The 6 Best Blue Microphones | Musician Nerd

Updated on Dec 22, 2021

If you're looking for the best Blue microphone on the market, it's probably because you've been hearing about this brand for quite some time. No matter what space you're in, you're going to find Blue microphones being used in YouTube videos, podcasts, live streams, and even music studios. And while their focus is more on the first three markets, you may be wondering what else they offer. As someone who works in the microphone space, I was also curious, so I bought their whole lineup to break down their choices for you and help you make an educated purchase for your needs.

Back in 1995, Blue Microphones was founded by American musician Skipper Wise & Latvian recording engineer Martins Saulespurens. Compared to most other well-known brands, this makes them one of the youngest on the market, which is incredible for how much they've grown in a little over two decades. One of the microphones on our list today was their very first design, known as the Baby Bottle.

When compiling our list, we tried to put ourselves in your shoes and think about your needs. So whether you need something for streaming, or you're looking to add a vocal microphone to your home studio, we've got you covered. By the end of this article, you'll know exactly what you need, no matter the budget.

The Best Blue Microphones

Our Picks

Best Overall

1. Blue Yeti X

The Blue Yeti X easily takes the throne as the best Blue microphone on the market, overall. This isn't to say that it'll be the best for everyone, but with all factors considered, there's a reason it's their most popular microphone. We often see it being used by YouTubers and Streamers, and once we talk about some of the finer details, you'll understand why. It uses a USB connection right off the bat, so it's as easy as plug-and-play.

Blue Yeti X With Box Contents
Blue Yeti X With Box Contents

The Blue Yeti X offers superior sound to the others in the Yeti lineup as it features a four-capsule array, meaning a wider sound frequency variety. The importance of capturing wide-range frequencies is because they allow your audio to sound more full by giving you warm lows and crisp highs as a solid blend.

The Blue Yeti X comes with a built-in desktop stand that allows you to set it up wherever you're working quickly. It's been my experience that this stand does an excellent job with protecting your microphone capsule from table vibrations, which can corrupt your audio. But let's talk about the on-mic controls. Everything is controlled by the Multi-Function Smart Knob, which allows you to fine-tune your audio from gain levels to headphones, audio blending, and a simple mute.

You'll even be able to visually keep track of your sound levels with the High-Res LED Meter. This will tell you whether your audio is too loud (which can risk distorting the sound). So definitely a good feature for anyone in the live streaming space, or recording long enough sessions that have to start over from scratch is a massive headache.

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Best Vocal Microphone

2. Blue Encore 300 Vocal Condenser Microphone

The Blue Encore 300 is a more unique microphone that I don't see often, but don't let that fool you. The Encore is a vocal microphone, meaning it's best for people performing in front of a live audience, whether you're singing or speaking.

Blue Encore 300 On Table
Blue Encore 300 On Table

Unlike some performance microphones we're used to seeing; the Blue Encore 300 is a condenser microphone. The reason we usually see dynamic microphones being used on stage is that they're more likely to be unidirectional, isolating the available sound input to only what you're intending. The Blue Encore 300, however, is also unidirectional, and I was more than impressed with my tests.

One of the most significant features we look for in vocal microphones is blocking background noise while still offering the best quality to the singer or speaker. The condensers used in the Blue Encore 300 do an incredible job at bringing out your voice with tons of presence. The floating capsule mount offers high isolation, so you'll get minimal handling noises without any extra equipment.

The actual durability of the Blue Encore 300 was what impressed me the most. It is solid metal, and I threw it around a little bit without damaging the overall microphone integrity. If you're on the road a lot, you'll need a mic like this.

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Best Budget Choice

3. Blue Snowball iCE

The Blue Snowball iCE is another popular microphone by Blue that I mostly see being used as an affordable YouTube microphone. As their second most popular choice, it has a lot of similar qualities to the Blue Yeti, with a little sacrifice on the quality to allow more people to afford it.

Blue Snowball iCE On Desk
Blue Snowball iCE On Desk

The Blue Snowball iCE isn't the most impressive microphone on the market, by any means. But for the price point it comes in around, I love it. Whenever I'm working with up-and-coming YouTubers and Streamers, I point them in the direction of the Snowball because of the ease of use and relative quality. Just like the Blue Yeti, the Blue Snowball iCE uses a USB connection, so you can plug it in and get started.

However, one of the most significant differences between the two microphones is that the Snowball iCE is unidirectional, meaning it'll only record audio sounds coming from the front of the microphone. While you won't get as wide of a sound as the Yeti, you'll also be reducing the background noise a reasonable amount. All of that being said, I think you'll find the Blue Snowball iCE is easily one of the best options in this price range.

From an aesthetic standpoint, I love the retro look. The thing I love about Blue Microphones is that they always find the perfect name for their mics based on the look. The Snowball iCE really looks like a snowball, and offers a good quality tri-pod desk stand for easy use.

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Best Studio Microphone

4. Blue Baby Bottle SL

The Blue Baby Bottle is the very first microphone ever produced by Blue back in 1995, and is still being produced today! I've had the chance to work with this one on several occassions and it makes for an amazing studio microphone. While it's more expensive than the other options on this list, it's well worth it.

Blue Baby Bottle With Shock Mount
Blue Baby Bottle With Shock Mount

The Blue Baby Bottle is one of the coolest looking XLR Microphones. Throughout its evolution, it's become the Baby Bottle SL, offering more refined sonics, a new streamlined build, and versatile switches that offer true character to your voice and instruments. The vocal presence was the first thing that blew me away compared to every other microphone on this list.

The standard wide-range frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz pairs with their high output, giving you a richly detailed sound. With a signal-to-noise ratio of 83.2 dB-A, the Blue Baby Bottle maintains a low self-noise, only picking up the most important audio you're feeding it. But let me tell you, the quality of that audio is perfect for a studio microphone. We've recorded vocals and guitars in it with stellar results.

Some essential features built-in to the Blue Baby Bottle are the high-pass filter and -20dB attenuation pad, offering you high versatility. The high-pass filter will reduce the lower-end frequencies you may be picking up in the background, whether it's from highway noise or an air conditioning unit. On the other hand, the attenuation pad lowers the sound levels so you can record loud sound sources without distortion.

All in all, the Blue Baby Bottle is the best Blue Microphone on the market. You're getting superior sound quality worthy of a professional studio, with a massive amount of versatility. While I wouldn't use this microphone for recording your live streams, it's great for vocalists and musicians.

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Baby Bottle Alternative

5. Blue Blackout Spark

The Blue Spark Blackout is a much more affordable alternative to the Baby Bottle. It still offers similar quality and makes for a great studio microphone for this price range. It's a newer microphone for me, but I was very impressed with how well it works.

Blue Spark Blackout SL XLR With Shock Mount
Blue Spark Blackout SL XLR With Shock Mount

This studio-grade microphone uses an XLR interface just like the Baby Bottle, and XLR interfaces offer slightly better sound transmission than their USB counterparts. The large-diaphragm offers a wide-range frequency response that will catch your low ends and high ends with ease, giving a full-bodied sound to your audio. Blue's Class-A JFET electronics give you rich harmonic audio as well.

The features I love most with the Blue Blackout Spark are the filters. The 100Hz low cut filter will reduce rumble noises from your recording area, which is beneficial for those recording in a less-than-ideal space. When I first started making music, I lived next to a highway and had poor windows, and Low-cut filters made all the difference for me. But there's also the -20dB Pad that can keep your audio distortion-free no matter what you're recording. This could be anything from crazy streaming audio (Warzone getting intense!) to kick drums during band practice.

Overall, the Blue Blackout Spark is a highly versatile microphone that offers more than a few benefits. For the price point it comes in at, it's a great alternative to the Blue Baby Bottle for those on a budget. I would recommend it more for home-studio use, as while it can be great for streaming, I would stick to the Blue Yeti for that.

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Best Instrument Microphone

6. Blue Hummingbird

The Blue Hummingbird is easily the best Blue microphone for instruments, depending on your luck. This microphone, in a perfect world, sounds amazing, however, some people report getting faulty microphones (including the first one we ordered), but after we returned ours for a full refund and ordered a second, we were very happy with the results.

Blue Hummingbird Condenser with Pivoting Head
Blue Hummingbird Condenser with Pivoting Head

As a musician, I've worked with many instrument microphones. I enjoy working with small-diaphragm microphones as they can be a little more precise and fit in places that other microphones can't. This doesn't mean they're always the best tool for the job; for example, I use several large-diaphragm condenser microphones that handle low-end frequencies a little better or have a higher Sound Pressure Level (SPL) than smaller ones. But just like everything in the world of microphones, we need to look at the finer details instead of judging it just off the diaphragm or size.

The Blue Hummingbird has an extended frequency response between 20Hz and 20kHz. This means it will balance the range of frequencies pretty well; however, I've found it to perform better with the higher frequencies. This means anything from snare drums & cymbals to the upper end of an acoustic guitar fretboard. It will pull out an authentic sound with brilliant highs but still balance in the lower and mid-range frequencies, so you're getting the complete picture of your audio.

The SPL isn't as high as other instrument microphones, so that it won't do as well for aggressive sound waves like on a kick drum, but what it can do, it does well. The Signal Noise Ratio is 85.5 dB-a, meaning it won't pick up any of the quieter sound sources, putting the focus on the instrument you're trying to record. So like I said before, you run the risk of buying a lemon, but I believe it's worth jumping through the hoops of exchanges for the best Blue microphone for instruments.

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Essential Blue Accessories

Of course, buying a microphone for the most part is just half the battle. Sometimes you'll need some accessories to go with it, whether its a nice stand or a pop filter. We're going to tell you about two of Blue's very own accessories that we think you'll love, starting with the Blue Compass Boom Arm.

Blue Compass Boom Arm
Blue Compass Boom Arm

The Blue Compass is a premium microphone boom arm built with some essential features for a stand like this. Unfortunately, I've cycled through many boom arms in my life because I keep finding something I don't like with the options I buy. Either they can't handle the weight, they're not flexible enough, or cable management is a nightmare. The Blue Compass is one of the better options I've worked with.

The Blue Compass offers smooth, quiet operation with no vibration issues and built-in cable management. You can tell the springs are high-quality by how easy it is to maneuver and set up the device. I've used it with several microphones like the Shure SM7B but found it also works great with all the best Blue microphones.

While this detail may mean very little to some people, I also love its look. The finish on it is very sophisticated looking and is sure to make your setup pop. It's designed for the Yeti and works with many other brands broadcasting microphones. Like I said before, I've used it with my Shure. Overall, it's a great accessory and worth every penny.

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For those less experienced with using microphones, one challenge you'll face right off the bat is this terrible sounding noise known as plosives. Plosive noise is a booming sound that ruins parts of your recording, created by the tight airflow on syllables beginning with letters like "P," "T," or "B." Fortunately, relatively affordable accessories called "Pop Filters" help combat this.

For further information, check out our article on the best Blue Yeti pop filters. We go into other brands that we find to be helpful for those looking for the best option.


By now, you should have a complete picture of what the best Blue microphones on the market are. What I love the most about Blue is how diverse their selection is. Of course, we commonly see the Blue Yeti, but they do have other options that fit different budgets or recording styles. I was super excited to try out some of their studio-grade microphones and was very impressed by the quality. However, discovering their instrument microphone was quite a shock!

If you go ahead with one of the choices on this list, let us know what you picked and why in the comments! We love seeing the content our audience creates and learning more about how you choose your microphones. If you go with one of the studio-oriented options or the instrument microphone, we're super eager to get your feedback on these and whether you think they should be more popular than they already are!

Posted on Nov 23, 2021


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