Looking for a quality microphone – but don’t want to spend too much before you know if it’s something you really need?
Then on paper at least, Blue Snowball Ice is something you should consider.
So here’s our Blue Snowball Ice review. It covers how it sets up, how it sounds and records, and whether it is right for you.
Description and intended use
The Blue Snowball Ice is an easy-to-use USB microphone. Pure and simply it is a plug and play piece of kit.
It is ideal for somebody who is starting a YouTube channel or is streaming on a gaming channel.
Quick fire conclusion
I would recommend this microphone if you’re just starting out. It is a great piece of kit by will simply work out of the box.
You can just plug in the USB and start generating content. There’s no messing around with troubleshooting or setting up.
Sometimes that’s all you want, especially when you’re just getting going. The most important thing is working out what you want to do from a content perspective.
But if you’re doing more than that, you might spend a little more. This microphone is quite basic, as you’ll see below.
The Snowball Ice design, build and look
Before we go into how it sounds. It’s worth spending a minute looking at its design.
One thing about blue microphones is they are well made. The new snowball ice may be at the lower end of the budget scale. But it has the feel of something that is good quality.
The microphone itself comes in a spherical design. In this case, it is black-and-white — compared to the white of the snowball.
The thing I like about it is if you look on Amazon or any of the other sites, you will find a lot of microphones in this price range. And I’m sure some of these will work well.
But in terms of durability, I am rather suspicious. Many of them simply do not look very well made.
- Custom condenser capsule.
- Cardioid pickup pattern: captures your voice from the front.
- Nice design.
- Adjustable desktop stand. You can also remove it and attach to boom arm.
Okay, if I’m being honest, there aren’t really any features to talk about it. But that doesn’t mean it is a bad piece of kit.
It basically comes on a stand which can be screwed on. One thing though that I’ve always liked about Blue microphones is the app (you can get it for PC and Mac).
The app lets you choose different EQ settings. You can adjust the sound settings that the microphone has.
So if you’re just starting out and looking at different audio specifications, this is something worth looking at.
The blue Snowball ice only has one polar pattern. This is a cardioid pattern – so it will pick up sound from the front and to the sides.
It will ignore sound from behind.
See, I told you was basic.
Setting it up
It is literally a case of plugging it into the USB port and you are off to go. As you can see from the images.
You don’t even need to switch on. It just connects to whatever app you are using.
One thing I would suggest is you think about buying a boom. One benefit of this microphone is that it weighs relatively little. So a cheap boom arm will handle it easily.
If you do that, I would suggest you get an extended USB cable as the one that comes with the microphone is quite short.
This is just a beginner microphone. So there’s no point spending big bucks on accessories.
The snowball ice has a frequency response of 42 to 18 kHz. We had a look at the frequency response and the attack angles and ran some white noise into it.
It is a decent microphone in terms of sound quality. It has a pretty decent vocal range, which is definitely one pro.
One of the biggest issues is that you need to be close to the microphone for it to pick up your voice.
If you move any more than a foot away, you are going to have issues.
This is going to cause you problems if you enjoy moving your head around.
Another issue is where your hands can push air into the microphone if they are moving around. This can then be picked up.
A microphone Pop Filter is a small plastic ring that sits over the microphone. It prevents wind from blowing into the mic.
If you are the person who likes to annunciate their P’s then invest in a pop filter.
One way to get around this is to put the microphone slightly off to one side. This stops some of the air getting in — not ideal, but there you go.
Why not normal Snowball?
So, why not buy the normal snowball?
If you are planning on going big with YouTube then I would consider it. It just has a little more versatility.
The regular snowball comes with two additional patterns and -10 DB. One of these patterns is omnidirectional mode, so you’ll pick up sound from all around the microphone. This is pretty helpful if you are doing interviews with people.
Beyond that I would consider looking at the Blue Yeti. Again it’s a plug and play USB microphone, but it comes with more features and better sound quality.
There is also the Blue Yeti nano which is slightly cheaper.
I would recommend the blue Snowball ice to gamers especially. If you’ve been using a gaming headset and you are fed up with the mic quality, then this will do you proud.
It has natural sound and will be top of the range compared to some of the other cheaper no brand microphones in this price point.
It will also work on your PlayStation four. All you have to do is plug it into your USB port and it will auto-detect.
In terms of U-tube or Instagram, it will work pretty fine. But if you want to do interviews or anything that is a little more advanced, then I suggest you go for the standard blue Snowball.
All in all, I recommend this product. Blue microphones are superb and this one is no different.