bluesnowflakehands Blue’s Snowflake USB claims to be the "first portable USB microphone to hit the market." (I thought they were exaggerating, and then picked up the "USB" bit — okay, fair enough.) It’s just US$79, plug-and-play on Mac and Windows, bus-powered, and comes in a cute case that doubles as a stand or screen clip. Blue’s mics are quite nice — I’m just a little skeptical in terms of how this performs in terms of quality, given its bargain price and small size. Hope to get one of these to try out, and we’ll see.

Oh yeah, that and it costs quite a lot more than $79 list if you wind up having to buy a MacBook Pro to match. Blue has sent along this gear pr0n to inspire us. I’m sure someone has a PC laptop that also would look nice with it.

Snowflake Product Page [Blue Microphone]

The announcement was made at winter NAMM in January, but the version photographed here evidently has some cosmetic tweaks for the final production version.

Should be available now-ish. Any owners of the previous Snowball USB mic (the non-portable version), we’d love to hear from you.

Updated: I knew the Snowball had gotten somewhat mixed reviews (in contrast to some of Blue’s excellent, higher-end mics), but here’s one from CDM reader Thomas for Ars Technica (via comments):

A Snowball’s Chance: Blue Snowball USB Microphone mini-review

Review audio samples

My guess is, while the mic may satisfy less-demanding users, readers here may not mind carrying a little more bulk to get their choice in mics. After all, just about any mic is "portable," and even if it’s a bit of a pain to carry an audio interface, too, the flexibility in getting results could be worth it. This is an interesting design concept, though, so I wonder if other makers will pick up the idea and run with it.