Blue’s Snowball Ice is a really reasonable little soldier of a USB mic. You can knock it around and it won’t display damage. You can stuff it into bags time and time again, and it’ll still be suitable for goal.
However, the line between the Snowball and Snowball Ice seems an arbitrary division. Except for a bit of fussing to get the best sound out of it, it’s a great pick for first-time streamers or recording rookies – if there wasn’t already a slightly more function-complete version for just $10-$15 more.
Therefore, it becomes an issue of whether you only want a cardioid pickup pattern, or you’d like to have omnidirectional too, which you’ll get from the higher-end Snowball. Most starter streamers will only need the former, and on those terms the Snowball Ice is evaluated in its existence, particularly if you see it on sale closer to the $50 range. If you can find yourself breaking into recording instruments or lots of people at once though, spending a little extra for the Snowball is a no-brainer. That said, you will have to carry out some fiddling when it comes to sound. Getting a good vocal recording out of this spherical budget proposition is possible, but it requests a deft touch.
With a cardioid and only cardioid polar pattern to run with, you should be capable of pointing the mic in your vicinity and get something decent. However, this seems to have a wider-than-average listening range for a cardioid mic, and if you don’t arrange it just right it can sound very roomy. If you’re further out than about 8 inches, you lose the concentrated sound and too much room reverb creeps in.
Because the mic is also prone to popping plosives, with no pop shield involved you’ll need to aim your voice slightly above the mic. In reality, as has been discovered by several YouTubers who use the mic, placing the Snowball Ice at a jaunty 45 degree angle to your mouth and talking just above it from about 6-8 inches away offers the best outcomes.