Neat Microphones is setting the industry abuzz with its unique style and innovative industrial design—but how are you supposed to determine which model best suits your needs? In this article, we break down the differences between these snazzy products, so you can understand the options clearly.
This is an exciting new brand that's aimed at both professionals and consumers, and it was brought to you by the founders of Blue Microphones. Neat offers some interesting solutions for podcasters, musicians, and voice-over artists alike. The new “bee” line of products is designed to look sharp, sound great, and offer easy operation. Four distinct models are presented here, in addition to a desktop control center and a tube headphone amplifier.
The King Bee
The King Bee is a solid-state cardioid condenser microphone with a large-sized 34mm gold-sputtered capsule and discrete Class A electronics. Ideal for applications requiring low noise and high sensitivity, the King Bee excels at miking vocals, drums, electric guitar, piano, and most acoustic instruments, including complex sources like saxophones, flutes, and strings. The package includes the Honeycomb pop filter, the Beekeeper shockmount, and a premium velvet bag for storage and protection.
The Worker Bee
The Worker Bee is solid-state cardioid condenser microphone with an internally shock-mounted, medium-sized 25mm gold-sputtered capsule and discrete Class A electronics that can handle high sound pressure levels with a wide frequency and dynamic range. The Worker Bee sounds great on guitar amps, brass, live recordings, drums, and other “big” sounds, but retains a level of detail that brings out the nuances in vocals and plucked instruments such as acoustic guitar and percussion. The package includes the Honeycomb pop filter, the Beekeeper shockmount, and a premium velvet bag for storage and protection.
The Beecaster is a desktop USB microphone that was designed with podcasters and voice-over artists in mind. Its goal is to provide high-quality audio for voice and narration, in a package that's visually impressive and easy to use. It accomplishes its premium sound quality with four proprietary medium-sized 25mm gold-sputtered capsules. The Beecaster's pattern control options include mono, stereo, wide stereo, and focused stereo settings, with professional-quality 24-bit/96 kHz digital output. Additional features include a zero-latency headphone monitor with volume control and mic gain control; a boom arm with swivel capsule for optimal positioning; a Honeycomb pop filter; and a custom USB cable designed specifically for digital audio.
Similar to the Beecaster, the Bumblebee is desktop-style USB microphone that offers professional-quality 24-bit/96 kHz digital output. Unlike the Beecaster, the Bumblebee only features a single internally shock-mounted, medium-sized 25mm gold-sputtered capsule. Its pattern control options include settings for music, voice, and neutral. The Beecaster is an excellent personal mic for laptops, desktops, tablets, and any other audio devices with USB ports. Like the Beecaster, it features a zero-latency headphone monitor with volume control and mic gain control; a boom arm with swivel capsule for optimal positioning; a Honeycomb pop filter; and a custom USB cable designed specifically for digital audio.
Though the Beecaster is meant for podcasting and voice-overs, is it possible to use it in a studio for studio recording/vocals, and what would be the negatives of choosing it for that rather than a mic meant for studio recording.
I received feedback from Ken Niles of Neat in an email of 4/28/15:
"Thank you for your interest in Neat. Our first two mics in the Bee line - King Bee and Worker Bee - will be released in about two weeks. Bumblebee and Beecaster, the two USB mics in the lineup, will be released in about a month. The last two Bee products, Beehive and Beestro, are realistically about three - four months out."
When is the Beestro scheduled for release?
Hi Jeff -
We do not know. NEAT Microphones has not yet announced release or shipping dates. As soon as they do we will be sure to update this article and/or our B&H website.
Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions: [email protected]