Blue Microphones is known for its high-end studio mics and, in recent years, iOS recording accessories. Not too long ago, I had a chance to check out Blue’s Spark Digital which is a USB/Lightning/30-pin microphone compatible with a wide range of devices. Today we’re looking at something a bit more portable.
Blue’s Mikey Digital is a stereo condenser microphone. It’s now available with a Lightning connection and will provide on-the-go high quality audio for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. So what makes Mikey Digital so special? Well, let’s find out…
As mentioned above, this is the Lightning version of Mikey Digital. There is also a 30-pin model available for those with other generation iOS devices. It’s designed to capture better audio than an iOS device’s built-in microphone, and works great with most audio and video recording apps. Inside of the box you’ll find a small quick start guide, carrying pouch, a 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter, and Mikey Digital.
Check out our video review below for a closer look at Mikey Digital and audio samples:
Mikey Digital is primarily made out of plastic, with a metal grille on the front and back. Overall, it feels like a solid product. There’s also a small hinge at the connector end of Mikey that will allow you to easily adjust the mic’s position depending on how you’re using it.
On the top, you’ll find a 1/8″ instrument/microphone input that, while in use, will bypass the Mikey’s microphone and allow you to record from an external source. Along with that, Mikey has a mini-USB port on its side that will allow you to power an iOS device and itself for longer recording sessions.
Mikey works exactly as you’d expect. Plug it into the Lightning port on an iOS device, launch a video or audio recording app, and you’re ready to go. With Mikey, you have the ability to set its gain using the small silver switch on its rear. This provides three different gain stages depending on the audio you’re recording.
You can choose between Quiet, Auto, and Loud gain modes with three green LED lights on the front to indicate your selection. If the audio is clipping, it will be indicated by three red LED lights. For an example of each mode and comparison to the iPhone 5s’ built-in microphone, check out the video review above.
Don’t get me wrong, this is well-built product and works as advertised, but I didn’t feel like it provided enough “quality” for me. Personally, I wouldn’t use this for any type of final production or anything serious. It just doesn’t sound great.
Sure, it performs better than the iPhone 5s built-in microphone and that’s what they were going for, but at $99.99 ($49.99 for the 30-pin model) the price is a bit high for audio quality that’s only marginally better. Check out the video review above for audio samples or click here for pricing and availability.