REVIEW – Blue is an audio company known best for making many different types of microphones for podcasts, streamers, musicians, and audio professionals. Many podcast and Youtube content creators feature their products in their videos and shows, and I’ve always wanted to try one for myself since I wanted to start streaming on Twitch, as well as use it for online gaming chat. I got the chance to review the new Blue Ember XLR Studio microphone, so let’s take a look!
What is it?
The Blue Ember microphone is a studio microphone for recording, podcasting, and live-streaming. The XLR connection means that it delivers more crisp, clear sound rather than a USB connection and also reduces background noise.
- Transducer Type: Condenser capsule
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency Response: 38 Hz-20 kHz
- Sensitivity: 12 mV/PA
- Output Impedance: 40 ohms
- Rate Load Impedance: 1k ohm
- Maximum SPL: 132 dB SPL
- Power Requirements: +48V DC Phantom Power
- Weight: 0.84 lbs
- Dimensions: 8.62″ x 1.5″ x 1.26″
What’s in the box?
- Blue Ember microphone
- stand mount
- stand adapter
- user manual
Design and features
The Blue Ember XLR Studio microphone is heavyweight, sleek and features a metallic blue-grey body with a black capsule. The thin body of the design makes it easy to position in smaller spaces, such as a computer desk or small music studio. It doesn’t take up a lot of real estate if you’re using it on camera, due to the fact that you speak into the side of the capsule rather than the front like a traditional microphone. It’s important to note that an audio mixer is that supports an XLR input is needed. You will also need a microphone stand or a desktop boom arm to hold the microphone. Blue supplies a small stand mount and stand adapter so that you can connect the mic to the stand.
Setup was a bit more complicated for me due to the nature of the Blue Ember having an XLR connection rather than a native USB connection. If you’re using it on a PC like I am, you will need an audio mixer that support an XLR input which then connects to a computer via USB. I was fortunate to have my brother lend me an XLR cable and a Behringer XENYX Q1202 audio mixer, but there are plenty of other options out there smaller/inexpensive mixers.
Compared to an old microphone I used to use, the Blue Ember mic’s sound blew me away. The crisp clear audio that I got was a huge improvement from the background noise I was used to getting with a microphone with USB connection. This makes sense since XLR connections are traditionally used for professional audio.
For this first sample, I just spoke a couple of sentences, in as quiet of a room as I could, with the audio mixer settings that I found appropriate for a speaking voice. I’m not an audiophile, but I liked how these settings worked for me chatting through discord for gaming, or if I do a Twitch broadcast.
For this sample, I read the intro paragraph off of Blue’s website:
What I like
- Wonderful, crisp sound
- Thin design for out-of-the-way placement on camera
- Solid weight and good feel in hand
What needs to be improved
- Extra equipment needed to connect to a PC, such as an audio mixer, cables and mic stand
For the value, the Blue Ember microphone is definitely recommended if you want some awesome quality audio for a podcast, stream, or video recording. It’s a wonderful upgrade to anyone looking to sound more professional, but note you will also need extra equipment for a full setup.