Raspberry Microphone – Blue’s latest USB mic
For years now writing has been the bread and butter of my work here on the Plug-In Blog. However, more and more these days I’ve been producing video reviews, which is why I was thrilled to receive a sample of Blue’s new Raspberry Microphone. This powerful, portable USB condenser microphone promises to record studio-quality audio anywhere you go.
It’s designed to work with PC, Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices, giving you plenty of options no matter what side of the tech fence you’re on. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve put the Raspberry Microphone through its paces to see if it truly measures up.
Blue Raspberry Mic – Design
My first thought when taking the Raspberry mic out of the box was “this looks sleek.” I love the retro-contemporary design that combines a raspberry red leather bottom half with a stylish grille that curves all the way around to the back. It’s extremely small too, roughly the length of my iPhone 6 and weighing only 167g.
Attached to the Raspberry mic is an integrated, collapsible stand that firmly holds the mic upright when in use, and neatly folds up when on the go. You can also effortlessly remove the integrated stand, should you want to use just the microphone. It also comes with a 1/4-inch mount thread, allowing you to attach the mic to a standard camera tripod. Not only is the mic stylish, it’s also quite versatile.
Blue Raspberry Mic – Contents
So what all comes in the Blue Raspberry Microphone box? Here’s everything you’ll find inside:
- Blue Raspberry Microphone with integrated, collapsible stand (removable)
- microUSB-Lightning cable
- microUSB-USB cable
- Soft-suede carry pouch
- 1/4-inch microphone stand adapter
The soft-suede carry pouch is a nice touch, and reinforces for the sense of quality that permeates this entire package. Not only did I feel the mic was well protected inside the pouch, but its smooth finish is nice to handle. I like that the box includes a Lightning cable and a USB cable, giving you the option of connecting the mic to your computer/laptop or your iOS device.
Blue Raspberry Mic – Features
The Raspberry mic has a beautiful symmetrical presentation with lots of great features baked in. On the left side is the headphone output volume knob, while on the right, an identical-looking knob controls the mic gain. You can also conveniently push-in the right knob to mute the mic at any time. This comes in handy when you need to temporarily pause your recording or take a break.
The front also includes an LED status light, which glows green when the mic is on and ready to record. Muting the microphone changes the LED light to red, a nice visual indicator so you can keep track of your recording status.
On the back, you’ll find a microUSB port to plug-in the included Lightning and USB cables. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is used to monitor your recordings in real-time with no latency. Having both of these connector ports at the back means a clutter-free front, and it makes adjusting the mic position a snap.
Blue Raspberry Mic – Plug-and-play functionality
I was amazed at how easy the Raspberry mic was to set-up. On my PC and Surface Laptop it was as simple as plugging in the mic into an available USB port, and selecting the Raspberry as my playback/recording device. I used the native Voice Recorder app that comes with Windows and was recording my first clip within minutes. All audio for my video review was captured using the Raspberry, and you hear how crisp and clear it sounds.
On my iPhone 6, all I needed to do was plug the Raspberry into the device’s Lightning port. Raspberry is compatible with a range of popular iOS recording apps, including GarageBand, Opinion Podcasts, Spire Recorder, MoviePro, and BandLab. Again, set-up took mere minutes and I was ready to go.
Blue Raspberry Mic – Recording Audio
All audio I recorded on the Raspberry sounded excellent—in both indoor and outdoor situations. The mic captures pristine audio at 16- or 24-bit depth at a sampling rate of 48 kHz. Adjusting the mic gain on-the-fly is simple, and being able to monitor your audio in real-time using headphones means you get instant feedback.
One reason for the mic’s superb recording ability is its innovative Internal Acoustic Diffuser design that was inspired by mics used in concert halls and professional recording studios. Also, its incredibly dynamic condenser is specifically designed to focus directly on the sounds you want, while blocking out unwanted room noise. With other mics I’ve used they would pick up environmental noise that I’d have to edit out in post-production, but all audio I captured with the Raspberry sounded clean at source.
Helping to minimize noise and table rumble is Raspberry’s integrated stand that features a connection insulator and rubber shock absorber feet. Since this is a mobile USB mic you’re apt to make recordings in a variety of settings, and these components help reduce contact with whatever surface the mic is placed on. I tested out the mic on my computer desk, kitchen table, and outside in a café all with excellent results.
Blue Raspberry Mic – Final Thoughts
Recently I’ve been speaking with friends about starting our own gaming podcast, and now I know which microphone we’ll be using—Blue’s Raspberry. I really like the mic’s sleek design and compact form factor, but it’s the crystal clear audio it captures that seals the deal.
It’s not just podcasts that I’m thinking about using this mic for either. As I discovered, it’s perfect for making YouTube videos, and it’s also great for recording music (my wife sang and recorded a few tunes!) Since the grille is on both sides of the mic, it’s great for recording interviews as well. When you add its style, versatility, and top-notch audio quality together you have a pretty compelling value proposition overall.
Whether you’re an audio expert, or just starting out, Blue’s Raspberry Microphone is a great choice for all your audio recording needs.