Video may be the headline attraction, but it’s only half the act when it comes to your live stream. After all, live streaming is about video and audio combined. That means the microphone you use can be just as important as the camera–if you can’t be heard, there isn’t much point in being seen.
The Logitech and Blue Microphones merger gives the former control of leading product lines such as Yeti and Snowball to pair with its range of live stream-optimized webcams.
It’s a reality that webcam manufacturer Logitech is well aware of, judging by its recent move to bring in a major microphone player. The Swiss company recently completed the purchase of Blue Microphones (for $117 million no less), one of the better audio outfits out there, and one VC Daily has previously praised for their high quality and stylish products.
The Logitech and Blue Microphones merger gives the former control of leading product lines such as Yeti and Snowball to pair with its range of live stream-optimized webcams. The Blue range extends from cost-conscious consumer mics right up to studio-grade recording devices, but we’re more interested in the middle ground that’s of interest to the live streaming microphone market, one which Logitech can now approach from both sensory angles.
Blue Microphones Are a Streaming Favorite
Blue’s star attraction, and Logitech’s new jewel, remains its popular Yeti ($129.99). It was given the nod as pcgamer.com’s top live streaming mic, and it owes that title to its everyman appeal. It’s not so expensive as to be prohibitive for amateur streamers, and yet it has the audio quality and adaptability to stay on your desktop even if you should strike it rich as a streaming celeb. It can be used in all the major polar configurations (the direction(s) from which it picks up audio) to suit your presentation and interview style, it covers the industry standard frequency range (20 to 20,000 hertz) and it has a solid build to give it some lifespan.
As mentioned earlier, we’ve been happy to recommend the Yeti as a quality streaming device, and Logitech seems to agree with us, as the first Blue microphone to be released since the merger is a miniature Yeti designed specifically for streamers–and it’s about $30 cheaper than the bigger original.
The Snowball and the Best of the Rest
The other leading live streaming Blue mic is the Snowball. Logitech has yet to sponsor a smaller version of this mic, but then you couldn’t really shrink this plug-’n’-play device without compromising its charm. As you can see in the video below, the Snowball’s throwback design is, along with the Yeti, part of its attraction. The Snowball isn’t as dynamic as the Yeti, but it’s a good entry-level mic for new streamers, with quality beyond its low $70 price.
Beyond Blue, however, there are plenty of quality options for live streamers to choose from, no matter how serious they take their online persona. And if you need help setting up and getting the most out of your live stream, VC Daily has covered several important live stream-related topics previously, including getting paid to stream, live streaming to multiple platforms, live streaming an event for free, and hosting your live stream on your own website.
More Mics to Consider
We’re going to keep things in the Blue price range for reasons of a fair comparison, but if you want to keep pace with the Liza Koshy’s of the world, you’ll have to try something closer to the $300 mark like the Rode VideoMic Pro+.
Samsung G-Track Pro: Costing around $150, this USB mic is for the streamer with a little experience who’s looking to enhance their sound. It comes with its own little on-stand mixer and three pattern settings, although it lacks the stereo mode you’d want if you were capturing live music.
Razer Seiren Elite: While it barely scrapes under the $200 mark, the Seiren has a lot of features. It has four capture patterns, a filter to cut out low-level interference such as footsteps and table bumps, and Razer’s signature LCD light displays that provide all your feedback visually. It’s an attempt at pro-style recording for a (fairly) reasonable price.
Audio Technica AT2020: Better known as a gaming mic, the AT2020 lacks the flexibility of those entries above but still provides a worthwhile sound for around $150. It matches their audio frequency (the same as the Yeti) and has a sturdy all-metal build, the necessary headphone jacks, and a limited mixer.
Turtle Beach Stream Mic: You’ll find it for less than $40 (currently on sale) and its sound quality won’t change your life, but it’s a no-risk entry into live streaming. It still has a companion app so you can tweak the sound to your liking and a powerful range that’ll present your voice in its natural state. You’ve got to start somewhere.
The point is that there’s a range of quality live stream mics out there should your faith in the diversity of the market be shaken by the news that Logitech now owns Blue–although we don’t see much cause for alarm ourselves. In fact, it’s really a compliment to the booming live streaming industry.
The Logitech and Blue Microphones Merger Should Help Streamers
Logitech is spreading its streaming arms far and wide. Its wireless mouse and keyboard products have long been popular among streamers, and its webcams strike a balance between quality and cost that has earned them many fans–as well as TechRadar.com’s Best Webcam award for the stream-optimized C922 Pro Stream.
The Blue merger (takeover, purchase, whatever you want to call it) should only enhance the compatibility of two leading streaming brands you may already be pairing and make their mic range more affordable and user-friendly, as per Logitech’s usual mantra–again, see the mini Yeti above.
Given that Logitech didn’t previously seem to have a great interest in the microphone market, this isn’t going to be a buy-and-kill acquisition, just an attempt at live stream empire building, a reflection of the medium’s growing importance.