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Since the company’s establishment in 1995, Blue Microphones has been at the forefront of the affordable mics game for years. This is primarily due to its comfortably popular units like the Blue Yeti and the Blue Snowball. Thanks to these user favorites, Blue Microphones has built a reputation for vocal and podcasting mics at great quality and affordable prices.
However, these mics, while well loved, aren’t the only thing Blue Microphones has up its sleeve. In fact, although present day discussions might center on the Yeti or the Snowball, Blue Microphones’ flagship product was neither of those. Instead, the company’s opening product line included a microphone that has become a staple in hundreds, if not thousands of studios across the world.
That mic is the Blue Bottle, the company’s flagship tube microphone with interchangeable capsules. With a hefty, sizeable design and interchangeable capsules, the Blue Bottle mic has been proven to be a welcome addition to many mic cabinets and studios. If you want to find out what this mic can offer, then read on for the rest of this Blue Bottle microphone review below.
|Polar Pattern||Various (Capsule-dependent)|
|Sensitivity||20.0 mV/Pa at 1kHz (1Pa = 94 dB SPL) w/ B6 Capsule|
|Rated Load Impedance||Not less than 1k ohms|
|Output impedance||200 ohms|
|Maximum SPL||134 dB SPL (2.5k ohms, 0.5% THD) w/ B6 Capsule|
The basis for the Blue Bottle microphone design is fairly simple, if somewhat idealistic: what if you could have a top quality microphone that was flexible enough to allow you to switch capsules to fit your sound source? This flexibility would enable you to achieve the sound that you want, without having to pay through the nose for a second microphone.
With this mic Blue Microphones answers that wish, and more. The Blue Bottle microphone is robust and well-engineered, so prospective users should look into investing in a professional-level stand to carry its weight. It’s also larger than life, and with the regular set-ups might be too high for most singers, requiring some creative booming. But once you’ve got your set up down, you’re in for some of the best audio you’ll ever hear in your life.
The Blue Microphones Bottle series is one of the company’s best products, and it’s no wonder why. Unlike other microphones, which are designed around a single capsule, this one allows you to go above and beyond and switch capsules according to the sound you’re going for. The Locker kit of this microphone contains the B0, B6 (default), B7, and B8 Blue Bottle capsules, which offer a range of different sound signatures for any kind of application.
A first glimpse of the Bottle Blue microphone would have anybody making a double-take. After all, it’s a far cry from the rather staid, compact microphone designs of the present era. The Blue Microphones Bottle is actually based on the very first commercial microphone produced by Neumann, the CMV3. The CMV3 was first released in 1928 and earned the nickname “Bottle” due to its shape. The Bottle mic calls back to this shape with a vintage-inspired design that sets it apart from the rest.
The Blue Bottle’s biggest selling point is, of course, its flexibility. While the original Blue Bottle was sold with Blue Microphones’ B6 capsule, the more popular Blue Bottle Mic Locker kit offers additional B0, B7, and B8 capsules in addition to the default B6. All capsules are large-diaphragm with cardioid polar patterns, but each one delivers a distinct sound characteristic.
The B6 emulates AKG’s classic C12 capsule, while the B7 calls back to the K47 capsule in the Neumann U47. The B8, while the most neutral-sounding, is detailed and bright. Finally, the B0 has a smooth, silky sound that flatters almost every voice. Depending on your vocalist and the sound character you’re aiming for, you can choose to simply switch capsules to achieve your ideal sound, while using the same microphone.
The Blue Bottle microphone’s body is home to some high quality engineering, as you’d expect of a company’s flagship product. The EF86 pentode valve is wired in a common-cathode configuration, and an active DC servo system maintains the anode voltage at 65V DC, which according to the company ensures consistent performance and longevity. The mic’s power supply is also designed to keep from damaging the valve, and is engineered to prevent zero current surge when switched on.
When compared to other large-diaphragm condensers, the Blue Bottle has a sound that’s detailed without too busy, and pristine without sounding too bright. In fact, the Bottle sounds almost totally neutral. You could say that the switchable capsules providing the color while the microphone itself is basically colorless. The Bottle on a whole has an open, clean sound that only changes according to the capsule, allowing for producers and users to achieve the exact sound that they’re aiming for— no frills.
While the Blue Bottle sounds great on a number of sound sources, including an acoustic guitar, a full drum kit, and a classic piano, the microphone really shines with recording vocals. With a range of capsules to choose from, you can record nearly every voice under the sun— male, female, alto, soprano, bass, tenor— while achieving the exact sound that you want.
While the Blue Bottle might require a fair amount of investment, especially if you’ve decided to spring for the Locker kit, on the whole it’s a fantastic addition to any studio. It offers a versatility that not many other vocal mics can, and the ability to change capsules while the mic is still powered on is a nifty feature that’s sure to cut down on set up time.
The Blue Bottle is Blue Microphones’ flagship model, and it’s not hard to see why it’s so valued by both the company and its customers. With its incredible versatility, fantastic sound options, and top-of-the-line engineering, it’s a jewel in any microphone collection. Sure, the prices for the Blue Bottle Locker kit might be a little steep, but they’re definitely an investment you won’t regret. Find the best deals for the Blue Bottle Microphone here.