Blue Snowflake Compact USB Microphone

Blue Snowflake Compact USB Microphone

Blue Snowflake Compact USB Microphone

B&H # BLSF MFR # SNOWFLAKE
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Product Highlights

  • Professional-Quality Sound
  • Compact and Portable
  • Good for Desktops or Laptops
  • Mac and PC Compatible
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Price:  $59.00

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Blue Snowflake overview

  • 1Description

The Snowflake from Blue is a compact and portable USB microphone ideal for travel. Whether you're a roving podcaster, or if you just want to add narration to your home videos, the Snowflake offers professional-quality results at an incredibly affordable price.

The mic capsule folds into the compact case, which also stores the included USB cable. This makes it easy to store the mic in a laptop bag, or even your pocket. When unfolded, the case acts as a desktop stand or laptop clip. The Snowflake has plug and play compatibility with Macs and PCs, so you don't have to install any drivers. Just plug it in and you're up and running.

Compact
Ideal for life on the road, the Snowflake has a compact design that fits easily into a laptop bag. The USB cable even tucks away into the case so you have an all-in-one travel solution.
Professional-Quality Audio
The perfect tool for podcasters, musicians, or movie editors, the Snowflake brings you studio-quality recording without breaking the bank.
USB
The Snowflake connects to your Mac or PC with the included USB cable, and no drivers are required. Just plug the mic in and you're ready to record.
Versatile
When unfolded, the Snowflake can either sit on your desk, or clip to your laptop. No matter what kind of computer you use, you can record with the Snowflake.
Stylish
In addition to being functional, the Snowflake has a stylish design that you'll be proud to display next to your computer.
UPC: 836213001899
In the Box
Blue Snowflake Compact USB Microphone
  • USB Cable
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Blue Snowflake specs

    Analog Performancetarcrtub
    Operating Principle Pressure Gradient
    Transducer Condenser
    Polar Pattern Cardioid
    Frequency Range 35 Hz to 20 kHz
    Maximum SPL 120 dB SPL
    Digital Performance
    Bit Depth 16-Bit
    Sample Rate 44.1 kHz
    Operating System Support Windows, macOS/OS X
    RAM 64 MB Minimum
    Available Port USB (Interface Unspecified)
    Output Connectors 1 x USB (Type Unspecified)
    Operating Voltage Not Specified by Manufacturer
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 0.55 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 6.1 x 4.1 x 2.4"

    Blue Snowflake reviews

    Snowflake Compact USB Microphone is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 49.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Decent little USB Mic I recently purchased the Snowflake for Skype calls at work. It is great for this purpose and very easy to set up. All you have to do is plug it into a computer, and it's ready to go! While this is by no means a high-end studio mic, it is great for podcasting. The only con I can think of so far is the positioning of the cable input on the mic itself. Being directly opposite the capsule, you are not able to face the mic straight up, as you would for omnidirectional usage. The polar pattern is cardioid, which is ideal for a single source (one person) but not great for a table full of people. Overall though, the Snowflake has been performing very well.
    Date published: 2008-12-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nothing flaky about this little gem! 100% compatible with Leopard OS and Garageband. Plug it into the computer's USB port, select as input in System Preferences> Sound and you're good to go. Picks up my classical guitar very well AND, it's fashion co-ordinated with my iMac. Very happy. Glad I waited.
    Date published: 2008-04-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Impressed! We are using this for podcasts and for recording audio into Garageband and iMovie. Our laptop immediately recognized the mic and it worked like a charm. Great pick-up and clarity in recording. And very, very portable. Very simple to use.
    Date published: 2008-06-05
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy to use, great price This is probably the easiest product in the world to use. You just plug it in and record, it's as easy as that! I bought the Snowflake to record the music my brother and I play together. I ended up using it to record voice as well. The Snowflake works great for both applications. I was looking for a cheap, easy to use microphone, and I found both in the Blue Snowflake.
    Date published: 2008-07-27
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting but flawed design It is a good design, but I find myself not liking it as much as others seem. It looks cute, for sure, but is also quite obviously flawed. Pros: (1) Convenience and mobility. No need to wear a headset or handhold a mic. (2) Sound quality much better than built-in microphones. (3) Built-in soundcard (A/D converter) with quite good quality. No need to worry about the humming noises of laptop internal sound cards, and no need to mess with external sound cards. (4) USB compatibility. Truly plug-and-play. (5) Pretty good build quality, better than most consumer products. (6) Good-looking. Cons: (1) Picks up too much ambient sound. Even a slight wind generates unacceptably high level of background noise. Completely unusable outdoors. Consider to use it only in a quiet room. This microphone is supposed to be unidirectional, but its ability to reject ambient sound is not even remotely close to that of handhold microphones I've used, not to even mention microphones that have noise cancellation mechanisms. I believe this microphone was designed with conflicting goals which forced compromises. When it comes to microphones, there are two very different types of uses. The first type is the recording of a single source from a single direction (such as an individual speaker's voice), the second type is the recording of multiple sources from multiple directions (such as a conference room). These two types need very different types of microphones, namely unidirectional for the former and omnidirectional for the latter. I feel the maker of the Snowflake would like to have both type of buyers with a single design. Not a good idea. I think they should give an option of two different types to the Snowflake, either using a modular system or using a switch. In addition, because the Snowflake is intended for mobile use, they should also consider adding noise cancellation feature to deal with ambient noises. With the present design, this limitation alone makes the Snowflake nearly useless to me because I intended to use it on my laptop mostly in the backyard. (2) In addition to the unacceptable ambient noise level, inherent noise (self-noise) level is also higher than a good handheld microphone or good headset. (The inherent noise is the noise generated from the microphone and the circuit even when there is no ambient noise.) When used at the supposed placement in relation to the user, this microphone is clearly not as clean as the high-quality microphones I've used. This may not be a problem for noncritical recordings, but it is something to be remembered if you are recording demands high-quality. Personally, I want to use it for voice recognition, which I believe is a much more challenging environment than casual recording. Based on my short experience, I am somewhat satisfied, but not without reservation because of the noise. I just hope the noise does not significantly impact the recognition accuracy. So far, it does not appear to be a serious problem, but the higher noise level is obvious and I am concerned. Of course, this is talking about dictating in a quiet room. If there is any appreciable amount of ambient noise, the Snowflake is completely unusable as I discussed above. (3) Aside the noise issues, the sound quality is not as good as professional microphones used with a good sound card. The recorded sound is simply not as round, tight and solid. The sound quality is in the middle between microphones built in laptop computers and a decent headset, a handheld or studio microphone. I say this based on testing with actual recordings, not speculation. While the Snowflake is noticeably better than a built-in microphone, it is noticeably inferior to a good handheld microphone or a quality headset (such as those used in wireless microphone sets). (4) There is an annoying bug when used with voice recognition program NaturallySpeaking. Whenever you put the computer in sleep and later wake it up, the USB Snowflake will not come out of the sleep. You will have to unplug the microphone and replug it to make it work. This happens only when voice recognition program is running. I'm not sure what causes the problem (the microphone, the voicerecognition program, or the computer operating system?), but this shouldn't happen. I use Vista. Other external USB devices all work fine in this respect. Regardless what the cause is, this is quite annoying because I put my laptop in sleep frequently. Because the problem may not be caused by the microphone, I don't mean to downgrade the microphone by this problem. But those who consider to use this microphone for voice recognition should take notice of this issue. (5) The joint of the microphone head is very loose, hardly able to hold a position firm. This makes you nervous all the time, and in fact do cause frequent adjustments. This is clearly an overlook and must be improved in the next iteration of this product (if there will be one). Nothing affects the user experience like unreliability. (6) There is no tightening nor adjustment mechanism for this thing to be clamped over the edge of the computer lid. It just loosely and barely hangs there. Not very stable, and easily falls off with any laptop movement. I eventually decided to place the microphone aside the computer. This works well (but does require a support surface), because thankfully the metal case can be flipped over to become a standing frame. Very convenient. (7) I wish they made the microphone head (the ball part) completely detachable from the box so that one can comfortably hold it in hand if needs to (for example, if you really need a low noise level for recording). With the current design, if you want to handhold this microphone, you can only hold it with the entire metal frame, which is not only heavy but too edgy and uncomfortable to hold for very long. (8) I feel the whole thing is a bit too heavy for its intended type of use. Is it possible to make it lighter without sacrificing the integrity? I don't know. I kind of like the feel of its metal make, but still think lighter would be better. To be fair, however, the lower sound quality and worse noise characteristics compared to handheld or headset microphones isn't totally surprising, because such characteristics are inherent to the detached type of use in which the microphone is placed at a distance from speaker. The sound quality depends greatly on the distance between the user and the microphone. I tested the Snowflake handholding it close to my mouth (about 3-4 inches away), and found the quality of the recording was quite close to that of a good handheld microphone. But of course this is not how the microphone is designed to be used. Placed over the top edge of my laptop lid (the intended way to use it), the Snowflake sounded decidedly worse. The noise floor is much higher, because at that distance, the recording level has to be raised to the maximum in order to have a decent pickup. Still much better than a built-in microphone, but if you are hoping for very high-quality recording comparable to a handheld or studio microphone, you shouldn't buy this microphone. Especially, if you intend to use it outdoor, I strongly recommend not to buy this microphone. On the other hand, if you would like to have the convenience of not having to handhold a microphone or wear a microphone over your head, I'm not aware of a better USB-based computer microphone out there at this time. Overall, interesting and promising design that may satisfy lots of users who are not very discriminative in terms of the sound quality, but for those who don't want to compromise too much, don't hope too much. It's very good for indoor use, but are unsuitable for outdoor use, and also not to replace a high quality microphone for high-quality recordings (even in a quiet room). And yes, the sleeping bug and several other flaws do bother me.
    Date published: 2008-08-26
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great product! I love it This mic is fool-proof. It delivers everything it promised. I bought it to do quality voice-overs with my laptop on the run and it totally delivers. It gives great quality sound and works instantly on both MAC and PC without having to install software drivers. It also works great with Audacity, the free audio recording software.
    Date published: 2010-02-15
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quality Mic The Snowflake was the perfect fit for my new Mac Pro. The simple stylish look fits in with the slick monitor and is not too intrusive. Because it is a directional mic there are no feedback issues with the speakers. I must admit I do not know how it sounds at the receiving end of the Skype connection but I have not had any complaints. One more plus is that the USB connection means no batteries are needed.
    Date published: 2008-04-16
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice quality Mic I record videos for online use and I find that most of the mics built into the majority of the webcams out there are insufficient in a lot of ways. This mic that I've been testing is a great alternative. It isolates and is good at 3-4 feet away with voice and guitar. But with most hardware, you have to also have good software to be able to use this mic to its full potential. Just one negative might be the flexbility of placement of the item, but if you can find a stable level area, it should work fine. Definitely worth the price.
    Date published: 2010-06-01
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