As online content creators, a good sound recording device is very much a necessity. Thanks to our friends at Blue Microphones and Good Gaming PC, we were provided with the Blue Microphones Snowball iCE (“the iCE”) microphone to test out and review.
In order to provide quality content as a podcaster, web-show host or even a video-game streamer, the quality of sound is especially important. Gone are the days of fiddling about with built in PC microphones, which provide only the bare minimum when it comes to quality. Now there are various high-end sound recorders and microphones, along with a plethora of sound mixing software, which are able to provide the best possible audio quality. However, despite the range available, only a few are actually simple and easy enough to use.
Recording hardware come with their own software and oftentimes both hardware and software can be overtly complex to set up, something that has so often put me off, and is why I have preferred using a headset while streaming and podcasting. The iCE was a godsend in this case. Setting the microphone up was quick, simple and as easy as mounting the iCE onto the portable desktop stand and plugging in the USB cable into my PC. There weren’t any complication installation steps and I loved the fact that I could use the microphone right away.
Not only is the iCE light and relatively small to allow for easy setup and portability, it is also designed with a cardioid polar pattern and comes with a custom condenser capsule, which provides crisp and crystal clear audio. The iCE also comes with a Skype certification for guaranteed performance, which is an added bonus for those who want to be heard loud and clear on voice calls.
Skype isn’t the only platform which the iCE works well with. We tested the microphone out for a web-show we hosted on Mixer and were absolutely delighted at how quick it was to get it working through the Open Broadcasting Software (‘OBS’) and at how smooth the sound quality was, though we did find that sitting too far away from the microphone did affect the volume. As with any microphone, the closer the input of sound is, the better the quality. Being able to work with any software meant that we weren’t restricted and didn’t need to download any additional programmes to use the iCE for recording and broadcasting.
While we haven’t used the iCE for this particular purpose, the microphone is also able to record instruments, vocals and bands, which may come in handy for musicians.
The Blue Microphones Snowball iCE was an absolute pleasure to use and is one we’d recommended to those wanting a reasonably priced, quick and easy to set-up, microphone to use for all their recording, broadcasting and content creating needs. The iCE currently retails in New Zealand for $110NZD and in the USA for $49USD.