and podcasters. It is standing in a similar price range, and is available in various color choices like black, blue, teal, gray, and red. It has a nice satin finish. Read also: Shure Beta 58A vs Sennheiser E945.

Blue Yeti, however, packs a considerable mass of 3.4 pounds. It is still manageable when you need to travel, but obviously it is much heavier than Elgato Wave 3. Another minor issue with Blue Yeti is the clunky base. Since the base is not weighted and the mic is somewhat heavy, it has the tendency to fall. To deal with this issue, a boom arm to hold the mic can be a solution.

 Elgato Wave 3 Blue Yeti 
Product Dimensions1.57 x 2.6 x 6.02 inches
4.9 x 4.7 x 11.6 inches
Shipping Weight1.29 pounds
3.2 pounds
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Elgato Wave 3 vs Blue Yeti: Features

Elgato Wave 3 comes with a useful set of controls. There is a knob for controlling the gain, headphone volume, and blend between the mic’s sound and the computer’s audio. There are also LED lights that will tell you the signal level so that you can avoid clipping more easily. On the top side of the mic, there is a capacitive mute button, but it can be a bit tricky to use because tapping on it may cause noticeable tapping noise.

Meanwhile, on the back, you can find the USB Type-C port and the 3.5mm headphone jack for direct monitoring. The box includes the USB cable. Elgato Wave 3 performs analog-digital processing internally to prevent clipping, which is a very useful capability. The mic has a cardioid polar pattern, which means it picks up sound mostly from the front side.

Blue Yeti has its USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack placed at its bottom. It comes with separate control knobs for adjusting the gain and the headphone volume. The mute button is located on the front and is arguably easier to use without creating tapping noise. The mute button has a light indicator to tell you whether the mic is muted or not.

The special feature of Blue Yeti that sets itself apart from Elgato Wave 3 is the adjustable polar pattern. There is a switch on the back of the mic to change between four polar patterns: cardioid, bidirectional, stereo, and omnidirectional. As a result, the way Blue Yeti captures sound can be adjusted to suit different conditions and purposes.

Elgato Wave 3 vs Blue Yeti: Software

One of the biggest advantages that Elgato Wave 3 offers is the software. We have mentioned above that this mic performs hybrid processing internally to prevent clipping. It is beneficial for streamers and podcasters who don’t want to deal with complicated audio setup. The mic will always ensure clear sound within a reasonable volume range right out of the box.

On top of that, Elgato Wave 3 also offers Wave Link as a free download, available for Windows and macOS platforms. This software will allow you to open up to 8 apps and blend their audio with the mic’s sound, so that you can have the audio from your game, video, music, or whatever you want mixed directly with your voice.

The software runs very lightly and doesn’t require much CPU power, so it is really practical, for example, for gamers who want to stream on Twitch. It won’t affect the game’s performance at all. Of course, Elgato Wave 3 also works with common recording apps like GarageBand perfectly well.

On the other hand, Blue Yeti comes with a free desktop app called Blue Sherpa. This is just a simple app that will allow you to control the mic’s gain, headphone volume, polar pattern, and mute function via your computer. It will also allow you to update the mic’s firmware. But that’s all; there is no mixing capability like what Elgato Wave 3’s software can do. Nevertheless, Blue Yeti also works perfectly well with recording apps like GarageBand without any issue.

Elgato Wave 3 vs Blue Yeti: Performance

In terms of performance, Elgato Wave 3 is really impressive. It has a flat, neutral sound character, which means it can work with different kinds of human voice really well. In particular, it is noticeably better than Blue Yeti when working with a boomy or bassy voice, as it is able to provide much more clarity and detail. The mids are also clean and accurate, and the highs are rich and crisp without being scratchy.

The internal processing also does an excellent job in preventing clipping. Although this makes the sound output to have a slightly artificial quality, it still has very good clarity and detail. You can turn the processing off if you want a more natural sound for music. Also, thanks to the well-designed pick-up pattern, Elgato Wave 3 somehow doesn’t like to capture background noise, making it really nice for usage in a non-isolated room.

The sound quality of Blue Yeti is also good. However, it apparently puts more emphasis on the midrange frequencies. As a result, it doesn’t provide enough clarity when working with a low voice. Blue Yeti tends to make someone with a boomy or bassy voice to sound a little bit subdued. There is no internal mechanism to prevent clipping, so there is another thing to worry about when using Blue Yeti to capture loud sounds.

In terms of versatility, Blue Yeti is cool. The ability to switch the polar pattern can be very handy if you often need to deal with different situations. For example, the omnidirectional mode is useful for group talks and roundtable discussions, whereas the bidirectional mode is neat for interviews. The stereo mode is quite nice for music recording. However, Blue Yeti is quite sensitive to noise, even in the cardioid mode.

Elgato Wave 3 vs Blue Yeti 

- Condenser capsule with a tight cardioid polar pattern captures speech with precision
- Use the Wave Link app to control Wave: 3 and up to 7 other audio sources, plus create 2 independent mixes
- Up to 24-bit / 96kHz analog to digital conversion delivers lush detail
- Proprietary Clipguard technology makes distortion virtually impossible
- Tri-capsule array - 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation.
- Multiple pattern selection - cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo.
- Gain control, mute button, and zero-latency headphone output.
- Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls. Signal to Noise: 100dB

Conclusion

In the end, Elgato Wave 3 is generally the better mic and thus is more recommended. It is much lighter and more portable, and it has a good design that helps it to stand on your desk stably. It also comes with a better feature set and software. The internal anti-clipping processing and the ability to mix computer audio directly are very nice. Finally, Elgato Wave 3 offers better sound quality, with more clarity and less background noise.