About a week ago, Blue Microphones sent one of their Snowball mics out for us to review. It is available over at their website for $99. In our videos for the past week, I have been using and testing the microphone, and I am impressed with the overall quality. In the package with the microphone is the mic itself, which looks like (as you may have guessed) a large snowball, a tripod-like stand for the mic, and the USB connection cable. One thing that really impressed me with this microphone is how easy it was to use. From opening the box to having the mic set up took no more than thirty seconds. As soon as I plugged it in to my MacBook the mic jumped to life and the default system input switched over. It looks great sitting on my desk, and although a little large, appears and sounds quite a bit more professional than the built-in computer microphone.
The microphone itself looks very impressive, with the main bulb about 4″ in diameter. The design is fairly simplistic, and aside from a port for the stand and the cord, there is only one other control, which changes how the mic actually records the sound. There are three modes, each with a different distinct purpose. The first is for simple voice recording, and is what most people like me will be using it for. In this mode, it records the full volume of sound coming directly at it. In the second mode, it puts a slight (-10dB) damper on the sound, which is more useful for recording single player music, or other louder activities. The third ad final mode switches on the omni-mode, and records sound from 360° around the mic, rather than directly just in front. Overall, these three modes cover most all of the things you could need to record.
Overall, this is a great mic for any personal recording needs. The audio is high quality and clear, and is a big step up from the built in mic on most MacBooks. The one thing I would be wary of with this mic is the price. While $100 is cheap as far as most mics go, it is expensive enough (and high quality enough) that I wouldn’t recommend if it unless you have a specific use in mind for it. But if you can use it, then this is a great, all around mic.