Blue Yeti Nano microphone: should I buy it for podcasting?

It feels like everyone and their grandma has a podcast these days – and with good reason. Podcasting can be a really fun and easy way to delve into the subjects you love the most, whether you’re a true crime buff or a poetry know-it-all. 

That is, it’s easy if you have the right equipment. If you’ve recently looked for the best podcasting microphones online, you may have come across the Blue Yeti Nano.

If you’re not sure whether to go ahead and purchase this bitesize mic, read on for all the pros and cons of the Blue Yeti Nano. To be clear, we’ve not tested this model ourselves, so the following is our expert tech take based on the specs and online reviews – however, we have reviewed the original, larger Blue Yeti Microphone so we’ve got a pretty good point for comparison.  

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Good for beginners, great for your bank balance

The Blue Yeti Nano is one of the cheaper microphones you can buy for podcasting, at $99.99 (£89.99 / AU$159). Blue Yeti hasn’t sacrificed many of the features you’d expect from a professional podcasting mic for this price however, and it should provide a pretty high standard in terms of audio quality and clarity.

This condenser mic has two polar patterns; cardioid (heart-shaped) and omni-directional; the former is best for solo broadcasts, whereas you’ll want to use the latter for roundtable style discussions as the mic will pick up audio in 360 degrees.

The omni-directional setting is also good for conference calls with multiple people in one room.

It supports hi-res 24-bit recording, so your podcasts should sound a lot better than using your laptop’s inbuilt microphone, and it’s compatible with Mac and PC via USB. 

The Blue Yeti Nano also comes with the Blue Sherpa companion app so you can easily switch between different polar patterns and adjust the gain – although you can do this by pressing a button on the mic itself anyway.

Increasing the gain will make your voice sound louder, and lowering it will make it quieter, with a lower gain reducing the risk of your audio peaking (this is when the volume is too high and causes distortion.)

Does size matter after all?

As you’ve probably guessed already, the Blue Yeti Nano is small – that means if you’re on the taller side, you may end up hunching over your desk to speak into the microphone, which we can’t imagine will be very comfortable for long periods of time.

You can buy an additional shock mount or boom mount, but they’ll set you back around $50 (£38 / AU$70) or $100 ( £77 / AU$140) respectively.

It’s probably easiest to compare the Blue Yeti Nano to its closest relative, the original Blue Yeti Microphone, which comes in at $129.99 (around £100 / AU$180), and the main difference between the two (aside from the size), is that the Nano model doesn’t support stereo or bidirectional modes (so you won’t be able to sit across the table from your podcasting buddy). 

We found that the original Blue Yeti Microphone had a fantastic level of audio quality, although we found that you might want to invest in a pop shield as it is quite sensitive – a pop shield is a small mesh screen you place between your mouth and the microphone, and it stops the peaking effect you get when you make ‘b’ or ‘p’ sounds with your mouth. 

As the specs are fairly similar with the Blue Yeti Nano, it could be worth investing in a pop shield – you can buy a decent one for around $12 (£10 / AU$18). 

Should I buy the Blue Yeti Nano?

As the price is fairly cheap compared to similar models, the Blue Yeti Nano should be a great option for those starting out with podcasting, vlogging, or streaming gameplay – and for under $100, you get a lot of quality features.

The specs suggest a real ease of use, as you can simply plug in this microphone and start recording straight away without needing to fine tune myriad settings.

If you desperately want bi-directional/stereo recording, you could be better off with the original Blue Yeti, or for professional standard recording, try the Blue Yeti Pro.

If you’re thinking of buying the Blue Yeti Nano (or any tech for that matter), we’d recommend holding off until Black Friday on November 23 – lots of retailers will be making huge discounts across their products, so you could bag yourself a brilliant deal.

Make sure you bookmark our Black Friday and Cyber Monday page for breaking deals news, and read up on our tips and tricks for making the most of Black Friday 2018.

  • Read our Blue Yeti microphone review

NBN customers finally get the speeds they pay for, according to ACCC report

UPDATED (6/11/18): The third Measuring Broadband Australia report has been released by the ACCC and the results are nearly identical to the second, which is good news for the 69% of Australians getting speeds within 10% of the maximum their plan offers. But this also means that around 7% of Aussie NBN users are still getting less than half the speeds they pay for.

One of the main shifts has been in the hierarchy of providers and the speeds they offer between 7pm and 11pm – TPG, Aussie Broadband, iiNet, Optus, Telstra, MyRepublic are now the top six, in order.

Original article continues below

While the rollout of Australia’s national broadband service has admittedly not been a smooth ride, things do seem to have been improving over the course of 2018.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) second Measuring Broadband Australia report, only 7.4% of NBN customers are receiving less than half the maximum internet speed promised in their chosen plan. While that percentage is still a significant number, the ACCC report finds that it could be due to “physical limitations” — like the use of old routers that don’t support high speeds — rather than shortcomings in the amount of available bandwidth or other larger infrastructure issues.

On the other hand, around two thirds of users are seeing speeds that are at least 90% of what their plan promises.

And the award for the best telco goes to…

Courtesy: ACCC

In this second report, the ACCC expanded its NBN speed investigation to include six major service providers, adding Aussie Broadband and MyRepublic to the usual suspects of Telstra, Optus, TPG and iiNet.

Of the six, Aussie Broadband came out on top in terms of overall performance, consistently delivering 89.1% of maximum plan speeds to customers during the day, with only a 1% drop during the peak hours between 7pm and 11pm.

TPG ranked second, delivering speeds of at least 85.6% of the maximum promised in a chosen plan.

On the other hand, MyRepublic was the worst performer, delivering just 79.5% of maximum plan speeds during the day, with speeds dropping around 6% during peak times.

Telstra clocked in at just 79.9%, despite charging its customers a premium for using its “superior network capabilities”.

Encouraging results

In a bid to hold internet service providers accountable for providing promised speeds to their customers, the ACCC began to measure the real-world speeds of around 800 NBN and ADSL fixed-line services across the country, releasing its first Measuring Broadband Australia report in March.

There hasn’t been much improvement in speed delivery performance by the telcos between then and now, but ACCC chair Rod Sims says he is “encouraged” by the results, especially given the peak time performance doesn’t drop “significantly”.

“Whilst we are pleased to see that most customers are able to get fast, reliable broadband services even during busy hours, we must focus our attention on those who do not have this experience,” he said.

“We urge providers to help customers obtain the full speeds associated with the plans they are acquiring. We also expect ISPs to inform customers of the speeds achievable on their network connections, and better match the plans they offer to those speeds. The recent court enforceable undertakings accepted by the ACCC will help with this.”

The theoretical and the real world

While the Communications Alliance, the organisation that represents service providers, is happy that the ACCC report confirms the peak-hour speeds “are being well managed”, it’s not pleased by the fact the report only takes into account maximum speeds and not advertised speeds which, the organisation says, the telcos are actually delivering.

“The service providers achieved an average of 99.9% of their advertised speeds, excluding the one provider that does not advertise typical busy hour speeds,” said Communications Alliance chief John Stanton.

However, he felt it was unfortunate that “given that the ACCC has issued guidance – and providers have entered enforceable undertakings in accordance with it – that providers should not make claims around maximum plan speeds, and instead should advertise based on information about ‘typical busy hour speeds'”.

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Innovation through collaboration

Over the past 50 years, the nature of innovation has changed significantly. In the 1970s innovation was primarily the domain of large companies – and it was often undirected. Unbelievable as it seems, I can recall a time when large companies simply asked research and development (R&D) staff to work on whatever interested them, in the hope that something commercial came from their work. 

All of this is unthinkable today. The ceaseless pressure on margins in business – combined with the disruptive power of digital – has changed innovation forever. I reckon I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of companies that have the capability to support undirected innovation. 

While Google famously encourages its employees to spend 20 percent of their time working on projects that would be most beneficial to the company, it still publishes a set of factors that drive how innovation works internally.  

The reality is that as much important innovation now comes from start-ups as from large, established companies with huge R&D departments. Often smaller companies have the benefit of being agile: able to collaborate more efficiently; deploy more effective technologies and roll out solutions quickly. For larger companies, the struggle to focus innovation in this environment is very real. R&D cannot be siloed when competitive pressures are constantly increasing.

The challenges faced by innovators in large and small companies is something I have spent a lot of time thinking about recently. Many of our customers are large corporates and law firms. But as the innovation landscape changes, we want to be able to support all innovation, wherever it comes from. Thanks to the Internet, collaboration has never been simpler. This drives new methods of ideas generation, bringing together world class leaders in diverse fields to address complex problems with powerful new technology tools.

One of the drivers behind our product IdeaScout was to help facilitate faster innovation. The software is designed to speed up the pace of turning ideas into intellectual property and help innovators quickly understand the IP landscape around any specific idea. The software enables companies to track who is working on what and facilitates collaboration between inventors.  Ideas can be quickly analysed for relevant patents, helping companies and individuals prioritise innovation.

There is still a lot more we want to do. Collaboration, within a company or with individual innovators around the globe, will drive the next generation of ideas. It will need to. Many of the most critical issues that the world faces – such as climate change, sustainable supplies of drinking water, addressing an ageing population – are global. They also need to be addressed quickly. 

These highly complex issues will require the best minds working together to deliver a timely and effective solution. Enabling this collaboration is something I am determined we will play an important part in.

Simon Webster is CEO, CPA Global

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Man City vs Man United live stream: how to watch the Premier League derby online

Man City vs Manchester United is always one of the highlights of the Premier League season, so make sure you follow the instructions in this guide to grab a live stream of what promises to be an electrifying Manchester derby.

Man City’s arrival at the top table of English football has cranked up the intensity of this derby in recent years. Once the mere ‘noisy neighbours’, City lead the way in Manchester right now as they defend their Premier League title.

The last time these sides met, United took great pleasure in delaying their hosts’ title celebrations with a stunning 3-2 comeback at The Etihad, and City’s thirst for revenge adds extra spice to this latest clash. Could the Silvas and Aguero run riot against United’s leaky defence or will we see another derby-winning display from Pogba on the red side?

You can find out by following the instructions in this guide and tuning into Man City vs Man United wherever you are in the world. And don’t forget to check out our watching guide to the Premier League season, taking care of that stream no matter where you are or what fixture you want to watch. 

Use a VPN to watch Premier League football from anywhere

If you’re in a country that’s not showing a televised Premier League match, or if you’re not by a TV come kick-off time for the big games – don’t sweat. With numerous online channels and, crucially, the option of a VPN service, you can tune into this televised fixture no matter where you are in the world. And best of all, it’s really easy to do: 

How to stream City vs United live in the UK 

How to watch Manchester City vs Manchester United: US live stream 

How to watch Manchester derby: live stream in Canada

How to watch Man City vs Man United: Australia live stream

How to watch Manchester City vs Manchester United: New Zealand live stream 

How to live stream Man City vs Man United in India