Blue is one of the most respected and well-known names when it comes to quality-made microphones since they offer devices that range from entry-level to mics for professional use. Each of their products are excellent and made specifically for capturing naturally accurate sounds so you’ll never go wrong with any of their microphones.
Today, we’re going to focus on their Blue Snowball microphone; if you are someone who’s just starting to get into podcasting, streaming, or recording voice-over videos, then this is the perfect device for you. If you’re wondering if there’s a big difference between the Blue Snowball microphone and the more expensive ones, then yes, they do have differences: the number of capture sequence and the fact that the Snowball comes in a handy desktop mount.
Although the microphone is much more cost-efficient, Blue claims that the mic can capture clear, clean, and crisp studio-sounding audio for music, vocals, gaming, as well as multimedia production.
If this microphone from Blue has piqued your interest or it appears to be a device that you’d need for your work, then let’s go and learn more about the mic and see if it’s really as good as Blue claims it to be.
Blue Snowball Review – What’s in the Box?
The Blue Snowball microphone is set in a sturdy and durable box so you definitely know that the company ensures to keep their products safe during shipping. If you look at the front portion of the package, you’ll see the microphone’s name – Snowball – as well as the image of the device.
On each side of the package, you will get to see more of the microphone’s features, parts, specifications, as well as three certification stickers, and more. As for the other items in the package, these include the Blue Snowball microphone itself, a tripod stand, one USB cable, and the user’s guide.
Blue Snowball Review – One of the Most Popular Microphones for Streaming
The Blue Snowball microphone is a very easy to use US?B microphone that gives you three selectable arrangements for sound capture; it features a three-position slider on its back which changes the mic into a cardioid, cardioid with -10 dB pads, or Omni. If you aren’t sure what cardioid is, it’s basically a great element for talking directly to your microphone so it’s great for podcasts, voice-overs, as well as twitch streams.
The mic is actually completely spherical but despite this, you can still find a threading on its base to be able to use this with the regular mic mount. The Blue Snowball microphone includes one desktop microphone stand and quite surprisingly, we consider it as something really well-built and durable; plus, it also features an adjustable height. The stand also has three solid legs that fold out from its base which is necessary to keep this steady on any flat and hard surface.
If you’re also wondering, there are Snowball-specific shock-mounts that are available so you can easily satisfy your inner audiophile. The Snowball’s threaded portion slightly pivots which allows you to readily adjust this backward or forward.
The Snowball is covered in plastic with Blue’s logo fixed on the front portion of the mic; it also has a three-position switch that is used for the microphone patterns located at the back of the device; also, the Blue Snowball microphone that we have comes in the Textured White shade which is really nice and clean-looking – something that we really liked a lot. If you look at the mic, you wouldn’t expect it to be quite on the heavy side but it’s heavy in a good way since it gives you that solid feel while its plastic feels like a high-quality one.
The Blue Snowball provides a frequency response rate of 40 | -18 kHz; its dimensions feature a circumference of 325 millimeters while it weighs a total of 460 grams. Additionally, the mic also has dual-condenser capsules that offer crystal clear and high-quality sounds which make this microphone perfect for narrating presentations or home movies.
The Blue Snowball microphone is compatible with Windows 8 (this includes 8.1), Windows 10, Windows XP (Home & Professional), Windows Vista, as well as the Mac OS X (11.4.11 or something higher); the mic also requires you to have at least a minimum of 64 MB RAM.
The Blue Snowball microphone features a cardioid mode with – 10 dB pad which is the second option that is quite similar to the first option (cardioid); the only difference between the two is that this will capture much louder sounds while maintaining the same clarity and quality of these sounds.
The cardioid with -10 db pads has lesser sensitivity and its level peaks are decreased or even eliminated; this makes the microphone more useful when you’re in an extremely loud environment and you want to capture the best and clearest possible sounds. Basically, if you usually scream through streams, then this specific pattern will keep and maintain the level of your voice, preventing it from coming across like some messy audio clip. It’s also a great setting for singing, loud instruments, and various types of music.
The Omni or Omni-directional mode is the third option of the mic; it captures sounds from every direction so it’s perfect for your live music sessions with diversified instruments or for round table discussions. This option is excellent especially if you have more than a single person in the room for interviews on your podcast, or if you have a guest lecturer with you. What’s nice about the Snowball is that you can bring this anywhere you need it: you can bring this to school to record the teacher or even other students during a lively class.
We also mentioned earlier that the type of noise in your surroundings directly influences the settings you’re using for recording: if you’re recording your lecture, you can utilize the first settings and speak right in front of the Snowball; if you have a guest speaker with you, or if you plan to interview another individual for your current lecture, you can opt for the Omni-directional mode so the mic can pick up more than a single voice in the room.
When it comes to setting up the Blue Snowball microphone, you don’t need a set of instructions or software to start using the mic. You just need to plug one end of the included wire to your PC’s USB port and the other end into the back portion of the microphone; once you’re done with that, you’re all set to use the Snowball microphone from Blue.
- Transducer Type: Condenser, Pressure Gradient With USB digital output
- Polar Patterns: Cardioid or Omnidirectional
- Frequency Response: Position 1-3: 40 –18 kHz
- Sample/word Rate: 44.1 kHz/16 bit
- Weight: 460g
- Dimensions: 325mm (circumference)
- Windows 7, 8, 10
- USB 1.1/2.0 (or newer)
- 64MB RAM (or better)
- Mac OSX (10.4.11 or higher)
- USB 1.1/2.0
- 64 MB RAM (minimum)
How it Performs
We already mentioned that the Blue Snowball microphone is very easy to set up since we just needed to plug it in, wait for the drivers to install, then we were all set to use the device; the mic even set itself as the main recording device on our Windows settings so we didn’t really have to tinker with the sound settings of the PC. Its 44.1 kHz / 16-bit sample rate is normal for non-professional mics; it is also referred to as CD Quality which is generally more appropriate for streaming since it’s the same sample rate as with MP3 files. So with that, we received a 1:1 match when it came to the sample rates.
When it comes to its USB output, this lets the audio signal feed directly to the software-based recording apps and we didn’t really need any hardware or preamplifiers which was quite convenient for us. We also tested the signal character and sensitivity of the Snowball and it resulted in excellent clarity and adequate detail when it captured sounds from drums, guitars, vocals, percussions, and more. For the – 10 dB pad switch, it specifically gave us additional headroom while simultaneously decreasing distortion when capturing audio with excess levels.
Yet a mic’s performance all boils down to how great it sounds, and with the Blue Snowball microphone, we can definitely say that it produced excellent sounds that definitely did not disappoint. When we tested the Snowball, we can say that its audio / cardioid mode is something that we’d refer to as the indistinguishable alternative to using a basic pro-audio USB sound card on the computer; and for a majority of applications, this kind of full and close-range sound is what everyone needs since it provides accurate sounds with minimal hiss and a wide dynamic range.
All in all, we can say that the performance of the Blue Snowball microphone is an excellent one and we’re giving the company two thumbs-up for it.
First Position Audio Sample
Second Position Audio Sample
Third Position Audio Sample
The Blue Snowball microphone is a multipurpose device but it holds the distinction of being a really good microphone for recording lectures and more. It’s a pretty basic mic but it’s great that the Snowball covers all the important features that a good quality mic should have and at a very reasonable price: you get a multi-pattern USB microphone that is easy to take around with you, has outstanding features, plus it also includes a desktop stand as well.
Also, since the Blue Snowball microphone is excellent for recording voices, it’s a really great device for professors, teachers, interviewers, and even podcasters since it features sensitive hardware elements that easily picks up talking voices in a room. It produces clear and crisp sounds so you’ll never go wrong with the mic; overall, we’d definitely recommend the Blue Snowball microphone to everyone who wants a great, quality, and efficient microphone that is very cost-efficient.
Where to Buy
If you want to buy the Blue Snowball Microphone, you can purchase this for only $69USD via Blue’s official website.