USB remains one of the cleanest signal pathways for getting audio from an external source to your PC. Analog connections to the sound card on your PC are often polluted with noise from the case fan, processor fan, or electronic signal spillage. Like many of the onboard sound solutions, USB solutions frequently lack balanced connections for keeping a clean, low-noise signal path, unless you spend a few dollars. I’ve recommended a few headset microphones that connect directly via USB specifically for this reason. When high-performance studio microphone manufacturer Blue announced a new USB microphone, based on their Ball design, I was elated. Here’s a company with a track record for making outstanding microphones releasing something specifically geared toward the PC market. The spring thaw will occur before the Snowball hits stores, but you can rest assured it will change the way people look at PC microphones forever. Instead of needing an outboard USB sound card to connect a microphone to your PC, you can connect the microphone directly and still get great sound.
Jake blog's many places on a variety of topics, including travel, tech, baseball, and writing. You can read more of his technology articles on Delighted Robot. Jake occasionally posts about great food at Daily Munch.