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The USB connection may turn the pros away, but it makes the Snowflake simple to operate.
Microphones often decline in quality as form factor shrinks, giving audio producers on the move a difficult choice between bulky gear and full fidelity. The Snowflake splits those distinctions, making it a great option for podcasters, laptop users, or others who need portable audio-capture gear. The ball-shaped microphone includes an analog-to-digital converter, pulling in audio through a USB connection—all you need is a Mac and your audio software of choice. Even stuffing the processing circuits inside, the Blue Microphones Snowflake sounds amazing.
OS X automatically reads the mic’s USB-audio signal without any drivers. In our tests, the Snowflake also worked instantly with GarageBand, Sound Studio, and other software. But before we even plugged it in, its design impressed us. The microphone is permanently attached to a swiveling hinge on a metal sled. When closed, the mic locks with the plastic case in a yin-yang handshake. The ball can face inward to protect the grille in transit. The design lets the Snowflake sit on a desktop at a few angles—even perching over a laptop LCD. Rubber feet keep it from scuffing the computer.
Clever design aside, the sound-recording quality makes this a great microphone for a range of situations. Home-based and mobile podcasters can take it anywhere, but even audio pros can rely on it in a pinch. To our ears, the microphone sharply captured a range of high and low sounds, including voices and an acoustic guitar. The cardioid sensitivity pattern picks up ambient sounds too; we could hear the MacBook fan while recording with the Snowflake resting on the LCD frame, and it captured background chatter in the room. So like other microphones, you’ll need to record in a silent room—a few feet away from a laptop—for best results.The Blue Snowflake’s recording quality is even more impressive than its smart, compact design. Podcasts and even casual home-music productions sound rich and complete.