Snowball Mic review

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As you know, my company is in the business of providing 3rd party IT support services to clients. Recently, we were asked by one of our larger clients to provide some on-site training for the new Office 2013 software suite. For those that don’t know, Office 2013 has quite a different ‘look’ to it, when compared to previous versions of Office. For this client in particular, they were migrating from Office 2003, so it was quite a significant departure from the UI (User Interface) that they were used to.

For this on-site training, we had several users in attendance and we used our client’s boardroom, along with a projector. Some of the staff wasn’t able to attend due to other commitments, so our client asked if we could take a recording of the training session, so others could watch it later. This was achieved using 2 mediums, Snagit (which is a software that we’ll be reviewing in another post), and a Blue Microphones Snowball iCE USB microphone.

The Snowball iCE (http://bluemic.com/snowball_iCE/#/desc/) is a PC and Mac compatible USB microphone. It features a custom condenser capsule with cardioid pattern. These terms can become a bit complicated in the professional audio world, but simply put, these features allow for a more natural, clear sounding recording of a human’s voice. It is capable of HD voice recording, which can be delivered via any software medium, such as Skype, Google Talk, Windows Live, or recording applications like Snagit.

In the real world, I spent 6 hours recording on this microphone in a boardroom setting. I’ve done this before using built-in microphones on laptops, and let me tell you, there is absolutely no comparison. The built-in laptop mic sounds tinny, has poor depth replication, can’t reproduce high and low frequencies very well and captures a lot of background noise (especially wind). The Snowball iCE mic has none of these problems, or at least they’re much less pronounced. The biggest difference I noticed was in background noise reduction and replication of frequencies. Using the Snowball iCE mic allowed the recording to sound much more natural, and less like “oh you recorded this on a computer”.

I would highly recommend the Snowball iCE microphone as a reliable, good microphone for your recording purposes. By no means am I suggesting it is a replacement for a true professional microphone, but for $59.00, it’s a significant improvement to your laptop’s built-in mic (or those $9.00 plastic desktop ones).

Author

Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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