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Blue TIKI Condenser Microphone, Cardioid
|Price:||$59.99 & FREE Shipping. Details|
- Two custom condenser capsules with advanced DSP (400 MHz)
- Two Modes: Speech Mode-brings your voice to the forefront, cancelling background noise, Natural Recording Mode-captures a wide range of sources from vocals to instruments with clarity
- Compatible with PC and Mac with USB 2.0+
- Plug and play, no drivers or software needed
- CD-quality Audio: 16 bit 44.1 k, 40 Hz-20 kHz
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From the Manufacturer
Tiki Portable USB Microphone at a Glance
- Intelligent ultra-compact USB microphone
- Brings your voice to the forefront using voice isolation and noise-canceling technology
- Improves vocal clarity for online communication like Skype and iChat, and voice recognition software
- Eliminates computer fan and typing noise by intelligently auto-muting
- Recording mode optimized for podcasts and music recording
TIKI Dual-Mode Compact USB Condenser Microphone
The new Tiki is the world's first USB microphone that mimics the intelligence of human hearing by focusing on desired sounds, minimizing background noise and knowing when to mute altogether. Tiki's two modes give any Skype user, podcaster or musician the versatility to quickly choose the best option in any situation. First, Intelligent Speech Mode brings your voice to the forefront of a conference call or chat while noise-canceling technology simultaneously minimizes unwanted, competing background noise. Natural Recording Mode captures a wide range of sources from vocals to acoustic guitar, recording high-fidelity audio with exceptional clarity. Tiki sets a new standard for crystal clear audio for wherever you go.
Improves Vocal Clarity
The Tiki is an intelligent, ultra-compact USB microphone that improves vocal clarity for online communication like Skype and iChat, and other voice recognition software. It brings your voice to the forefront using voice isolation and noise-canceling technology, and eliminates computer fan and typing noise by intelligently auto-muting.
Intelligent Speech Mode applies noise reduction algorithms to reduce background noise, and softly mutes microphone when no speech is detected and quickly restores audio when you resume speaking, making you the clearest and least distracting participant in your chat or conference call.
What's in the Box
- Blue Tiki USB Microphone
- Extended docking cable
- Carrying case
Compatible with PC and Mac
The Tiki is compatible with any PC or Mac with an available USB 2.0+ port. Setup is plug-and-play, with no drivers or software to install.
Record Podcasts and Music
This mic can do more than just chat. Natural Recording Mode is a recording mode optimized for podcasts and music recording for quality demos and quick takes when you're on the road.
Natural Recording Mode applies subtle studio processing techniques to the recorded signal to maximize sound quality. It'll surprise you with great recordings from a small package.
Tiki features two custom condenser capsules with advanced DSP for enhanced recording clarity, with a multi-colored LED that indicates muting status and mode. Tiki is capable of recording CD-quality, 16-bit audio at a 44.1k sampling rate.
Top Customer Reviews
I struggled with whether to rate this microphone 3 or 4 stars. It's certainly an improvement over the internal mics that come built in to a number of inexpensive PC's, but it's not quite up to par with some of the nicer podcasting microphones Blue and others manufacture.
There are essentially two modes for the Tiki, an "intelligent speech" mode that aggressively handles noise at the expense of audio quality, and a "natural recording" mode that dials back a lot of the noise filtering for a better sounding recording. It can be inserted directly into a USB port but also comes with an extension cable to allow the mic to be positioned closer to the speaker. I recommend using the extension cable at all times for better results.
The intelligent speech mode does a good job of filtering out excess noise for skype calls. But it really kills the richness of the audio. The natural recording mode sounds great, and gets even better when using the extension cable. It's on par with larger microphones but lacks the audio range you'll get out of a studio mic. The dual pickups are a neat feature and I could see it being useful for someone looking to record a one-on-one interview without the hassle of mixers and multiple microphones.
So who is this for? Anyone with a lousy mic on their PC should definitely consider the Tiki for voice over IP and skype conversations. I can also see it being useful for podcasters who don't always want to lug around a big microphone but want the ability to record an unexpected interview. Just don't expect this to become your primary recording tool.
I tested the Tiki USB microphone on three laptops. Blue, the company behind this snazzy little recording device, touts its portability and it measures up well. I read some other reviews before posting my own and noted that Mac owners are having trouble getting the USB connection to fit. No problem here. I carefully slid the Tiki into each laptop - HP, Toshiba, Dell - with no problems. Is it a tight fit? Yes, but if your MO is to jam things in and rip things out of your USB inputs...well, you get what you deserve.
The microphone did a good job providing noise-free communication with Skype. Again, if I used that more often, I'd be thrilled with this product. The Tiki also paired well with my Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11.
However, I was fortunate enough to review the product for free as part of the Amazon Vine program. I wouldn't be happy paying about $50 if my intention was to use it for podcasting. I'd still recommend Blue though; try their Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone, which are only $15 more, instead. Be sure to pick up a pop filter as well to reduce the sharp P, S, and T sounds that can wreck a voice over.
BTW: I'm learning more about podcasting, too. I purchased and recommend this guide, Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Podcasting.
One final note, Blue sets itself apart with its attention to product and packaging design. Half of the box the microphone arrives in is actually a plastic, hinged carrying case with Tiki carvings on the outside of the black box.
In summary, the rating depends greatly on how you intend to use the microphone. If you need an upgrade to better hear Grandma's voice via Skype or you want a hands-free, headset-free option to using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a five-star rating is in order. However, if podcasting is your aim, this won't substitute for Blue's tabletop USB microphones and a pop filter.
Rating: Four stars.
The Tiki's selling points are:
* Quality: This is a high-quality microphone, better than most laptops have built-in.
It's only a little bit better than the MacBook Pro built-in mic, though.
* Noise reduction. If you have a noisy environment, it will help, maybe a lot.
* Position: The USB cable lets you put the mic near your mouth. This helps a lot.
* Compactness: Easy to pack when traveling.
Before starting the review, here are some recording tips that will improve your results no matter what microphone you use: First, reduce background noise. Next, position the microphone near your mouth. Third, avoid touching the microphone cable or the surface it rests on so you don't create more noise.
Here are the results of my evaluation:
This is the best application for the Tiki. If you use Skype or any other voice application while traveling, you will get better results with the Yeti. The noise cancellation will help improve the recorded audio in areas where you have no control over the noise, and the compact design is perfect for packing. People I talked to noticed a clear difference with the Tiki when background noise was present. And whenever you can position the Tiki closer to your mouth using the cable, you will get far better results than with any built-in microphone.
SKYPE AT HOME/OFFICE:
For SKYPE at home, when you have more control over the environment, the difference between the Tiki and the built-in microphone on the MacBook Pro is only evident when you have background noise. However, the Tiki is noticeably better than the built-in mic on two other Windows laptops. And again, use the cable to position the Tiki near to your mouth for best results.
TWO PEOPLE TALKING:
This application only came up one time for me, but the difference was striking. If you are doing Skype with two or more people, the Tiki gives better results than a built-in microphone because it has two microphone capsules. When plugged into a USB port on the side of a laptop, one faces forward and the other faces backward. This gives noticeably better results for the person behind the computer than the built-in microphone. Using the USB cable, you can position the microphone in the middle of a group as well. For this application, the Tiki's noise reduction is a useful feature not usually available at its price point. If you regularly Skype with groups like this, you may also want to consider an omnidirectional microphone with a stand, although not many low-cost microphones have noise reduction like the Tiki.
The Tiki is not the best choice for podcasting or narration work. It's noise reduction and convenience features don't bring much to this application. Presumably when podcasting, you are sitting at a desk or in a studio in a quiet environment-my "studio" is a table with two quilts draped around me to dampen echos and reduce background noise. The Blue Yeti excels in this podcasting application, and there are many other good choices closer to the price of the Tiki. Even in comparison to the internal microphone on the MacBook Pro, there's not much advantage to the Tiki for podcasting, except that you can position the Tiki closer to your mouth, which always helps. If podcasting is your application buy another product.
PRODUCT ENHANCEMENT IDEA FOR BLUE MICROPHONES:
If the Tiki could hang around your neck without creating lots of rubbing and cord noise, this would add to it's utility.
If you use audio while traveling, buy Tiki. If you use audio in a noisy environment, first try to eliminate the noise, then try Tiki if you can't. If you use Skype with groups, consider Tiki. If you are looking for a podcasting/narration mic, buy a product designed for that purpose. Have fun!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Tiki blew it and basically is a weird looking USB dongle that doesn't record voices very well. In my experience.
1. Solid, compact build