The new Blue Ember is an XLR condenser microphone designed for musicians, content creators, podcasters and recording engineers.

For nearly 20 years, Blue has offered a wide variety of microphones for a host of different applications. Their most popular mic is the Yeti, an affordable USB-powered mic, used by podcasters, creators and more. Their latest release, Blue Ember, is a condenser microphone which, like the Yeti, offers classic Blue sound at an affordable price point. Unlike with USB microphones, Ember’s XLR connectivity allows you to connect it to a variety of different pieces of gear, so you can continue to upgrade your sound as your needs or budget change.  

Ember features a hand-tuned custom capsule, resulting in a clear, open and detailed response. Whether you’re recording vocals, guitar, drums or another instrument, you’ll be pleased with your results. Ember’s cardioid polar pattern provides fantastic on-axis pickup, while rejecting off-axis noise sources. This makes Ember especially suited to working in tight spaces where you have to worry about sound reflections off of walls and other surfaces.

In addition to its musical application, Ember would be a great choice for anyone involved in voice-over work, podcasting or streaming who is ready to take it to another level. If you’ll be using Ember in one of those applications, Blue recommends placing Ember approximately 5 to 8 inches from your mouth to get a rich, detailed response.

One thing to keep in mind is that Ember is a condenser microphone. As such, Ember requires phantom power to function. To supply phantom power you have a few different options.

If you’re connecting your Ember directly to your computer you can purchase Blue’s Icicle, an XLR to USB Converter/Mic preamp. Icicle serves as a converter (to turn your analog voltages into digital bytes) and microphone preamp, to increase the gain of your signal. Icicle also provides the required 48V of phantom needed to power your microphone.

As an alternative to purchasing Icicle, you can use any number of audio interfaces that connect directly to your computer via USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt. Most audio interfaces have XLR connections and microphone preamps that are capable of providing 48 volts of phantom power and plenty of gain.

Need help? Check out our Audio Interfaces Buying Guide.

Finally, if you’re using Ember in a live setting, you can purchase an audio mixer that has built-in mic preamps that supply phantom power.

Regardless of your application, Ember is an extremely versatile microphone that will satisfy your recording or streaming needs for years to come.

Check out our full selection of condenser microphones at Musician’s Friend.