- Band Management
- Home Recording
- Live Sound
- Best Instruments
- New Music & Video
Neat’s King Bee II is a serious step up from consumer-grade to a professional piece of gear.
This is a beefy piece of hardware with an integrated honeycomb pop filter and an exoskeleton of a shockmount. The cardioid condenser capsule is large, coming in at 34mm and the diaphragm is gold-sputtered, and paired with its class-A design, meaning there is plenty of clarity and articulation as well as depth. Phantom Power is required, and the Max SPL is 140dB, with a frequency range of 16Hz-20kHz.
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Using this in a voiceover situation was very nice. The signal to noise ratio was excellent, and easy to notice in this application. The attached pop filter worked well on its own, helping the user really get on the mic, without any extra hardware. Vocalists might want to really get close to the honeycomb for optimum response, though.
On instruments there is a slight top end response that’s noticeable, as well as plenty of low end. The midrange seems a slightly subdued, but that’s certainly not an issue when recording mid focused instruments like guitars; it can tend to balance things out sonically in this sense. However, if it’s being used in a scooped out setting, like metal rhythm guitars, or bass drums, it might be a good idea to add some minds either at the amp or on some EQ plug in, for a fuller sound if need be.
Acoustic guitars came across very well, placing the capsule at the sweet spot of the 12th fret gave a nice balanced response, and when placed about 10 inches off of the fingerboard, there was enough air to catch the essence of the pick attack. Clean electric guitars were equally well done — the better response came from the mic when it was about 6” off of the speaker grille. Distorted guitars had a bit of darkness so placing the mic about 3” off of the grille helped, but if it was a heavy scooped EQ it would certainly require amp tweaking to compensate.
Directionally, there’s a great focus with excellent off-axis response. A great application would be a pair of these as stereo room mics to really zero in on a stereo spread for drums that will ignore any room “splash” or coloring.
For the “just above home” user looking for a nice, well made, great sounding mic that’s not a cheap knock off, this can cover vocals, guitars and drum applications with ease, and minimal fiddling. It’s certainly touted as a good option for video and streaming, but for that specific need this might be a bit overkill price wise, as Neat’s Worker Bee II fits that role nicely, and is slightly less expensive. This sits more on a serious side of uses and is certainly closer to the “pro” side of “prosumer.”
great sounding, musical EQ profile, reasonably priced.
Might be overkill for the casual user.