In the crowded space of podcasting, streaming and music production, there’s an endless supply of options of quality microphones to choose from. These days it’s not so much about which mic is the best but which one is best for you and what you’re trying to accomplish. Some content creators are fine with low-budget mics from the local electronic outlets while others with more disposable incomes opt for higher-end, big ticket equipment from specialty music stores. It really all comes down to the sound you want and how much you’re willing to trade-off in terms of price, quality and convenience. Blue Microphones is no stranger to folks looking for the perfect balance and have been at the forefront with their now legendary Yeti line.
Still, not everyone has the same demands. Blue’s Yeti is a great mic but it’s for the most part a stationary one has to be tethered to a computer. As content creators become more mobile, the need for a portable solution is in greater demand. Blue Microphone’s answer is the Raspberry which packs the same pro-level quality as the Yeti but in a more compact and versatile form.
The first thing I noticed after receiving my review unit was how frickin’ pretty the Raspberry is. I liked the matte aluminum casing and while I’m not the biggest fan of red gadgets, the leatherish bottom half of the mic gave a nice contrast. Besides, in a sea of silver and black equipment I already own, it’s easy to identify it immediately and cuts down on the search rage experienced in an unorganized mess of audio wares. The design is minimalist at its best, you know from jump where everything goes and which knob does what. There’s also a small green LED on the front of the Raspberry to let you know it’s working when you plug it in. Bonuses include a removable stand that gives access to a threaded hole you can use to mount the Raspberry to most mic stands and a camera given you have the proper adapter attachment.
Where the Raspberry really shines is its performance. For its price, the Raspberry beats out most microphones above its cost making the bang-for-the-buck factor even more attractive. While testing it out, the Raspberry gave me little to no background noise even in a busy environment. Even when recording with my toddler watching the latest must-see episode of Team Umizoomi gave me great sound. For this, the credit goes to the Raspberry’s Internal Acoustic Diffuser which makes the mic focus on the sound going in opposed to everything around it. Sure, that should be the feature of any unidirectional microphone but the Raspberry’s IAD feature bumps the quality up notches above the typical.
This is Liam on my old MXL ProCon Series mic that we’ve been using for our videos. There’s some background noise but it’s still a decent sounding mic.
Now here is Liam using the Blue Raspberry. Notice there’s way less background noise and more focus on his voice.
Luckily I had a couple of iOS devices to test on (what can I say, I’m an Android guy) and found no noticeable difference in sound quality. If you’ve ever had the tedious task of matching audio from a field recording to what you’ve recorded at home in post production, you’ll feel me on this. At most, you’ll only need to tweak the volume levels but that’s a cakewalk in comparison to the usual fine tuning involved.
My only wish was that Blue’s Raspberry supported native recording on micro USB devices. I’m sure there’s a workaround out there but it would’ve been nice to be able to whip out my Samsung phone, plug in and go to town. However, with mobile phone manufacturers switching over to USB C connections it doesn’t seem likely. I asked a rep at Blue about it and was told that the Raspberry was tested with the LG Nexus 5X and Huawei Nexus 6P via an adapter and worked with no problem. As a complete package, anyone looking for a professional sounding microphone at a pro-sumer price needs to grab a Raspberry for sure. The versatility and sound alone is enough to seal the deal. The Raspberry is available now on Blue’s website for $199.99 +shipping.