Hands on: Blue Raspberry microphone works with your Mac, iPhone, or iPad

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 10
The Raspberry microphone from Blue is more than your average recording device. It folds up into a portable bundle for using on the go, and can even work with your iOS device.

Blue Raspberry Microphone


We've only spent a brief amount of time with Raspberry, and it is already one of our favorite mics. There are a few things to celebrate about the Raspberry. Namely, its design, portability, versatility, and quality.

Design

Blue Raspberry on wood desk


Following deboxing, the first thing we noticed about the Raspberry was its excellent design and build quality. It is solid feeling and largely made of metal.

The bottom of the mic itself is wrapped in a dark red leather that comes about halfway up the front and back. This serves as not only scratch protection, but as a modicum of sound dampening from vibrations like computer cooling fans and the like.

A green light in the center signifies when it has power, though we found this to be a bit on the bright side.

Blue Raspberry Mic


The only bits of plastic happen to be the two knobs located on either side. The knobs felt a bit loose to us, like they could be more precise in their rotation.

Portability

It is a good thing that the mic is made primarily of metal because this mic is perfect to take on the go.

Blue Raspberry close up


It has a removable and collapsible stand that can fold up around the mic itself, making it super compact and sturdy for tossing into luggage. After folding it up, we could fit it into our pocket when we are heading to an event. We wouldn't say it is super-comfortable lodged in there, especially when trying to sit, but it is doable in a pinch.

If you have ever tried to travel with a mic, you know the pain it can be. The mic, mic stand, pop screen, cables, all are necessities and the Raspberry helps with nearly all of that.

Versatility

Raspberry connects to a computer over USB. There is a micro USB port on the back of the mic, and the included cable is quite long.

Blue Raspberry Microphone with Lighting Cable


Even better, especially on the go, is that it can connect to an iOS device. A second micro USB to Lightning cable is included to allow it to be plugged it into an iPhone or iPad. This frees up so many more options and lets professional audio be recorded on the go on to go with just a small mic and a phone.

Audio quality

Clearly one of the most important things for a mic is audio quality. It can be portable, pretty, and versatile but if it sounds terrible, it is no use to anyone.




Luckily, at least in our quick tests, it sounds fantastic. We compared it to a few other studio mics ranging from $150 to $300 and the Raspberry sounded as good as nearly all of them. Very impressive for such a small device.

Depending on the app used on your Mac, PC, or iOS device, Raspberry can record in up to 24-bit audio.

We will most definitely be diving into this more for our full review.

Where to buy

Blue Raspberry Microphone with Cable and Bag


Blue Raspberry retails for $199, though B&H and Amazon currently have the microphone for $149. For that price, it includes the mic, two cables, and a portable travel bag. B&H is currently shipping the Blue Raspberry for free via expedited delivery with no tax outside NY and NJ (CO and VT, see here), while Amazon is temporarily out of stock, but accepting backorders.

Stay tuned for our upcoming full review and comparison once we've had a bit more time to try out this impressive mic.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    This piece left two rhetorical questions drifting around in my head:

    Why are manufacturers still using Micro-USB connectors instead of moving to USB-C?

    If a $200 USB device is a "studio mic," what nomenclature do we use to describe a Schoeps CMC6 or Neumann U67?
    baconstang
  • Reply 2 of 16
    This piece left two rhetorical questions drifting around in my head:

    Why are manufacturers still using Micro-USB connectors instead of moving to USB-C?

    If a $200 USB device is a "studio mic," what nomenclature do we use to describe a Schoeps CMC6 or Neumann U67?
    Micro USB is very cheap to implement. 
    As for your second question , I have no clue.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    normmnormm Posts: 517member
    How does this compare to a $200 dynamic XLR microphone with an XLR to USB adapter cable?

  • Reply 4 of 16
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 218member
    I may have missed it but what's the power source? Internal batteries? USB Powered? I wonder because I have a USB powered mic and have been told repeatedly that to use it with my iPhone or iPad I would need to use a powered USB hub. The reason given was that iOS devices can't power things.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 421member
    This piece left two rhetorical questions drifting around in my head:

    Why are manufacturers still using Micro-USB connectors instead of moving to USB-C?

    If a $200 USB device is a "studio mic," what nomenclature do we use to describe a Schoeps CMC6 or Neumann U67?
    Condenser Microphones... that's what those two types you mention would be called.  I also believe that the article compared the Blue Raspberry to other studio mics, I don't remember it being called a studio mic. :)
  • Reply 6 of 16
    This piece left two rhetorical questions drifting around in my head:

    Why are manufacturers still using Micro-USB connectors instead of moving to USB-C?

    If a $200 USB device is a "studio mic," what nomenclature do we use to describe a Schoeps CMC6 or Neumann U67?
    Beacues USB-C is nice, but not adopted widely (some like FireWire/IEEE1394). On top of that there are restrictions in Europe and you cannot offer "standards" if they are not adopted widely. That is to prevent from creating accessories with non-standardized cables and have people discard old once just to promote new solution. That has been rendered as poluting planet with garbage. Now I see advantages of USB-C, but it needs better promotion in PC and mobile devices world. If you make Android devices that work with USB-C then it will help. Also USB-C is not compatible with many older devices running on older USB version. That would be no-no in Europe.
    baconstang
  • Reply 7 of 16
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 146member, editor
    DAalseth said:
    I may have missed it but what's the power source? Internal batteries? USB Powered? I wonder because I have a USB powered mic and have been told repeatedly that to use it with my iPhone or iPad I would need to use a powered USB hub. The reason given was that iOS devices can't power things.
    It is solely powered over the USB cable. No external power required, even when using it with your iPhone or iPad.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,111administrator
    This piece left two rhetorical questions drifting around in my head:

    Why are manufacturers still using Micro-USB connectors instead of moving to USB-C?

    If a $200 USB device is a "studio mic," what nomenclature do we use to describe a Schoeps CMC6 or Neumann U67?
    Beacues USB-C is nice, but not adopted widely (some like FireWire/IEEE1394). On top of that there are restrictions in Europe and you cannot offer "standards" if they are not adopted widely. That is to prevent from creating accessories with non-standardized cables and have people discard old once just to promote new solution. That has been rendered as poluting planet with garbage. Now I see advantages of USB-C, but it needs better promotion in PC and mobile devices world. If you make Android devices that work with USB-C then it will help. Also USB-C is not compatible with many older devices running on older USB version. That would be no-no in Europe.
    USB-C is accepted as a standard by the EU. Has been since February 2016.
    Solichasm
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 146member, editor
    This piece left two rhetorical questions drifting around in my head:

    Why are manufacturers still using Micro-USB connectors instead of moving to USB-C?

    If a $200 USB device is a "studio mic," what nomenclature do we use to describe a Schoeps CMC6 or Neumann U67?
    Yeah very good questions!

    I spoke to a LOT of manufacturers this year at CES and specifically asked this very same question. Like others speculated here in the comments, it comes down to cost. The licensing is simply far too expensive, especially when most people don't quite understand it yet. Clearly, this is where things are heading, but right now it is still too pricey. A few even told me it was cheaper to design and develop their own proprietary barrel chargers over putting in USB-C.

    My guess is your response would be something along the lines of "for a $200 mic they could afford to put USB-C". This very well may be true. Which could point to another likely scenario. Apple doesn't allow third-party USB-C Lightning cables. Which is exactly what they would need to create to make this work on mobile.

    As far as the second part, I didn't directly call this a studio mic, but compared it to other studio mics. I think studio is a bit of a loose term. Anyone can have a "studio" where they record.  Clearly, something like the Schoeps CMC6 is pricier and provides better audio quality, but for a "pro-sumer" market, this could count as a "studio" mic.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 146member, editor
    normm said:
    How does this compare to a $200 dynamic XLR microphone with an XLR to USB adapter cable?

    Shure did a great blog post about microphone myths. One of them addresses this very question.

    4. USB mics have inferior sound quality vs. their analog (XLR) counterparts.

    Not always true.  Many USB mics feature the exact same condenser mic element as the XLR version used in studio recording. USB models provide the same high quality sound signature; the primary difference in the models is the interface to the next device.

  • Reply 11 of 16
    As far as the second part, I didn't directly call this a studio mic, but compared it to other studio mics.
    That's getting a little pedantic, isn't it? You said you compared it to other studio mics. The structure of that sentence includes the Blue among studio mics. And if we're going to pick nits, I didn't mention the Blue specifically either. I referred to a general class of device -- USB microphones that cost $200! :smiley:

    Not that it matters; my point was simply about how perceptions of kit vary between hobbyists and audio pros. I'm sure the Blue is well suited to the tasks for which it's intended.
    baconstangmartinxyz
  • Reply 12 of 16
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 788member
    Good article, but I'm sticking with my Apogee Mic 96k--it sounds fantastic!
  • Reply 13 of 16
    esummersesummers Posts: 880member
    This piece left two rhetorical questions drifting around in my head:

    Why are manufacturers still using Micro-USB connectors instead of moving to USB-C?

    If a $200 USB device is a "studio mic," what nomenclature do we use to describe a Schoeps CMC6 or Neumann U67?
    Most embedded devices don't yet support USB-C so it is non-trivial to implement.
    edited April 11
  • Reply 14 of 16
    esummersesummers Posts: 880member

    DAalseth said:
    I may have missed it but what's the power source? Internal batteries? USB Powered? I wonder because I have a USB powered mic and have been told repeatedly that to use it with my iPhone or iPad I would need to use a powered USB hub. The reason given was that iOS devices can't power things.

    It can power devices if they have low enough power needs.  I believe iPads are currently configured to deliver 200 mA of power to peripherals, however that could vary by device and iOS version.  It is probably best to keep within a 100 mA budget for peripherals.  Normal USB-A can deliver at least 500 mA of power, so most devices are designed to use 500 mA requiring a powered hub on the iPad.
    edited April 11
  • Reply 15 of 16
    chasmchasm Posts: 702member
    This piece left two rhetorical questions drifting around in my head:

    Why are manufacturers still using Micro-USB connectors instead of moving to USB-C?

    If a $200 USB device is a "studio mic," what nomenclature do we use to describe a Schoeps CMC6 or Neumann U67?
    Just to answer this question: USB-C is obviously the new standard, but there are a few score millions of older computers (mostly PCs) that don't have it, so MicroUSB covers all bases since it is so ubiquitous.

    On the question about what is or isn't a "studio mic," I'd remind you that "studios" have used a lot of more primitive mics in the past than are available in these $150-300 USB mics today, and while you can certainly buy better mics than the Blue Yeti (for example) or Snowball (or the Rode, or other USB mics in the same price range), you will certainly pay a lot more for them. Plus, the Raspberry (and the Nessie before it) are both intended for voice-primary use: podcasting, gaming, Skype/FaceTime with better audio quality than the built-in mics provide. They do that job in spades, and indeed many great-sounding podcasts are done using USB mics.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    chasm said:
    Just to answer this question: USB-C is obviously the new standard, but there are a few score millions of older computers (mostly PCs) that don't have it, so MicroUSB covers all bases since it is so ubiquitous.
    USB-C is backwards compatible, so using it with computers already in the field is not a problem. To the user the only difference is that the cable with the USB-A connector on one end would have a USB-C connector on the other end instead of a Micro-USB connector.
Sign In or Register to comment.