King Bee Cardioid Condenser Microphone - Product Reviews

King Bee Cardioid Condenser Microphone

King Bee Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Produced by NEAT Mics

posted by
Scott Ertz

4.57 out of 5

Summary

Can the quality of sound match up to the incredibly unique design of this microphone?

The Ups

The unique and attractive Design and professional Sound Quality are the standout features of the King Bee.

The Downs

There are no major issues with the microphone. The only things to watch out for come from the side effects of the Size & Weight, such as the possible effects on cheap mic stands.

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for a top-quality microphone designed for a diverse set of uses, from vocals to instruments, this is a great microphone.

Where To Get It

Videos

PLUGHITZ Live Unboxed

Value

Even at its original retail price, this microphone was an excellent value for the quality you get. At its current price, it's almost unfair. When compared to other microphones of this style and quality, it is less than half the price of its competitors. When compared to the designer's previous company, the King Bee is less than one-third of its competitive price.

Design

The Design of the King Bee is almost perfect. The body and shape are fantastic. For a video show or music recording, the microphone stands out in a compelling way without being distracting. The major identifying aspect of the microphone, and its entire line, is the black and yellow color scheme. It is reminiscent of another high-end audio brand, which gives it a quality feel upfront. But the design also lends itself well to photos and videos.

The only real issues we encountered with the design of the microphone came in the form of its interaction with the included shock mount. Unfortunately, because the microphone has a square base, it means that you can only rotate the mic in 90-degree increments. Our previous mics used a round base, which meant that we could rotate them to any position we wanted. It is far from deal-breaker, but if I had my choice, I would prefer full customization over limited options.

Sound Quality

Over the years, we have used many different microphones in our studio. None of them have had the Sound Quality of the King Bee. Between its directional Noise Cancelation and the voice-centric pickup, the sound replication is amazing. We have used the microphone regularly for our F5 Live: Refreshing Technology show for a while and have been consistently happy. Because of its custom-designed diaphragm and its overall Design, the microphone can maintain this quality, whether being used for vocals or for instruments, ranging from drums to flutes.

The quality is the result of the partnership that formed the company: a world-class microphone designer and a word-class music company. The company focused on getting the pickup exactly right for the microphones and managed to hit the sweet spot.

Connectivity

The King Bee uses the industry standard XLR connection. By default, this connection will plug into almost any mixer or PA system. Most modern mixers offer a USB connection, but if your mixer does not, you can also use a USB audio interface. If you are looking to bypass the mixer entirely, you can also plug the microphone into most interfaces directly. The King Bee does use Phantom Power, so you will want to look for a mixer or interface with that capability to get the full benefits of the microphone.

Noise Cancelation

The King Bee is not a consumer or communication microphone, like a Bluetooth headset, so its Noise Cancelation is also different. However, it does feature the ability through its directional pickup. In our studio, the current broadcast computer is loud because of its cooling system. When we replaced our previous microphone with this one, we noticed that the amount of the fan noise that was being picked up was significantly lessened. That is because the pickup on the diaphragm is very directional, so if the noise is behind the microphone, it won't be picked up. In our case, all that can be heard is the sound bouncing off the back wall towards the mic.

In addition to the noise reduction produced by the Design of the microphone, it receives additional capabilities through the included shock mount. If you really punch the microphone stand or the mic itself, you will get a loud noise. However, normal taps, including kicking the stand during recording, will not be picked up because of the mount.

Build Quality

The overall Build Quality of the King Bee is fantastic. Nowhere on the body are there are uneven seams, sharp edges, or unexpected pieces. The post that connects the diaphragm to the base does so in a smooth and even junction.

There are only two notable but uncommon issues that we have encountered. The first is, when moving the mic around on its stand, the tightening nut that keeps the microphone upright can loosen. That makes the mic dip out of its position a little. It has only happened once or twice, and the stand was in motion. Under normal circumstances, we have not encountered the issue, but if the mic needs to be quickly loaded from backstage to onstage during a performance, this might be something to keep in consideration.

The second issue is with the pop filter. It can be difficult to snap into place, popping off moments after you think you've attached it. If you do get it to snap on, however, it stays in place through any condition. In our experience, the trick to getting the pop filter to connect every time is to look at it from the side, ensuring that it is gripping the notch around the pickup.

Size & Weight

The King Bee is very heavy, and that is something important to know. In fact, the weight might be more than a cheap microphone stand can hold upright. One of our cheap test stands would slowly dip down over time with the microphone on it. However, the weight is completely appropriate. Two of the important aspects of a quality microphone are the material of the diaphragm and the magnet. A quality neodymium magnet, when covered in nickel (which is required so it doesn't shatter) is going to be heavy. And the best materials to produce a diaphragm are also heavy. When combined, it produces a heavy product, but not without purpose.

The microphone body is also large. The base is normal, but it has a tall body. The tall body is part of what produces the range that the microphone can reproduce, so once again, the size is appropriate. The long body Design is why it is effective for everything from vocals to flutes.

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