If you watch enough YouTube or Twitch, you’ll start seeing a lot of the same broadcasting and recording equipment. When it comes to microphones, you’ll see a lot of people using the Audio Technica AT2020 or the Blue Yeti. The latter is especially difficult to miss because it’s huge — but Blue Microphones is about to do something about that with its new Yeti Nano.

Blue has launched the Yeti Nano for this holiday season, and it is shipping now for $100. It is a lot like the Yeti, and it uses the same USB connection. The big difference, of course, is that it’s going to save you some room on your desk. But is that enough of a reason to pick it up?

What you’ll like

Sounds great

The Blue Yeti Nano has the most important feature that you would want from something in the Yeti line, and that is high recording quality. If you want to get into creating content for YouTube, Twitch, or any other platform, and you want to step up from the built-in microphone on your laptop, this is an excellent option. At only $100, it is far more affordable than jumping feet-first into setting up a mixer and an XLR mic. And the end product is going to far surpass that “good enough” threshold that most people are looking for.

You get that great audio thanks to the Nano’s side-address microphone and its strong hypercardioid mode. The side-address style means you stand the mic in front of you straight up and down instead of talking into the top. This enables you to talk past the Nano to avoid airy sounds. And the hypercardioid recording pattern means the mic will only pick up sounds that happen in a small sphere a few inches away. Hypercardioid is supposed to eliminate room noise, and I think it does so with ease.

Most important, with the Nano, if someone shows up to watch your livestream or listen to your podcast, they won’t even think about your microphone. Only audio engineers and experienced content creators will hear the processing of a USB mic — everyone else will get to focus on your voice and what it’s saying. And I think $100 is a small price to bring that quality to your content even if you’re not producing a lot of revenue from those videos and broadcasts yet.

Much smaller than the standard Yeti

People love the Yeti, but it’s a honking beast. With its stand, it would take up significant amount of your desk’s square footage. And because it’s popular with livestreamers, that means it would get in the way of keyboards, mousepads, and webcams. The Nano addresses this. It’s not microscopic, but it does enable you to reclaim some of desktop.

I use it on an arm stand, and I benefit from the smaller size because the Nano doesn’t fill the video frame like the Yeti proper did.

What you won’t like

Fewer features

The Nano does drop some of the Yeti’s features. It only has the hypercardioid and omnidirectional recording patterns. You could get bi-directional and stereo on the Yeti as well, which was great for interviews or adding stereo to a musical recording — but those are not things that most people would use the Nano for. Still, the smaller size does make this mic better for traveling, which means I might want to use it at an event to record an interview. Now I’m stuck with the omnidirectional option, which I doesn’t sound nearly as great.

Conclusion

The Blue Yeti Nano is the real deal. If you are looking at this review, I’m going to assume you haven’t gone down the XLR road yet. You’ll see some people saying that no one will take you seriously with a USB mic, and I completely disagree with that. The Nano sounds great, and most people in your audience will appreciate its quality. And then if you begin monetizing your content and generating significant revenue, you can always upgrade to XLR when you’re ready. But the simplicity, quality, and price of the Nano make it a viable and important microphone for hobbyists and aspiring creators, and that fills a crucial space in the market.

The Blue Yeti Nano is shipping now for $100. Blue provided a sample unit for the purpose of this review.