Blue’s next mic isn’t USB, and that’s OK

Since Blue’s microphones started hitting Australia, they’ve largely been about USB, and that’s fine, but the latest from CES brings the power back to XLR.

Podcasters, eSports commentators, musicians, and folks with a YouTube account that makes them money all have something in common: they all rely on microphones to communicate to folks online.

Not every microphone is created equal, though, and some are clearly better than others.

Microphones also aren’t always easy. The implementation of USB has helped make microphones much easier to get info, making it less of a requirement that you need a big sound card and allowing a sound card built inside to do the job.

But it doesn’t always make for the best results, and microphones that use the traditional microphone jack may carry more power and do a better job with your voice than those that rely on the trusty USB plug.

It’s often a question of quality vs convenience. USB is convenient and offers decent quality, but the traditional microphone port of XLR is better, even if it is less convenient since it requires a special port and usually a dedicated sound card.

If you’re not bothered by the latter, Blue has used CES to announce that its latest microphone won’t be like the USB Yeti or Raspberry it’s had in recent years, but rather more like its studio microphones, complete with an XLR connector on a condenser microphone.

It’s called “Ember”, and it’s basically a podcaster and video creator edition of its more expensive microphones, with a condenser capsule built for voices and instruments, but also built to be relatively affordable, attracting an overseas price tag of $100 in the US.

“Ember is designed to help video creators, podcasters, and musicians deliver professional productions from their home studios with superb detail and depth,” said Blue’s Tommy Edwards, Director of Product Management for the company.

“Its precise cardioid pattern and ability to handle loud sound sources delivers clear and focused sound, while the sleek design ensures optimal placement or low profile for on-camera productions,” he said. “Ember is perfect for home studio creators who want their productions to stand out with rich, professional-quality audio.”

In what will probable come as no surprise, there’s no word on Australian pricing or availability, but the moment that changes, you’ll hear about it here.

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