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Blue Blackout Spark SL Review – Stunning Condenser for Talkers

4.7 out of 5 stars
Blue Blackout Spark SL Review – Stunning Condenser for Talkers
Design:4.8 out of 5 stars
Features:4.6 out of 5 stars
Performance:4.6 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars

New for 2018, the Blackout Spark SL from the Californian brand Blue Microphones has proved a popular addition to the ever-growing lineup of affordable mics on the market. This large diaphragm, fixed cardioid condenser mic may not be as versatile as some of the others on our chart of the best sub-$200 condenser mics, but it's qualities lie elsewhere. Let’s take a look.


Right off the bat, there is something special about the design of this mic. It sports the unique lollipop shape that will be familiar to anyone with experience with Blue Microphones’ regular output and is certainly enough to turn a few heads.

As for the color… well, it’s called Blackout for a reason! The black side-address grille and chassis design give this mic a stealthy look, which is slightly more refined than some of the brand’s other designs, while the dark chrome detailing adds another dimension. As you may expect from a mic in this price range – especially from this respected brand – the craftsmanship stands up to scrutiny, with a quality all-metal build that feels durable and surprisingly high-end.


Blue Microphones packs this affordable mic with some similar features to their higher-end models, such as a gold-sputtered 0.9” capsule and Class-A JFET electronics. Sure, it’s not a premium mic, but Blue give it chance to punch well above its respective price tag.

Looking at the specs, you’ll find a fixed cardioid polar pattern and a standard frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz, with a max SPL of 136dB. These are enhanced by some on-mic features, such as the 100Hz low-cut filter switch to reduce unwanted rumble and boom, and the -20dB pad switch to keep things distortion-free.

Note that this mic features an XLR connection, so 48v phantom power is required to use it. It’s also good to see that, aside from the mic, this pack comes with a padded wooden slide-top box as well as a very good shock mount, adding to the overall feeling of good value.


The design, features and lower max SPL all point to the fact that this is not the ideal mic for recording instruments. No – this is undoubtedly a vocalist’s mic and works particularly well for all kinds of speech, giving a rich, clear and focused sound to your voice, while eliminating background noise very well.

While singing is not out of the question, like instruments, there are better mics for that. Where the Blackout Spark SL shines is in its broadcasting output, making it ideal for talkers – voiceovers, gaming and podcasting in particular. Features such as the -20dB pad are very useful when the shouting starts (if you are a passionate YouTuber for example!).


While musicians will be better suited to a more musically-inclined microphone, this condenser is ideal for all kinds of speech work and offers you a professional sound at an affordable price. The design and build are top-notch, while the features are very handy. No matter whether you are recording an advert voiceover or a passionate Twitch stream, it proves a strong choice for those who love to talk.

For more info about the Blue Blackout Spark SL, click here.
For more Condenser Microphone Under $200, click here.

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