Hardware Reviews
Blue Review: Mo-Fi Headphones, Yeti Microphone and Accessories

CJ Miozzi | 20 Aug 2015 21:00
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Blue Microphones Radius II shock mount

Radius II Shockmount

Review unit provided by manufacturer.

Keeping a microphone on your desk subjects it to all the thumps and vibrations that your desk endures. Don't think that's a big deal? Pick your mic up off the desk and hold it in your hands - has the humming severely diminished? Yeah, that's how sensitive your mic is. My PC tower sits on my desk, and the humming that produced in my mic was simply unacceptable once I realized that I could easily eliminate that background noise. My temporary solution was to keep the mic on a separate, inconveniently-placed desk that I had to move into and out of position every time I wanted to record. The proper solution was a shock mount.

My full setup is a mic stand, to which I've attached the Radius II shockmount, to which I've attached a Blue Yeti mic and The Pop windscreen. The Radius II is a suspension mount, meaning it isolates the mic from any vibrations by letting it "float" on a frame that is being held by something similar to bungee cords. The cords absorb the majority of any vibrations, reducing the amount of ambient noise that gets transferred to the mic.

The Radius II does its job, plain and simple. While it is designed for Yeti mics, it should fit other mics that have a standard thread mount. The converse, however, isn't true - I've searched and searched for a shock mount that can fit the Yeti, and apart from MacGyvered homemade solutions, there is no other mic-stand shock mount that fits the Yeti apart from Blue's offerings (Note: there are "spider shockmounts" available that fit the Yeti, but these mounts sit on your desk and cannot attach to a mic stand). At $70 (current price on Amazon), the Radius II isn't exactly cheap, and I was willing to settle for lesser quality for a lower price, especially given the reputation of the original Radius.

That reputation is the reason Blue released the Radius II, which is simply a better-quality Radius. The design didn't need to evolve; it just needed to be built more robustly, and Blue directly addressed common criticisms by releasing the Radius II, which succeeds in being superior to its previous incarnation. That said, I still do have some issues with the hinge loosening and causing the mount to droop - this was a major issue with the original Radius. The Yeti is a heavy mic, and tack on the weight of a pop filter that may be pressing against the Radius II, and you have to screw in the hinge really tight to get it to stay in place. I eventually managed, but not until I'd toyed with it for a long time.

Bottom Line: The Radius II is a great shock mount that has a little difficulty staying in place.

Recommendation: If you want a shock mount for your Blue Yeti mic that you can attach to a mic stand, then you'll be hard-pressed to find anything else.

Blue Microphones Yeti the pop windscreen pop filter

The Pop (Windscreen)

Review unit provided by manufacturer.

As its name implies, The Pop is a pop filter. You know how "P" sounds cause litte bursts of air that erupt into microphones like mini hurricanes and are awful to hear? Those are called plosives, and pop filters were developed to heavily reduce them. Designed for use with any microphone, The Pop can clamp to a mic stand, or with some finagling, a standard Blue Yeti mount. It's solidly constructed and has a wire mesh, so when the marketing claims "years of durability," I'm inclined to believe that.

My previous pop filter was as cheap as they come, little better than something homemade, but it nonetheless served its purpose. For almost ten times the price (currently selling for $55 on Amazon), is The Pop worth the extra expense? I'm not sure.

Both The Pop and my previous windscreen suffer from positioning issues. Getting them to stay in place is a hassle, though it does seem that The Pop is more inclined to stay in place for longer once you've wrestled it into position. And given my cheapo pop filter was little more than pantyhose stretched through a plastic hoop, the quality of craftsmanship of The Pop is undoubtedly superior, both from an aesthetic and practical standpoint. However, even if the cheapo pop filter were to break, I could buy almost ten of them for the price of The Pop, and both seemed to serve their purpose of reducing plosives equally well.

Bottom Line: The Pop is a premium alternative to a cheap product with a simple purpose and suffers from some of the same issues as the cheaper options.

Recommendation: If your career is audio production, The Pop is a good investment. If you're just a casual audio producer, then it's fine to cheap out on a pop filter.

CJ Miozzi is a Senior Editor at The Escapist and is also known as Rhykker on Youtube. You can follow his livestreams on Twitch and Tweet to him @Rhykker.

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