Static on a Blue Snowball Mic: 7 Causes and Solutions


Blue Snowball is a fantastic microphone that records crystal-clear audio. But no microphone sounds excellent if all you get from it is static noise. Fortunately, we know why static noise happens on your Blue Snowball, so it’s time to fix it once and for all.

Static noise on a Blue Snowball microphone can be caused by plugging the mic into an incorrect USB port, USB cable picking up static noise, mic picking up fan vibrations or faulty drivers. Solutions include plugging the mic into the back of the computer and reinstalling the drivers.

This article will go over the most common causes for static noise on your Blue Snowball. I’ll also explain how you can fix your mic so there won’t be any buzzing.

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Blue Snowball

The Blue Snowball Is Plugged Into a USB 3.0 Port

The USB 3.0 standard was introduced back in 2008.

Surprisingly, Blue Snowball has never bothered making the mic compatible with USB 3.0.

Since USB 3.0 is backward compatible with older standards, you’d assume that it’ll work without any problems.

If you have a newer computer or PC case, you probably have several USB 3.0 ports. So, it’s easy to make the mistake of plugging the Blue Snowball into it.

How To Fix

The easiest solution is to just use a USB 1.0 or 2.0 port instead of 3.0 (or newer). You can usually tell the difference by looking at the plastic tab inside the port.

USB 3.0 and 3.1 are blue, whereas older generations have black plastic.

If all ports look indistinguishable on your computer, refer to the motherboard manual.

An alternative is to use a USB 2.0 hub. It’s not a perfect solution, which I’ll explain later, but it’s worth a shot if you don’t have USB 2.0 on your computer.

For more information, check out how to reduce background noise on a Blue Snowball mic.

Blue Snowball Is Plugged Into a Front USB Port or Hub

If you plug your Blue Snowball into a USB hub, it can cause a lot of problems. 

USB hubs are only good for storage devices. That’s because a USB hub can cause power and bandwidth issues.

You might think that the USB ports on the front of your PC case are better, but they aren’t. In a nutshell, they’re just fancier USB hubs.

They also connect to your motherboard via an internal cable.

How To Fix

It’s best to skip all intermediary connectors and plug the Blue Snowball directly into the motherboard.

You can do that by taking the USB cable and plugging it into the back of the computer. That’s where the motherboard USB ports are.

Important Note: Ensure that the USB cable is all the way in on both sides. If the cable is only partially plugged into the mic or computer, it can cause static noise.

There Is an Issue With the Blue Snowball Microphone Mode

In case you didn’t know already, Blue Snowball comes with three distinct pickup settings:

  • Cardioid: Picks up all sound in front of the microphone.
  • Omnidirectional: Records everything surrounding the microphone.
  • Cardioid with -10 dB pad: Same as cardioid, but less microphone gain for reduced ambient noise.

The modes can be changed by adjusting the slider on the back of the microphone. 1 is for cardioid, 2 is for cardioid with -10 dB pad, and 3 is for omnidirectional.

How To Fix

If the microphone is for voice calls, you should use cardioid or cardioid with -10 dB pad.

The omnidirectional mode picks up too much noise surrounding the mic and can result in static noise.

If your mic is in cardioid now, try to use the -10 dB mode instead. If the static noise goes away, then the cause was most likely ambient noise.

If the noise only goes away in omnidirectional mode, there’s an issue with the electronics inside the microphone. You should return the microphone in that case.

For more information, check out how to make a Blue Snowball louder.

The Blue Snowball USB Cable Picks Up Static Noise

USB cables are thin, so they’re prone to interference. 

If the cable from your Blue Snowball is near a power cord, like the one going into your monitor or power supply, it can pick up static noise.

Since you’re using the USB cable for audio, it’s extremely sensitive to static.

How To Fix

The easiest fix is to move your USB cable as far away from the power cables as possible.

If that doesn’t help, you should try a higher-quality USB cable with better shielding.

Shielding on cables creates a Faraday cage that protects the signal from electrical noise and EM radiation.

Alternatively, get a USB cable with ferrite beads. The chokes protect the cable from electronic noise.

The Tripp Lite USB 2.0 Cable with Ferrite Chokes from Amazon.com is exactly what you need. It’s USB 2.0, so it’ll be compatible with the Snowball. Plus, the cable is shielded with tinned copper for even better noise reduction.

Sale
Tripp Lite USB 2.0 Hi-Speed A/B Cable with Ferrite Chokes (M/M) 6-ft. (U023-006), Black
  • Supports faster data transfer rate (1.5 to 480 Mbps) for low speed and high speed devices, including multimedia applications
  • Premium double shielded cables with tinned copper braid and aluminum mylar foil and Ferrite chokes, feature twisted 28AWG data lines, and 24AWG power lines
  • Gold plated connectors provide superior conductivity

The Blue Snowball Picks Up Vibrations From Computer Fans

If you notice that the static noise goes away when you aren’t playing any games, the static noise could be caused by your computer fans.

The fans create a buzzing or humming noise that sounds a lot like static crackling on your Blue Snowball.

The noise isn’t necessarily transferred by air, though. The table can carry the noise to your mic too.

Try holding the Snowball in your hand and using it. If the noise goes away, then you know what caused it.

How To Fix

The easiest solution is to use a microphone arm stand. Not only will it protect the mic from fan noise, but it’ll also be more comfortable to use.

The InnoGear Adjustable Mic Stand from Amazon.com is a perfect choice for your Blue Snowball. It also comes with a pop filter and windscreen for additional noise reduction.

Sale
InnoGear Adjustable Mic Stand for Blue Snowball and Blue Snowball iCE Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand with Microphone Windscreen and Dual Layered Mic Pop Filter, Max Load 1.5 KG, Medium
  • All-in-one combo: package includes all the items you need for studio recording and live sound, a microphone stand, pop filter and 1 Pack windscreen for Blue Snowball and Blue Snowball iCE.
  • High quality acoustic foam material for Blue Snowball: high density, good elasticity, durable for years of use, filter out all unwanted background noises.
  • Heavy duty construction mic stand: super-strong spring protects microphone from shaking, suddenly dropping and making noise. The mic stand includes one table mounting clamp with protective layer of sponge and an adjustable positioning screw which could easily clip to any desktop up to 2” thick.

If you don’t want a mic stand, fold a dishcloth or towel and put it below the mic. 

It’s not pretty, but it’ll absorb all the vibrations from the desk.

Check out my guide to stopping a Blue Snowball from picking up the keyboard.

The Blue Snowball Drivers Haven’t Been Installed Properly

The Blue Snowball is a plug-n-play device.

In other words, the drivers are located on the microphone and installed automatically when you plug it in.

But this type of driver installation is far from perfect as the files can get corrupted.

Moreover, if you were using a USB hub or 3.0 port previously, the drivers won’t install correctly in most scenarios.

How To Fix

The fix for this is very easy. You’ll remove the mic and plug it back in to force the drivers to install again.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Start and type “Device Manager.”
  2. Expand Audio inputs and outputs.
  3. Right-click on the Microphone device and select Uninstall device.
  4. Unplug the Blue Snowball and restart your computer.
  5. Plug the Blue Snowball back in.

The drivers will install automatically after a minute or two. You can then try the mic to see if it works.

The Blue Snowball Condenser Capsule Is Malfunctioning

The condenser capsule in your Blue Snowball is essentially the microphone part of the microphone.

It has a diaphragm that picks up sound waves as you speak and transforms them into an electric signal.

If the capsule doesn’t work as expected, it’ll cause static noise or popping.

How To Fix

Unfortunately, sourcing a replacement capsule and replacing the old one is difficult, time-consuming, and often expensive.

The only realistic solution is to contact Blue’s support to see if you can get a replacement microphone or have them fix it.

Final Thoughts

Microphones often pick up a lot of static noise, and the Blue Snowball is no exception. In most cases, the USB cable, port, or hub is the cause.

Switching to a compatible USB 2.0 port on the back of your PC is the easiest way to fix static. In some cases, you might need a replacement cable with better shielding to block static noise.

For more information, check out which is better: Blue Snowball vs. Razer Seiren Mini.

Sources

Last update on 2021-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Vinnie

I'm Vinnie, and I'm here to support you to create your own studio at home, whether it’s for photography, recording audio, podcasts, or videos!

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