While at E3 this year I stopped by the booth of a company whose products had interested me for quite sometime now – Blue Microphones. I was aware of their Snowball and Yeti mics but what caught my eye was the peculiar-looking headset that was on display next to the blacked-out Yeti. I had to see more, and I definitely had to hear through those headphones for myself.
On the busy show floor with the cacophony of sounds all around me, I put on the Mo-Fi headphones and the noise around me ceased instantaneously as I was transported to the Call of Duty game on the screen in front of me. I flipped the Yeti’s mute button and began talking, and my voice came through as clear and as crisp as if I was in a studio.
The Blackout Yeti USB Mic
Blue Microphones’ Yeti Mic is now an iconic standard as far as audio goes, particularly when it comes to gaming. The Blackout Yeti features the same condenser capsule we’re used to, now in an all-new blackout finish. The microphone comes with a sturdy, detachable, stand for tabletop use, and threads on the bottom to attach the mic to a stand.
The Yeti has three condenser capsules and four recording patterns, making it suitable for anything from recording a single individual to recording an interview, or even serving as a microphone for group conference calls (all of which I did while in the noisy environment of a TV station).
Being a USB device, the Yeti is compatible with both PC and Mac, and consoles as well. I tested the Yeti on my Windows 10 PC, Surface Pro 3 (Windows 8.1) as well as on my PS4 and Xbox One.
Compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Mac OS X
Records 16bit/48 kHz
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
Max SPL: 120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz)
You can adjust the mic gain, headphone levels, and recording pattern as well as toggle the mute directly on the mic itself which makes on the fly adjustments a breeze. One thing to note is that the knobs on the mic are a bit wobbly on the unit I received, though this did not affect the device’s performance. Underneath the device is a headphone jack which allows for latency-free playback of what’s being captured by the mic. This is easily one of my favorite features of the Yeti; the ability to listen to what I’m recording with absolutely zero lag or latency was a welcome change from the setup I was used to.
From podcasting to streaming, the Yeti never failed to impress me. If you’re in the market for a USB microphone, the Yeti is definitely a contender. You can find out more about the Yeti on the Blue Microphones website.
The Mo-Fi Headphones
[blockquote right=”pull-right”]It might get LOUD – Listen responsibly.[/blockquote]Partner in crime of the Yeti is the Mo-Fi headphones: a futuristic-looking device that pretty much blows the competition out of the water. The Mo-Fi is a powered device with three listening modes: two modes where the amplifier is on and a passive one where the amplifier is off. You can use the device while it’s charging via the micros USB port outside the earcup. I was a bit worried about potential interference but surprisingly never had that issue. Only the modes using the amplifier require battery, and the headset automatically shuts off when the band is retracted and the cups are touching…talk about a battery saver. Speaking of battery, the Mo-Fi packs a Lithium-Ion battery that allows for around 12 hours of listening time.
The aluminum exterior houses a built-in amplifier, and don’t think artificial bass-pumping Beats By Dre but rather sweet analog goodness. The powered amp allows the headset to pump out high fidelity audio the likes of which I’ve previously never experienced in a headset. The amplifier is only one half of the equation though, there’s also the 50mm dynamic drivers that are paired to work efficiently with the Mo-Fi’s built-in amp. So the giant 50mm driver coupled with the 240mW amp makes this headset capable of pumping out some of the loudest volumes of any headset on the market today.
My biggest gripe about the Mo-Fi is how uncomfortable they are, a far cry from Kingston’s HyperX Cloud, and its considerable weight. To its credit, the headband features an easy to use tension adjustment dial that distributes the weight, and overall the Mo-Fi is only 3oz heavier than the Beats Studio Pro.
Output power: 240mW
Frequency response: 10Hz-20kHz
SNR, self-noise: <105 dB
Noise: < 20 uV
Battery capacity: 1020mAh
Outer dimensions (closed): 21mm x 14mm x 12mm (8.27” x 5.51” x 4.72”)
Outer dimensions (open): 18mm
x 29mm x 12mm (7.09” x 11.42” x 4.72”)
1.2 meter audio cable with Apple
iPhone/iPad controls including inline microphone
3 meter audio cable
1 meter USB charging cable
I tested the Mo-Fi in a few different ways:
- Listening to music (Spotify) via mobile (Google Nexus 6)
- Listened to local music on my PC (AIFF lossless)
- Hosting a podcast (using the Yeti as well)
- Gaming (PC – Evolve, Dirty Bomb, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Fallout 4)
The Mo-Fi is one amazing headphone – the internal amp allows the device to pump out stellar, high fidelity audio the likes of which I really have never heard before.
All these features don’t come cheap though, as the retail price of the Mo-Fi is $349.99. You can find out more about the Mo-Fi here.
Blue Microphones Yeti mic and Mo-Fi headphones are the perfect 1-2 combo for anyone ready to take their audio gear to the next level; both of these products are stellar. Though the Mo-Fi’s high price tag of $349.99 is a bit steep, the quality and value to true audiophiles is undeniable.