We are big fans of Blue Microphones and have been writing about them for a while now, from their professional mics like the Essential series to their high-end USB mics like the Raspberry and Yeti to their headphone line - this company is passionate about sound, and it shows in the products. Back in January Blue announced the Ember XLR mic an affordable edition that promised to deliver great sound for podcasters, YouTubers, content creators and producers on a budget. We got our hands on one and tested it on both our new Rodecaster Pro and through our UA Arrow Audio interface with excellent results.
Who is this mic for?
For many of you with nicer USB Mics, you might be just fine with where you are at, but if you are looking to level up your sound quality, an XLR mic like the Ember is worth considering. The XLR requires an audio interface like UA's Arrow or Fluid Audio's SRI-2, which will give you more control over sound quality and a more significant reduction of background noise. All in all, if you are ready to make the jump to XLR, it probably means you are getting a bit more serious about what you are doing, and if you are on a budget the Ember is priced perfectly at $99.00.
This mic is fantastic for podcasting and live streaming, and when you use it with something like the Rodecaster Pro or any other professional audio recording device, you will immediately notice a difference in sound quality. If you are a vocalist or producer looking to record instruments, the Ember will work quite well, but it might be worth looking at the Essential series as well if you have a little extra cash laying around. Check out the samples below from Blue's Soundcloud page.
Aesthetics and build quality are fantastic for this price point, and if you are using it for streaming/voice-over work it's worth taking a look at Blue's Compass Mic stand to round out your new set up. The mic itself has a nice weight to it, a slim build and if you are on camera with your podcast/stream, it looks great too. Another thing to keep in mind is that this mic has a side-address design, meaning you speak/sing/record on the side of the mic - see video below.
What Blue have delivered here for the $99 price point is hard to beat, and this mic will go a long way for most users, especially those just doing podcasting, VO's and live streams. For the entry-level producer, it is also a Swiss army knife of sorts and can handle voice and instrument recordings quite well - but as you progress you will want to upgrade eventually.
Ember Mic Samples
Transducer Type: Condenser capsule
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Frequency Response: 38 Hz-20 kHz
Sensitivity: 12 mV/PA
Output Impedance: 40 ohms
Rate Load Impedance: 1k ohm
Maximum SPL: 132 dB SPL
Power Requirements: +48V DC Phantom Power
Weight: 0.84 lbs
Dimensions: 8.62″ x 1.5″ x 1.26″
In The Box:
Blue Ember microphone