Published on August 31st, 2014 | by Greg0
Blue Microphone Mikey Digital Lightning: Same Old, But Better
Reporters and podcasters, journalists and concert-lovers all have a few things in common: an appreciation for audio recordings and a need for simple and effective devices that enable them.Whether it’s to capture the next rare bootleg live performance of a rising indie band or to offer your editor notes on a story, a recording device can be a critically important tool. And that’s why so many people have come to rely on various apps for smartphones, as they are always handy.
But the internal microphones aren’t very good, to put it mildly. So one company came up with a solution: the cute, multi-directional accessory called the Mikey that we checked out originally over two years ago. They’ve now followed it up with an update, releasing the Blue Microphones Mikey Digital Lightning edition, perfect for owners of the iPhone 5, iPhone 5C and 5S and soon-to-be users of the iPhone 6. Weighing in at about 80 grams, you’ll never notice it in a bag or pocket, and it attaches pretty firmly to your port- or that of your recent iPad or iPad Air.
The feature set includes auto level sensing, low and high gain settings, a 230 degree swivel mount; and a handy 1/8″ instrument, external mic, or line level input. Charging is handled via the micro-USB jack, and it’s compatible with just about any app you already use for your audio capture. Not much has changed from the original, really, and results are still excellent: warmer and richer than the tiny mics you might otherwise use, and with less of the background static, noise, or hum that can crop up with lesser microphones. Granted, you’re not going to get the quality of Blue’s many excellent (and fun retro-styled) desktop mics, like the Spark Digital or the Nessie.
We did find ourselves wishing that the look had been updated a bit- it’s all mic, with little pizazz, and no color options. But the Mikey Digital is compact and easy to use, versatile enough to use in close quarters or larger venues, and offers 44.1kHz, 16-bit audio in apps that support it. The Lightning plug isn’t quite as sturdy as the old 30-pin, as it doesn’t “lock” so you may find yourself checking the connection. Available for under $100, online and in stores now, the Mikey Digital Lightning is a definite must-have for anyone with a recent iOS device and a desire for an ultra-portable mic that offers superior results without weighing you down.