Rode NT1-A

Blue Bluebird SL vs Rode NT1-A: Which to Buy?

This is the review of the comparison between two speakers from two popular brands in the market. The comparison here is between the Blue Bluebird SL and the Rode NT1-A. There is only a few dollars difference in their price range but that makes difference in the accessories that you get with them and their performances also. To know which one is good for you to buy, go to the detailed review.

Blue Bluebird SLRode NT1-A
Blue Bluebird SLRode NT1-A
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PROSPROS
Excellent in loud volume situations.
Smooth but detailed frequency response.
Tight overall response, tunable.
Looks much more expensive than it is.
Well balanced and detailed sound.
Excellent Built quality.
Reasonable price.
Polar pattern and pad control fully variable.
Comes with a shock mount and rigid case.
Low self-noise.
CONSCONS
No 3/8-inch thread adaptor.
Low-quality Pop filter.
Hard case missing.
Heavy due to all-metal body.
To provide phantom power It requires another device.

SPECIFICATIONS:

HEADERBLUE BLUEBIRD SLRODE NT1-A
BrandBlue MicrophonesRode
Product LineBlue Microphones BluebirdRode NT1-A
ModelBluebird SLNT1-A
GENERALBLUE BLUEBIRD SLRODE NT1-A
ManufacturerLogitechRode
Recommended UseProfessional audio
MICROPHONEBLUE BLUEBIRD SLRODE NT1-A
Microphone Technologycondensercondenser
Microphone Operation Modecardioidcardioid
Sensitivity28.5 mV/Pascal-31.9dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (25.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
Microphone Power Source Voultage (DC)48 V
Frequency Response20 Hz20 Hz-20kHz
Signal-To-Noise Ratio73 db137dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) 0.5%
Max Sound Pressure138 db137dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)
Audio Input DetailsCardioid – 20 – 20000 Hz – Output Impedance 50 OhmCardioid / omni-directional / bi-directional (switchable) – 20 – 20000 Hz
Connectivity TechnologyWiredWired
AUDIO SYSTEMBLUE BLUEBIRD SLRODE NT1-A
TypeMicrophoneMicrophone
Recommended UseProfessional audio
Specific Applicationsvocal, voice
Additional Functions
Controls
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTBLUE BLUEBIRD SLRODE NT1-A
Componentmicrophone, microphone stand
Width1.9 in1.97 in
Depth1.9 in1.97 in
Height8.8 in7.48 in
Weight16.05 oz0.72 lbs
FEATURESBLUE BLUEBIRD SLRODE NT1-A
FeaturesExtended upper clarity with smooth mid frequencies for any voice or instrument.

Hand-built proprietary large-diaphragm cardioid capsule for full, open sound.

High-pass filter and -20dB pad for ultimate versatility.

Works great with home studio audio interfaces.
The RØDE NT1-A 1″ cardioid condenser microphone has become an industry standard; delivering the warmth, extended dynamic range, clarity and high SPL capability typically only featured on some of the world’s most expensive microphones.

With a self-noise level of only 5dBA it is widely recognised (along with the NT1) as one the world’s quietest studio microphones. This low noise makes it an ideal for vocal microphone as well as perfect for recording guitars and percussion.

Packaged in the ‘Complete Vocal Recording Solution’, the NT1-A includes everything you need to get a truly professional vocal recording and is ideal for home studio recording.

A studio grade pop shield and shock mount is included, along with a premium 20′ microphone cable, dust cover, and an instructional DVD packed with recording tips.

The RØDE NT1-A large diaphragm 1″ cardioid condenser microphone is designed and made in Australia, and covered by RØDE Microphones’ industry leading 10 year warranty.

Detail Review:

INTRODUCTION:

Blue Bluebird SL

The Bluebird SL is a popular microphone from the Blue which is a popular brand in the market for its qualitative microphones. This microphone almost looks the same as the Blue Bottle microphone which is a flagship microphone from the Blue Microphones. This microphone is retailing for around three hundred dollars currently on amazon.

Rode NT1-A

The Rode NT1-A is a popular microphone from Rode and this microphone is retailing for around two hundred and eighty dollars currently on Amazon. This microphone is the original version of the Rode NT1 and the A in its name refers to Australia. This is an XLR microphone so you need an audio interface to use this microphone.

Blue Bluebird SL

DESIGN:

Blue Bluebird SL

Compared to the spark, the build quality does feel a little better, everything feels nice, it all looks nice, it all feels like a quality mic. My main issue with the shock mount with the Blue mics previously is when it comes time to tighten it when you get it really tight like assumingly possible, it’ll feel like it’s secure when the mic is on, and then when you walk away the whole thing will just kind of just droop down, so I really do hope that they made an adjustment on that. Hopefully, we don’t have any issues with mic placement or you know shock mount functions or anything, and hopefully, everything is good.

As far as aesthetics go, it’s a real pretty mic. As far as the shock mount is concerned, I had fully tightened the shock mount with the mic but when I put a little pressure on it, just with a few taps it starts to droop down which is something that I honestly hate. That’s just like a small little minus for me but that could be a big deal further down the line.

Rode NT1-A

The mic has a full metal construction, a fair bit lighter than one would actually expect but still, it’s a very simple build and there’s nothing much. There is a gold spot mark in the front of the mic because the mic is permanently polarized, it’s a cardioid. It’s basically a metal body with a wired grille at the front, protecting the one-inch gold condenser inside. The Rode NT1-A is a serial number, it’s made in Australia. It’s very good construction, feels nice and solid, then you have the serial number, and we have P48 on the mic which means that it takes 48-volt phantom power. Then you have the XLR connection at the bottom of the mic and you have screw threads also over there and that is for mounting this to the shock mount.

Rode NT1-A

FEATURES:

Blue Bluebird SL

As far as the specifications of this mic, this is a cardioid polar pattern mic, it has a frequency response of 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz that’s pretty common with all condenser mics, the dynamic range is 126.3 dB, and in order to power up this mic, you do need phantom powers.

Inside the box, we have a wooden case that contains the actual mic, and also, inside which we have the quality control certification, just letting you know that everything was checked and everything is up to code. Then we have the Blue sticker, then we have the manual, and we have a coupon to save 20% when you register on the Blue website. You should really start using the coupon because all of this equipment over time it’s just becoming more and more expensive. Then we do get a shock mount for this microphone and I really do hope that Blue made this shock mount a lot better than the last one that I had for the Spark. 

Rode NT1-A

The Rode NT1-A is a large-diaphragm condenser studio microphone with the kit it comes with the complete vocal recording solution. Basically, inside the box you have the mic in the case, it’s a very soft case and it’s very thin not very protective all its gonna do is probably just gonna protect your mic from a few scratches, then you get a kind of a very good quality six-meter XLR cable, and a shock mount with an integrated pop filter while it doesn’t come with the mic stand just a shock mount.

This mic is a cardioid, so if I go to the sides my voice will be highly rejected, and from the back of the mic not very nice. It is a very sensitive mic when I had my gain on about 4 and 1/2, so 4 and 1/2 it’s outputting quite a good sound. So, make sure that your voice source is nice and close to the mic to get nice clear isolation of your voice. In the manual, it actually says it also works with 24 volts phantom powers, so I think either one will do 48 or 24-volt phantom power. Just do keep that in mind you will need a console with phantom power to be able to use this mic.

The one complaint I do have about this is the shock mount is far too heavy, if you’re using it with a mic stand, the shock mount is made of metal, and it is extremely heavy, so it will make your entire mic stand extremely top-heavy which highly elevates the risk of your entire might stand toppling over. Basically, a very sturdy shock mount but a little too heavy, and then the pop filter is actually integrated into this shock mount. Actually, it is removable so, you have to unscrew it to be able to remove it. But after you remove it there’s no click bar whatsoever like conventional pop filters, so you can’t use it with any other mic anywhere else. The only way to correctly mount it would be to mount it onto the shock mount, so it’s proprietary, so you can only mount it to the Rode NT1-A shock mount only.

Blue Bluebird SL

PERFORMANCE:

Blue Bluebird SL

As the Blue Bluebird SL looks the same as the Blue Bottle, it also sounds pretty good as the Blue Bottle. Definitely, it’s not that level but it sounds pretty good. The upper-midrange and the midrange were really smooth enough and good. The details in the vocals and while singing also the details were very clear. There is clarity and crispness were there always. If you are in a sound-treated environment, then it definitely sounds really good but if you use this in an echoey environment then it will start to sound bad. For the price, it really performs its polar pattern very well and sounds really good.

Rode NT1-A

It comes with a very nice pop filter, and it is a dual-layered pop filter which means it has two layers of that mushy material, so it does work very well at isolating pops. The pop filter does an extremely good job at isolating the plosives. As far as the sound quality, it does not have that typical warm tone that you expect from a large-diaphragm condenser. In fact, this actually sounds rather thin, and it’s quite harsh at the higher frequencies, especially at around 3 kilohertz and the 10k range because you can hear quite some “S” sounds.

It’s quite a sensitive sound “S” and you can’t really hear much of the low range. If you go closer, you can hear a little bit more of the low-end but if you go further away from the mic then you can pretty much not hear any more of their low frequency. So, if you’re looking after that very low cinematic voiceover voice that you see in movie trailers, then you might have to do a bit of EQ in post-production. But still, this is a very nice mic, you get a very nice full sound out of it, it works very well for pretty much anything like vocal and I’m pretty sure it would work nicely for instruments as well.

Rode NT1-A

WHICH TO BUY?

Overall, I do think that the build of the Blue Bluebird SL is really decent, I would definitely recommend this mic for a beginner, so if you’re just trying to build like a home studio and just trying to get into the flow of recording and seeing what you’re good at which you are not good at then I would definitely recommend this mic.

Also, the Rode NT1-A is a very nice mic to have and it’s a very good deal for the price. Actually, for the price, not only you just get the mic, but also you get a shock mount, a pop filter, and also, a 6-meter XLR cable. It’s all bundled, so it’s one big complete vocal recording solution. In my opinion, both of these microphones sound good, if you can’t afford $300 dollars then you can buy the Rode NT1-A for twenty dollars less otherwise, you can buy the Blue Bluebird SL.

Expert Reviews of Blue Bluebird SL:

By guitarcenter.com
The Bluebird SL flatters any sound source. Its proprietary hand-tuned capsule and transformerless design deliver tremendous upper-end clarity, smooth midrange frequencies, and rich lows that make every detail of your sound…

By americanmusical.com
Bluebird SL delivers a pristine, highly versatile sound that makes every detail of your performance come to life. With a high-pass filter and -20dB pad, Bluebird SL is ideal for capturing standout…

By performermag.com
Blue re-vamped part of their microphone line at NAMM and the new Bluebird SL takes a lot of its cues from some of their more high-end microphones. Yet it delivers to a much more affordable price point, perfect for small commercial…

By vintageking.com
Blue Microphones Bluebird SL delivers a pristine, highly versatile sound that makes every detail of your performance come to life. With a high-pass filter and -20 dB pad, Bluebird SL is ideal for capturing…

By bhphotovideo.com
Featuring a proprietary, hand-crafted capsule, the Blue Bluebird SL is a studio condenser microphone that builds upon its predecessor to offer a switchable 100 Hz high-pass filter and…

Expert Reviews of Rode NT1-A

By sound review
The Rode NT1A produces quality results on a budget. It has low self-noise, a reasonably high SPL rating, and is suitable for use on both vocals and a range of instruments. The tone of the mic is considered pleasant by many although there are…

By sound on sound
Rode’s new designs have really increased expectations of what can be achieved in microphones at this UK price, particularly when it comes to circuit noise — they are typically 6-10dB quieter than most of the competition. You don’t get the fudgy warmth of a tube mic or even a transformer-coupled model, but…

By musicianonamission
The NT1 is a large-diaphragm condenser mic from the folks over at RODE Microphones. The large-diaphragm condenser is considered to be the clearest of all the microphones. It’s very sensitive to sound, meaning it…

By MusicRadar
The NT1 has a sleek, fuss-free, and clean design – with no switches for the bass roll-off or a pad. It is finished in a very dark shade of grey. The machined aluminum body is nickel-plated to resist corrosion, while a military-grade ceramic coating…

By SoundGuys
The Rode NT1-A is still a best seller for a reason. If you’re looking for a good condenser mic to record vocals, this is a good choice whether you’re upgrading to your first XLR microphone or replacing an old one in your studio…