This is the review of the comparison between two microphones from the same brand which is very popular in the market for their microphones. The comparison here is between the Blue Snowball and the Blue Snowball iCE. There is around a 15 to 20 dollars difference in their price range depending on which color you prefer to choose. To know which one is good for you to buy, go to the detailed review.
|Blue Snowball||Blue Snowball iCE|
|BUY NOW||BUY NOW|
|Needs no drivers for Mac OS X or Windows XP.|
Extremely sturdy and stylish.
Good quality recordings.
Table-top stand included.
Simple to use.
|Delivers crisp audio in a cardioid recording pattern.|
Small enough to toss in a backpack.
A significant improvement on a computer microphone.
|The lack of gain adjustment (other than a pad) means you need to work close to the mic to get a high enough recording level.|
Distant subjects not very well resolved.
|Lacks low and top-end, and is mainly mid-frequencies.|
Just one polar pattern.
Mic stand doesn’t angle high enough for proper mouth alignment.
|HEADER||BLUE SNOWBALL||BLUE SNOWBALL ICE|
|Brand||Blue Microphones||Blue Microphones|
|Product Line||Blue Microphones Snowball||Blue Microphones Snowball|
|GENERAL||BLUE SNOWBALL||BLUE SNOWBALL ICE|
|Recommended Use||computer, portable electronics||computer|
|MICROPHONE||BLUE SNOWBALL||BLUE SNOWBALL ICE|
|Microphone Technology||condenser||electret condenser|
|Microphone Operation Mode||cardioid, omni-directional||cardioid|
|Microphone Power Source Voultage (DC)|
|Frequency Response||40 Hz|
|Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)|
|Max Sound Pressure|
|Audio Input Details||Cardioid – 40 – 18000 Hz Omni-directional – 40 – 18000 Hz|
|AUDIO SYSTEM||BLUE SNOWBALL||BLUE SNOWBALL ICE|
|Recommended Use||computer, portable electronics||computer|
|DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT||BLUE SNOWBALL||BLUE SNOWBALL ICE|
|Width||4.88 in||5.50 in|
|Depth||7.88 in||9.10 in|
|Height||10 in||10.60 in|
|Weight||16.22 oz||1.02 lbs|
|FEATURES||BLUE SNOWBALL||BLUE SNOWBALL ICE|
|Features||Unique two-condenser-capsule design for capturing vocals, music, podcasts, gaming and more.|
Cardioid, omni, and cardioid with pad pickup options.
Includes fully adjustable metal mic stand and USB cable.
Plug and play with Mac and PC.
Available in textured white, gloss black and chrome.
|Custom condenser capsule offers crystal clear audio.|
Easy plug’n play directly to Mac or PC – no drivers to install.
Adjustable desktop mic stand and USB cable.
From desktop to laptop to iPad (with Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit).
Adds HD audio to recordings for YouTube, SoundCloud or Myspace.
Improves audio quality on Skype, Windows Live, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger.
Records instruments, vocals or bands.
Creates podcasts and adds narration to your home movies.
The Blue Snowball was released in the year 2005 and this microphone is popular in the market from its launch to this day. This microphone is retailing for around fifty to a hundred dollars based on the color you choose from. This is a USB microphone meaning plug and play system applies here. This microphone comes with two polar patterns namely cardioid and omnidirectional.
Blue Snowball iCE
The Snowball iCE has continued to be one of the most popular and best-selling USB microphones to this day. This is one of the budget-friendly microphone available in the market. This microphone is retailing for around fifty dollars. For the least price this microphone does offers good sound quality with the cardioid pattern.
As far as the build quality, the Snowball and the Snowball iCE both are relatively similar, they’re both a full plastic body with a metal grille in the front. The only difference and the main difference between these two microphones is the number of microphone capsules inside. The Blue Snowball iCE has a single cardioid microphone capsule inside so you only have the option of using it as a cardioid microphone. While the regular Blue Snowball on the back has a switch to switch between three different settings number one is a cardioid polar pattern, number two is a cardioid polar pattern with a 10-decibel pad, and the third is an omnidirectional polar pattern, so it picks up audio all the way around it.
Blue Snowball iCE
The mic stand it comes with isn’t very tall, it does allow you to make some minor changes to the mics positioning. But the Blue Snowball iCE is also compatible with other larger mic stands. This microphone can be beneficial for many different uses, whether you’re a musician looking to record instruments and vocals, a podcaster who needs a mic for recording your episodes, a YouTuber looking to get better audio for your videos, or even for simple Skype calls to friends and family. The point of this mic is simplicity, it is a simple plug-and-play mic, with no drivers to install. You simply plug in your USB mic and start recording into your software right away. Anyone can start recording with this microphone.
In the box, obviously, you get the microphone, then you get about a six-foot USB cable, then you get a desktop microphone stand which is much nicer than the stand that comes with the Blue Snowball iCE, then you get some documentation which is actually kind of nice, and the Blue Snowball comes with a two-year warranty.
The regular Blue Snowball will set you back between 60 and 100 dollars depending on the color you get. This microphone actually has two different polar patterns, it has a cardioid polar pattern as well as an omnidirectional polar pattern. When you are on the omnidirectional polar pattern, you can notice that the frequency response is drastically different from the cardioid polar pattern. When you’re in the omnidirectional setting and you’re moving around the microphone, and you should hear a relatively frequent or consistent sound all the way around the microphone.
Blue Snowball iCE
The Blue Snowball iCE USB microphone is a microphone that will get you started with recording at the cost of only $50. Blue describes this microphone as the fastest, and easiest way to get high-quality sound for recording, and streaming. Blue Microphones got it starting in the industry by selling its high-quality microphones to the recording industry. But as digital recording began to emerge and become more common, they saw a need for better microphone options for consumers. During the time that Apple was releasing its GarageBand software, they wanted to partner with Blue in creating a quality microphone for consumers.
It isn’t a perfect microphone while it is convenient to have a simple plug and play USB mic, it does come with its drawbacks. Microphones that connect to an XLR cable require you to have an audio interface to record into your computer, and audio interfaces have gain knobs that allow you to adjust the microphone sensitivity while recording, and this really helps to ensure that you will get the best audio recording possible. But with most USB mics like the Blue Snowball iCE you get a fixed volume setting and you’ll have to find the perfect mic placement for your voice to get a professional recording.
Another drawback is that with the mic stand being so small, it can result in uncomfortable positions by having to hunched over to record your voice. But this can be easily fixed by buying a separate mic stand, that is bigger and has more adjustability. Other than that Blue has done a good job in providing consumers a microphone that is easy to use. This is quite possibly the best inexpensive microphone, that you could buy.
The two different microphone capsules in this mic have two completely different tones and sounds. The cardioid polar pattern sounds much more natural and full and just all-around better. When you switch to the omnidirectional setting, it sounds very tinny, very hollow, and just very unnatural, and I don’t think it sounds good at all. When I was doing the keyboard sound test and background noise test, I heard a lot more noise when I was in the omnidirectional setting. So, if you’re going to be using this near a computer, I do not recommend an omnidirectional setting.
Blue Snowball iCE
As for performance and sound quality, honestly, I would say it’s mediocre. Some microphones have a pretty decent natural sound but in my experience with the Snowball iCE, I have had to make some adjustments in order for it to sound professional. The microphone is really good about picking up the lows of vocals as well as crisp sounding highs but its crutch is that it records too much in the mid-range. To my ears, this really results in vocals that are piercing. This issue can be fixed with a tool in your audio software called EQ but it may be a bit confusing for you, if you don’t consider yourself an audiophile.
WHICH TO BUY?
I will choose the Blue Snowball iCE over the Blue Snowball mainly because of the price. The difference is around 15 to 20 dollars or even more if you get certain colors of the regular Blue Snowball, and also, the omnidirectional setting on the actual regular Blue Snowball is almost unusable, if you want to record something for voice over or do anything professionally. It’s really only useful if you’re going to be recording a meeting or something for your internal use. The cardioid setting on the regular Snowball is the only useful polar pattern on here, so why should we pay the extra money if they have a cheaper option which just offers that capsule. The only way I would recommend the regular Blue Snowball is if you have this underlying need for an omnidirectional setting, if you don’t just stick with the Blue Snowball iCE and save some money.
Expert Reviews of Blue Snowball:
By Sound On Sound
Though subject to certain technical limitations, the Snowball works well for close-up vocals or speech, while the pattern switching system gives a choice of two very usable tonalities. The inclusion of a pad switch means that it may also be used for recording louder sources, such as guitar combos or percussion.
At this price, you’ll have a hard time finding a better-sounding, better-looking, or more easy-to-use microphone for your computer. Just don’t expect the Blue Microphones Snowball to replace a studio’s worth of recording gear.
By Tech Radar
A switch on the back lets you select one of three operating modes, where the twin capsules within can be set to receive sound in a standard cardioid pattern (for close-up vocals), cardioid with a -10dB pad…
By the podcast host
The Snowball and I will never be best friends, but I have a lot more respect for it than I did previously. It’s an affordable mic, very easy to set up and use, and it sounds fine for recording spoken word content. In terms of an entry-level mic…
By the streaming blog
The Blue Snowball microphone is a multipurpose device but it holds the distinction of being a really good microphone for recording lectures and more. It’s a pretty basic mic but it’s great that the Snowball covers all the important…
Expert Reviews of Blue Snowball iCE:
Blue announced this mic as being better than your computer mic. It would be very difficult to be worse, wouldn’t it? Yes, it has Blue’s reliability. Yes, it has…
Is the Snowball Ice the best-sounding mic on the market? No. Only being 44.1kHz/16 bit does limit its sonic capabilities somewhat. And some users might miss the more or less standard (for USB mics) gain knob and headphone jack. But for $50 we’re willing to let a lot slide, and for most vocal applications, it’s more than suitable. It’s simple, and the lack of DSP means a leaner, more pure signal than you’ll get from some gaming-oriented USB mics.
By Tom’s Hardware
The Blue Snowball iCE is an excellent way to get into vocal recording or streaming if you can get used to its quirks.
Blue Snowball iCE is a stylish, entry USB mic with an attractive price tag. Unlike the similar-shaped Samson Meteorite, it is not as blatantly hot and it has a detachable USB cable with…
Loyal readers may know that I’m a big fan of USB Microphones. For two-way video chats and podcasting, they’re absolutely brilliant. USB Mics…