Sep 29, 2010

Blue Microphones has released a new family of mic’s designed with live sound in mind. The enCore line ($89.99 to $199.99)  currently includes four mic choices, each tailored for use on stage, but also with the ability to hold their own in the studio.

The enCore 100 and 200 series are both handheld vocal mic’s with a durable exterior and high max SPL’s (147dB). The enCore 100 (pictured above) is the entry level model, priced at just $99.99, while it’s big brother the 200 series comes in at $149.99. The primary difference between the two is fact that the 200 series has an “active dynamic” setup – it has a dynamic capsule with an active circuit, so it requires phantom power. The addition of an output transformer to the active circuit also means that the signal from the mic will be noticeably hotter than that of the 100 series. As an additional perk, an LED indicator on the back of the mic lets you know when phantom power is being delivered to the mic.

The enCore 300 is a cardioid condenser mic, with a wider frequency response and the highest price tag of the enCore family, which is still reasonable at $199.99. Also a vocal mic, the 300 has a unique design that Blue says is to reduce handling noise, though we suspect that it’s mostly so it looks cool.

The newest addition to this line is also the only one specifically geared to be used on instruments. The 100i series is similar to the 100 series, but with a higher max SPL, tighter polar pattern for better isolation, and a high-pass filter. The 100i also has a smaller profile and a more rugged grill, making it handy for use on tom and snare drums.

Blue’s first venture into microphones for live sound includes the company’s typical flair for eye-catching designs, along with a few slick innovations. All mic’s in the enCore line are clearly designed to be durable and priced to fit most budgets. To see the full line of Blue’s often oddly-named (Blue Ball, Bluebird, and the Dragonfly) and unique looking microphones, check out www.bluemic.com.

Mike Bauer

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