Plenty of iOS and USB mics claim to capture rich "studio sound". Most of them suck. Blue Microphones' new Spark Digital is different, and you can tell just by looking at it.
Warning: This microphone won't magically make you a good musician or singer. But it will likely make you sound like you, and not some over-processed, bastard version of you. In other words, it will make you sound as good as you are.
The Spark Digital mic is based on the analogue version of the the Blue's Spark released last year. You won't know the difference until you flip it over and see a mini-USB jack where you'd expect to see XLR prongs. The mic can connecct either to software on your computer — Garageband will work — or to the countless multi-track recording apps for iOS.
But beyond its appearance, the important similiarity between the Spark and the Spark Digital are its guts. Blue's condenser microphones are some of the most highly coveted out there because of the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into building each one. Take, for example, the Spark Digital's "Focus On" switch. Flip it, and the microphone's condenser capsule physically contracts so that it captures sound from a more pinpointed area. It's not an effect created by some shoddy digital processing algorithm. The capsule actually physically shrinks. That's better, because, you know, physics.
Blue's line of podcasting mics including the Yeti and the Snowball, are some of the best money can buy. We haven't tried Blue' Spark Digital yet, but we're excited to plug in and turn up when it's available later this year for $US199.