- 1/24/21. Article/link cleanup.
Hi friend and Welcome!
Bluebird vs. Blue Spark? When you hear these words, you may think of birds and dynamite, I don’t know, lol. I always thought Blue microphones gave really weird names for their mics, but I digress.. before we get into this comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
of each microphone
- Video Review
- Who this mic benefits?
- What you will need?
- Thoughts from Stu’s Notepad
- Similarities & Differences
- Final Word
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!
- Microphone type: Condenser
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Diaphragm Size: 0.98″ (25mm)
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Max SPL (Sound pressure level): 138dB. What is SPL?
- Output Impedance: 50 Ohms
- Signal to Noise Ratio: 87dB (A-weighted)
- Self Noise: 7dB (A-weighted)
- Color: Blue
- Connector: XLR
- Weight: 1.06 lbs.
- Included Accessories: Shock Mount, Pop Filter, Wood Box
The Bluebird is an excellent mic with a flat frequency response from 100Hz to 2kHz. There is a bump in 2kHz – 10kHz which provides a sheen for higher-pitched vocalists. This may cause some “ess” problems for certain singers. The solution would be a De-Esser, or it’s been said to point the mic between your upper lip and under the nose, which is the sweet spot.
Overall in the Bluebird, you’re getting an incredibly versatile microphone with a neutral response and amazing clarity. To get the most out of it, you will want to be up very close according to reviewers. There is a big difference between standing a couple of inches away to 6 inches away. Don’t fear the mic! Get right up in its grill. 😀
- Great clarity and relatively low self-noise. Beautiful to look at.
- Soft and clear sounding. Very transparent.
- Pristine mid-range. Subtle and crisp.
- Sounds as good or better than mics costing a lot more.
- Extremely Versatile with a flat frequency response.
- Warm tone, and silky smooth highs.
- It’s not boomy or harsh.
- It’s well built like Arnold. 😛 One amazon reviewer said they dropped it a couple of times and it still works great.
- High SPL (Sound pressure level). What is SPL?
- Nice proximity effect, with a good presence peak in the 2kHz range.
- The pop filter that comes with the Bluebird is so so. You should probably invest in your own.
- The shock-mount is durable but needs to be tightened a lot to stay in place. Mount design is said to be bad.
- The mic has somewhat of a small neck.
- Some trouble with the high end. Maybe a bit bright/sibilant. What does Sibilant mean?
Funny but effective video review (LOL, you’ll see why).
Who this mic benefits?
As mentioned, it’s versatile as all get out. I’ve seen it endorsed for:
- Acoustic guitar
- Mid-range male vocals and vocals in general. Make sure you have a nice preamp for this baby though. More on that in a bit. Preamp vs. Interface.
- Voice-over. It’s extremely accurate with smooth reproduction of the full range of voice characteristics.
- Sound effects/Foley. One mentioned that he wouldn’t use it out in the field, but for studio work it’s perfect.
- Electric guitar/guitar cabinets
- Lead vocals
- Drum overheads
- Kick Drums
- Bass Cabs
What you will need?
I read every amazon review, and unfortunately, it’s hard to recommend one specific amp or interface. Your Audio interface. A guy on you-tube made a video saying the Scarlett 2i2 works great with his Bluebird, but some Amazon reviewers said you may need something with a little more juice. The basic idea though is that you need:
- 48v Phantom power. Check out my article on Bit depth vs. sample rate to get an idea of how your computer processes sound!
- XLR cable(s). The difference between a USB microphone and an XLR microphone.
All of these options were endorsed by amazon reviewers who used the Bluebird:
- Grace Design M101. Probably the go-to preamp for this mic. Very good reviews and a trusted product.
- FMR RNP. This and the Grace Design popped up so many times in my research over the last 6 or so months, so I always have to include them in the upper echelon of preamps.
- DBX 376.
- Steinberg UR22. A great entry-level option similar to the Scarlett2i2, but with better preamps. Also has MIDI capability. The user said he upgraded from a Shure Sm57 mic and used the UR22 with his new Bluebird to fine effect!
- Focusrite 18i20.
- *Universal Audio 710. 2 reviewers specifically mentioned this one and said that it gives off the quality of a Neumann U87, which is a $3500 mic. A bold statement indeed!
So if I had to narrow it down choose, I would either go with:
Focusrite 2i2, UR22, FMR RNP, or the Grace Design M101. Here’s my personal Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Review!
Check out this video. During the whole video, you’re hearing the sound quality of the Bluebird paired with the 2i2. Excellent quality in my opinion!
Thoughts and findings from Stu’s Notepad
- A couple of people said that the shock-mount and pop-filter worked fine.
- A couple of people said don’t use the Blue Icicle interface with the Bluebird. Most said it was fine, but if I were you I would invest in a better product.
- Amazon reviewers were saying that a lot of the entry-level interfaces don’t give it enough juice to power and that it needs a preamp or mixer. I mentioned some preamps above, but I thought that the 2i2 sounded great, and I’m sure the UR22 would give a similar result. It all depends on your budget, and if you’re planning on adding/upgrading to your mic cabinet in the future. The entry-level interfaces do the job for most starter to mid-level condenser mics. Condenser mic vs. Dynamic mic.
- I heard it picks up a lot of ambient noise, and is great for speaking up close. For singers, it may not be as good, but again it’s an extremely versatile mic, and I’m laying out all my findings.
- If your headphones leak sound, this mic will pick it up.
- One review mentioned that the mic had some distortion, and was working on and off (not consistently). Keep in mind, as with any piece of gear, you may get a lemon. A simple return and a new mic may fix the problem if you happen to be in that dilemma.
- Some said it’s an improvement over the Audio Technica AT2035 and AKG perception 220. Also that it’s superior to the Blue Spark in performance, quality, and look. It captures the nuances of the voice in some ways better than the AKG C414, which comes from a legendary line of microphones. It all depends on your voice though.
An extremely versatile mic with a rugged build and a flat frequency response. Maybe a tad bright in the top end, and you will likely want to invest in a separate pop-filter.
- Microphone Type: Condenser.
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid. What is a cardioid capsule?
- Diaphragm Size: 0.91″ (23mm).
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Color: Orange
- Connector: XLR. What is XLR?
- Max SPL: 128dB
- Output Impedance: 50 Ohm.
- Signal to Noise Ratio: 84dB
- Self Noise: 10dB (A-weighted).
- Weight: 1.25 lbs.
- Included Accessories: Shockmount, Pop Filter, Wood Box.
- Manufacturer Part Number: SPARK
The Blue Spark has been touted as an affordable and quality alternative to more expensive mics that may be out of price range. It’s been called a jack of all trades type of mic, and captures the voice accurately, while still giving it a touch of warmth.
However, the reviews are mixed. Some say it’s really hit and miss as far as vocals go, and depends on your voice. The Blue spark does well with smoother, medium-to-high pitch voices, and places more of an emphasis on treble rather than mid-range and bass.
Almost every review I’ve read complained that the pop filter was worthless. Similarly, the shock-mount got fewer complaints overall, but of those, the gripe was that of a design flaw. It is simply a pain to deal with. Some have said that the mic alone is worth a lot more than its price tag, however.
As far as sound is where the mic shines. As mentioned above, it’s a jack of all trades type of piece. It does well with drums, vox, guitar, violin, acoustics, gaming, making videos, skype, podcasting, webinars, etc. You get the point. It has a balanced tone and fairly low noise, and captures your voice so accurately that it may make you feel uncomfortable!
The build of the mic is very solid. There are 3 sections of it that are all twisted on, forming one. It has been said that they can become loose when attaching this mic to a stand. Be wary of this.
- Jack of all trades mic.
- Great value, quality sound.
- Great budget mic.
- Great for higher voices (female).
- Balanced tone and fairly low noise.
- Well made, heavy durable, solid.
- Comes in a nice wooden case.
- Great packaging.
- Comes with nice tips and instructions on how to use it.
- Pairs very well with the Scarlett 2i2 and the Steinberg U22 audio interfaces. What does an audio interface do?
- Captures the voice very accurately.
- Adds warmth and color to the voice.
- Can be paired with the blue icicle which converts it into USB.
- Worthless pop filter.
- Shock-mount is questionable at best.
- Hit and miss as far as vocals go. Could sound either amazing or just plain muddy depending on the voice.
- No provided XLR cable.
Check out the video review!!
Who this mic benefits?
Endorsed for all of the following:
What you will need?
This is an XLR cardioid condenser mic, so you will need the following:
- 48v phantom power via audio interface or mixer. What does an audio interface do?
- XLR cables. What is XLR?
A couple of good options to consider are the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 mentioned above, or the Steinberg U22. Both pair extremely well with this unit.
The sound quality is exceptional but can be hit and miss depending on your voice. If you have a medium to higher-pitched voice, with emphasis on the treble, this may be the mic for you. It doesn’t do as well with bass-heavy folk. The pop filter is also pretty much worthless, and the shock-mount is questionable.
Overall I would say it’s a pretty remarkable mic as far as sound quality and build are concerned. If you’re looking for a jack of all trades type of mic, then this may be a great option. Just be aware of some of its flaws.
Similarities & Differences
- Both have a very similar look and feel.
- Both are cardioid condenser microphones that require 48v phantom power.
- Both are very versatile and do well in a lot of recording instances.
- Both come with that questionable shock-mount and pop-filter.
- Price. The Blue Spark is around $100 cheaper than the Bluebird.
- Sensitivity. The Spark is slightly more sensitive than the Bluebird, picking up more sound in general.
- SPL. The sound pressure level of the Bluebird is 138dB while the Spark’s is 128dB. This basically means you can record louder with the Bluebird and not have to worry as much about distortion, etc.
- The Bluebird has a slightly lower dB of self-noise, so it’s quieter and thus more efficient.
- The Bluebird is said to be constructed better than the Spark.
- The Bluebird is a little better with acoustic guitar and is generally thought of as an instrument recording mic. The spark is more for vocals/lead vocals, etc, and can sound good with certain voices, but it has a tendency to get bright/sibilant in some cases. It does do very well with female pop vocalists.
- Overall, the Bluebird’s increase in price is justified, as it’s an overall better mic than the Spark.
- The Blue Spark gives off a much warmer tone in contrast to the Bluebird’s flat and neutral response.
Came across this video in my research, showing off the capabilities of the Spark with female vocals!
If you’re looking for an excellent mic for female vocals, The Blue Spark is a pretty dope option. It’s also pretty versatile and will work in a lot of different instances. Just know that it’s bread and butter is female vocals. I wouldn’t really buy it if you’re looking to record male vocals.
Conversely, the Bluebird is a great mic for instruments, but is also very versatile; maybe more so than the Spark. It’s also flatter and more neutral than the warmer Spark.
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you came away with some newfound knowledge in this Bluebird vs. Blue Spark comparison review!!
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Let me know down below or Contact me!! I would very much look forward to hearing from you..
Do either of these mics suit your fancy? Let me know that as well!
Until next time, all the best and God bless..