The Blue snowball just may be the most startling example of price vs. value that you will find in this price range or otherwise. It’s a user friendly mic that delivers simple, efficient, and practical results. For under $100, it just makes sense for all types of voice over work… ranging from pod-casting, webinars, Skype, you-tube, and basically anything that requires you to blab into the mic about stuff! 😛
It’s a rather large and unique specimen, standing on a tripod and resembling that of grapefruit .. in both size and weight. Lol. Many reviewers have commented on not being prepared for such a big and textured ball. They were expecting something smaller, but at the same time were pleasantly surprised by it’s solid build quality.
As mentioned above, the value here is remarkable. I’ve read quite a few reviews and many of them have mentioned owning this mic for 2 years, all the way up to 5. It’s longevity and reliability contribute to this, making it a proven solution to your dilemma.. It becomes the #1 safe option in entry level affordability.
It’s got a crisp clean sound, not unlike Rice krispies in the morning. 🙂 It works well without a pop filter, but you may want to look into accompanying the Snowball with a good one. Reviewers have noted a vast improvement in sound quality in this regard.
You also may want to take note that the output level according to many is a bit low, and you might have to be very close to it when speaking. To some it’s just too quiet, and only picks up sound when you’re right up on it. Ironically, it’s still very sensitive and picks up a lot outside of the immediate vicinity. Make sure you’re in a quiet area away from ambient noise if you can help it.
EQ and Polar Patterns
The good news is that it does very well with EQ. If you happen to want to clean up the sound later on, you can with great results. It doesn’t have a mute button or on/off switch however, but does have a selection of two different polar patterns that may come in handy..
Cardioid. Meaning it receives sound only from the front
-10db Cardioid. Same as the cardioid setting, but reduces the volume a bit.
Omni directional. Picks up sound from all directions. Works very well with interviews, pod-casts, and any situation that has multiple persons speaking.
Keep in mind that there is a switch on the back for each of these settings, but it’s labeled 1, 2, and 3. One reviewer found that to be a little irritating because they don’t actually tell you which is which. I will though!
One thing to know about the Snowball is that it isn’t well suited for actual vocals or singing. In these instances, it is used as a backup for the Rode NT1A or Blue Yeti, which I will be comparing it to in a bit. It does very well as a travel mic on the go, but I’ve read a few reviews saying that if you can, just go for the Blue Yeti instead. It’s the gradual next step up from the Snowball.
Perhaps the best thing about this little beast is the fact that it’s pretty indestructible, especially coming in at such a low cost. Reviewers harp on it’s durability, and that it can withstand quite a bit of abuse. As touched on before, it’s a lot heavier and bigger than pictures would indicate, which ends up contributing to it’s solid structure.
Some have complained about the tripod however. Being that the actual microphone is so big, it can become top heavy and prone to falling over. A good remedy for this is the:
This provides a better solution as it’s a lot heavier and more solid. The dragon pop filter that it’s frequently paired with on amazon makes for a great one two punch to go a long with your Snowball. Think of Mike Tyson here, crushing his opponents with speed, precision and efficiency. 😀
All of that Tyson silliness aside, you don’t have to go that route. The tripod that comes with it, in most cases will do you just fine. The separate pop filter however is almost mandatory since you have to be very close to the mic to get that lush sound without the plosives.
Check out the video review!!
Built solid as a rock.
Heavy USB cable.
Easy to hook up. Is automatically detected when plugged in
Works well even without a pop-filter.
Great for voiceovers, podcast, skype, webinars, screencasts, gaming, quick and easy live recording, sax, etc.
Picks up the bass nicely in your voice.
Does well with EQ.
Clean sound, does a great job of eliminating noise when you’re very close to it.
Great customer support from Blue microphones.
Output level low, you may have to speak up quite a bit.
Selector switch labeled 1-3 instead of which polar pattern you’re on.
Takes up a lot of room on your desk.
Proximity issue. You will have to get in real close to get the best sound possible from it.
No on or off switch.
No mute button.
Tends to be top heavy and fall over quite a bit.
Who this mic benefits?
Of course basically anything voice over related, as we’ve discussed. I’ve also heard that it does well with some instruments, from saxophone to acoustic guitar. Just don’t buy it primarily for this purpose.
What you will need?
Nothing unless you would like to upgrade by getting the separate stand and pop filter as I’ve pointed out above. My advice would be to try it out bare bones and see how it functions for you, then add accordingly.
Great sound at an amazing value. Perfect for voice-over, not as good however for vocals. Does well with instruments, but you may not want to purchase it solely to record them.
This is a really popular mic, and for good reason. Standing about a foot tall on your desk, it’s got a great sound, is really solid, reliable, and most importantly it’s convenient. I know many of you don’t really want to bother with the whole XLR setup. What is XLR? You just want to be able to plug and play. If that sounds like you, then this may be a great option..
At it’s price, it’s a quality investment due to performance and convenience. Being that it’s USB, you won’t have to tinker around with extraneous gear. Some folks get scared off from USB set ups because they seem cheap and easy, but not satisfying. What you’re getting here is a versatile piece of equipment with great sound quality. Speaking of,
Called exceptional, this mic handles a variety of applications very well. I’ve seen it endorsed mostly for Skype, conference calls, pod-casting, you-tube, and any thing that requires voice over. You may not want to pick this up as your primary vocal mic, but it has been known to handle that as well.
It has a very nice build, is made of metal, and feels solid in your hand 🙂 Some have complained that it leaves a rather large foot print on your desk, because of the fact that it stands about a foot tall. It can also detach from it’s stand and fitted to a separate stand for added versatility.
Check out the super informative review! (mic test comes around 7:30)
Sound quality is exceptional.
Solid build (made of metal) and a great mic stand that comes with it.
Convenient, just plug and play.
Recognized by all windows platforms.
Has a mute button. simple knobs and design.
Good USB cable provided.
Versatile. You can record almost anything in any type of circumstance.
4 different polar patterns for amazing versatility.
So many people rave about it’s sound quality, build, convenience, and versatility. It’s really an all purpose mic that is super easy to use. Complaints include size (a bit large), and you can’t include a standard pop filter unless you Jerry rig it. People were also saying it’s hyper sensitive, but recording in the right environment greatly helps.
This is one of the best options you can go with if you’re looking to record with Skype, doing any pod-casting, you-tube videos, video conferencing and any thing similar. I wouldn’t recommend it much for vocals, although it can be done. The 4 different polar patterns, it’s rugged build, and remarkable versatility make it an affordable and valuable option…
Similarities & Differences
They are both USB powered plug and play.
They both stand on your desk, and take up quite a bit of space depending on who you ask.
Both mics do exceptionally well in voice-over applications.
Both mics can very sensitive, picking up a lot of outside ambient noise. The Yeti helps to eliminate this if you’re very close to the mic.
Both mics are easily recognized by your laptop/CPU.
Both can be taken off of their respective stands and used with a different mic stand.
Neither mic has an on or off switch.
Sound. Consensus wise and overall, the Yeti sounds better and fuller than the Snowball. This might explain why some people advise to just go straight for the Yeti if your budget allows.
Style. The Blue Yeti resembles that of a mini spaceship, while the Snowball is round, and resembles that of a grapefruit in both size and shape.
Stand. The Snowball comes with a tripod, while the Yeti has it’s own built in stand, allowing the mic to “swivel” top to bottom if you will.
Protection. The Snowball can incorporate a standard pop filter, while the Yeti uses a custom fitted windscreen as it’s defense against plosives and your nasty spit. It should be noted that the Yeti can be fitted with a standard pop filter as well, or the one that comes with it 😛 As for plosives? They are simply the consonants in speech that contribute to those harsh “P” and “S” sounds that you hear when you don’t have protection for your beast.
The Blue Yeti has a mute button, while the Snowball does not.
Polar bear patterns 🙂
The Yeti has 4 patterns
Stereo. Uses both the left and right channels to capture a wide, realistic sound image—perfect for recording acoustic guitar or choir.
Cardioid. Picks up sound directly in front of the mic.
Omni-directional. Picks up sound from all directions.
Bi-directional. Picks up sound from in front and back. Good for duets or interviews, etc.
The Snowball has 2
Cardioid. Picking up sound from the front
-10db Cardioid. Same as cardioid except it helps to capture louder sounds while still maintaining good sound quality.
Omni-directional. Picking up sound from all directions.
Here’s a great comparison review of both!
Overall the Blue Yeti’s sound is better than the Snowball’s. Is the sound a marked improvement? I think so. It sounds more lush and detailed, while remaining a bit more clear. You can’t go wrong with either option however. If money is a bit tight, the Snowball may be a good choice. I’d much rather see you save some money and go for the Yeti, as it’s the best USB microphone on the market and isn’t that much more expensive. Interested in learning all about the Yeti in an in depth and informative review? Check out my:
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed my comparison review of the Blue Snowball vs. Yeti, and walk away with a clearer understanding of the benefits as well as the shortcomings of each microphone!
Which of these do you feel is the better value? Which one do you simply like more? Let me know!!
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out down below or Contact me!! I very much look forward to hearing from you.. I’m about to head out like a newborn, but..
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.