CES 2019: Blue Introduces Blue Ember XLR Microphone That Costs Only $100

If you’re looking to do something semi-professional on your device or computer, such as YouTube videos or podcasts, you want a good microphone. But buying a good XLR mic can be so expensive, upwards of $1000. Blue microphones introduced a budget mic at CES 2019 that still has what it takes to do the job.

Blue Ember Microphone

The Blue microphones have been a mainstay of semi-professional video and audio enthusiasts for quite some time. Sure, they offer budget mics like the Yeti for just over $100, but if you want an XLR mic, you’re spending much more, even $1000 or more. And let’s face it, when you’re putting yourself out there on YouTube or a podcast, you’re the brand; you want to sound good.


Introduced at CES 2019 in Las Vegas this week, the Blue Ember utilizes what Blue refers to as a “tight cardioid pickup pattern.” It’s designed to pick up only the voice you are intending to record, reducing any background noise. It’s easy to see why this would be a good choice for semi-professional YouTubers and podcasters.

The XLR connector in the Ember means this particular mic is meant for home studios that are aiming to be professional, meaning no one with RCA connectors or USB inputs. This mic goes beyond all that.

Still, it will only be $100 when it debuts next month. It’s budget where budget counts, with price, but not in quality.


You have nothing to lose, figuratively, by trying the Blue Ember microphone after it hits the shelves in February. Sure, it’s $100, but the output you could get out of it instead other budget mics could well be worth it.

Are you a podcaster or YouTuber? Do you have the need for a semi-professional mic? What’s your favorite brand? Let us know in the comments what you think of the budget-friendly Blue Ember microphone that debuted at CES 2019.

Image Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET and Blue

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.


  1. CAD mics are still probably cheaper than Blue and are of extremely high quality phantom power driven XLR mics. However, just because they have an XLR connector does not make them necessarily great or professional by any means. Radio Shack once sold some very crappy sounding XLR microphones. They were practically indestructible, but still sounded like crap (they did have a few decent ones however).

    Plus, a great mic can still have a USB connector on it. The analog to digital conversion simply happens in the microphone, before it gets to the computer (ie . This has very little to do with the quality of the microphone itself. Only the quality of the A2D matters at this point. The Blue Snowball is a very impressive sounding USB mic for only $50. The biggest drawback to USB mics are the fact they are usually fixed at 44.1khz @ 16 bits. Would be nice if they could be switchable to 48khz @ 24 bits.

  2. Followed to the official web site, given in the article. Two “official” photos show the use of this “tight cardioid pickup pattern” microphone. The “talent” is 90 degrees off axis to the direction of the microphone.

Comments are closed.