Product Reviews

Blue Microphone

If you’re a major tech nerd or podcast listener, you might already have a podcast or are building one at the moment. For those looking for an easy way to do it, there are various ways of making it happen through software, but nothing can substitute for a good microphone. Blue Microphones, the minds behind the Yeti and Snowball mics, have just released Nessie, a 10-inch stand-alone USB microphone custom made for home music recordings and podcasting. While it comes with your standard volume control, three record settings and headphone jack, the adjustable head makes for some adaptive vertical positions. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a plug-and-play, not to mention the base is designed to sit on a table and never move! Sadly, being a P&P USB mic, it doesn’t quite capture the kind of audio you’d get from an XLR. But with the right editing software on whatever program you’re recording with, it’s an easy cleanup. A $99 pricetag—compared to the nearly $400 you might spend on a proper studio board and microphone set—doesn’t hurt either. It’s an awesome mic for anyone just starting to experiment with home recording. –Gavin Sheehan

Chrome Industries
Cardiel ORP X T19

The Cardiel ORP X T19 is a small, lightweight eyecatcher that, when used within its means, is an awesome bag. I don’t recommend it for your groceries though: I carried a half-gallon of milk and some other things home on my bike and quickly found out that milk jugs and tuna cans don’t feel that awesome digging into your back as you try to make your way home. I got the best use out of this bag when I was hauling softer goods. My tool kit, spare shoes and extra clothes fit perfectly and were easily accessible whenever I needed to get to them, and the roll-top kept my things dry as a bone the few times I got caught in shit weather. I do have a gripe with the laptop pocket being on the back of the bag. The human back curves a little when you’re riding, and it’s nice when your bag has give and can follow the shape of the your body so you don’t have a 15-inch aluminum slab directly against your spine while you ride to and from the office. Despite my few discrepancies, I do like this bag for what it is, which is a simple backpack that is perfect for an overnight trip or going to the store for snacks. –Carl Acheson