Logitech Blue Sona microphone review: Style and substance

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Pros

  • Clever mounting system makes positioning easy
  • Clean, modern aesthetic stands out in the XLR crowd
  • Build and connection quality are top-notch without being heavy

Cons

  • Sound profile can be a little cold
  • Will require proprietary replacement pop filters
  • Pricier than some similar-sounding models

A few years ago, most people probably had no clue what XLR mics were or how they were widely used by the most popular singers. Now, with everyone and their brother starting a podcast, XLR mics are exploding in popularity. What was once the domain of sound engineers is now launching the careers of Twitch hopefuls and content creators everywhere. That’s why it’s getting increasingly hard for streaming microphones to stand out in a market where most new entries look exactly alike. 

Enter Logitech’s new Blue Sona microphone

This model — designed for streamers, podcasters, and content creators — immediately catches your eye with its unusual, rectangular construction. Inside, it also differentiates itself by including internal shock mounting and a novel capsule orientation designed to reduce unwanted background noise that could annoy your viewers or listeners. 

In my extensive testing of the Blue Sona, I discovered a microphone that does its job a little differently but just as well as some of the most dominant entrants in the XLR mic arena. Scroll down for my full impressions of the neutral sound, clever build, and unique quirks of Logitech’s Blue Sona microphone, and to hear it for yourself.

Specifications

Microphone type Dynamic XLR
Pickup pattern End-address cardioid
Frequency range 40Hz-18kHz
Power requirement 24V or 48V phantom power
Sensitivity  20.97 mV/Pa @ 1KHz
Included accessories Extra windscreen, 3/8″ mic stand adapter
Shock mount Internal
Dimensions and weight 165mm (H) x 67mm (W) x 185mm (L) or 6.5in (H) x 2.64in (W) x 7.28in (L) | 615g or 21.69oz
Colors Off-White, Graphite

Design and features

Logitech's Blue Sona microphone with RGB lights behind it

The mounting system is both unusual and flexible.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Logitech’s Blue Sona looks… different. Most XLR microphones come in cylindrical shapes of various sizes, like Rode’s Procaster XLR or HyperX’s Procast XLR microphones I’ve recently tested. Logitech skipped that trend by squaring off its device into a softened rectangular prism instead.

The continuous shape runs through the bespoke, replaceable windscreen. This pop filter, which has magnetic connectors at its base to keep it in place, can be swapped for different colors to give the unit a more contrasting look. It’s clear that aesthetics were high on the list when Logitech was designing this microphone. 

That said, the practicality of the design shines through as well. Since the Blue Sona uses an internal shock mount, it doesn’t connect to stands via the usual ring of elastic, laden metal. Instead, it has several features across its mounting system that make it both more flexible and easier to use than many competing mounting solutions.

More: Best streaming mics to start your podcast or Twitch channel with

The mounting ring of Logitech's Blue Sona microphone

Most shock mounts require you to spin the whole microphone when mounting them to a rigid arm like the one seen here. Logitech’s mount prevents that by including a permanently attached spinning ring.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The threaded ring at the top, for instance, lets you easily screw it onto boom arms with stationary threads, without having to spin the entire microphone. The mic itself can also be positioned equally well hanging downward from an arm, or upright from a stand, thanks to the built-in pivot knob which locks it in place anywhere along its 360 degrees of tilt.

The bottom cap of Logitech's Blue Sona microphone

Pressing the top or bottom of the Logi panel lets you remove it to reveal the switches beneath.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

For the aesthetics of the microphone itself, Logitech even went so far as to hide the on-device controls under an ingenious little magnetic cover that can be removed to access the pair of switches beneath or flipped over to keep the Logi branding upright.

More: Logitech aims adjustable key light and premium mic at podcasters

The Logitech Blue Sona's on-device controls

The aforementioned hidden switches.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Beneath this cap, you’ll find a Bass Cut (also known as a high-pass filter) switch and Presence switch. The Bass Cut toggle attempts to block out low-frequency sounds like annoying vibrations from the mounting arm or unwanted buzzing. Meanwhile, the Presence switch helps your voice shine through in noisier backgrounds by attempting to place you, and only you, front and center in your recording or stream. 

During my testing, I definitely saw how much thought went into making the Blue Sona both attractive and practical. Logitech nailed both fronts. 

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Sound quality

As usual, I’ve included a microphone test to let you hear the mic for yourself. The test above was conducted using OBS Studio software to record and a relatively inexpensive Scarlett Solo USB interface. The Blue Sona’s ability to operate with either 24 volts or 48 volts of Phantom power means that it should perform well with just about any interface or mixer, even budget models. 

It also makes it easy to overly boost the gain of the microphone. I was surprised during testing how easy the microphone was to drive, and how easily its audio can get a bit too hot. Keep an eye on your levels while recording and you’ll be fine, however. 

I found the actual sound output of the Blue Sona to be clear, precise, and generally on the cooler side. There’s none of the extra warmth added by models like the USB-powered Rode XDM-100. You’re getting a straight, unaltered representation of what you’re putting in, nothing more, nothing less. 

Review: Rode Procaster brings broadcast-quality audio for under $200

Some people might prefer this honest audio, while others might miss the “broadcast” quality a warmer sound can provide. That is entirely a matter of personal preference and which one is more appropriate for the type of audio you’ll be recording.

The mic capsule within the Logitech Blue Sona microphone

The unique dual-diaphragm mic capsule seen with the windscreen removed.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

As this is a mic designed, in part, for game streamers, Logitech built in multiple measures for combating background noise. Whether it’s a particularly loud mechanical keyboard, noisy mouse buttons, or ambient vibrations, the Blue Sona attempts to block the noise at the hardware level. This is handled by its unique dual-diaphragm setup, with one diaphragm aimed at you to capture your voice while the other sits inverted to help filter sounds from other directions. 

I wouldn’t say the Blue Sona produces absolute silence in a noisy environment, but I found its ability to dampen moderate noises, like the aforementioned typing and mousing sounds, pretty impressive, especially without any software involved. 

I was also impressed by its ability to do this without “clipping” the intended audio, or negatively impacting your actual speech the way digital noise gates often can. 

The internal shock mount also did a respectable job of voiding vibrations from the desk. Granted, you can certainly hear me banging on my desk in the video above, but only the actual sound being transmitted through the air of the room, not the weird rumbly buzz you usually hear when a mic is vibrated while mounted on a poorly made stand without shock protection.

Bottom line 

This isn’t a budget model. At $350, the Logitech Blue Sona mic is squarely in the prosumer category of microphones. Because of this, there are a couple of qualifiers I’d suggest considering before picking one up. First, I’d recommend this model primarily for folks who expect their microphone to be seen. If you run a pure audio podcast, without any video recording, there are cheaper options out there that will serve you just as well, even if they don’t look as pretty while doing it. Buying a mic this stylish and never letting anyone see it would just be a waste. 

Building on that point, I believe this model is best for streamers. Whether you’re always in the “Just Chatting” category or a hard-core, competitive gamer, your mic will get noticed, and this one stands out from the sea of Blue Yetis and Shure SM7Bs every streamer seems to have in front of them. Its compact shape also won’t take up your entire face cam and the noise isolation features could greatly improve your audio clarity. After all, no one will care how high your headshot percentage goes if they can’t watch your stream because the incessant clicking annoys them too much. 

For the style-conscious streamer, video podcasters, or video content creator that expects to be on camera a lot, the Blue Sona is an excellent, unique option that makes both your audio and visuals stand out in an increasingly crowded field. 

Alternatives to consider 

The Rode Procaster is a slightly warmer (though not truly “warm”) microphone with more average looks. If your mic won’t be seen much, and you don’t need noise-blocking tech, you could save some cash by opting for the similar audio quality of this model.

Speaking of mics that were meant to be seen, the Quadcast S is an RGB light show and a solid microphone to boot. It’s on the smaller side so it won’t clog up your face cam, but relies on USB audio instead of XLR. 

Sometimes the most popular option is popular for a reason. Everyone from massive YouTubers like Marques Brownlee to big-name podcasters like Joe Rogan uses the Shure SM7B. It’s only slightly more expensive than Logitech’s option, though a bit less unique. 



Original Article

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