The Blue Microphone Snowball Review 2023 is a highly recommended mic for recording vocal work or live instrumentals. The mic captures natural sound with outstanding quality for individuals who want their vocals and instruments to sound their best.
Overview of The Blue Snowball USB Microphone
The idea behind this microphone was simple. Unfortunately, USB microphones for webcams and computers were often terrible. Blue wanted to create a microphone that was both good and great, with the support of Apple. It would be a microphone that could easily fit between professional microphones and the low-quality efforts computers often offer.
Blue is best known for its high-quality recording and boutique microphones. In 2005, Blue introduced the Snowball. It was the first USB microphone for vocals with a decent build quality at the time. It was the dawn of the plug-and-play USB microphone.
It is still here and running the business fourteen years later. While there have been many other options, the Snowball is still the most popular option.
Let’s take a closer view and find out why the Blue Snowball USB mic has stood the test of time.
- Plug and play
- It is great for integration with a computer.
- You can choose from Omni or Cardioid pickup pattern
- The excellent audio quality for the price. However, don’t expect studio-quality recordings or youtube videos.
- It is not easy to determine which polar pattern you are using.
- It may take some time to achieve the best sound quality when recording with its tripod.
Blue Microphone Snowball Review
1. Design and Features Snowball USB Mic
- Frequency Response Range: 40Hz -18 kHz
- Sample/Bitrate 44.1 kHz/16 bits
- Polar Patterns: Cardioid
- Dimensions: 12.8 inches/325mm circumference
- Weight (microphone + stand): 1.0 Pound/0.46 Kg
- Headphone Amplifier impedance: 16 Ohms
- Additional: Mini USB-to-USB port, removable stand, boom arm adjuster
The Snowball microphone is essential and offers three sound capture patterns (one less than the more expensive Yeti). The Snowball can be set up with a simple 3-position slider at the back to change between cardioid, cardioid with an -10db pad, and Omni setting. Cardioid works best when speaking directly into the microphone.
Its mic is ideal for podcasts, skip to main content mic for Twitch streams, mic for voice-overs. Omni can capture sounds from any direction, including roundtable discussions and live-music sessions with multiple instruments. The cardioid’s -10db pad reduces sensitivity, and level peak levels are reduced or eliminated.
This makes it ideal for situations that are too loud sound sources. This polar pattern will prevent your voice from sounding stuttering as you roar through streams.
Although the base is entirely spherical, it still has threading to allow for a standard snowball microphone mounting. The Snowball comes with a desktop microphone stand.
It’s well-built, adjustable height, and is surprisingly sturdy. To keep the Blue microphones Snowball stable on any flat surface, three sturdy legs extend from its base. Snowball-specific shock mounts are also available.
The Snowball’s threaded section pivots slightly so that you can move it forward or backward. The feel was not smooth, and it felt like the metal on the threaded section was grinding against the plastic. It is not sure if it will withstand repeated use without sagging or wearing out.
The Snowball’s USB connection is another thing that I did not like. Blue Yeti and the Razer Seiren both use the USB Mini connector. There’s no gain control, no polar pattern switch, no mute.
It seems that these USB microphones are the only ones currently using them. This is why I wouldn’t say I like it. If you lose your Snowball’s USB cable-type B, you won’t be able to replace it with a newer headphone jack standard quickly.
The great microphone is protected in plastic with the Blue logo on its front and the three-position switch to control the mic patterns on its back. You have a variety of color options, including plain white and neon green. Although the Snowball is heavier than I expected, it’s still very light. It feels solid, and the plastic feels premium.
The mic shows up immediately. This is where you can adjust the recording levels. The Snowball Ice produces crisp, clean audio once you have set a level.
Like the Yeti, the Blue microphones Snowball is easy to set up. It’s as easy as plugging it in and waiting for the driver’s install. You don’t have to mess with sound settings. It automatically sets itself up as your primary recording gear in Windows XP. It’s as easy as switching to your recording software and pressing the record button.
The Snowball’s 44.1 kHz/16-bit sample rate is relatively standard for microphones of this quality. This is also called CD Quality, which is better for home streaming. It has the same sample rate that MP3 files and can be used to match sample rates. The sound is excellent for recording podcasts or voice-overs.
This device is great for streaming and far better than a headset or microphone. The device may not have as many capture patterns as the Yeti or Razer Seiren, but its sound quality is superb. In addition, its cardioid and omnidirectional modes are versatile enough to suit most needs.
The compact size and universal threaded mounting make it very portable. Packaging into a backpack or laptop bag is much easier than the Yeti and Seiren, making it a great choice for recording on-site. You can record a podcast at PAX by setting up an impromptu recording. With its desktop stand, the Snowball is easy to use and deploys quickly.
3. How Does It Sound?
Sound is the most critical aspect of any review of Blue microphones. First, I wanted to look for low-level hiss in every USB connection mic I’ve tried. What was the result? The best results?
The Snowball was so quiet that I could hardly believe it, especially when compared to the Samson C01U U USB mics, which are comparable and even cheaper. The Snowball retails for $69.99, and the C01U was $70 at Best Buy.
The first thing I did was to record a few seconds of silence using both mics. Next, I recorded a single voice in both mics and read the same passage. It was still quite impressive. While Samson produces a loud hiss, the Snowball emits no hiss. You can even hear my wall’s clock ticking in the Snowball example. Listen to both the Snowball and Blue Snowball ice samples.
Snowball – silence only
What did voice recordings sound like? This is where the fun begins. Both sounded great, but the Samson C01U was a better choice. It sounded more balanced and fuller. The Snowball also picked up more room sound, which I found a little echoey.
The Blue microphones Snowball did a great job of not over-emphasizing the plosives (p–pops), which I consider a major plus. Usually, even with a pop filter in front of a microphone, I still need to remove the p-pops from my recording voice. The Snowball was not only free of pop-filters, but it also didn’t require me to make any edits.
Double-checking revealed that Samson’s pickup patterns are hyper-cardioid (compared to cardioid for the Snowball). This means it will pick up less room sound and be more sensitive to plosives. This is why the Snowball sample has more room sound but fewer problems with popping Ps.
Under such circumstances, the microphone quality is comparable to other Blue microphone models. However, the limited frequency response range of 40Hz – 18kHz may result in a slightly lower fidelity capture.
Snowball – voice recording
Both are very good, but they’re just different. The different cardioid pickup patterns can explain at least part of the difference. I looked at several reviews online comparing the two mics and found that some people preferred the Snowball while others preferred the Samson, Audio-Technica. This is probably a matter of personal preference.
What is the best Blue Snowball microphone?
Although Blue Snowball’s basic features are not very impressive, it does provide all of the necessary information at an affordable price. It also has a good quality. A multi-pattern USB mic is available for $70. It’s well-made and easy to carry around.
Is Snowball better than Yeti?
In every category, the Blue Yeti is better than the Blue Snowball or Blue Snowball iCE. It produces more precise and louder sources, has a better stand, a headphone jack, and mute buttons, and offers more polar patterns. The Blue Yeti is a better choice if you have the cash.
Is a snowball a good candidate for a pop filter?
A pop filter will not improve Blue recordings in one case. That is, if you don’t want the microphone to be too close to your mouth.
What are the three settings for a blue snowball?
There are three settings for your pickup: Omni, cardioid, and cardioid with a 10dB pad. These recording modes settings can be used to accommodate any recording situation.
Is the Blue Snowball ice microphone good for singing?
The blue snowball iCE is an excellent, small usb microphone for tight budget markets. See more The Snowball Ice sounds quite a bit better, according to what I have heard.
How far can you travel from Snowball’s microphone?
It can pick up loudspeakers from 7 feet. If you are a regular speaker, staying between 3-5 feet and the mic is best.
What’s a blue snowball microphone good at?
The Snowball, the smallest of all the Blue litters, provides an easy way for anyone to boost their recorded sound quality. It can be connected to any computer, mac os, tablet, or gaming console.
How can I improve the quality of my blue microphones?
Is Blue Snowball microphone: mono or stereo?
Mono microphone, the Snowball ICE Microphone. Recording with the number of channel settings to 1 (mono) in the Device Toolbar will allow you to play the recording from both the left and right speakers.
How can I connect my blue microphones to my computer?
The supplied USB cable connects the Snowball to your computer. The LED above the Blue logo will glow green, which indicates that necessary power has reached the Snowball. You can now stream and record in excellent audio quality.
Can the Blue Snowball microphone be used for rapping?
Overall, the Blue Snowball microphone is affordable and versatile. Although it isn’t the best USB microphone available, it is most likely the best at this price.
How can I check the quality of my microphone?
Four Ways to Test the Quality of Your Mic
- Use An Audio Interface. You may not need to use high-quality audio in all cases. You can use your microphone to communicate with others.
- Use a Reference Microphone
- You can use an online mic test tool.
- Use recording software.
It is a primary microphone unit. Although it doesn’t have many extras, it offers all the necessary features at an affordable price. It can produce a great sound if you have the right environment.
You get a USB microphone that can be used in three different patterns for a reasonable price. It is sturdy and well-constructed. You can also carry it with you, if necessary. It plugs directly into your computer.
To be honest, no. The labeling of pattern switching was mentioned, and we felt it could have been clearer. Although there are no other audio outputs available, it might be worth considering, as we mentioned.
Recording vocals can be brutal when the microphone is not on its tripod. Recording vocals can be difficult for singers. These are minor problems that will not affect the recording process.
Hookeaudio found many positive things while writing the Blue Snowball microphone review. This mic has too many positive points to list all of its flaws. A red light appears when plug-and-play and can be used with any computer. It is a unique design. It is hard to find an alternative at this price that performs as well.
Blue Snowball’s USB microphone is a great buy, provided you don’t expect too much. You won’t get a world-class studio experience with it. It will provide a primary microphone facility that can be used to record directly to a computer. This alone makes it an excellent value for the price.