Amazon is offering the Blue Microphones Spark Digital Lightning Condenser Microphone for $151.46, but if you choose Amazon as the seller you receive an additional 15% off bringing your total to $128.74 shipped (“Arrives before Christmas”). That’s nearly $70 under the original price, about $30 under the next best price (B&H) and the lowest we’ve seen.
We found the Spark to be one of the best USB/Lightning mics for your money in our full review. It features a control switch for two different capture patterns, volume control, signal gain, a mute, and a headphone jack directly on the mic for “zero-latency” monitoring.
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Spark Digital Studio-Grade Microphone for Both iPad and USB
Spark Digital Lightning is a studio condenser microphone that offers both USB and iPad connectivity. Expanding on the professional and sound of Blue’s Spark XLR studio microphone, Spark Digital Lightning features the same studio-grade condenser capsule and hand-tuned components for high-fidelity recording and consistence performance in any situation– vocals, drums, piano, speech, location recording and more. Spark Digital Lightning also includes the Focus Control, providing two different sonic options in one mic at the push of a button. Complete with an adjustable desk stand and built-in shockmount, Spark Digital Lightning also includes y-cables for each platform with a headphone jack for zero-latency real-time monitoring. With a full range of recording capabilities, Spark Digital Lightning turns your iPad into a true mobile studio.
Built-In Controls and Zero-Latency Monitoring
Built into the Spark Digital Lightning is a separate headphone jack, allowing you zero-latency monitoring while recording. There are also controls for volume, gain, and instant mute.
Plug and Play
The Spark Digital Lightning is completely plug-and-play, with no drivers to install. Simply plug it into your iOS device running a recording app and you’re ready to go.
Works with Most Popular iOS Recording Apps
Spark Digital Lightning is instantly recognized for use with virtually any audio or video application, including all of the most popular iOS recording apps. To fully benefit from the quality Spark Digital Lightning offers, it’s recommended to use a high-quality recording app such as GarageBand, Jammit, FiRe 2.0, Music Studio Lite, or StudioMini Recording Studio, since Apple’s built-in Voice Memos app records at a lower bit rate.
The Focus Control provides two different usage modes: the Normal mode (off position) providing increased low frequency sensitivity for recordings with great impact and definition, along with the Focus mode (on position) for even greater clarity and detail. The Focus Control functions differently than a standard high-pass or low-pass filter–it changes the input driver of the capsule rather than the signal output of the microphone circuit. This avoids coloring or degrading the signal quality coming out of the Spark microphone like low or high pass filters can. Specifically, the Focus Control alters the voltage loading of the capsule, which alters the capsule’s dynamic frequency response, changing the capsule’s behavior in a way that’s more nuanced than a standard filter acting on a microphone’s output. The result is a change to Spark’s frequency response curve as well as the dynamic properties of the capsule (response to transients), providing two different mic characteristics.