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Blue Ember XLR Condenser Mic for Recording and Streaming, Custom Cardioid Capsule and Mic Stand Mount
|Connector Type||XLR Connector|
|Number of Channels||1|
|Item Weight||0.84 Pounds|
|Power Source||Corded Electric|
About this item
- Custom Blue Condenser Capsule – captures your voice with stunning depth and clarity
- Open, Accurate Sound – with impressive headroom, Ember delivers clear, commanding vocals for your voice recordings, gaming and video streaming
- XLR Connection - Perfect for computer audio interfaces and mixers
- Precise Cardioid Pattern - Ensures focused sound while minimizing room sound
- Wide, Consistent Frequency Response - innovative circuit design provides remarkably consistent phantom power to the capsule
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Ember brings Blue’s legendary studio sound in a compact form factor to your creative space. Featuring a custom Blue condenser capsule, Ember delivers open, accurate sound with impressive headroom for clear, commanding voice recording and streaming. The focused cardioid pickup pattern helps minimize room sound and Ember’s compact, side-address design fits anywhere and keeps a low profile on camera.
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The shape and low profile makes it easy to place in difficult positions.
However, there are two major things to be aware of.
1: It needs a shock mount in the worst way. The shock mount that Blue recommends costs as much as the microphone itself. If you don't have a shock mount, don't put this mic on a stand placed on a desk, or that easily conducts sounds.
It's too small to fit inside of your typical cheap shock mount. It will just fall right through. While there are other shocks that have similar threads, they are generally not long enough. I tried a few. I really wish Blue had included a shock mount in the box. Even a small clamp-style one would be better than the clip it comes with now.
2. A pop shield is absolutely necessary. I would use a pop shield with any mic anyway, but this is just something to remember.
Now that you've spent $99 on a mic, $99 on a shock mount, and let's say $30 and up on a good pop shield, you've gone into the territory of other budget-friendly mics that are perhaps just as good, if not better, but come in kits with this stuff already. The price of the mic is great, but when you factor the rest in, there are many more options to choose from.
So, at this point, the Ember's big selling point is probably it's profile, and the fact that it doesn't have the typical cheap Chinese condenser microphone sound.
So I did my normal 'watch a thousand online reviews' and try to decide what I wanted. A bit of background on my selecting an XLR mic. With a USB mic like the Yeti, you can't run it through any external processing before it hits the computer. So you get what's in the mic, and that's it.
The challenge with condenser mics is that they pick up sounds in your neighbor's house. So I've always run a noise gate filter on post production of Yeti recordings. When I first started thinking about the Yeti for conference calls, I tried an opensource piece of software that put itself in the audio path on Windows, and provided noise gate, eq, and more.
The problem with that was it took so much of system resources, my computer couldn't keep up with the audio and web conference (i.e. all glitchy). And it wasn't very stable either.
So that's when I looked at external hardware that could be used to apply filters like a noise gate. That led me into XLR mics. I won't go into my journey to find the right piece of hardware for the external noise gate to usb into PC. That's a long one, and one I haven't been too happy with so far. I'm leaning back toward just using a very simple XLR to usb interface until things advance in the current other options.
So that said, this mic does really well with its cardioid pattern, and I am able to adjust the gain t where ambient noise doesn't really become irritatingly apparent. But, this also requires the mic to be 2 to 4 inches from my mouth. That's ok for the most part, since it's so slim, it doesn't really distract when in frame with a video web conference.
I had purchased a shock mount for it and that was quite a bit of hardware in the way of the video frame. But I found I don't need it. When on a boom from a tripod, with the included hard mount, I don't get any reverb or noise transfer into the mic I did with the Yeti and absolutely used a shock mount for that. So that was a pleasant surprise. No shock mount = less crap on screen.
Second thing that surprised me was that it seems to have an integrated pop filter. You have to practically smack your lips on the screen before you'd need a pop filter. So again, slim mic, not taking up frame real estate.
I believe this is why they add streamer application to their marketing for it. And I'd agree. Now, like any mic you can crank the gain and keep it out of frame, but with this type of mic, you will be needing a very specialized recording booth. The recommended use for and mic like this is 2 to 4 inches from your mouth.
I've seen a lot of reviews of this mic where they say 'oh, the included mount is substandard and you NEED a shock mount', and the same sort of thing about a pop filter. To that, I say 'no, you don't'
The mic generates a great reproduction of my voice and I am pleased with it right out of gate, with no processing. All that said, I've now caught the bug to improve everything, and have added some dedicated lighting to improve my video. While it's not impossible to light and keep this very slim mic in a spot that is acceptable without throwing a shadow on your face, I've decided to try out a hyper cardioid pencil mic that I can keep just out of frame.
But I will definitely have this for my go to mic when doing voice over for my recordings. I'm sure I will still do post on it, but is light years ahead of the Yeti in voice quality, so way less post and better overall results.
For $100 (plus any additional XLR stuff you need if you're just leaving USB mode) I think it's money well spent. I like this thing a lot and wouldn't hesitate to recommend to someone with similar needs as me.