In the past few years, YouTube, podcasting, and live streaming have boomed in a snap, and with the boost of content creators, there’s been a huge increase in easy to use microphones which are often called the USB mics. But what do you think you should do, if you want the user-friendly and seamless use that’s offered by a USB microphone, combined with the sound quality of studio and quality-grade XLR mics?
Blue has got you covered with their Ember microphone which is an XLR mic condenser that is designed to dismiss off axis noise while simultaneously facilitating clearer voice recordings. If you’re someone who doesn’t want to spend over a hundred dollars or so on a microphone, and just wish to get every penny’s worth when it comes to great audio quality, then the Blue Ember microphone is the best choice for you.
The Ember microphone from Blue serves a wide collection of content creators that range from podcasters to musicians, and even YouTubers. It sports a sophisticated and sleek design which only means that it can appear on screen without being a complete distraction or even an eyesore. For the analog XLR connection, it keeps the great audio quality while also providing you with flexibility for people who require added professional studio setups.
The cardioid pattern for recording is generally forgiving as it effectively decreases the off-axis noise. This results in a cleaner and clearer method of recording and lesser time spent on post processing.
Blue Ember Microphone Review – What’s in the Box?
We received the Ember microphone in a clean-looking cardboard box that sports a simple blue and white theme. In front, you will find an image of Ember in the left portion of the package, while its name and a few details about it are written on the front.
The sides of it features a couple of other information, while the back gives you an idea of what the different features are.
Once you flip open the box, the first thing you’ll see under this is its name, an illustration of the mic, and a note that says “your voice goes here” while pointing at one part of the illustration.
Inside the box, which we think was very nicely packed, you will really see that the company ensured that their mic is kept safe from any possible shipping damages and the like. And aside from Ember itself, other accessories that you’ll find in the package includes a stand adapter, one stand mount, and the user guide or manual.
Blue Ember Microphone Review
Just like a lot of other microphones from Blue, the Ember mic sports a really nice retro vibe to its style and design. Its slim, cylindrical, and slightly flattened body displays a nice looking grayish blue metallic frame combined with a shiny mesh grill, plus the company’s logo that’s embellished on the mix’s front face.
The Blue Ember is known as a side address microphone, and underneath its grill, you will find one condenser capsule that captures all audio in a cardioid pattern. This is generally optimal for tracking instruments or vocals, as well as rebuffing audio that is coming from the spot that is opposite from the sound’s source.
One of the first things that you should know about the Ember microphone from Blue is that compared to your standard USB mic, it needs you to give a small amount of additional effort to set up. It isn’t anything difficult though, and you don’t need to be tech savvy to do this. If you do not currently have an audio interface, then it is necessary for you to invest in one.
Onto the microphone itself: the company ensured that the design and build of their Ember mic would be as compact as possible, and this is without making a ton of compromises. Its side address style is very useful when you try recording at your desk since you only need minimal effort to actually move it around a monitor with accrued decor around. What’s more, its sleek form factor looks really good on cam, and it prevents from becoming a form of obstruction or eyesore when recording.
The Ember microphone’s metal chassis gives the mic a classy and premium feel to it which is anything but bulky. The desaturated ash-grey and blue color scheme looks very appealing and goes perfectly with the mic’s grill. When it comes to the basic controls such as the gain, these can be altered from the interface.
The company’s distinct idea of style can be seen on full display on this specific microphone from Blue. They made sure that their Ember microphone exudes a nice and classy looking exterior which is really good. In addition to this, its slim form and the side address layout means that the microphone won’t block the view when you choose to use it for live streaming, or for on camera uses and purposes.
Ember’s side address design is something quite unusual for a little diaphragm condenser mic; however, this style makes it so much easier to get the microphone into tight spots like close to the snare of a drum set, or miking toms.
Since the Ember microphone from Blue is categorized as an XLR mic, some people have been asking what exactly is an XLR, and does it make the Ember more special with its presence?
We’ve got you covered on this too, so we are going to talk about what XLR is, and why you might want to utilize this in your studio.
Basically, XLR is known to be pro audio which is what every radio and recording studio utilizes. It is also what you’ll find on stage when artists are performing live. The reason for this is that XLR cables provide you with balanced audio which is vital for getting clean, crisp, and perfect sounds.
When defining XLR, it is generally an easy abbreviation for the X connector, locking connector, and the rubber boot. Despite having a slight change when it comes to the design, its name has remained the same.
Currently, there are several and a variety of versions when it comes to these XLR cables. The available types include those with additional pins – specifically the XLR 3 0 XLR 7. Yet if you are familiar with these, you will know that the XLR 3 is the most common kind of cable available. This kind displays the three-pin style of the cable.
To put it simply, an XLR is the go-to basis to get high quality audio inputs like mics. The reason for this is because it delivers a balanced signal that readily isolates noise. It is simply a more convenient and efficient kind of connector for such types of applications. However, it can also be considered as something a bit robust which makes it a feature that average consumers should thoroughly think of using; unless, this will be for high quality streaming or audio recordings.
OPEN, Clear, and Detailed Sounds
The Blue Ember microphone provides everyone with stunning detail and clear audio output. Pristine electronics give you a powerful signal with just the right amount of headroom.
Hand-tuned and customized condenser capsules catch the highest detail, while the snug cardioid pickup arrangement helps lessen background and room noise easily. The microphone’s side address and compact design fits perfectly while it simultaneously keeps a low profile while on cam.
Behind the Microphone
The Ember mic from Blue is able to capture and produce stunning detail which is all thanks to their hand-tuned condenser capsule. This feature makes the microphone suitable for recording audio for online distribution via SoundCloud; this also goes for capturing HQ and professional sounds that are vital for YouTube videos.
This mic can also be your secret weapon for various tasks like live streaming, podcasting, and broadcasting.
Within the Sounds
The accurate cardioid polar pattern of Ember, as well as its custom-designed phantom power wirings, guarantee a remarkable and persistent frequency response. This is combined with extreme low noise to get that smooth and rich vocal sound. High and clean output gain ensures to give you outstanding headroom for commanding vocals and up-front instruments.
Smooth and Polished Low-Profile Design
The design and build of this XLR microphone make it very easy and convenient to position even in tight spaces. This is because it can seamlessly pick up sounds from the front part of Ember instead of the end. You can also conveniently sneak the mic in any space which is great. And with its sleek form factor, the mic will guarantee a low profile on camera, making it a great option for video creators and streamers.
The Blue Ember mic makes use of a condenser capsule type of transducer; plus, it displays a cardioid polar pattern with an output of 40 ohms and 1k ohm for its rate load impedance.
Its little diaphragm, side address condenser mic’s snug cardioid polar pattern gives you outstanding off axis rejection, while its sleek and classy profile offers ease of use in jam-packed miking applications.
This 8.6 x 1.5-inch microphones gives you a 38Hz to 20kHz frequency response while simultaneously handling sound pressure levels that reaches around 132 dB. As for the mic itself, it weighs a total of 0.84 pounds.
These types of studio quality condenser microphones are required to have “Phantom Power” which means that you need to have a certain type of microphone input or a kind of mixer that provides you with 48 Volts for proper operation. Internally, Ember gives you damping that makes it a great option for use; so, if you want to have a high-quality condenser and want to avoid using the USB, then your best bet would be the Ember microphone from Blue.
Using the Product
Before you even use the microphone, there are a couple of things that you should consider to continuously and conveniently utilize Ember. Here they are:
As we mentioned earlier, you will need to have a recording interface that sports the +48 Volt phantom power. This is necessary to support the power requirements of the microphone. You will also need a dedicated XLR cable to be phantom power compatible.
To use any microphone, including this one from Blue, you will need a microphone stand. What’s great is that the company included a mic stand mount, but you will still require a microphone stand or you’ll have to deal with holding Ember throughout your recording session. This will surely compromise the audio quality which isn’t something that you’d want in the first place.
Lastly, you need to have a pop filter to combat fricatives and plosives. You can invest in a pop filter from Blue, but you can also opt for third-party options as well, which is pretty convenient.
While testing it out the Ember microphone we can definitely say that Ember’s strength definitely lies in capturing vocals in a clear and crisp manner.
The microphone is equally appropriate for recording musical instruments and we used it to capture sounds being played from an acoustic guitar. Its narrow pickup method makes it easy to continuously record both vocals and guitars without experiencing any significant vocal bleeding in the guitar microphone or vice-versa.
The company designed this microphone to meet all the needs and requisites of video content creators; and for its side address design, this makes it easier to position and condition in shoots, allowing the mic to be placed anywhere for ideal sounds without it being obtrusive in any way.
We will be honest and say that we were not expecting too much due to the low price point; but the sound is amazing! The mic tends to sound detailed and open, which is something that Blue claimed in a couple of their ads. It slightly emphasizes on the high frequencies and high mids.
Lastly, when we spoke into the microphone, you will need to keep the capsule parallel to your face since it acquires sounds directly from the front part of the grill. This is compared to picking up sounds from the top of the mic.
If you’re someone who might forget which side is the front part, just keep in mind that the embossed logo of Blue should be facing you and you’re all good. Proper positioning increases and magnifies off axis noise rejection which boosts clarity.
Overall, this is a very good microphone and we’re giving the Ember from Blue a solid thumbs-up.
Just like what the company claimed, the Blue Ember is surely a non-USB and very solid microphone that can be used for home studios and streaming. Its low profile, smart, and sleek appearance make it an optimal option for videos; yet due to its sonic performance, the Ember becomes a really strong option for studio projects, and even an excellent microphone locker addition for various-sized studios.
So, if you’re looking to improve and step up your game from USB &/or dynamic microphones, and if you want to have an excellent quality XLR condenser mic, then we highly recommend the Blue Ember microphone for your different tasks. It’s not only very stylish, but it’s also a highly capable microphone that delivers the best audio without breaking your budget.
Where to Buy
The Blue Ember is available in various stores and online shops. Check out Blue’s store locator in the company’s official website to find out where you can buy this.