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Hummingbird Condenser Microphone – $299
PROS: Great design, easy to pivot head, excellent sound.
Condenser mics are great for picking up the “acoustic-ness” of pretty much everything. Think guitars, drums and stringed instruments. Blue has been making high-end microphones for years and now has a small-footprint condenser that’s on par with the rest of their offerings.
Condensers with a larger size diaphragm will generally capture more sound, but can get big, and when that happens, the mic can get ungainly, requiring a specialized shock mount or mic clip just to get it close to an instrument. It can make balancing on a mic stand to properly capture an audio source a “Cirque du Soleil” task of intricate positioning.
Blue’s solved this with a 180-degree pivoting head, allowing easy placement with a standard mic stand and clip. It’s a cardioid pattern condenser that can handle plenty of headroom, approximately 130 dB, and a frequency response of 20Hz through 20kHz.
The casing is beefy, and the arm the pivoting head feels robust. It doesn’t have the feel of a “gimmicky” feature, but has plenty of movement, and once the “head” is rotated into place, it stays put. A mic clip is included, as well as a padded storage case (nice touch).
Sound wise, for acoustics it’s fantastic, with plenty of depth, and no noise. It can maintain the crispness of high frequencies without getting shrill, and can still handle booming bass frequencies with clarity (not mud). The pivoting head can really get into positions that could be tough for some other microphones. Placement is key for a condenser, and adjusting the “head” to different angles can really change the presence of the “attack” the mic can pick up. For drum applications, this would be great for hi-hats. Acoustic pianos, stringed instruments, vocals, or even as a room mic, there’s plenty of dynamics and applications here. A studio armed with a pair of these can really capture acoustic instruments and environments with ease, and that alone should make it worth every penny for home recorders and commercial studios alike.
It’s a wonder more microphone manufacturers haven’t incorporated this rotating head feature into their mics…yet.
Microphone Type: Condenser
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
Max SPL: 130dB
Output Impedance: 50 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio: 85.5dB
Self Noise: 8.5dB
Weight: 0.47 lbs.
Included Accessories: Case, Mic Clip, Windscreen