Blue has established itself as an industry leader when it comes to recording devices. Their latest offering, the Blue Spark Digital Studio Microphone, continues the tradition of high quality microphones at an affordable cost. If you’re in the market for a $200 recording device I highly recommend the Spark Digital. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
You’re not going to find better recording quality this price range. It has the best quality of any USB mic I have tested, and I have been through my fair share. The Spark Digital utilizes a cardioid pattern for recording, rejecting unwanted input from the sides and rear. This allows for single track live recording without worrying about unintended input from other sound sources (it’s great for live recordings while filtering out anything in the background).
One of my favorite features is the Focus Control switch, which is essentially a built in low pass filter. Simply toggle the focus control on to reduce anything below 150 hz by around 10 db. This is the simplest way to prevent “muddy” recordings and unwanted bass thumps. If you’re a musician, this feature is going to save you or your producer a lot of back-end processing time since the 150hz and below frequencies rarely contribute to a good recording. This feature is also incredibly useful if you’re using the Spark Digital for podcasts or as your mic input for communication. If you aren’t into audio jargon, you can think of the focus control as a “cleanup” button that only picks up the “good” or wanted frequencies.
Blue is renowned for it’s balance of high quality and ease of use. You won’t find yourself searching for specific drivers or navigating through advanced setup menu’s. It took all of 30 seconds before my Spark Digital was live and recording. Standard with USB or Lightning functionality, you can plug your Spark Digital into any computer, Ipad, or even Iphone for quick and easy recording.
The Spark Digital Microphone takes away the need for a separate pre-amp. This is going to save you a lot of time and effort with setup, as well as consolidating the space that’s usually needed for the extra hardware. The USB plug splits to contain a separate AUX input for your preferred listening device (mot likely a nice set of studio headphones). With past setups I’ve found that loose wires get messy very quickly, and this all-in-one design makes it easy to stay organized and clean.
The volume knob on the front base of the unit control input volume, playback volume, and even has an on the fly mute button. It’s default control (marked by blue led’s) is the input volume. Turning the knob will increase the volume, and the led display lets you quickly tell how loud your output is. To adjust the playback volume for your headphones simply hold the knob down for 3 seconds and the led’s will turn orange. You can then adjust playback volume as needed. I found the controls easy to navigate through and incredibly space efficient… it’s really a brilliant design.
Blue’s Spark Digital Microphone is the perfect mix of professional quality, functionality, and affordability. I have yet to find a better option, regardless of it’s intended use. When you factor in the costs of additional pre-amps and wiring needed for non-usb recording options, the Spark Digital is an absolute steal for around $200. I can’t speak enough on how sold I am on Blue’s latest product, and I can personally guarantee that you will be fawning over your new mic as well.
If you’re interested in more detailed information on the Blue Spark Digital Mic, you can find it at the Blue’s Official Website.