We've seen some pretty small USB microphones, but Blue's Tiki, which has just been released, takes things a step further by actually being built into a flash drive style USB stick.
With its noice-cancelling technology, voice isolation and intelligent mute, the Tiki is clearly aimed at the online speech market, but there's also a Natural Recording Mode for capturing podcasts, vocals and instruments.
You can find out more in the press release below. Tiki costs £59.99.
Blue Microphones Tiki press release
Blue Microphones, a leading innovator in microphone technology and design, announces the availability of Tiki, the first USB microphone to combine proprietary noise-canceling technology, voice isolation and intelligent mute. Tiki delivers exceptional clarity for online conversations by focusing on desired sounds and reducing background noise to dramatically improve the intelligibility of conversations in any situation. Tiki allows users to switch between two modes: Intelligent Speech Mode for communication and Natural Recording Mode for CD-quality recording of podcasts, vocals or instruments. Similar in size to a standard USB flash drive, Tiki's cable-free design allows it to plug directly into a laptop's USB port for instantaneous setup.
"As we increasingly rely on our computers for online calls, both for work and for fun, it becomes obvious how easily background noise and poor intelligibility can ruin your conversation. That's why we are excited to release Tiki, designed with noise-canceling technology never before used in a microphone. Tiki is the simplest way to ensure that your message—not your surroundings—is delivered loud and clear," said Brian Biggott, CTO of Blue Microphones. "As a microphone from Blue, Tiki is also specifically designed to deliver professional-quality audio for portable recording of vocal tracks or instruments."
Two Modes, Two Experiences
For conference calls and chats, Tiki's Intelligent Speech Mode uses voice isolation to bring a voice to the forefront while noise-canceling technology simultaneously reduces unwanted, competing background noise such as computer fans, keyboard typing and ambient sound. To capture the highest quality audio, Tiki uses front-and-back facing microphone capsules that actively locate your orientation to the mic for use with multiple speakers or as you move around the room. Tiki's Intelligent Speech Mode also includes intelligent mute which can automatically soft-mute the mic when you are not speaking or when conversation is not detected. By muting your mic, intelligent mute eliminates any contribution of background and computer noises. When you resume speaking, Tiki instantly detects your voice and automatically un-mutes, bringing you back into the conversation.
Not limited to online communication, Tiki's Natural Recording Mode captures a wide range of sources from vocals to acoustic guitar to podcasting. Using custom condenser capsules and professional-grade preamp circuitry, Tiki records high-quality audio with exceptional fidelity. Tiki's two modes give any musician, podcaster or Skype user the versatility to quickly choose the best option for the situation.
Under the Hood
Tiki packs a significant amount of proprietary audio intelligence within its compact design. Engineered to listen with the intelligence of human hearing, Tiki employs a suite of patent-pending algorithms custom-designed in collaboration with iZotope, foremost expert in audio processing. Specifically tailored for Tiki's functionality, iZotope's Adaptive Noise Reduction (ANR) analyses the incoming audio stream to detect and suppress undesired background noise, while Key Click Reduction (KCR) is specially developed to reduce typing noises by 'grabbing' rapid rise sounds such as keyboard clicks.
In addition, Tiki's dual facing capsules continuously monitor audio from both sides of the microphone, making a decision almost every second to differentiate between voice and unwanted noise. Powered by a Blackfin™ digital signal processor, Tiki runs approximately 400 million operations per second, detecting, counteracting and ultimately capturing and boosting your voice over background noise.
Tiki's cable-free design allows for direct connection to a USB port, while the included docking cable provides extended connection where necessary. For portable protection, Tiki's packaging doubles as a durable compact carrying case. With all processing performed on-board, Tiki requires no drivers and is plug-and-play with both PC and Mac.
Tiki, MSRP £59.99 including VAT, is available immediately at PC World, Dixons and Currys and will be available at Apple and other consumer electronics retailers worldwide beginning July 15. For complete details, visit www.bluemic.com/tiki.
Audio samples are live on the company website -http://www.bluemic.com/tiki/#/audio/