Blue Microphones have become a solid choice for podcasters and recording enthusiasts alike. But if you're looking to sidestep that Yeti Pro next time you converse with your mates, the company has three new offerings that were announced at CES 2012. Looking to keep you mobile and at the top of your audio game, Blue's new trio packs quite a punch, so let's take a look.
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Blue Microphones Tiki, Spark Digital and Mikey Digital

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  • The Tiki is the "world's first" USB microphone that mimics the way us humans hear, focusing on specific sounds, cutting down on background noise and knowing when to mute itself completely. In order to achieve this, Tiki implements a combination of proprietary noise cancelling tech, voice isolation and intelligent mute. You'll have your choice of two modes: Intelligent Speech Mode for all of those conference calls and Natural Recording Mode for CD-quality capture of vocals, guitar or the aforementioned podcasts. Sized like a USB flash drive, the mic sports a cable free design that fits directly into your laptop's USB port. If you're looking to take the leap, the Tiki will set you back 59 bones.
  • In another "world's first," Blue announced the Spark Digital, a studio-grade condenser mic that offers both USB and iPad compatibility. A refresh of its elder statesman, the Spark, the company labels this as "the first professional recording option" for your Apple slate. When you're looking to keep that recording session in-studio, the Spark Digital offers USB connectivity as well. This version of the Spark houses the same studio-grade condenser and components as the analog offering, making it well-suited for vocal and instrument recording. The microphone also features a headphone out for monitoring and onboard controls for volume, gain and instant mute. Also of note is the Focus control that was also found on the O.G. Spark, which provides two unique sonic options in the same mic. A Spark Digital will set you back $199 -- but that figure includes a desk stand with built-in shockmount, cables for both USB and iPad and access to Gobbler alongside a six month SoundCloud Pro Account.
  • While we're on the topic of microphones that were once analog and are now digital, Blue also unveiled the Mikey Digital for iPod touch, iPhone and iPad. A digital refresh of the original Mikey, this plug-and-play mic features automatic and manual gain control and a multi-source aux input for tracking guitar and other instruments using your iOS mobile device. Equipped with the same custom-tuned condenser capsules as the outfit's Snowball and Yeti USB offerings, the Mikey Digital also carries an LED clipping indicator on board to let you know when your capture levels are approaching Slash volume. You'll find a 230-degree rotating head to make sure you're in proper capturing position recording "the highest fidelity possible" on iOS. If you're worried about draining that battery while capturing both video and audio, the peripheral offers a USB connection for charging mid-recording session. This Apple-friendly mic will set you back a whole Benjamin, should you deem it a worthy investment.
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Blue Microphones Announces Tiki USB Microphone with Noise Cancelation, Voice Isolation and Intelligent Mute

Ultra compact and built for portability, Tiki is the first USB microphone with advanced DSP that mimics the intelligence of human hearing

CES 2012, South Hall, Booth 21642 – January 8, 2012) - Blue Microphones, a leading innovator in microphone technology and design, announces Tiki (www.bluemic.com/tiki), the world's first USB microphone that mimics the intelligence of human hearing by focusing on desired sounds, minimizing background noise and knowing when to mute altogether. Combining proprietary noise-cancelling technology, Voice Isolation and Intelligent Mute, Tiki dramatically improves the intelligibility of communication in any environment. Tiki offers two modes that allow users to switch between Intelligent Speech Mode for communication and Natural Recording Mode for CD-quality recording of vocals, instruments or podcasts. Similar in size to a standard USB flash drive, Tiki's portable, cable-free design allows it to plug directly into your laptop's USB port.

"We are excited to introduce Tiki as the smartest, most compact USB mic on the market. Designed to mimic human hearing, Tiki brings the conversation into focus and attenuates distracting background noise, like the human ear does naturally in conversations," said Brian Biggott, CTO of Blue Microphones. "Being a microphone from Blue, Tiki is also designed to deliver professional-quality audio for impromptu vocal tracks or instrument recording. Whether you're on a conference call or recording guitar, you can now achieve crystal clear audio wherever you go."

For conference calls and chats, Tiki's Intelligent Speech Mode uses Voice Isolation to bring your voice to the forefront while noise-canceling technology simultaneously minimizes unwanted, competing background noise such as computer fans, keyboard typing and ambient sounds. Tiki uses front-and-back facing microphones to capture the highest quality audio based on your orientation to the mic. Tiki's Intelligent Speech Mode also includes Intelligent Mute which automatically soft-mutes the mic when you are not speaking. By muting your mic, Intelligent Mute eliminates any contribution of background and computer noises during conversation, allowing you to perform other tasks, such as typing, in perceived silence. When you resume speaking, Tiki instantly detects your voice and automatically un-mutes to bring you back into the conversation.

Not limited to speech and VOIP, Tiki's Natural Recording Mode captures a wide range of sources from vocals to acoustic guitar to location recordings. Using custom condenser capsules and professional-quality preamp circuitry, Tiki records high-fidelity audio with exceptional clarity. Natural Recording Mode delivers a full and rich sound directly from the microphone. Tiki's two modes give any musician, podcaster or Skype user the versatility to quickly choose the best option for the situation.

Tiki's cable-free design allows for direct connection to a USB port, while an included docking cable provides extended connection where necessary. For portable protection, Tiki's packaging doubles as a durable compact carrying case. With all processing performed on-board, Tiki requires no drivers and is plug-and-play with both PC and Mac.

For more information about Tiki, MSRP $59, visit www.bluemic.com/Tiki.
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Blue Microphones Announces Spark Digital, iPad and USB Microphone

Spark Digital is the first studio-grade condenser microphone for both iPad and USB, bringing true studio recording capabilities to the iPad mobile platform

(CES 2012, Booth 21462 – January 8, 2012) - Blue Microphones, a leading innovator in microphone technology and design, announces Spark Digital (www.bluemic.com/sparkdigital), the world's first studio-grade condenser microphone to offer both USB and iPad connectivity. As an extension of Blue's renowned analog Spark microphone, Spark Digital is the first professional recording option for the iPad mobile platform. Spark Digital also offers USB connectivity, delivering studio-quality audio to any computer, laptop or tablet with USB input.

"Spark Digital is the first studio microphone for the iPad. With both USB and iPad connections and a wide range of available recording apps like GarageBand, Spark Digital is the missing link for achieving truly professional results on the mobile platform," said Brian Biggott, CTO of Blue Microphones. "Bridging the gap between analog quality and digital portability, Spark Digital completes the true mobile studio."

Spark Digital features the same studio-grade condenser capsule and hand-tuned components as the original, analog Spark, for high-fidelity recording and consistent performance in any situation. Spark Digital also delivers the same detailed and uncolored audio found in original Spark, making it ideal for a wide range of situations: vocals, drums, guitars, piano, speech, location recording and more. In addition, Spark Digital features professional studio capabilities including a zero-latency headphone out for direct monitoring, volume and gain control and instant mute.

Following the professional footprint of its analog predecessor, Spark Digital also employs a feature found only on the original Spark: the Focus control, providing two different sonic options in one mic. 'Focus Off' captures crisp, powerful audio with enhanced low frequency sensitivity for recordings with greater impact and definition, and the 'Focus On' captures greater clarity and detail for a tighter, more focused sound. For the recording novice, the Focus control provides the freedom to experiment with different sonic signatures in one mic, while providing the experienced recordist with versatile options.

Spark Digital comes with a proprietary angle-adjustable desk stand with built-in shockmount that allows users to quickly position Spark Digital without any additional mic stands or hardware. For each platform connection (USB and iPad), Spark Digital includes a y-cable with an attached, extended female headphone jack for direct monitoring. Spark Digital is plug-and-play with driverless installation on iPad, iPad 2 and both PC and Mac.
For storing and sharing, Spark Digital also includes an exclusive Cloud Production Bundle with free access to production tools for easy organizing, storing and streaming of audio content across the web. Spark Digital includes a 25 GB storage and transfer account for six months from Gobbler, a leader in music backup and organization, along with a six month Pro Account from SoundCloud, the leading social sound platform that lets anyone create, record, promote and share their sounds on the Web, a $125 total value. From recording high-quality audio with Spark Digital to easily storing and sharing in seconds, this free access to SoundCloud and Gobbler gives musicians, podcasters and more the valuable tools the need to create and promote, wherever they go.

For more information about Spark Digital, MSRP $199, visit www.bluemic.com/SparkDigital.
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Blue Microphones Announces Mikey Digital, External Microphone for iPod touch, iPhone, iPad

Bringing unmatched audio quality to portable recording, Mikey Digital offers stereo recording, automatic gain and auxiliary input

(CES 2012, Las Vegas, Booth 21642 – January 8, 2012) – Blue Microphones (www.bluemic.com), a leading innovator in microphone technology and design, announces Mikey Digital, a plug-and-play external microphone for recording stereo audio on the latest iPod touch, iPhone and iPad models using iOS audio apps or the video function. Mikey Digital features automatic and manual gain control and a multi-source auxiliary input for direct recording of guitar and other sound sources.

"Mikey Digital is the highest quality and most versatile solution for capturing professional recordings on your iOS device with most audio apps or the built-in video camera," said John Maier, CEO of Blue Microphones. "Mikey Digital brings more than professional-quality recording to these mobile platforms, it also turns your iOS device into a studio interface for recording guitar, connecting a lavaliere mic or capturing line level audio straight to your iPod touch, iPhone or iPad."

Mikey Digital features two custom-tuned condenser capsules for capturing studio-quality audio-the same capsules used in Blue's award-winning Snowball and Yeti USB microphones. Mikey Digital users can switch between Automatic and Manual gain settings, allowing the automatic gain control to intelligently adjust to fluctuating volume levels or manually locking in a high or low sensitivity level. Mikey Digital is also equipped with an LED clipping indicator that signals whenever volume levels are producing distortion, providing immediate feedback to adjust for best recording results.

Furthering its capabilities, Mikey Digital also features a multi-source 3.5mm auxiliary input jack for stereo line-in, instrument-in and mic-in. This versatile input turns Mikey Digital into a multifaceted professional recording interface for direct recording of other sources including guitar, handheld mics, mixers and more. Using a built-in, high-quality mic preamp and a CD-quality A/D converter, Mikey Digital records the highest fidelity possible on the iOS platform and can handle the high SPL of loud environments. Mikey Digital also features a USB pass-thru connection for charging your device while in-use for continuous recording without draining battery life.

Featuring a 230-degree rotating head for optimal positioning, Mikey Digital can also capture enhanced audio while recording video by rotating the mic to align with the front- or rear- facing camera. Further, Mikey Digital incorporates an advanced microprocessor allowing for upgradeability and future control through iOS applications. Plug-and-play, Mikey Digital directly connects to latest iPod touch, iPhone 4/S, iPad 2 and iPad and is instantly recognized for use with most audio and video applications.

For more information about Mikey Digital, MSRP $99, visit www.bluemic.com/mikeydigital.

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Blue Microphones outs Tiki, Spark Digital and Mikey Digital; looks to feed your mobile recording habit