Blue Yeti - Interference

When using my Blue Yeti mic I can hear a type of buzzing noise in the background. It’s almost like the noise a printer makes when it’s printing. I have uploaded a sound file as an example -

Does anyone know what’s causing this? At first I thought it might have been the mic so I got a replacement but the replacement does the exact same thing. I have tried it in a different PC and get exactly the same thing. I have the gain set all the way down on my Yeti as I have the mic really close to my mouth, having the gain all the way down seems to make the buzzing noise louder.

Yep it is a very common complaint with USB audio interfaces, what Koz likes to call “frying mosquitoes”.

The cause is noise from your computer’s power supply making it’s way into the analog audio in the microphone, presumably by way of the USB power.

When you say “having the gain all the way down seems to make the buzzing noise louder.” do you mean relative to your voice? or overall? Perhaps you could post a test where you are as quiet as possible and record 2 seconds with the gain all the way down and 2 seconds with the gain all the way up. The forum will allow you to post ~8 seconds MONO waves directly – which makes it a lot easier for us to download the sample and analyze it more carefully.

As for a fix: If the computer you are using is a desk-side machine and you own a laptop you might try using the laptop instead. If you are using a laptop already you might try unplugging it and running on batteries. Finally it’s possible a POWERED usb hub might help by isolating the microphone from the computer’s power supply. (There are reports where powered USB hubs made matters worse.) I doubt that is applies in your situation, but multiple ground paths can also make this problem worse. In this case it would have to be that the microphone’s ground was connected to the computer’s ground by some path OTHER than the USB cable. But unless you’ve done something like run the headphone output of the microphone into some equipment that is also connected to the computer, I doubt that this applies to you.

We used to blanket recommend USB microphones and microphone systems as a way to get very good quality and performance at a very low price. We don’t do that any more.

This is my version.

I got this from a cheap, inexpensive USB microphone preamplifier that didn’t cost very much. I had to stop using it.


Thanks for the response guys.

So which mics do you tend to recommend for around the same price?

So which mics do you tend to recommend for around the same price?

And there, in one interrogative sentence, is the problem. When I said we stopped recommending them, we didn’t stop in favor of anything else. There is no anything else. I crank out top quality sound productions, but I do with a hybrid analog/digital system (that I conveniently enough, don’t have a picture of), and it’s aggressively not plug and play. I have to know how to drive a small sound mixer to get it to work.

In a recent ping-pong match of postings, I think we settled on very good quality live sound recordings by not using the computer at all. Match a simple Shure analog microphone with a Zoom H4n recorder (in this example).

I know this seems extreme, but people that experience this buzz problem tend to keep experiencing it with lower-end equipment no matter that they buy. You can get away from this problem with one stroke of the checkbook. The Shure X2U and other higher-end USB MicPres don’t have this problem, but they tend to be $100 without the microphone and necessary cables, and even then you’re not out of jail. I wouldn’t buy another X2U because of soft volume.

ACX AudioBook recommends a USB MicPre to go with their very good quality microphone. I need to dig for the model numbers.

The test for a good USB MicPre is the ability to work with a 48 volt phantom power microphone. They usually have the extra internal electronics to override the buzz—at extra cost.


The ACX recording class recommends a Rode NT1-A microphone and the MBox Mini-2 Mic-Pre and digitizer. If you’re not depressed enough yet, you can watch their video, remembering that they’re playing to the broadcast and audiobook market, not casual recording.

Play the first one: Setting up a home studio. I see the MBox Mini-2 has apparently been discontinued. Isn’t this the most fun you’ve had all day?


The apparent replacement for the Mini-2 is the “Fast-Track Solo”. It’s one of a dozen different brands of the one microphone one instrument/line input class. If were going to buy such a unit I’d invest the extra money for a unit that can accept mic or instrument/line on both inputs. In the Avid brand units that would be the “Fast Track Duo”.

However, I certainly won’t promise that a bigger/better USB audio interface is going to cure your noise woes. These units are still powered from the computer’s USB bus, and it is 99% certain that is the source of the noise. They do have a bit of better chance since to generate the 48V phantom power needed by the microphone they need a small inverter to generate that from the 5V USB power, which makes the filtering and isolation of the power for the amplifiers easier. So if you decide to try that road I’d recommend buying from someplace with a generous returns policy.

I did a bit of looking and there are USB isolators out there. If you feel like experimenting you might try one of these:

or one of these:

The second one needs an external power supply of sort, I’d probably start with a 9V battery.