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Blue Yeti X vs Elgato Wave 3 (2021): Which Mic is Better For Streaming?

Streaming is on the rise, so a lot of the accessories that are necessary to make a successful stream is in high demand. From webcams to stream decks, there are a lot of products that could make life easier for you. One thing that you’ll inevitably need, though, is a good quality mic. Since you’ll be using your mic a lot, it’s best to have one that’ll last you a long time and can be used for a wide variety of activities.

Two of the most well known microphone manufacturers right now are Blue and Elgato, which compete at different price points. In this article, we’ll look at the Blue Yeti X and how it compares to the Elgato Wave 3 in terms of design, performance, compatibility, and more. If you’re interested in streaming and want a mic that’ll suit your gaming needs, then read on.

Blue Yeti X vs Elgato Wave 3 Comparison Chart

ModelBlue Yeti XElgato Wave 3
 Blue Yeti X Professional Condenser USB Microphone with High-Res Metering, LED Lighting & Blue VO!CE...Elgato Wave: 3 – USB Condenser Microphone and Digital Mixer for Streaming, Recording, Podcasting -...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Frequency Range20Hz-20000Hz70Hz-20000Hz
Bitrate24bit24bit
Sound Pressure Level122dB122dB
3.5mm Socket PresentYesYes
LED Sound Level IndicatorYesYes
Capsules41
Polar Patterns41

External Design

Both are easy to set up regardless of whether you prefer your mic on your desk or on a boom arm.

The Blue Yeti X (left) and the Elgato Wave 3 (right).

In terms of external features and design, both microphones look sleek and modern. They wouldn’t look out of place in both neon-lit gaming rooms and home music studios. Both microphones are also versatile in terms of placement. You can either choose to use the desktop stand included with your mic or use a boom arm to suspend your mic above your desk. Plugging it in for use will also quite easy, since both models are USB microphones.

Both microphones also have LED sound level indicators visible in front, along with a dial to fiddle with. On the Wave 3, this dial serves as a way to tweak input gain, adjust your headphone volume (which can be plugged in too, via the 3.5mm jack), and crossfade between the mic and PC mix. For the Yeti X, the function is pretty much the same, but its hi-res LED sets it apart since it already serves as a way to easily visualize just how loud the audio your mic is picking up.

Mic Technology

The Yeti X has more capsules, allowing it a wider range of sound and functionalities.

A cutaway of the Wave 3 (right) shows its singular capsule, 3 less than what the Yeti X has.

The biggest difference between the two are the number of capsules present in each mic. The capsule is the most important part of any mic, since it determines the sound and the response to proximity, among other things. The Yeti X, like its predecessor, has four Blue-proprietary 14mm condenser capsules. These capsules allow the Yeti X to have four separate polar patterns, making it adaptable to whatever purpose you need it for.

In contrast, the Wave 3 has a single capsule aimed at the front of the mic. This capsule is made by Lewitt Audio, a company headquartered in Vienna. Though it’s limited to one polar pattern, it does have some unique tech features. For one, the Wave 3 uses Elgato’s proprietary Clipguard technology, which reduces clipping by rerouting sound. This all feeds into a mic that does a pretty good job at consistently recording speech at a good volume and quality.

Performance

The Yeti X has a slightly wider range of frequency.

The two mics show off their best points: the Yeti X’s 4 patterns (left) and the capacitive mute on the Wave 3 (right).

The two microphones have similar frequency ranges, peaking at 20000Hz. The Yeti X drops a bit lower than the Wave 3 can, though, with a lowest possible frequency at 20Hz (compared to the Wave 3’s 70 Hz). This means that the Yeti X can capture more of low, bass-y frequencies, giving a richer and thicker sound to whatever you’re recording. Though this may not be a deal breaker if you’re only using it for voice, acoustic instruments would benefit a lot from the wider range.

Going into detail on the unique features each mic has, the 4 polar patterns that the Yeti X provides could actually make or break your purchase. The pickup patterns are cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. This means that your Yeti X can adapt to situations ranging from solo recordings (cardioid) to two-person podcasts (bidirectional) or room jamming sessions (omni). For the Wave 3, it’s making controlling your streams even easier, since aside from Clipguard, it also has a capacitive mute button that can stop input without making much of a noise.

Software Compatibility

Both mics work great with their own software, as well as popular platforms.

The two models sport similar compatibility.

Coming from different manufacturers, the two mics have their own exclusive software. For the Yeti X, it’s Blue’s VO!CE audio software. VO!CE allows you access to a wide array of presets suited to every streaming situation you might find yourself in. Filters, gates, and noise reduction are all controllable from here. Apart from that, you can also customize the LED lighting (on Logitech G HUB). Wave has its own software: Wave Link, which acts as a mixer for up to nine audio sources from game audio, voice chat, mic input, and others.

Both microphones use USB cables, and are plug-and-play out of the box. They’re compatible with both Windows 10 and the latest MacOS releases, so you won’t encounter a lot of problems with compatibility. Aside from their proprietary software, they also work great with streaming services like YouTube and Twitch and calling platforms like Skype, Zoom, and Discord. In this respect, neither mic will have any problem connecting to your current streaming rig.

Verdict

The Wave 3 is a great choice for streamers, but the Yeti X offers more functionality for everyone.

The Elgato Wave 3 is a complete package that would serve any streamer well. It has a high-quality capsule that provides clear, crisp audio, and has additional Clipguard tech that makes sure you won’t sound robotic on stream. The Wave Link software that it comes with is also highly useful as a digital mixer, providing you an easy-to-use interface for adjusting audio.

However, the Blue Yeti X lends itself to more diverse uses beyond just streaming and talking. Thanks to its multiple capsules, it has four different polar patterns making it adaptable to different situations like podcasts or interviews and musical studio recordings. With this and its reasonable price, it’s no surprise that Blue continues to be the leader in the USB microphone market.

FAQs

📌 Is the Blue Yeti X worth it?

The Blue Yeti X is an excellent microphone that lends itself to more uses than just solo streaming. Though Blue’s basic Yeti may be cheaper and more popular, the added features are well worth the small added price.

📌 Is the Elgato Wave 3 good?

The Elgato Wave 3 is a great microphone for anyone who’s looking to get more serious about streaming. It doesn’t require a lot of adjustments and works great out of the box, and also comes with really helpful software.

📌 Is Elgato owned by Corsair?

Elgato was acquired by PC peripheral company Corsair around two years ago.

📌 How heavy is the Elgato Wave 3?

The Wave 3 weighs around 9.8oz (or 305g).

Last update on 2021-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mauie Flores

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying, blogger and content creator passionate about writing, music, and good food.