Blue enCORE Alternatives: Substituting Discontinued Mics

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a fan of Blue’s enCORE series microphones. And by now, you’ve probably realized they’ve been discontinued. 

Many folks (like myself) preferred them to other well-known microphones. It’s sad to see these mics go, but it’s also good to know you have other options available.

In this post, we’ll discuss what happened to these microphones and go over some of our favorite Blue enCORE alternatives.

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Why Were Blue enCORE Microphones Discontinued?

While there’s no concrete information available, we can speculate two possible reasons:

  1. The market’s already saturated with handheld dynamic microphones. It’s possible that the Blue enCORE series just didn’t sell that well against giants like Shure and Sennheiser.
  2. Blue was acquired by Logitech in 2018. Since then, Logitech may have shifted the company’s focus to studio and streaming gear. And since the enCORE mics were mostly aimed for live performance, they got the axe.

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that these beloved mics are no longer in production.

At A Glance: The Best Blue enCORE Alternatives

02/19/2024 12:38 am GMT

Our Favorite Blue enCORE Alternatives

Check out these great substitutes for Blue enCORE microphones. Use them to replace your old Blue mics, or keep them around as backups.

1. Best All-Around: Sennheiser e835

Image of the Sennheiser e835, our top Blue enCORE alternative.

The Sennheiser e835 is one of our favorite handheld dynamic microphones in general. It’s competitively priced, and offers a rich, clear sound compared to other popular microphones.

For starters, the e835 has a narrower and flatter frequency response. As a result, it gives you a clean and even sound in any range.

The e835 also shares some qualities of higher-end Sennheiser microphones. 

  • Internal Shock Mount — This feature stabilizes the mic capsule. That way, it can take in high volumes while reducing any handling noise.
  • High-Quality Coil — The e835’s coil reduces electromagnetic interference, saving you from that annoying hiss and hum you get from other mics.

All in all, the Sennheiser e835 is a great Blue enCORE alternative that works well for vocals, drums, guitars, and pretty much anything.

Top Pick
Sennheiser e835 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone

The e835 is a fantastic alternative to other popular handheld vocal mics. Its high-quality design reduces hum and handling noise, so you'll get crisp, clear audio every time.

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02/19/2024 12:38 am GMT

2. Budget Pick: Behringer XM8500

If you need a cheap backup mic, then the Behringer XM8500 will do. But even though it’s cheap, it’s still a great alternative to the Blue enCORE series microphones.

For starters, the XM8500 offers great performance at a fraction of the cost. It naturally boosts the mid-frequency range, which helps give your vocals extra presence and projection.

On top of all that, this mic is ultra-durable and will provide years of service. Even if you drop it a few times, you won’t need to worry much about any serious damage or performance issues.

Budget Pick
Behringer XM8500 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

A budget-friendly dynamic microphone that works as well as top-brand mics. The XM8500 is a great replacement or backup for your existing mics.

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02/19/2024 12:41 am GMT

3. Most Stylish: Telefunken M80

Tons of handheld microphones have that generic “big gray ball on a black stick” shape. But one of my favorite things about Blue enCORE mics is their striking look. 

Of all the dynamic microphones on the market, the Telefunken M80 is one of the most visually appealing (at least in my opinion). 

The handle has a nice elegant shape and an attractive-looking grill with a mostly flat top.

Most Stylish
Telefunken M80 Supercardioid Dynamic Microphone

The M80 lets you produce clean, crisp-sounding audio from any source. Its narrow pickup pattern also helps you better isolate a signal.

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But if black and silver isn’t your thing, don’t worry. The Telefunken M80 comes in 16 different colors. So you can personalize your setup and bring extra flair to your performance. And if you want, you can even get a pink or yellow M80 inspired by Sonic Atlas’ brand colors.

And unlike the other mics on this list, the M80 has a supercardioid polar pattern. It’s narrower than a cardioid pattern, which helps it reduce sound bleed and feedback. Check out our guide if you want to learn more about microphone polar patterns.

4. Best Instrument Mic: Shure SM57

As an instrument mic, you can’t go wrong with the Shure SM57. Specifically, it’s a go-to replacement for the Blue enCORE 100i.

The SM57 is a workhorse microphone that’ll give you plenty of mileage. It has a narrower polar pattern to reduce bleed, feedback, and proximity effect. 

Soundwise, it’ll give you plenty of clarity and bite from any sound source. All in all, it can work as the default microphone for any guitar, amp, or wind instrument.

If you don’t have one yet, do yourself a favor and pick up an SM57. It’ll always come in handy.

Best Instrument Mic
Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

This battle-tested microphone is perfect for capturing just about everything. Use it to record vocals, guitars, drums, horns, and anything else you can think of.

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02/18/2024 07:08 am GMT

Honorable Mention: Shure SM58

The Shure SM58 is the quintessential handheld dynamic microphone.

I have to mention the SM58 because it’s such an iconic microphone. That said, most fans of Blue enCORE mics probably like them specifically because they’re not the SM58.

But if you need a good vocal microphone, the 58 is always a solid choice. That, or you can try one of these SM58 alternatives.

Shure SM58 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

The Shure SM58 is the gold standard among handheld dynamic microphones. It's great for vocals and useful for just about everything.

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02/18/2024 06:09 am GMT

How We Picked These Blue enCORE Alternatives

When picking out alternatives to Blue enCORE microphones, they needed to do the following:

  • Work as a handheld vocal microphone
  • Also work well as an instrument mic
  • Be practical in both live and studio settings

With those things in mind, I chose these four microphones because they fit those criteria nicely.

Any one of these will be great for live singing or speaking. And if you’d like, you can even use them for podcasting and VO work.

Plus, they work well for recording lively instruments like horns, drums, guitars, and amps.

I also think the Blue enCORE microphones just look cool. So for bonus points, we tried finding a few with visual flair, like the Telefunken M80.

Which Mic Is Right For You?

None of these mics is necessarily better or worse than the other. Just different.

Keep in mind that every person using the mic is also different. One mic might respond better for one vocalist than others. Likewise, one will sound better to one sound engineer than the others.

That being said, here are my general thoughts on these mics:

  • The Sennheiser e835 and Telefunken M80 are both great for lead vocalists who want extra clarity in their performance.
  • If you need more isolation, then the M80 might be the best option for you. Its supercardioid pattern helps it reduce feedback and proximity effect.
  • If all you need is a cheap replacement, then go with the Behringer XM8500.
  • If all else fails, use the SM57. It’s incredibly versatile and useful for any situation.

Our Overall Pick: Sennheiser e835

All things considered, I think the Sennheiser e835 is the overall best Blue enCORE alternative you can find.

It’s incredibly reliable and offers the crisp, clean audio performance that I’ve enjoyed from Blue microphones in the past.

Sennheiser e835 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone
The e835 is an all-around fantastic microphone. It's a perfect alternative to Blue enCORE series mics.
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02/19/2024 12:38 am GMT

Find Aftermarket Blue enCORE Microphones

It’s understandable if you don’t want to let go of the Blue enCORE dream. As of this writing, it’s still possible to find new ones from select online sellers.

That, or you can always look for used enCORE microphones on Reverb or your local classifieds.