I’ve jokingly instructed some colleagues that the outdated Neat Bumblebee appears just like the microphone of a sci-fi intercom system. It was an out-there design I revered.  And if you understand me, I do love some goofy-looking tech. For the Bumblebee II microphone, Neat selected a extra modest design for its funds microphone, pitting in opposition to a aggressive group of worthy noise recorders.

Contemplating the charmingly weird design of the unique Bumblebee and King Bee microphones, it is unusual to see Neat go for such a modest design. I am sure the brand new look has a broader attraction than the outdated look. However I assume if you need flashy, the brand new King Bee II might be extra up your alley.

Neat’s Bumblebee II elbows itself on the highest finish of the funds microphone area. Very like different mics at this value, options got as much as retain good recording high quality, which normally finally ends up with the microphone simply having a mute change (if you happen to’re fortunate) and never a lot else. So you may think about my shock that the Bumblebee II has not solely a mute button but in addition a multi-use button that cycles via quantity and achieve, which is fairly exceptional for mics at this value. 

Regardless of its greater dimension, the Bumblebee II’s sound is on par with HyperX Solocast and Razer Seiren Mini mics, which is not a knock in opposition to it. As you hear beneath, the standard of my voice is what I prefer to name ‘work name’ good. It is loud and clear sufficient for day-to-day use. For those who’re in search of studio-quality sound, you will need to pay for it. 

Since plosives have been on the loud facet, you might wish to put money into a pop filter. The mic can also be good at choosing up some background noise, so in case you have an costly loud AC unit, flip it off throughout recording. 

Once more the mic’s bigger desktop stand dimension additionally impacts its portability; different funds mics just like the Seiren Mini and Solocast use small stands that make it straightforward to pack for recording on the go. For those who’re simply planting this on a desk, it takes up a suitable quantity of house, nevertheless it’s too cumbersome to toss right into a bag and go.

The stand itself has a pleasant round base that appears good however is not a shock mount, so the Bumblebee picked up each slight vibration and bump on my desk. Whereas not an enormous deal in a Discord name, it can drive you nuts if you happen to’re attempting to, as an instance, report some vocals.

The construct high quality for the stand is poor as properly. Actually minutes after utilizing the mic, one of many snap-on screw covers on the hinge that tilts the mic up and down immediately broke off. So now, each time I move the mic, the duvet falls off, exposing the screw, which kills the look of the mic. That is unlucky as a result of I like how straightforward it was to put in onto a increase arm. 

Bumblebee II specs

Neat Bumblebee II microphone

(Picture credit score: Future – Jorge Jimenez)

Condensers: 1
Directional Patterns: Cardioid Polar Sample
Controls: Quantity and achieve change, mute button, headphone jack
Recording Pattern Price: 96kHz  
Bit Depth: 24-bit
Value: $100

I additionally take problem with the location of the USB Kind-C port and headphone jack on the underside of the microphone. The way in which the mic sits on the stand forces the cables to get tugged and pinched in a approach that may’t be good when attempting to angle the mic where you need it.

Regardless that the Bumblebee II MSRP is $100, it’s often on sale for between $50 and $70 most weeks. To your cash, it is a decently serviceable microphone that sounds good. Although each time I see that uncovered screw, it turns into tougher and tougher to advocate no matter how low cost and good it sounds. A disgrace contemplating how properly it sounds in comparison with different funds, entry-level mics.