What allows Snowball USB Microphone
to do well where other mics might falter is primarily a little switch on the back of the device. There are three settings, but it's more like two-and-a-half settings because two of them are closely related. On one setting, you get to take advantage of what they call the "omni" setting of the Snowball
, using the widest recording range to capture ambient sound, perfect for recording in a room where you aren't entirely sure where your sound source will be located. The other two settings involve the device's cardioid capsule, best for focused sound sources like a voice or instrument. For a louder source, the cardioid can be set to automatically dampen 10 decibels, which is the "half" setting mentioned earlier.
Snowball USB Microphone features a standard mic-stand mount, but also comes with its own tabletop tripod stand. The stand works well for places where you only need about 6-8 inches of elevation, and would be especially nice for recording at a conference from the back of the room. To get the most out of Snowball USB Microphone, you'll need to tweak the settings on your PC or laptop, mostly because the default microphone built into your computer isn't nearly as sensitive as this, and doesn't have much if any dynamic range. The default settings for volume will need to be adjusted, and Snowball provides some good documentation in the box and on their website to help you.