Blue Icicle XLR to USB Mic Converter/Mic Preamp Review / Test

Today I am testing out another "cheap" microphone interface. This time it is a device by Blue Microphones that is designed for a single microphone; The Blue Icicle.

What's In the Box 

  1. Blue Icicle
  2. 6-Foot USB Cable

Performance / Features

The build quality is not that great. It is a plastic enclosure, and it feels very light. The volume knob is plastic as well, and it is wobbly. 

The design is incredibly simple, on one end is the XLR connector to plug your microphones XLR cable into. The other end has a USB port to connect the device to your computer. On the body is a single knob that controls your microphones input volume, and lastly the word ICICLE lights up when it is connected to the USB port.

The Icicle is listed as providing +48v of phantom power and when measured, I showed +44.4v of power making it through the XLR Cable. This power should be sufficient to power most, if not all, condenser microphones. 

Pros

  • Cheap Interface
  • Good sound
  • Low amount of noise
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Cheap build quality
  • No Latency Free Monitoring

Conclusion

This device is pretty cool. It powers condenser microphones and it has a very low amount of noise. The NW-1500 sounded great through it. I don't think you need this if you are just going to be using a dynamic microphone though, I think you would be fine with just a simple XLR to USB Cable. Other than that, this is a nice option for a single XLR Condenser microphone user who wants to record to their computer.

If you have any additional questions about this headset, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Blue Icicle: http://amzn.to/1SoI6o7
Behringer UM2: http://amzn.to/1WYlPMI  
XLR to USB Cable: http://amzn.to/1QCXZU8

Behringer Tube Ultragain Mic-200 Preamp Review / Test

This is my first attempt at reviewing a preamp on this channel, and that preamp is the Behringer Tube Ultragain Mic-200, and if you are interested in this preamp, it will set you back about $50 on amazon. As I mentioned, this is my first preamp review/test video, so if there are any features that I overlooked, or tests you think I should incorporate into future preamp reviews, PLEASE let me know in the comments so I can improve what I'm doing and give y'all better information. Thanks.

What's In the Box 

  1. Tube Preamp
  2. DC Power Supply
  3. Contact Card
  4. Quick Start Guide

Performance / Features

The build quality on this preamp is very nice. It has an all metal body, and the Gain/Output knobs are nicely secured and do not feel loose, and the buttons to activate the features feel sturdy as well. Lastly, the preamp mode selector is firmly attached and it has a nice click as you switch between each mode; this knob is firm enough that if you accidentally bump the knob, you won't accidentally switch preamp modes. 

This preamp has all your typical features, a gain knob (allowing you saturate the preamp tube) and an output volume knob, allowing you to crank the gain without increasing your output volume. There are also four buttons,

  1. 20db Pad (decreases your signal by 20dB for loud signal sources)
  2. +48v Phantom Power (powers condenser microphones)
  3. Low Cut (rolls off frequencies around 90Hz to help with low end rumble)
  4. Phase Reverse (if your using multiple mics that are out of phase, this will help)

Lastly you have a built preamp modeler which contains 16 presets. I will not list all of them, but they all have different characteristics for different sound sources. So if you're playing acoustic guitar, there's a preset for that. If you are using this preamp as a DI box, they have presets for your keyboard/bass. The coolest portion of the preamp modeler is the limiter section. It has 8 presets that include a limiter. What this does is makes sure that your signal doesn't have any clipping. 

 

Conclusion

I will admit that this is not the end all be all of microphone preamps, however, if you are just getting into recording and you are on a budget, this seems to be a pretty good option. It seems to have a setting for the majority of scenarios that there could be, so if you are looking for a super cheap tube microphone preamp, I would recommend this. 

As I mentioned, this is my first preamp review, so if you feel like I have ignored some important aspects of the preamp, please let me know in the comments so I can improve future preamp reviews. If you have any questions about the Mic200, leave them in the comments down below or on youtube and I will get back to you ASAP. Thanks for watching & reading. 

Behringer Tube Ultragain Mic-200: http://amzn.to/1QFhEnr