If you're a fan of all things retro, you'll be drawn to Blue Microphones' Eyeball 2.0 webcam. This device features a microphone reminiscent of those used by the BBC World Service in times gone by. 

The Blue Microphones EyeBall 2.0's unique design has a microphone that folds out from a lightweight metal base. A plastic clip-on cover protects the device during transport. Once positioned on your laptop or monitor, both the microphone and a flip-out retractable lens can be rotated through 360 degrees to capture awkward angles. A rubber extender, meanwhile, supports the Eyeball on thicker screen bezels.

The Blue Microphones EyeBall 2.0 has no software to install. Simply connect the webcam to your PC using the supplied USB cable and Windows will automatically find drivers for it. You can then launch your favoured IM client - the Eyeball is compatible with Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Skype, among others - and start chatting.

The Blue Microphones EyeBall 2.0 can capture 1600x1200-pixel video at 30fps. It automatically adjusts the settings to suit the lighting conditions, ensuring the best possible image is achieved.

In our Skype test, the Blue Microphones EyeBall 2.0 webcam produced footage with natural colours, but finer detailed areas, such as hair or jewellery, appeared pixellated. The focus was also slightly soft against our office's harsh strip lighting. Sound was clear and sharp, however, with hardly any background noise picked up.

While your IM client might allow you to capture still images, Blue Microphones doesn't supply any software that lets you save them to disk. This also means you won't be able to edit images, alter settings and add fun effects to your video.

Next page: Our expert verdict >>

See also:

Webcam reviews

Skype 4.0 review

Blue Microphones EyeBall 2.0: Specs

  • Webcam
  • video resolution 1600x1200 at 30fps
  • built-in mic
  • compatible with Windows Live Messenger/Yahoo Messenger/Skype
  • 85x65x85mm
  • 152g
  • Webcam
  • video resolution 1600x1200 at 30fps
  • built-in mic
  • compatible with Windows Live Messenger/Yahoo Messenger/Skype
  • 85x65x85mm
  • 152g

OUR VERDICT

At £74, the Blue Microphones Eyeball 2.0 is at the pricier end of the webcam market – and you don’t even get dedicated software for your money. But this webcam appeals for its fully automated setup, excellent sound quality and stylish retro design.

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