Blue is best known for its high-end USB microphones, such as the popular Yeti series. But the Blue Snowball remains one of its biggest sellers. Available in both basic and iCE models, this condenser microphone makes a compelling case for why it deserves to be the go-to recording tool for podcasters, musicians and the like.
But what exactly is the difference between the Blue Snowball and the Snowball iCE? Before you pick up one of these two, join us as we break down the differences between them so that you can identify which one best suits your needs and make an educated decision.
👉 Best Podcast Microphones Roundup
👉 Our comparison of the Blue Snowball vs Yeti
👉 Learn about the different types of microphones
Blue snowball vs iCE: Introducing the Options
Before we get deep into the feature comparison side of the Blue Snowball vs iCE debate, it’s worth taking the time to formally introduce you to these two microphones and provide a bit of an overview on each.
First, the Snowball itself. One of many studio-quality USB microphones that Blue carries, the Snowball is perhaps one of the more eye-catching of the company’s products. Although the classic design implies a connection to the broadcasting days of old, the Snowball is ideally suited for vocals, music, gaming and other applications.
Moreover, the USB capability and array of modern features it includes bring together the best of both worlds. Featuring Blue’s advanced condenser capsule technology, the Snowball is designed to maximize ease of use as much as audio quality. The goal is to capture natural sound and effortlessly transfer it to your computer for production, and on that front, the Snowball delivers.
Now, the Snowball iCE —as its name implies —is very much connected to the original design. We’ll get into exactly how it differs in a bit, but for now, let’s just say that Blue has demonstrated a commitment to making the objectives of the Snowball accessible to everyone. In particular, the Snowball iCE has a focus on conference calls and other group online communication, even boasting a Skype certification.
Its custom cardioid condenser capsule creates that pristine sound you’d expect from a company like Blue. So, no matter where you are or what project you’re working on, you’ll get the same professional output. After all, you can’t hope to do your best if you can’t sound your best. The Snowball iCE’s range stands as one of its best features, giving you the one-stop audio recording solution you need and none of the hassle or complicated hardware that you don’t.
Blue Snowball vs iCE: What’s the Same
As you can gather from the descriptions above, the Snowball and the Snowball iCE share a similar design and functionality. So let’s delve into the qualities that these two microphones have in common.
1. Bit rate
One way in which these two microphones are virtually identical is its bit rate, the amount of data that can be transmitted each second. We mentioned earlier that the Snowball and Snowball iCE both present crisp, clear audio like few other competitors, and that is consistently true since they record at the same bit rate. At 16 bits and 44.1 Hz, these microphones provide essentially the same sound, making either model a smart choice for anyone trying to achieve a certain standard of sound quality.
One of the most critical elements of any microphone is the type of transducer it carries within it. The Snowball and Snowball iCE are both condenser microphones. So they are lighter and more versatile at picking up frequencies than dynamic microphones. These microphones also carry a pressure gradient element that allows both sides of the diaphragm to be exposed to incoming sound. Because both microphones share this fundamental component, the sound they pick up is remarkably similar, albeit not identical due to the differences we’ll discuss later on. Moreover, the Snowball and Snowball iCE, as we’ve discussed, share USB digital output.
3. System requirements
Thanks to that USB compatibility, these two microphones are about as plug and play as they can get. The Snowball and Snowball iCE work with either Mac or PC and share the same system requirements too. As long as one microphone appears to be compatible with your computer setup, you should be good to go no matter which of the two you wind up deciding to purchase in the end. After all, Blue aims to make its technology available to as many people as possible. Creating uniform system requirements is a small but useful step in that direction.
Just as the Snowball and Snowball iCE require the same technical specifications for the computers they work with, the two microphones are also exactly the same size and weight. At just 460 grams (or a bit over one pound) and a circumference of 325 millimeters (12.8 inches), this pair is lightweight and compact enough to be easily carried around. As if it isn’t becoming clear by now, the Snowball and Snowball iCE differ not in superficial ways like size but in more instrumental details that provide greater flexibility and room for your production to grow over time.
Blue offers a ton of accessories that you might want to add to your recording setup over time, but the Snowball and Snowball iCE already come complete with everything you need to get started. Naturally, no USB microphone is complete without the USB cable necessary to connect to your computer right out of the box. And both the Snowball and the Snowball iCE also include an adjustable microphone stand. This metal addition makes it a cinch to prop up your Blue microphone right on your desktop and start recording instantly.
Blue Snowball vs iCE: How They Differ
Now we finally get to what you’re probably most concerned with. You now know how the Snowball and Snowball iCE are similar. So let’s get into where they diverge.
Both microphones are shockingly affordable, but the Snowball iCE has the edge. Priced at just $49.99, this is actually the lowest-priced microphone that Blue offers across the board. So the fact that even this product offers studio-quality sound and helpful features is a demonstration of how much pride Blue takes in its microphones. The standard Snowball isn’t much more expensive either — with a price tag of $69.99 —and includes some additional features that may or may not add value to your project. Once we discuss what those are, you can decide whether it’s worth the extra investment for the Snowball.
2. Polar pattern
Here’s our first real win for the Snowball. While the Snowball iCE carries a cardioid design, the Snowball offers the additional pickup patterns of omnidirectional and cardioid with a -10dB pad (for extremely loud sound). For voice work like podcasts, the cardioid is easily the option you’ll use most often, but if you’re planning on using your microphone to capture music or a less focused sound than a single voice, the omnidirectional option —which captures sound from literally all around the microphone — may actually prove to be useful. The polar patternis just one example of why you need to do your research.
Technically, both microphones could be used for capturing vocals, music, podcasts, gaming and more. However, in keeping with the different polar patterns offered by the Snowball and Snowball iCE, the best applications for each model vary as well. The former is capable of more diverse uses, thanks to the aforementioned addition of the omnidirectional polar pattern, while the latter specializes specifically in picking up voices. Your best bet when selecting a new microphone is to start by identifying what you need it for. Then you’ll be able to narrow down your search and confidently proceed with your purchase.
4. Frequency response
How a microphone responds to a range of frequencies often plays an integral role in what makes each microphone sound distinctive. At first glance, the Snowball and Snowball iCE are the same in this regard too. But the Snowball actually has a bit more versatility to bring to the table. In addition to sharing a frequency response of 40 –18 kHz, the Snowball has three positions to help you customize the recording experience each time. Since frequency response relates to the range of sound a microphone picks up, this allows you to have even more control over your output.
Style isn’t everything when it comes to capturing quality audio, but especially if you plan to use your Blue microphone on camera, it helps to have some options with regard to the colors available. To that end, Blue provides the Snowball and Snowball iCE in both textured white and glossy black. Yet, in keeping with the premium experience of the former, the Snowball also has a chrome option available so that you can really inject some style into your microphone.
Blue Snowball vs iCE: Which Is Better?
The question of which member of the Snowball series is ideally suited for you is, of course, entirely subjective. However, if you want to know which of the two boasts more features and creates a more elaborate level of control over your recording, then the answer is clear.
From top to bottom, the Snowball iCE was designed to be a cheaper alternative to the Snowball, and in making this price cut, Blue streamlined some features which are not necessarily applicable to all users. For consumers who are willing to spend a bit more to get a simpler product, the Snowball iCE is a welcome option. But the Snowball is, in many ways, a more sophisticated microphone, as some of the differences highlighted above reveal.
Because the Snowball includes useful elements like additional polar patterns and a heightened frequency response, podcasters and musicians should absolutely opt for this one to optimize the quality and professionalism of the end result. These features are especially useful if multiple people are being captured by the microphone, as when recording music or conducting interviews.
On the other hand, consumers looking for a microphone for gaming or business meetings — or other scenarios which don’t necessarily require studio-quality audio —might be perfectly suited to the Snowball iCE. This route saves a bit of money upfront and is even more user-friendly. Without additional features and options complicating matters, you can just plug the microphone in and get started.
Again, any purchase decision needs to be properly researched before you settle on which microphone you should invest in. Still, the Snowball remains the more premium option, and considering the relatively small difference in price between this model and the Snowball iCE, most consumers would be better off just picking up the Snowball. After all, then you’ll be covered if you ever do decide you can leverage the additional features it carries.
Blue Snowball vs iCE: The Bottom Line
Hopefully, this comparison between the Snowball and the Snowball iCE has shed some light on the differences and similarities between the two. In any case, Blue microphones tend to live up to the company’s reputation. Although USB microphones are not typically considered the finest the market has to offer, Blue takes advantages of the strengths this approach does bring to your project. The Snowball series —both the Snowball and Snowball iCE — is truly a testament to the company’s dedication to its level of service as well as its customers.
For more 👉 A Complete Best Podcasting Microphones Roundup.
For these reasons, we think yeti scores better than Snowball in design. In performance too, the Yeti is better because the sound quality is phenomenal. Crystal clear sounds and a clean recording make it a great product to talk into. Also, the fact that it supports four different polar patterns adds to its versatility.What is the difference between Blue Snowball and iCE? ›
As far as the build quality, the Snowball and the Snowball iCE both are relatively similar, they're both a full plastic body with a metal grille in the front. The only difference and the main difference between these two microphones is the number of microphone capsules inside.Is Blue Snowball the best mic? ›
Even after a decade after its introduction, the Blue Snowball remains one of the best USB microphones that you can get for your setup regardless of what you wish to use it for in 2022.Is Blue Snowball iCE good for singing? ›
The Blue Snowball iCE is an excellent way to get into vocal recording or streaming, if you can get used to its quirks.Is Snowball iCE good for podcasting? ›
Snowball iCE: A Great Way to Start
If you want something dead-simple with great sound, Snowball iCE is an ideal pick. With a fixed cardioid pickup pattern, Snowball iCE is great for capturing a single voice cleanly with minimal background noise.
Snowball and Snowball iCE are great alternatives with professional sound quality and affordable price tags. With a compact design and built-in tripod stands, Snowball series USB microphones are great for smaller streaming rigs.Is the Snowball iCE clear? ›
PRISTINE SOUND FOR
Powered by a custom cardioid condenser capsule, Snowball iCE delivers crystal-clear audio quality that's light-years ahead of your built-in computer microphone.
Is The Snowball a dynamic microphone like the Blue Ball, or a condenser like the Blue 8Ball or Kiwi? The Snowball is a condenser, which, according to the audio wonks we know, has a smooth open sound with a nice, natural high-end.Is Yeti better than Snowball? ›
It has a clearer and richer sound, a better stand, a mute button, headphone jack, and more polar pattern options. If you have the money, the Blue Yeti is the superior choice. On a budget, I recommend the Blue Snowball iCE over the Blue Snowball. On the cardioid polar pattern, they sound exactly the same.Is there a mic better than Blue Yeti? ›
The Shure SM7B is a much more focused microphone. Its dynamic cardioid pattern is built to pick up the voice and only the voice of the user. Its frequency response is narrower than the Blue Yeti, at 50 Hz to 20 kHz.
If you're looking for a portable mic—or one that doesn't hog too much desk space—the Shure MV5 is a better option than both the Blue Yeti and the Amazon Basics mic.Does ice make you sing better? ›
This is the same with singing. Ice cubes can negatively affect your voice by impairing your cords' flexibility so they can't function properly. In order to hit high notes, the cords need to stretch. But if they're cold, they'll freeze up and this action is much harder.Is ice good for singing? ›
Ice is especially bad for your voice when eaten by itself and not within a drink. However, Ice cubes are good for singers in some scenarios. If you have swollen vocal cords or have sung excessively and your tone sounds strained, ice cubes can help to ease any discomfort.Can you mute Snowball iCE? ›
Since there is no physical mute button on the Snowball iCE microphone, you'll need to use the mute function in whichever program you are using the Snowball iCE with.What type of mic is best for podcast? ›
- Shure MV7. The best USB option for those taking podcasting seriously. ...
- Blue Microphones Yeti USB. The best and easiest podcast mic option for any user. ...
- Rode Procaster. Specialist vocal mic that's built for work. ...
- Audio-Technica AT2035PK. ...
- Rode NT-USB. ...
- Sontronics Podcast Pro. ...
- Shure SM7B. ...
- IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD 2.
The best podcasting microphones of 2021 at a glance:
Sontronics Podcast Pro. Shure MV7. Beyerdynamic M 70 PRO X. Røde NT1-A.
For studio-recorded podcasts, a condenser mic will capture the richness of your vocals, but know that they may pick up more background noise. If you expect a lot of ambient noise or plan on recording outdoors, then a dynamic microphone is best.Is Blue Snowball iCE good for Discord? ›
Powered by a custom cardioid condenser capsule, Snowball iCE delivers crystal-clear audio quality that's light-years ahead of your built-in computer microphone. It's even Skype and Discord certified, which guarantees great-sounding results no matter how or where you use it—at home or the office.How does Snowball iCE reduce background noise? ›
There are two possible solutions: alter your configuration, upgrade your hardware, or download new software. Depending on the sound source tool you're using to capture sounds, you may reduce noise in your recordings by changing the amount of your microphone boost or ambient noise reduction on your laptop.Where should I place my Blue Snowball mic? ›
Where do you put it? The Snowball features a unique swivel mount located on the bottom center of the mic body. Be sure to mount the Snowball on the Blue Snowball desktop tripod or on a standard-thread counter-weighted tripod mic stand.
Ice appears white when it contains trapped air bubbles and minerals. Some of the more common impurities found in water are minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as sediment. As these things freeze, gases are released, creating air bubbles and causing ice to shrink on occasion.Is clear ice the strongest? ›
Clear ice tends to be newer and the strongest. White to opaque ice will have air pockets in it and is weaker than clear ice. Ice that is colored light gray to dark black is unsafe and you should avoid this type of ice as it may not hold a load.Why is clear ice better? ›
The main benefit of clear ice is that it is free from any pollutants or impurities because the filtration and freezing process removes any minerals or air bubbles that may be present. Ultimately, clear ice tastes better than cloudy ice.Which MIC is better condenser or dynamic? ›
Dynamic mics can handle sound pressures better than condenser mics: If a mike preamp can handle all the juice coming out of the mic, a condenser mic can handle high sound pressure just as well as any microphone. Condenser mics feed more easily than dynamic mics: It boils down to selecting the right microphone.Is a dynamic mic better for vocals? ›
Dynamic mics are excellent for recording vocals – everything from podcasting to voiceovers to singing – and work especially well when you're recording multiple people in the same room. Like our similar article on the best condenser microphones, there are a variety of different models at different price points.Is Blue Snowball a condenser mic? ›
Blue Snowball USB Microphone for PC, Mac, Gaming, Recording, Streaming, Podcasting, Condenser Mic with Cardioid and Omnidirectional Pickup Patterns, Stylish Retro Design – White.Is Snowball iCE better than snowball? ›
Since Snowball gives you the option to choose from any of these three modes, it is more versatile and gives a better recording experience when compared to Snowball Ice. In fact, the choice is easy if you're a musician.Is Arctic better than Yeti? ›
We also love RTIC's price, which is a hundred dollars less than Yeti's, a not inconsiderable amount. Still, as we said up top, Yeti ultimately wins out, thanks to its superior temperature retention, plus the brand's trademark user-friendliness and the fact that its carry handles are super comfortable.Which brand is better than Yeti? ›
Of all the competitors on the market, Pelican is the most Yeti-esque alternative. Its industry-leading coolers boast two inches of polyurethane insulation and a 360-degree freezer-grade gasket for extreme ice retention.What is the best computer mic? ›
- Blue Yeti X. By Blue Yeti. Check price Pros Cons. Positives. Great sound. ...
- Shure MV7. By Shure. Check price Pros Cons. Positives. ...
- HyperX Quadcast. By HyperX. Check price Pros Cons. Positives. ...
- JLab Talk PRO. By JLab. Check price Pros Cons. Positives. ...
- Razer Seiren Mini. By Razer. Check price Pros Cons. Positives.
Yeti—sporting its standard-setting additions like a headphone output, four pickup patterns, and a sturdy metal stand—is still a great, user-friendly option for new podcasters, streamers, and recording musicians who want a plug-and-play, reliable USB microphone with a proven sound.Which blue microphone is best for vocals? ›
- Blue Yeti X Best Overall.
- Blue Encore 300 Vocal Condenser Microphone Best Vocal Microphone.
- Blue Snowball iCE Best Budget Choice.
- Blue Baby Bottle Best Studio Microphone.
- Blue Blackout Spark Baby Bottle Alternative.
- Blue Hummingbird Best Instrument Microphone.
The Blue Yeti and HyperX QuadCast are both very natural sounding microphones. In a sound-treated studio environment, the Blue Yeti can excel because it picks up more nuances in a recording. This also make the Blue Yeti the better choice for music.Why do singers drink water before singing? ›
Water should be a singer's drink of choice because it lubricates your vocal folds, allowing them to vibrate fully. Staying hydrated doesn't just help your vocal cords – it brings moisture to your mouth and throat, too. This improves your articulation and clarity when you sing.Do singers avoid cold water? ›
Drink lots of water, preferably room temperature--as cold water tends to "freeze" the vocal cords, lessening your ability to sing--with lemon in it, to cut through phlegm in your throat. Also you may want to try drinking hot tea with lemon or honey; this usually has the same effect.What do singers drink to clear their throats? ›
What are the best drinks for your singing voice? The best drinks for your singing voice are water (especially room-temperature water, perhaps with a squeeze or two of lemon) and tea, but be careful about consuming too much caffeine, which can dehydrate you. You can find wonderful herbal teas designed for singers.Does hot water improve voice? ›
It's even better for your throat than room temperature water. 3. Drink warm water with honey. If you anticipate speaking or singing nonstop for longer than 30 minutes, drink warm water mixed with 100 percent pure honey (avoid fake honey, or honey with additives) to help sustain your voice.What should I avoid for singing? ›
Make sure to never stuff yourself, especially before a performance. Some foods and beverages to avoid prior to singing are mucous producing foods such as dairy, stimulants such as caffeine and spicy foods, soft drinks, refined sugars, chocolate, iced drinks and alcohol (including wine and beer).Can heat make you lose your voice? ›
Common Causes of Voice Hoarseness
Low humidity and increased heat decreases the fluidity of mucus and dehydrates the vocal chords. This can easily create hoarseness in your voice.
Maybe your desk or studio is set up in a way where you'll be a foot or two away from the mic, or you have the mic below you on the desk and speak above it (but not into it). In these cases, using a pop filter might not be necessary. However, in 99% of the cases, I would say getting a pop filter is a good idea.
Blue Snowball iCE USB Condenser Microphone with Boom Arm, Headphones & Pop Filter.Does Blue Snowball iCE have a mute button? ›
Unlike more expensive USB microphones, the Snowball doesn't include built-in mic monitoring, and neither does it have a mute button or controls to adjust the mic's gain and pickup pattern.What should I get instead of the Blue Yeti? ›
- Fifine K678 USB Microphone.
- Razer Seiren Mini USB Microphone.
- Samson Q2U USB/XLR Microphone.
- Blue Snowball USB microphone.
Blue Yeti microphone is one of the most popular starter mics on the market for podcasters, and not without a reason: Great price. Without a doubt, the Yeti microphone offers great sound quality and a variety of features for the price.Why do people buy Blue Yeti? ›
Part of what makes the Yeti one of the best mics in its class is its four recording modes, which include cardioid (for recording right in front of you), bidirectional (for recording in the front and back at once), stereo (for capturing a wide left-to-right soundstage, especially ideal for music) and omnidirectional ( ...Is Blue Yeti a condenser mic? ›
Yeti is a side-address condenser microphone, so you can capture the best sound by going face-to-face with it. The microphone can also be folded down for easy portability, or removed completely from its base for mounting directly on a mic stand or Radius II shockmount.Is Blue Yeti owned by Logitech? ›
The Logitech-owned Blue Microphones has launched two new premium mics in India aimed at content creators and streamers. The Yeti X and Yeti Nano have Blue's proprietary "voice" software, that enables users to use a variety of built-in effects and presets.What microphone does Joe Rogan use? ›
Joe Rogan uses the Shure SM7B which is considered the gold standard among podcasters and video creators. Shure is an Australian brand that manufactures some of the highest quality microphones one can possibly buy.Who owns Blue Yeti? ›