Review: Blue Microphones Mikey

[Ed. note: In addition to being a multi-talented designer for get-gadget magazine, Victor Krummenacher is the bass player for Camper Van Beethoven and an audio expert with more than 20 years of experience.]

The Mikey is touted as a “portable recorder for your iPod with awesome sound.” Although the “awesome sound” part is debatable, Blue Microphones’ Mikey is an undeniably smart and easy-to-use device. Simply plug the 2.5-inch black trapezoid into the charging port of a compatible iPod. (Compatible in this case means iPod fifth-generation, iPod classic, and iPod nano second- through fifth-generation.) Once the microphone is hooked in, it operates using the media player’s voice-memo function. It offers hi-def and low-def recording resolutions, while audio sensitivity has three levels of adjustment.

In our tests, the quality of the recordings depended on both the generation of the iPod and the audio source. We noticed fidelity was far better in fourth- and fifth-generation iPods than second and third. Voice recording yielded clear playback with great separation, but live music tended to peak out with some irritating compression spikes. But in conversational recordings, as well as use in a songwriting session with acoustic instruments, Mikey yielded usable and smooth-sounding files.

At best, Mikey is really a tool for recording audio fast and on the fly. There are better means of portable recording available, sure, but they’ll run you bigger bucks and certainly don’t fit as easily in your pocket.

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