Customer Reviews: Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone (Textured White)
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I've been using this Mic a little over a month and am very impressed with it. What I want to do is add some value to the many reviews that have already been posted. But first, let's get past the obvious good points:

This thing looks way cool. It's a nice techno-retro mix that I really like. It sounds great (with one caveat mentioned below. The price is very reasonable. The build quality is solid. They evey provide a heavy duty USB cable. If you need a mic and are looking for tremendous value this will fit the bill.

The audio issue I had, and I'm not alone, is that while the quality is outstanding the output level is a tad low. I contacted Blue support and learned that a fix will be released soon. Until then it's a matter of speaking up a bit or turning up the gain on whatever audio processing software you're using.

Now, to address some issues raised by other reviewers... My mic was new stock, serial number 092xxx. I plugged it into my Windows 7 (64 bit) system and it "played" right away. The stand is fine. (If you want to replace it then the On Stage DS7200B Adjustable Desk Microphone Stand, Black seems like a nice option. However, I like being able to keep a pad of post-its on my desk below the stand :)

Finally, some suggestions. I've been using audacity, a free, feature rich audio editor. Windows recorder is fine and I can't see any reason not to use audacity instead. Also, while a replacement stand is a possible add-on to consider, you should first look into a pop filter. I use the Nady MPF-6 6-Inch Clamp On Microphone Pop Filter If you check out my audio/video review which accompanies the product listing (it's somewhere near the top) you can hear a comparison of the Snowball with and without the filter. You even get a chance to guess which is which before I tell you.

Another small issue besides the slightly attenuated output is the selector switch. There's a three position switch that allows you to select cardioid (directional), -10db cardioid, or omni-directional. Unfortunately it's labeled 1, 2, and 3. I wish the manufacture had done a better job of labeling that switch.

One final comment is it would have been nice to have an analog output available. I'm no engineer (actually, I am but not that kind) and don't know if it's possible. However, if it was it would be nice to have.

Those minor issues and my hallucination about the analog output aside, this is one fine mic and you would have to spend lots more to get something even approaching this level of quality.

UPDATE: I've been using this mic for several months and continue to be impressed. One "enhancement" I've used and suggest you consider is to replace the really nice looking stand with one that I've found works a bit better: On Stage DS7200B Adjustable Desk Microphone Stand, Black. It allows the mic to be raised a bit higher and also locks in place much more firmly.

UPDATE 2: I've also started using a Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone. My review for it, a few down from the top, provides a comparison between the Snowball and the more-expensive Yeti.

BTW, I feel that honest, effective reviews can take the place of first-hand experiences that are lacking in online shopping. I've always appreciated the help I've received from other reviewers and work hard to return the favor as best as I can. I hope you found this review helpful and if there was anything you thought was lacking or unclear leave a comment and I'll do what I can to fix it.
1515 comments|929 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 21, 2009
Always hold it close to your mouth to eliminate echo and get that deep, rich satin voice you're looking for!
4343 comments|1,198 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 17, 2009
Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone Bundle

This video demonstrates how the Blue Snowball microphone sounds and its different modes.

I have read some reviews that stated that the microphone had problems working with Vista. I did this review on a Vista PC. There is a product FAQ for this mic on [...] that states that after a certain serial number (starting in 2007) the mic was updated and now supports Vista. I can attest to that as I had no problems setting it up. I just plugged it in and it worked.
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on May 24, 2006
Okay, I own a lot of microphones. I am very picky when it comes to sound and I would gladly waste $40 in gas to return a microphone that just didn't have the sound I expect. I was delighted to hear the quality of this USB mic! It has a great clarity to it, without being "tinny" or "crispy", and without sacrificing on the lows either. No "boomy" or "hollow" sound, just a nice clean and full-range quality that I expect from my $500-range microphones (but thankfully, without having to fool with an audio interface or goofy proprietary driver software!) What a great find... plug it in and it is ready to record!!

If you are looking for an intelligent, clean, affordable microphone for voice-over projects, podcasts, quick-and-easy live recording (with your laptop, of course), or open-mic music composition before dragging all the gear out to record a full-blown multitrack, this is the best money can buy in this category. Not to mention, it looks great sitting on your desk! BLUE has definitely convinced me to buy again, solid construction and solid sound (and no stupid drivers like Samson's USB garbage). Maybe next I'll get a Bluebird or Baby Bottle, this company is worth a closer look now that I've heard the very smooth sound of their entry level -- BLUE has got my attention!!
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on January 3, 2007
I started a podcast series based on Shakespeare's works and on major works of English literature (SHAKESPodosphEARE) for my students in Cincinnati earlier this year, and I started with a cheap mic/headset. It did the trick for the early episodes; I was just exploring whether or not my students would find full-text readings and recorded lectures useful, and they did. As a result, I wanted to find a higher quality way to record both readings of his plays and my lectures, and the Snowball was the perfect solution. It's easy to use (plugs in to your USB port), can be transported from one locale to another easily, and is an economical way to get high quality audio recordings. I've used it mainly for voice, but I've since incorporated some music into the podcast, and it's done a nice job of picking up my acoustic guitar and students' vocals.

NB: I use Audacity (which is a free download), and an HP Tablet PC, and for some reason I needed to do a firmware upgrade because at first the Snowball wasn't picking up sound at a high enough volume. It is a pretty simple process if you're tech savvy. Go to Blue's website for details.

If you're interested in listening to the differences between a cheap headset and the Snowball, check out my podcast at [...] . Listen to one of the early episodes (early Sept. of 2006) on which I used the basic mic (what comes with most Desktops), and then listen to a later episode (in which I use the Snowball). I'd recommend listening to an early Othello episode (1.1) and then a later Julius Caesar episode. My shows on The Tempest (also recorded with the Snowball) include sound effects, which may make it hard to hear the difference.

I've liked the Snowball so much that the school itself purchased one to encourage our students to start creating their own podcasts.

Be sure to get the package with the USB cord and the tripod. When using the tripod, be sure to push the legs all the way down, or the mic will fall over a lot.

Have fun!
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on January 11, 2009
I am a pianist. Recording piano is one of the hardest assignments you could ask of a recording engineer. Snowball, by Blue, does just that. The dynamics, spaciousness, nuances, and warmth of the piano are all there. And to top it all, this microphone can be directly plugged into a laptop. In principle, you should have your audio interface outside your computer, to avoid interferences from disk writing being recorded as noise. But these solutions are more expensive. They typically triple the initial expense. For musicians on a budget, like me, look no further.
The microphone has three recording modes: cardioid, omnidirectional, and -10db for really loud sound. I recommend the cardioid configuration, with the mic on the right side, slightly toward the bass end of the piano. Coupled with an impulse response reverb, you basically have a steinway in your bedroom.
PS: I use this microphone several times a day. You plug it, it's ready to use. I'm very impressed.
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on November 29, 2015
I bought this microphone after doing hours of research on which microphone would be best for me. I wanted to get started creating YouTube videos but not spend too much on a microphone in case things did not work out. This product is perfect for beginners because it gives you a good quality sound. Plus, if you wanted to upgrade down the road it wouldn't be too much of a loss.

It comes with a stand and is ready to use straight out of the box. Simply plug in to your computer's USB port and start recording.

As for my set-up, I currently have it on a boom arm (NEEWER Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand) with a vibration reducing shockmount (Blue Microphones Ringer Universal Shockmount for Ball Microphones) and pop filter (Dragonpad pop filter Studio Microphone Mic Wind Screen Pop Filter Swivel Mount 360 Flexible Gooseneck Holder). This might be more than needed for a beginner but for the total cost of it all, I am very satisfied with the quality it produces.

**If you are looking for a cheaper alternative for a decent quality producing set-up, I use to place this microphone in a storage box (LOHAS Home Closet Fabric Drawer,Foldable Fabric Baskets,Storage Bins (Natural)) lined with acoustic foam (Mybecca 12 Pack Acoustic Wedge Studio Soundproofing Foam Wall Tiles 12" X 12" X 1" (12 Square Feet) Made in USA). See my attached image for a better idea. This created a simple "recording booth" that produced fairly good audio. I just recently changed my set-up because I needed more room on my desk.

Overall, I would recommend this microphone to anyone interested in getting started with quality audio recording. If you are looking for more of an expert recording quality level, you might want to look into Blue's other microphones. I hope this review and set-up suggestions helped you out! Happy Recordings!
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on May 18, 2009
It's pretty. It gets great sound, but the recording level is just too low.

I went through two of these things, and here's the deal. If you are going to be two inches from it, or you are going to be recording loud sources, you'll be pleased as punch.

If you are going to be recording the normal volume of a human voice, or you want to record a number of participants around a table, you will find that the recording levels are just far far too low.

To make sure I didn't just get a bad one, I went through two of these and found exactly the same problem. I even spent a good deal of time with their customer support person (who seems to be a really swell guy) and there are no driver or firmware updates to increase the gain on this newer version of the microphone. It's just the way these microphones are designed.

I ended up sending the two Snowballs back and purchasing the Audio Technica AT2020USB Condenser USB Microphone. The AT2020USB turned out to be just perfect for my use.
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on October 2, 2007
I'm not a professional.

Up to now, I've been using a cheap $20 non-usb mic to record podcasts. I was having all sorts of problems with background noise. My biggest problem, though was that you could hear each and every sound my mouth made when I was talking. Also sounded tinny, shallow, and overall not good, which made it difficult to edit in Audacity as well.

In comparison, the Snowball is a freakin' miracle mic. It's not even from the same planet of mics that my other one was. Completely amazing. My voice sounds deep and rich, and there are no more annoying squishy mouth noises messing everything up.

I've never recorded in a studio, never been in a sound-proof room, and never recorded with a real studio mic. So I don't know how it compares. But for normal people wanting a great sound from a relatively inexpensive mic, this will blow you away. Hats off to Blue Mic for putting this together!
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on January 14, 2010
pls see the image file of the snowball with my quad screen setup ...

i communicate more or less constantly all day long over the net using skype ... i sit two to almost three feet away from my snowball, and the other traders i speak with during the day tell me the sound is perfect, which is important ... the base is very sturdy -- if i were going to make a suggestion it would be that the central pole for the mic also slide down thru the bottom of the pole/leg base ring and lock into place -- i just dont need it sitting that high, although i am use to it now -- it looks more obtuse than it really is ...

i have limbaugh on 11a to 2p on my netbook at my left, and cnbc, fox biz or bloomberg on an hd monitor to my right (which you cant see) with the sound on when limbaugh isnt doing his thing -- sound from these two sources never bothers the other traders listening to me, which is also important ...

i thought a long time before paying this much for a mic but have been completely satisfied since installing -- installation was simply plug and play ... good luck with your snowball ...
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