Bye bye, Blue —

Blue Microphones branding is going away after 28 years

The Blue name was a hat tip to the co-founder's Latvian roots.

Blue Snowball Ice microphone

If you were to search among tech review sites for a USB microphone recommendation, you'd almost definitely see a Blue product listed. Founded in 1995 and gaining consumer recognition with distinct designs, like the Snowball and Yeti, Blue Microphones branding has become well-known, from audiophiles to newcomers looking to launch their first podcast. But moving forward, the Blue Microphones brand will be no more.

Logitech announced its Blue Microphones acquisition in 2018, 23 years after jazz musician Skipper Wise and audio engineer Martins Saulespurens created the company. At first, Blue Microphones fixed mics from the '50s and '60s but eventually started creating gear for the recording industry, as the Los Angeles Times reported in 2009.

Apple encouraged Blue to enter the computer microphone space, Blue's founders told the LA Times. Its global supply manager at the time reportedly encouraged Blue to make an affordable microphone for music recording software. Apple, at the time, was readying its GarageBand software. The result was the Blue Snowball USB mic, and once it became available in Apple's stores, it really took off. A more accessible, affordable option than paying for a studio session, the mic became popular among growing musicians.

"Compared to other budget condenser mikes, the sound quality is a bit lacking, and the noise floor seemed a bit high, but it's certainly a step up from the cheap microphones that come with most computers," Ars Technica's 2007 review of the Snowball mic reads.

Blue would go on to release other USB mics and earn the attention of hobbyists, reviewers, streamers, podcasters... and Logitech. Logitech bought Blue for $117 million.

Five years later, Logitech is axing the Blue Microphones name in favor of Yeti, the name of one of Blue's most popular mic series. Yeti mics will live under the broader Logitech G umbrella of PC peripherals and accessories historically aimed at gamers and streamers.

"We will be keeping the Yeti brand and moving it under Logitech G. The Blue name will be used to describe our technologies (e.g., our BLUEVO!CE filters that we offer on select Logitech G headsets)," Logitech said via Reddit on Thursday, as spotted by The Verge.

Astro Gaming, which Logitech acquired in 2017 for $85 million, and Logitech for Creator products will also now live under Logitech G. However, unlike Blue and Logitech for Creators, Astro branding will continue, and its non-Logitech website remains active as of this writing.

The move seems to attempt to more closely unite Logitech's broad hardware portfolio of products for creators and gamers, whose technological needs can sometimes align.

It also means that upcoming products from these brands will all work in Logitech's G Hub app, which would be relatively convenient if G Hub was actually pleasant to use and assuming people had products across these brands. Logitech isn't retroactively adding G Hub support to any products that don't have it, though.

As of this writing, all of the microphones formerly known as Blue listed on Logitech's website are named Yeti (Yeti X instead of Blue Yeti X, for example). Of course, they still have a physical Blue metal insignia, as there's nothing Logitech can do about that until it releases new Blue Logitech G Yeti mics.

What’s in a name?

(Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.)

The good news for Blue mic fans is that Logitech says it's not discontinuing any of the mics. They will still be available but with less indication that they used to come from a company named Blue. But does the name really matter? To Latvian co-founder Saulespurens, it did.

Per LA Times' 2009 report, Blue was an acronym for Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics.

“I just wanted Latvia in the name somewhere,” Saulespurens told LA Times then. “[Blue co-founder] Skipper said the name just had to be easy to remember, so he said, ‘Blue, let’s just call it Blue.’"

The mics' names will no longer carry that homage to one of its founders, which is the risk when selling a company. Some may have thought the Blue name would stick since it's well-known and because Logitech hasn't axed the names of other brands it has bought, like Ultimate Ears and Saitek, as The Verge pointed out.

Still, Logitech is keeping the "Yeti" branding from the mics' legacy instead. But with microphones with the defunct Blue logo still selling and sitting on people's desks, the name will, to a degree, live on.

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