Blue Microphones are a household name in the microphone world, and given that they are owned by Logitech should mean you are in good hands.
Logitech generally makes models that are at an excellent price point for the features they have on offer.
The Snowball and the Snowball Ice are two mics on offer that you may have yet to consider. Whilst both of these mics are from the same series, they have some differences.
In this post, I will provide you with details on some of the best features of both microphones and compare both models so you can make the right buying decision.
What’s the Verdict?
Because I can imagine you’re all the type of people who want answers, I’m providing the verdict at the start of this post rather than the end.
If you want to learn more about my detailed analysis, read more below!
Parameter #1: Design and Build
These two models, the Blue Snowball and Snowball Ice, are similar visually. First, both of these mics are round, which is obvious considering that snowballs are also rounded.
The mics sit on a small tripod and sport a big ‘blue’ logo on the front. These microphones have been designed explicitly with a cool factor in mind, taking you back to when the movie Grease was the hottest thing.
The Blue Snowball and Snowball Ice are made of plastic, but they seem high quality and have a metal look even though they aren’t.
Whilst the tripod is sufficient, it isn’t the sturdiest in the world. This is because the mic’s design can make the centre of gravity difficult and cause issues if it just gets off balance a little bit. To ensure that the mic doesn’t fall over, you have to ensure that the centre of gravity is low and that the feet are all the way down. Once the mic is in place, doing your best not to touch it will ensure the mic stays upright!
The tripod sports rubber grips to prevent slippage and provide some additional stability.
From a usability perspective, the unstable tripod can be problematic. This is because you have to hold the mic whilst recording and streaming (not ideal). Or, it would be best if you leaned over to get your face close enough to the mic to get clear sound quality. For this reason, the design of either Blue microphone is not ideal for extended usage due to the long-term impact on comfort.
Poor tripod aside, these mics look great. The size is about that of a softball and looks excellent from the front of the device.
The Snowball comes in six colours: white, bright orange, brushed aluminium, electric blue, gloss black and neon green. All of the colours have good saturation. The Snowball Ice comes in two colours; black and white.
The build quality of these mics is sufficient. However, they could have been better, particularly regarding materials across the Blue Snowball and Snowball Ice.
Both the Blue Snowball and Snowball Ice are identical in their design. The only difference is in the colour options, so if you are after a more colourful microphone on your desktop, the Blue Snowball may be the way to go.
Whilst the Blue Snowball and Snowball Ice may have poor design, they more than make up for it with a quality performance. Given the price range, the sound quality can be considered sufficient.
Both devices sound fantastic across a full range of frequencies. In addition, the microphones can pick up good-quality sound at different volume levels, which is why they are great for vlogging and streaming. The critical thing to ensure is that your mic is less than 7 inches from the sound source.
Speaking of use cases, these mics are fantastic for a wide range of functions, including anything from streaming, to podcasting and even for sales calls and YouTube videos.
So, whilst these mics may operate poorly from a design perspective, they more than make up for it with sound quality. Furthermore, since they are both from the same range, you can be sure that the blue snowball and snowball ice will perform up to standard.
The blue Snowball and blue snowball ice come with a host of great features that make them an excellent choice if you are looking for a high-quality USB microphone. However, in this section, you see the most difference between the two microphones.
One of the key differences between these mics is the presence of a polar pattern switch. For those unfamiliar with the term, polar patterns refer to how well the mic picks up sound from different directions. For example, the blue Snowball Ice comes with a cardioid polar pattern. This means it is best to pick up sound from the front of objects and block out background noise from other areas of the room or environment.
On the flip side, blue snowball ice comes with cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns, which is a much more versatile option.
If you are after a mic that picks up a better sound quality from different directions of the two blue microphones, the blue Snowball will be the way to go. This mic will be handy for things like conference calls and two-person podcasts where people might be surrounding the microphone. The Snowball ice may be better for recording and streaming when trying to isolate the sound more.
Overall, the Blue Snowball USB microphone will be a more versatile option than the two.
It might seem strange that the company added fewer options to the subsequent model (in this case, the Snowball Ice). However, the change came after realising that many people aren’t looking for a computer mic that a recording artist might like to see. For this reason, they provided a computer mic with fewer features at a more affordable price. So, if you are looking for a blue snowball mic that is more suited for your everyday use at a cheaper price point, then the Snowball Ice may be the way to go.
In saying that, if you want a USB microphone with audio quality that can be more versatile, the original Blue Snowball might be the way to go.
Price of Microphones
In terms of price, there is quite a bit of variation between the blue Snowball and Blue Snowball Ice. While both devices are priced in the $100-$150 range, the blue Snowball is slightly more expensive.
However, either blue microphone represents good value for money. So your decision about which snowball microphone to choose should rely more on the value you think you will get from it.
The Snowball Ice is priced lower than the original Blue Snowball. Whilst they both have a condenser capsule, the blue Snowball has more polarity options, making it more versatile and better for conference calls and the like. In contrast, the snowball ice could be more suited to one to one skype calls. You’ll be able to find both versions of these plug-and-play USB mic options on Amazon, often at a deal.
So, value aside, what about price? That totally depends on your expectations around what you want the USB mic to do.
Suppose you are looking for an entry-level plug-and-play USB mic with a condenser capsule that is your first microphone. The Snowball Ice will be a great option as it is affordable and sounds great as a computer microphone. Further the more, the device is compatible with mac and pc, so it is suitable for all platforms.
Alternatively, suppose you are looking for a more versatile mic with a good image, quality and frequency response. In that case, the blue Snowball may be the way to go. Either way, you can’t go wrong with either blue mic as they are both well-priced and offer good quality.
Ultimately, it will come down to your own needs and expectations as to which blue snowball microphone is right for you. But whichever option you choose, rest assured that both blue microphones are excellent options and will produce top-quality sound.
Blue USB Mic Pros and Cons
This final section will weigh the pros and cons of blue USB microphones.
Blue Snowball Pros
- Professional sound quality and imaging
- Good at reducing unwanted noise
- USB compatibility
- – 10db pad option
- Good bass pickup for vocals
- Comes with a stand
- Three audio settings make it suitable for recording and streaming.
Snowball Ice Pros
- Lower price point
- Condenser capsule for better sound quality
- Cheaper than the Blue Snowball
- USB setup quickly and easily
- Comes with. a stand
- Professional sounding audio
- Great for single-person podcasts
Blue Snowball Cons
- You may pick up background noise when using the different cardioid patterns when using an omnidirectional pattern.
- Lack of finely adjustable controls
- The output audio level can be low at times.
- No on or off switch on the microphone
Snowball Ice Cons
- Only one audio setting. This could be problematic depending on the recording (skype vs conference call etc.)
- Whilst the build quality is good, it could be better. The plastic is sturdy, but there could be a higher-quality finish. In this instance, they were doing their best to reduce the cost of production.
- Stability could be better if you constantly need to work with the microphone and move it.
- The omnidirectional pattern might pick up some background noise.
- Whilst the audio recording quality is good. This wouldn’t be that good for high-fidelity audio recording. You will most likely want something more professional for that purpose.
Overall, blue USB microphones are great options that offer good value for money. Of course, whether you go with the blue Snowball or the blue snowball Ice will depend on your specific audio needs and expectations. However, both options offer professional sound quality, so whichever option you choose, you can rest assured it will deliver top-quality audio.
The Final Verdict
So, after all, that, which Blue USB mic stands out as the clear winner?
Well, there is little difference between the two microphones. It’s only the features that differ slightly. Both mics would be sufficient for recording youtube videos, podcasts and the like. Still, I would resist using these mics for performance and professional recording of vocals and vocals for overdubs.
It is clear that the Blue Snowball Ice was brought to the market to be a more competitively priced USB mic. The unfortunate thing is that for this reason, the Ice is a downgrade, which definitely won’t put them light years ahead in terms of cutting-edge technology.
The most significant difference between the two mics is in their polar patterns, with the Blue Snowball providing more options for creative recording. But, of course, the model you choose will ultimately depend on how professional you want to get with your recording, podcasts included.
For most purposes, the Ice will be a great option in terms of affordability and function. It makes a great entry-level USB microphone. Just be wary of the poor stand!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the blue snowball microphone?
A: The blue snowball microphone is a high-quality USB microphone that offers professional-grade sound recording quality.
Q: What are the pros and cons of blue USB microphones?
A: Pros include good sound quality and imaging, good noise reduction, USB compatibility, and the ability to switch between different audio settings. Cons include the possibility of picking up background noise when using an omnidirectional pattern, lack of finely adjustable controls, and a sometimes low output audio level.
Q: Do these mics work on mac and Windows 10 PC?
Yes, either model will work with Apple Mac and Windows devices. These mics have a good look and will suit the mac look and feel.
Q: What does a cardioid mic pattern mean?
A: A cardioid pattern refers to how a mic is designed to pick up audio. In a blue snowball USB microphone, there are different patterns that you can choose from, depending on your recording needs. A cardioid pattern is typically better for isolating and focusing sound sources directly in front of the mic, making it ideal for capturing vocals and other sounds in a focused way. The cardioid option is good if you want to record from your desktop and directly in front. You will pick up minimal noise from the back and sides.
Q: Is the Blue range plug-and-play?
A: Blue USB microphones are designed to be plug-and-play, meaning they can be easily connected to your device and be used for recording immediately. Make sure you have the appropriate drivers installed on your computer before use. In general, blue mics are very easy to set up and use.
Q: Can these devices be used for gaming?
A: Yes, USB microphones are an excellent option for gaming and other types of voiceover recording. They offer good sound quality and imaging and noise reduction features that will ensure clean and clear audio in your recordings. Whether you choose Snowball or Ice, both models would be great for creating professionals. Also, if you are a twitch gaming enthusiast, these can make an excellent option for gaming live streams.
Q: Can I record music with these devices?
A: Yes, blue USB microphones are designed to be used for various recording applications. They can be great for music production, podcasting, and other types of audio recording. However, consider a higher-end microphone with better features if you plan to record more professional-grade vocals or instrumentals. Rather than studio quality, these would be more useful for home recording. If you are making music at home, these would be good. Once your music becomes more professional, you should consider different options.
Q: Are these devices suitable for content creators?
Blue USB microphones are an excellent option for content creators who need to record high-quality audio for podcasts and other online media. They offer good sound quality and imaging capabilities and noise reduction features that will help ensure clear and clean recordings. Whether you are an experienced content creator or just starting out, blue mic models can be an excellent option for creating your content online. So, suppose you are looking to start a podcast or other type of online media. In that case, these will definitely be worth considering.