Logitech bought gaming headset maker Astro for $85 million in 2017 and purchased mic manufacturer Blue Microphones for $177 million one year later. Now, it’s merging both into its Logitech G brand for gamers and streamers — but while Astro will largely continue, the Blue brand is getting axed.
“Will the Blue Microphones brand go away?” reads a question in Logitech’s brand merger FAQ. “We will be keeping the Yeti brand and moving it under Logitech G. The Blue name will be used to describe our technologies,” the answer begins.
Meanwhile, the Astro brand “will continue to live on as a premium console audio product series underneath the Logitech G brand,” says the company, adding that Logitech actually plans to launch a new Astro product in the near future.
“We’re very excited about Astro as a product series under Logitech G,” Logitech adds later.
“The Blue name will be used to describe our technologies”
You can already see the transition playing out on Logitech’s website, which still sells Yeti and even Snowball microphones that merely come “with Blue VO!CE” but no longer links to a distinct Blue website or product page. (The Wayback Machine shows me this isn’t a brand new change — Logitech’s been adding “Yeti” microphones “with Blue VO!CE” to its website for months.) Astrogaming.com, however, still exists.
Logitech’s rivals generally haven’t axed acquired brands with a known legacy. Corsair, which gobbled up enough pieces to become a billion-dollar company in 2020, still sells controllers under Scuf Gaming (purchased in 2019), PCs under Origin PC (also 2019) and streaming gear under Elgato (2018).
HP sells headphones under HyperX, though it bought that company only two years ago. (HP did once buy a boutique gaming PC company called Voodoo, only to briefly sell systems “with Voodoo DNA” before giving up on gamers for a while.) THX hasn’t gone away since it was purchased by Razer — it did do away with Nextbit after promising it would stay a largely independent company, but Nextbit only had the one phone.
Logitech itself hasn’t killed off Ultimate Ears, for that matter, the headphone and Bluetooth speaker brand it bought for $34 million in 2008. It’s still the UE Boom, not the Logitech Boom. Logitech’s flight stick brand Saitek still has its own brand, too, even if Logitech does sell a Logitech G X56 H.O.T.A.S. on its website. So does Jaybird, which it bought in 2016. Maybe it’s only a matter of time.
It’s not clear why Logitech is minimizing its influential brands Astro and Blue, which defined the high-end gaming headset category and the microphone-for-streamers category, respectively, but I wonder if Logitech simply decided it had to choose between Blue and Yeti — and Yeti was the name that rang out.
“I’m happy it’s continuing. I wish the Blue name was continuing,” Blue Microphones co-founder Skipper Wise tells The Verge. “I’d rather see Blue, because it represents a series and an idea and a culture and a brand,” he adds, pointing out that the name stands for Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics to honor his Latvian co-founder Martins Saulespurens. Still, he says, he doesn’t have any business telling Logitech what to do with it. “I don’t have any ownership or rights to it. I sold it. I understand that and accept it.”
Wise and Saulespurens founded Neat Microphones as well, which was purchased by Turtle Beach, and still design microphones together for other companies at Stray Electrons with former Blue creative director Ken Niles. They say: “As the founders of Blue Microphones, we would like to thank everyone who has purchased and enjoyed a Blue mic.”
We recommend both Blue and Neat microphones in our best mics for podcasting guide.
Logitech is pitching the end of the Blue brand as a simple synergy play: you’ll be able to control all your formerly Blue, Astro, and Logitech Creator products in the Logitech G software suite when all’s said and done. Me, I do anything I can to get far away from peripheral manufacturers’ software: I can’t wait until Windows lets me control my Logitech mouse’s RGB lighting later this year.
Update, June 9th: Added comments from Skipper Wise, co-founder of Blue Microphones.