There is little question that Blue are producing some of the best USB microphones on the market for streaming, podcasting and at-home music making. At reasonable prices, the Yeti microphone range offer superb recording / streaming audio quality in often a slick design. When Blue combined with Blizzard Entertainment to create the Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition USB Microphone, fans knew that something unique was bound to happen.
What Blue has delivered is a gorgeous aesthetic, great quality sound, and the ability to take advantage of voice modulation to take your streaming to next levels. But don’t get distracted by the gold accents and the vocal effects; the Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition USB Microphone is a fantastic piece of hardware with an all-new four-capsule condenser array.
All that shimmers is gold: First Impressions & Aesthetics
Found nestled in the thick padding in the box is a microphone that exudes class.
The microphone is about 190mm in length, 65mm wide and 50mm deep. The stand has a base which is approximately 110mm in diameter and extends the microphone to about 290mm in height. This is not a discrete microphone.
The microphone by itself weighs 0.519kg. Add the stand to it, and you are looking at 1.28kg sitting on your desk. This is a serious piece of kit, but it should be steady on your desk.
It is the aesthetics of the Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition USB Microphone that impress.
The body of the microphone is predominantly a cold battle grey matte finish. A gold collar separates the body from the wind screen. Thankfully, neither the matte grey nor gold surfaces fingerprint when handled. The finish feels superb. On the front, a gold embossed Blue logo sits above the volume knob; on the rear, a painted World of Warcraft logo sits below the Pattern selection button.
The choice to place the World of Warcraft logo on the rear is a significant win for me. While I played the WoW trial once, I never lost myself to the game. The logo being at the rear means the microphone mainly looks like an elegant matte grey and gold theme, rather than overtly advertising the award winning Blizzard game. It is subtle, discreet, and tasteful.
The desk stand that comes with the microphone continues with the two battle grey theme for the arms and centre of the heavy base. The base is edged by gold, with lightly etched runes surrounding it. Again, it is subtle and, while obviously linked to fantasy, isn’t going to distract you every time you glance the direction of the microphone.
Added Aesthetics in Functionality
Plugged in, Blue again provides a masterclass in restraint. There are no gaudy RGB lights billboarding the collaboration with Blizzard and promoting World of Warcraft or even an overuse of RGB in general. Fear not, the Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition USB Microphone will not turn your office space into a raging disco with a ton of RGB lights flashing.
Instead, on the front, twelve small World of Warcraft RGB LED rune designs act as volume indicators. Combined with microphone or headphone indicator lights, the inclusion of the runes is done tastefully and artfully. They are not in your face and serve their purpose well, providing an easy visual reference for both volume settings when operating the multi-function knob and indicating levels while in use.
In addition, a simple solid ring glows green or red on the multi-function knob to let you know if the microphone is live or muted. Simply pressing the knob will mute or unmute the microphone. Holding it in for one second will switch you to control the volume of headphones (which you can plug in on the bottom), again to control a combined microphone/headphones mode, or again to control just the microphone volume.
On the rear, it is even more reserved, with only a single LED light illuminated at any point in time to show the pattern mode used, controlled by the button on the rear.
If you are a fan of the bright lights of RGB, and there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s your thing, this microphone may not be for you. Throughout its entire design, it keeps things subtle and restrained.
USB Plug ‘n’ Play: The Standard Flaw
This microphone is a simple plug ‘n’ play USB microphone, compatible with both PC and Mac. Plug it in, and it will work. But there is so much more grunt comes from using the Logitech G Hub software and I will touch on that later.
But in mentioning plug ‘n’ play, I must note that it includes a 2 metre USB-A to Micro-USB cable to connect.
Perhaps Blue have done extensive testing and there is not much quality difference between Micro-USB and USB-C, but at this price point I thought for sure that the connection into the microphone would be USB-C (with two cords provided for options). For me, it would feel just that bit more… modern and high tech if it was using the far superior and universal USB-C connections.
(Pictured is also the 3.5mm headphone jack and the 5/8” thread for mounting. More on that later!)
Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition In Play
When using the microphone, it is easy to gauge my levels with the lights mentioned above. If I see red flashing up as I talk, I know I’m peaking and can adjust my recording volume down easily. Simply pressing the multi-function knob allows me to mute if I need to cough or talk to someone who came into the room. But, when we talk about microphones, we really want to know how it sounds.
Using the Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition USB Microphone drew instant attention from those in Discord. In comparison to the Astro A50 boom mic, which in itself produces great quality voice, people said my voice sounded richer, fuller and more natural when using the Blue Yeti X.
The easiest way to demonstrate that is to let you hear the differences.
Here is a clip of me using my Astro A50 Wireless headset boom mic. It is a solid performer, with the convenience of a boom microphone right there, though the sound is a little airy and almost muffled. This is probably due to being limited to a smaller 6mm unidirectional voice-isolating microphone and the headset limits the recording to a 16 kHz sample rate input. (Which also clarifies my statement in the below clip; it is the headset that limits to 16 kHz, not the recording software).
In comparison, have a listen to me on the Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition USB Microphone. My voice sounds richer and more natural, and this would be due to the four Blue proprietary 14mm condenser microphones set in a cardioid pattern, which allow a recording input 48 kHz sample rate. The sound clip below is, as noted, straight out the box without any post-processing either by the microphone software or in post-production. Even out the box, the sound is a richer broadcast quality sound.
Integration with Logitech G Hub Software
The Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition USB Microphone really shines when coupled with the accompanying software. For me, I used the Logitech G Hub software — which ties in nicely with my Logitech G915 TKL Keyboard and my webcam — and it gives me a full range of customisation with the microphone. I can tweak the colours of the RGB LEDs, but that’s not really of any significance (although, my mute colour is now a lovely DRN Orange).
Through the software, however, is where the microphone excels. The various Blue VO!CE Presets provide a range of easy to enable tweaks to your sound. Simply enable, find the one that suits you, and away you go. The presets allow just those fine tunings, losing some treble, adding some bass, clearing some background noise. Following, you can fine tune your sound with advance settings, playing with equalizers and signal clean-ups with noise reduction, gates, compressors and more.
The following is a sample of me using the Presets.
Sound a little… different
It is the Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition USB Microphone, so naturally the World of Warcraft side of it has to come into play. Blizzard have come to play, allowing you to make use of a range of their character voices and sample clips. While this isn’t something I see myself, personally, using often, I can see the appeal in this addition. From streaming to being a Dungeon Master for a D&D night, or possibly even creating a fantasy podcast, there are some cool options here.
Firstly, the Blue VO!CE Effects allow you to change your voice with the click of a button. Sounding like an Imp, a Gnome, a Demon or Orc, or so many more, from the World of Warcraft games, is merely a mouse click away. There are also options for robots or whispers or gender shifts, meaning that slipping into character can be seamless, even mid-stream.
In addition, Blue and Blizzard have also provided hundreds of HD samples from the World of Warcraft universe. With various voice clips from Bolvar, Jaina, Sylvanas, and Thrall, you can taunt people on stream and have characters join you. If you’re Dungeon Master for a Dungeons and Dragons session, however, perhaps various ambience or environmental sounds, creature noises, and spell noises may be handy to really immerse your players into the world.
For me, though, I find them all a little bit of a gimmick. I don’t see many people using them often (except those Dungeon Masters!), but they are fun for a little shock value time to time.
A Major Flaw: Get this microphone off your desk
Using the Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition USB Microphone sitting on your desk during an interview, using the bidirectional pattern in the microphone, or perhaps to record ambience or ASMR using the other patterns, this microphone will server you really well.
With that said, if you have a similar set up to mine (see the image to the right), the microphone is not going to be great for you for gaming or streaming. In fact, it will be anything but pleasant for those listening. If your keyboard is on the same surface as the stand, every vibration, click and bash on the desk will reverberate through the microphone and into your listener’s ears. My friends were thankfully patient while I experimented during a game, but as you can hear in the clip below, it is a problem.
That said this problem is one that can be easily solved. While, yes, you will lose the desktop stand, with the gold edging and the subtle rune etchings, utilising a microphone stand or arm to get the microphone attached to another surface (and closer to you), will help your sound tremendously. The microphone comes with a standard 5/8” threading, so it is fully compatible with any standard microphone stand or boom arm, as well as accessories such as shock mounts. Losing the desktop stand is not really a great sacrifice for superior audio quality (and, well, it will also make the World of Warcraft branding even more discrete).
Four Patterns to get the most from your microphone
I won’t spend long here, as I did not fully experiment with all four pickup patterns, but the four capsule array technologies delivers great sound through four pickup patterns. Be it Cardioid for capturing voice directly in front of the microphone (say, during streaming or gaming), Omni mode for recording ambient sounds, Bidirectional Mode for interviews (say, podcasting), and Stereo Mode for stereo sound samples and ASMR, the microphone offers a wide range of use, each with rich, full-bodied broadcast sound.
The Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition Mic: Final Thoughts
While headset boom microphones come with the convenience, they do lose a lot in terms of quality. While the Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition USB Microphone is not going to stand up against professional studio XLR microphones, it is still in a league of its own in terms of USB microphones.
The ease of USB Plug ‘n’ Play compatibility combined with the integration with Logitech’s G Hub software, allows you, the user, the opportunity of broadcast quality recording quality without the need for XLR mixing tables and the like. Adding the simplicity of Blue VO!CE Presets, and the easy to tweak advanced settings, the Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition USB Microphone is a great addition to your streaming setup, especially if you can get it off your desk via a boom arm.
And if you are a World of Warcraft fan, I am sure you will love this microphone even more.
The microphone sells for $349.95 exclusively from EB Games in Australia.
Digital Reviews Network thanks Blue for providing the microphone for review.