Neat King Bee II: What is it?
As the name suggests this is a bee-themed, competitively priced mic from Neat Microphones, a subsidiary of gaming headset makers Turtle Beach.
Part of a collection of designer mics also including the ‘Worker Bee’ and many yellow and black coloured, USB podcaster mics, this latest release is monochrome and has a slightly more serious look.
Styled like a bee hovering in flight, it’s clear that designers are aiming for a more fun experience than you get with an average mic. With a 34mm ‘gold sputtered’ condenser capsule, and innovatively integrated ‘honeycomb style’ pop filter and shock mount, the King Bee II has a neat all-in-one setup.
Neat King Bee II: Performance and verdict
Powered via phantom power, the mic connects using XLR. A sensitive condenser mic, it has a really nice sound on all frequencies. Aimed at voice artists, with the super sleek desk-style design, this also feels good for acoustic instruments, like strings and guitars. The larger diaphragm means the mic is also suited to lower voices and instruments and would complement a narrower diaphragm mic, but this said, it does have a good sound for all pitches.
With a high-fidelity class A amp, the mic represents the audio it records to a high degree of accuracy. The warm cardioid mic field creates a nice studio base sound, with the space to add effects and sounds on top, to create the impression desired.
As is usual for a condenser mic, the optimum position for the sound source is perpendicularly out from the pop shield and only a few inches away; this said, some of the better results are on instruments, played with a little separation from the mic, given the high sensitivity of the mic to noise. Setting up the levels is really important in order to get the best sound, as with any sensitive microphone, to prevent any issues with software freezing.
One minor drawback is that the pop shield could have better cover, with some pronunciation sounds and plosives a little too obvious when recording vocals close to the mic. However, any vocalists wanting more noise removal from the pop shield could simply add another.
A great deal for those looking for a mic which is affordable, accurate and has a great tone; this condenser mic is suited to recording a range of acoustic instruments, sounds and voices and genres. From opera to jazz, there really is a special sound to this mic, one that’s particularly accessible to the user who fine-tunes the mic’s advantages to perfection.
MusicRadar verdict: Imaginative, fun design at a competitive price-point, this is a good option for both voice artists and acoustic instruments alike.
Neat King Bee II: The web says
"It picks up impressive, accurate sound while being much less finicky (and loud) than other mics it competes with."
Neat King Bee II: Hands-on demos
Neat King Bee II: Specifications
- KEY FEATURES: A compact mic with an in-built pop shield which records instruments and vocals with sparkling quality for those looking for an affordable studio quality mic.
- CONTACT: Neat Microphones