With the podcasting boom has come a comparable explosion in desktop microphones. The Blue Yeti has long been one of the most popular (and capable) home mics, and it now has a tinier, powerful cousin with a name like a killer Slurpee flavor: Blue Raspberry.
At $200, the Raspberry is more a bit expensive than the Yeti, but you’re paying for portability. It’s not intended to be a handheld mic; it looks awkward to grip for on-the-street interviews and such, and Blue strongly suggests you use it on a tabletop or other flat surface. It’s definitely small enough, though, to toss into a bag, or carry around the house for those mornings you’d rather broadcast from bed than from the office. Like other Blue products, it’s also plug-and-play, with USB and Lightning compatibility for the iOS faithful.
The mic comes with a small built-in stand to help stabilize it on tabletops, a headphone jack so that you can listen to your dulcet tones as you go, and a gain control knob that doubles as a mute button, for those unexpected fits of sneezing and cussing.
To help keep quality up while the size shrinks down, Blue used a new Internal Acoustic Diffuser to help focus in on your voice, while ignoring the ambient noises around you. That’s not the only trick it incorporates to help maintain quality that’s way above its weight class.
“Typically, the major trade-off of a smaller size microphone is audio quality, because the capsule must be smaller,” says Blue director of product management Tommy Edwards. “With a smaller diaphragm microphone, you trade off some of the clarity and lower frequencies that you get with a larger studio microphone.” Blue uses proprietary condenser capsule circuitry to help replicate large-diaphragm quality in a significantly smaller frame.
Also? It’s adorable. That may not matter to you! It certainly doesn’t impact the sound quality. But the Raspberry’s funky retro design looks like a beefy Swiss Army knife crossed with a vintage RCA microphone. Podcasts and voiceovers don’t get bonus points for stylish equipment, but it doesn’t hurt.