Product Review: Tiki USB Microphone
I'm a long-time fan of Blue Microphone and routinely use my Snowflake for conference calls and my big Yeti Pro for more serious audio recordings like voice over work. The company just makes superb microphones for computers and when they shared with me details of the new mini-USB mic that was designed to just plug into the side of a laptop and give you better audio for any application, I was definitely interested.
It's finally shipping and the Tiki looks unlike any USB microphone you've seen and, name withstanding, appears more like a snail than anything else:
What's most important, however, is that it sounds really good, and doubly so for the size.
The proof of a product is in the use, not the design, however, and so I've created an audio sample that lets you listen to the difference between me talking on the built-in microphone on my MacBook Pro (which is pretty good) and the Tiki, which I think has a clear audio advantage, with deeper bass and a more listenable sound.
Before I share that audio sample, however, I should tell you that the Tiki has two audio modes due to its on-board noise reduction. If you're chatting with someone, while they're talking the mic will automatically mute (and turn orange to let you know) so they don't have to hear the random background sounds on your side, just to instantly turn on when you start talking again. They describe it as "voice isolation and noise-cancelling technology".
So you can start by listening to the different audio samples that Blue Mic has on their site -- listen to their Tiki audio samples -- or here's my own recording:
At a price of $59.99 at Amazon, it's quite a bargain for road warriors who want to sound good and have better quality recordings for voice chats, VOIP phone calls, Skype and even video captures on your computer. It's compatible with both Mac and PC, and on the Mac side, at least, there's no driver install needed.
I'll give this one a big thumbs up. Tiny enough to always have in my bag, it's perfect for my own uses because I do use my computer's mic just about every single day.
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