BLUE Bluebird | James J.
Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics (Blue) is an American company known for manufacturing stylized quality microphones. Separated into three main categories, Blue imagines and designs well-made USB, Application and Bottle microphones as solutions to a variety of sonic possibilities. USB choices like the THX-certified Yeti, offer high-quality broadcast punch packaged in a quirky abominable snowman-inspired design. The Application series is designed to address specific sonic needs and optimized as such. For instance, the primary purpose of the Dragonfly is to capture and fatten the nuances of high end sounds like a woman’s voice, hi-hats and electric guitar. The Bottle series offers a wider range of versatility. Models that fall into that category are designed to be able to effectively address a number of sonic needs. Included in Blue’s Bottle series is the Bluebird condenser microphone.
The BLUE Bluebird is a full-bodied cardioid condenser microphone that, while similar in appearance to the Baby Bottle, is instantly set apart by its sky blue color. It has a wide frequency range (20Hz – 20kHz) and a large diaphragm with an extremely low self-noise level (7dBA). Coupled with the relatively flat overall response, the BLUE Bluebird is a solid choice for just about any application you can throw at it – from voice overs and quiet recordings to overhead and instrument microphone techniques. This is a very versatile microphone.
The phantom-powered BLUE Bluebird was previously sold as part of a package deal with particular Digidesign and Focusrite products, but has since become available separately and has a pretty solid package of its own. It has an impressive dynamic range of 131dB and has been optimized for close placement. The BLUE Bluebird stands at 8.75 inches with a 1.75-inch diameter. The flattened front surface of the BLUE Bluebird’s capsule casing gives it a pretty distinct appearance and lends itself to its close-micing purpose.
The capsule itself features a 6-micron, gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragm. The microphone’s output impedance is particularly low 50Ohms, and uses a minimum preamp input impedance of 1kOhm, with 2.5kOhms being suggested as the optimum. The bottom end rolls off smoothly and gradually from about 500Hz when the microphone is used at a distance, but this is easily compensated for by the proximity effect when the BLUE Bluebird is used at close range to the source.
Your BLUE Bluebird package will include a 20-foot bespoke high definition microphone cable, a birdcage cradle shockmount, the Birdnest fine gauze-mesh pop filter with blue’s signature Blue logo, and that standard American 5/8-inch thread microphone stand all in a wooden Bluebox. Can anyone say brand savvy?
The BLUE Bluebird is identified by the manufacturer as a general purpose microphone with a “clear top end, detailed midrange and a bottom end that’s pleasing.” And in practice, the BLUE Bluebird seems to hold up to that standard.
The Bluebird has a certain knack for maintaining the brilliance of your highs without leaving them too sharp or bright. Vocals are made to sound natural and the low ends rounded out rather nicely and sounded in balance with the rest of the sound spectrum.
Brass and wind instruments maintain a crisp resolution and lots of detail and personality. Percussion and drums are clear and un-muddied by any bleed off from other instruments.
BLUE is simply on a roll. They seem to have mastered the ability to produce mid-priced quality microphones (the BLUE Bluebird retails for under $300) that superbly address the need at which it is targeted.