Logitech Blue Sona hands-on review: XLR perfection

Yesterday, Logitech unveiled several new additions to its lineup of gear for both content creators and gamers. Among them was a brand new XLR microphone in the form of the new Logitech Blue Sona, which comes with one of the slimmer designs on the market. Today we take a hands-on look at what to expect from the package and see how Logitech backs up the premium price tag.

Logitech Blue Sona hands-on review

Right out of the box, Logitech delivers a comfortable experience with fairly minimal packaging. The company doesn’t weigh you down with tons of extra accessories, for better or worse, and primarily includes only the essentials. There is of course the Blue Sona itself, which is embedded in the orange papyrus, but beyond that there are only two other main inclusions.

A threaded insert lets you adapt the 5/8 mounting point built into the adjustable stand to a standard 3/8 mount that boom arms and stands use. Then to round out the packaging, you’ll find one of the replaceable windshield covers in a vibrant red color.

One of the first things about the new Logitech Blue Sona that I noticed is how hefty the entire build is. The company certainly didn’t skimp on premium materials, and it’s clear from the second you pick up the microphone just how solid a build you’re getting. The main body and built-in adjustable bracket are both made of a durable metal that has a premium feel.

As for the microphone itself, the Logitech Blue Sona is nothing short of exceptional. The overall design easily stands out from your typical microphone on the market, XLR or otherwise, thanks to the square form factor that integrates the adjustable arm right into the side. It only supports a single XLR input, which not only powers the accessory, but also sends the audio signal back to the required audio interface that you need to bring to the table.

My absolute favorite aspect of the design is the removable front windshield. When you slide off the accessory, which locks into place magnetically, you’ll reveal a beautiful metal cylinder underneath that protects the actual microphone elements. Logitech could have just rounded off the design right there with as eye-catching as the design is, but ultimately completes it with the foam windshield. And if the included black style set up out of the box doesn’t do it for you, Logitech also includes another in bright red to change up the look.

Flipping over to the other side, on the back you’ll find a removable, magnetic panel that reveals the only two controls built into the microphone. Logitech really keeps things simple and clean for the whole setup, giving users the ability to adjust the bass cut and the presence of the sound mix. The straight forward rocker switches really only offer a limited combination of adjustments, which is appropriate as this is intended to be paired with an external XLR.

As for the actual features, Logitech delivers a pretty robust array of recording options with the new Blue Sona. Everything comes centered around its ClearAmp Active Preamp, which notably ensures that the microphone can be powered from a standard audio interface and without the need for an external booster.

Its dual-diaphragm capsule design carries the sound recording from there, so the mic can capture both smooth low ends and plenty of detail, while also blocking out ambient noise from your surroundings. I mentioned in the launch post how great the microphone had been to use in my New York apartment, and as I’ve gone back and listened to previous recordings with my old system, I’ve really noticed how good a job the Blue Sona does at keeping background noise out of the equation. But even if you’re not in a super-busy or noisy environment, the design still helps focus on just your voice and not all the little imperfections that other microphones can and will pick up.

  • Frequency response: 40Hz-18kHz
  • Sensitivity: 20.97 mV/Pa at 1kHz
  • THD+N: 0.06% at 1kHz, 94dBSPL
  • Signal-to-noise: 69.9dB A-wt
  • Max. SPL: 129 dBSPL at 1% THD, 138 dBSPL at 5% THD
  • Power requirement: +48V phantom power

As for how all this actually sounds, I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the performance. The Logitech Blue Sona does a great job with so many things, but my first reaction is how clean the audio sounds. There is far less noise in each of the recordings and it really makes me feel like my novice podcasting voice is much more professional than it actually is. You can listen to the latest 9to5Toys Daily segment to hear what the mic sounds like for yourself, but I think the comparison to what I used before really shows how crisp the sound is.

9to5Toys’ Take

Since taking on the task of recording each day’s edition of 9to5Toys Daily last year, I’ve been using a Shure MV7 USB microphone. It has been a nice option over the last year and a half, certainly ideal for a newbie like myself. But now it’s time to see what an advanced, yet equally user-friendly solution has to offer.

To go alongside the microphone, I went and picked up an audio interface to power the accessory and send its entire audio collection over to my Mac. I ended up getting a more entry-level Focusrite model, which seems to have served me well so far.

ONE $349 price tag will certainly be a lot for a microphone for many content creators, and so Logitech has a lot to deliver with the new Blue Sona. If it wasn’t already at least somewhat obvious from the praise above, I’m very impressed with my time using the mic so far. I am by no means a sound expert, but I can easily appreciate the clean construction and even more balanced recording options.

Although it costs money, in the end I can only recommend the new Logitech microphone to those who already have an audio interface in their setup. By $349 those who already have the necessary equipment to communicate with your Mac or PC will find it worth upgrading. But if you’re like me and want to start from scratch and opt for the Blue Sona, it’s a less compelling buy, mainly from a pricing perspective alone.

Logitech ultimately delivers a microphone that’s easily worth the money on its own, but you should probably go with a USB-powered option instead to start first. The Shure MV7 USB I’ve been using is a great solution that’s a little more on the high-end side with an XLR input but also the ability to just use microUSB to start before one day switching to a dedicated audio interface

The latter feature is ultimately my biggest criticism of the new Logitech Blue Sona. It would certainly have compromised the streamlined design, but adding a microUSB port could have gone a long way in getting less experienced streamers and podcasters to adopt the new release. But then again, would beginners really buy one $349 microphone to begin with? I can’t fault Logitech too much, especially for setting out to deliver a high-performance microphone that sounds even better than it looks.

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