The New Blue Spark Digital: USB and iPad Mic


Blue is a maker of fine microphones, well known for their excellent sound quality and unique industrial design. In 2011, Blue released an affordable studio microphone with a standard, analog XLR output called the Blue Spark. Over the past year, that inexpensive little mic has turned many heads in the recording world, proving itself by capturing impressive audio. (If you have any doubts, check out its glowing Customer Reviews on the B&H website.) With the recent announcement of the Spark Digital, Blue has taken the very same microphone and given it a digital output, so you can record directly into a computer via USB, or directly into an iPad.

The Blue Spark Digital comes with two output cables: one with a 30-pin dock connector that you can plug directly into an iPad, and another with a USB 2.0 connector that you can plug directly into a Mac or Windows computer. You don’t have to load any software drivers; the Spark Digital will work plug-and-play style, no matter what you connect it to. Both output cables also feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you can connect a pair of headphones and monitor what you’re recording in real time without latency.

A dial on the face of the microphone enables you to adjust the volume and recording level and a 4-segment LED meter is built in, so you can visually monitor the audio level. If you press this dial, it mutes the microphone. This is a handy feature to have when you’re recording a podcast, so you can momentarily mute the sound in order to cough or clear your throat. The rear of the Spark Digital features a switch that activates its “Focus” mode. This essentially changes the sound of the mic by taking out a little bit of the low frequencies, and adding a bit to the higher frequencies. It only creates a subtle difference in the sound, but it can help you effectively capture the sound of different voices and instruments.

An adjustable desk stand with an integrated shock mount is included, as is Blue’s Cloud Production Bundle for backing up audio and sharing your recordings online.

Interface Apple 30-pin, USB 2.0+
Transducer Condenser
Polar Pattern Cardioid
Sensitivity 28 mV/Pa
SPL Handling Range 65 - 128dBA
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 84dB
Noise Level 10dB (A-weighted)
Frequency Response 26 Hz - 20 kHz

The Blue Spark Digital was announced at NAMM 2012, and is available for pre-order now at B&H.