Several months back I wanted to try to record a podcast on my iPad, so I plugged in my white earbuds that came with my iPhone 4S and opened Garageband. To my dismay, the quality of the recording was just terrible, you could hear the mic rubbing up against my shirt as well as my breathing into the microphone. I then tried to use the built-in microphone on the iPad and that recording turned out even worse. If I moved my head the slightest, I sounded far away. It also picked up every background noise imaginable.
I decided to do some research on USB microphones that did not need an additional power supply to work with the iPad. Enter the Blue Snowball microphone. I found a few other microphones when searching for USB microphones, but something about the Snowball attracted me to it. Price and the design were the likely candidates. I wanted something I know was going to be a great microphone, but I didn’t want to pay through the roof.
Trying to podcast on the iPad is tricky though, the quality of the recording is not the same as it would be on the Mac, but that should have been obvious to me. On my Mac, I can open System Preferences, tap on “Sound,” and navigate to “Input” to adjust my Input Level. I cannot do that on my iPad. On the iPad I am stuck with only application settings, yet on the Mac can adjust microphone levels in the application. I am currently using Amadeus Pro on the OS X side of things. I can adjust every aspect of my recording with numerous “Effects Settings.” With Garage Band on the iPad, I only have a couple of settings:
What happens then is the microphone does 2 things, it will pick up a ton of background noise and it will pick up any heavy breathing. After you record on your iPad in Garageband, you do have the option for a few additional effects such as:
You can also adjust the Compressor and Original Volume of the recording as well in Garageband, but honestly the quality of the recording is still just “okay.” The recording leaves a lot to be desired. You can really get a sense for how bad the recording sounds if you have a decent set of headphones on. If you are listening through your computer speakers the sound is decent, but with headphones on you can really tell a huge difference in quality.
Back to the Blue Snowball, if you are looking for a great microphone at an affordable price, then you can’t go wrong with the Snowball. It is designed beautifully, very sturdy, and offers an overall great sound on your desktop/laptop and your iPad. You will get a much better sound quality with the Blue Snowball than you will with the built-in microphone or earbuds with microphone.Features:
I am very impressed with the overall sound of the Blue Microphone. The iPad has a few limitations as far as settings go, but that is not the Snowball’s fault. It does perform much better than the built-in microphone. Since I can also use it on my iMac, it delivers a higher quality sound. If you are wanting to do YouTube review videos or start your own podcast, the microphone should be the first thing you upgrade. If you do upgrade, I’d highly recommend giving the Blue Snowball a look. I am sure you will be just as impressed as I am.
The sound quality is terrific. The microphone is lightweight and comes apart easily if you need to travel with it. The stand it comes with is built of a high quality plastic and has rubber bumpers on the feet that keep it from sliding on your desktop. This will reduce any vibration that could cause additional background noise when recording. The design will set it apart from other microphones, but the quality is where the Snowball may out perform the competition.