Blue Mic’s Tiki: An Elegant (but Expensive) Microphone for Travelers

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Dissociation is an important part of world travel. We all have an inborn impulse to test ourselves, to see just what we have in the absence of everything and everyone we use as armor. So disconnecting from family, friends – that’s a valid way to rove. But dissociation doesn’t have to be so cold, or so total. Even veterans of the lost highways and far-flung ports like to Skype home every now and then.

Which means a microphone of some sort of another is a necessity in any travel kit. Blue Mics entrant to this gear category is the Tiki, a sturdy little USB microphone with red enamel finish and a friendly blue ‘On’ light. It has a distinctive look and since it retails for $60, that look is really a necessity.

The functionality is what you’d expect: the Tiki filters out ambient noise exceptionally well (I tested it in cafes and busy kitchens myself) and it stores easily. I spoke with Brian Biggott, CTO of Blue Mics, during the review process and he emphasized several times that clarity in the face of ambient noise had been the Tiki’s number one design priority.

The question you to ask yourself is: do I need a dedicated microphone? If you’ve got a smartphone, tablet, netbook, laptop you almost certainly have a device capable of giving you the full Skype experience without dropping any extra cash. I can’t recommend the Tiki to a budget conscious vagabond, but I can recommend it to anyone who places value in sound quality. Dedicated microphones will always deliver a superior user experience to integrated mics. Whether you value that added quality enough to pay for it is a question each individual wanderer needs to ask.

So if you make conference calls for work, talk to an aging relative every week, or do a travel podcast, the Tiki is well-worth considering. The efficacy: size ratio is high and it looks good in a bag. Blue Mics spent a great deal of time worrying over the aesthetics and it shows. But, as always, if you think the existing mic in your [insert gadget name here] is good enough, it probably is.

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Disclosure: received one Tiki from Blue Mics in advance of this review. Read our view on sponsored content.

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