Neat Microphones Bumblebee 2 overview: a deeply versatile mic at a most cheap value


Turtle Beach has dominated the world of gaming headsets for a while now, however in latest months, the corporate has been angling to make a extra fully-fledged run at one other audio market – that of high-end microphones. It’s a pure growth, and one which in fact suits nicely with the streaming ambitions of many players.

For Turtle Beach, key to this growth is a sub-brand; Neat Microphones. Neat is its personal firm, however is owned by Turtle Beach, and there’s undoubtedly some expertise and data crossover between the 2. Neat has been round for a short time, however simply made its European debut with a small choice of microphone merchandise a number of months in the past.

My first brush with Neat is the Bumblebee 2, a surprisingly compact little desktop USB microphone that however packs a reasonably spectacular punch for its measurement and value bracket. Here’s the important thing stats to concentrate on:

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Bit Depth/Sample Rate: 244 Bit / 96kHz
  • Dynamic Range: 98dB
  • Weight: 400g
  • Connector: USB-C (USB-C to USB-A adapter included)
  • Price: $99.99 / £89.99

The thought behind this system, so far as I can inform, is to supply a comparatively easy do-everything resolution for many who would possibly need a mic but in addition don’t really feel devoted sufficient to the thought to interrupt the financial institution. It’s a jack of all trades and subsequently a grasp of none, however it dealt with just about each activity I threw at it fairly admirably – and most significantly at an inexpensive value.

It’s appropriate for recording music, as an illustration – so if you wish to whip out a guitar, sing into it, and even croon on a sax into it (I examined the primary two of those, however not the third), the Bumblebee 2’s received the heart to sort out it. Indeed, the pretty detailed and well-written guide that comes within the field even options suggestions and methods for precisely easy methods to place and configure the mic for a spread of devices. The similar is true for if you happen to plan to podcast, and even simply use it for Zoom calls. The suggestions are there that can assist you take advantage of out of it – however what really issues is that this little mic has the oomph to make it work and provide the means to configure it to work nicely.

In sensible phrases, the Bumblebee 2 actually slims issues down,for higher or worse. The Mic solely has two buttons, as an illustration – one a mute, and the opposite a ‘catch-all’ button and dial that can be utilized to regulate issues like mic achieve, in addition to playback quantity and blend stability if you happen to’re utilizing the built-in headphone jack to observe your audio.

The manner this works is straightforward sufficient; a hoop of LED gentle surrounds that most important button, and while you press the button, the sunshine modifications shade. When the sunshine is yellow, the dial modifications the playback quantity. If it’s blue, you’re adjusting the achieve. Green means you’re adjusting the combination stability. It’s easy sufficient, however initially a bit little bit of a ache; it’s important to keep in mind what every shade means shortly to be able to reconfigure on the fly. With that stated, a bodily button and dial for messing with achieve and stability is much preferable to some cumbersome PC software program. In truth, that’s one other bonus: The Bumblebee doesn’t have any dumb propriatery app. Plug it in by way of the included USB-C (mic finish) to USB-A adapter, after which use the bodily buttons. Perfect.

Another contact I admire is that the principle mute button additionally has a transparent indicator LED that goes crimson while you’re muted. I welcome this as I by no means actually really belief the mute buttons on Discord, Teams, Zoom, and what have you ever. I a lot desire a bodily, hardware-side mute – and the Bumblebee 2 has it.

I wouldn’t need to simply carelessly toss it right into a bag, however the Bumblebee 2 feels usually moderately sturdy – although it’s notably gentle, which does make me surprise the way it’ll stand as much as actual abuse. It comes with a desktop stand connected, however you’ll be able to jettison that in favor of a growth arm or the like if you happen to desire. The removable stand might be the cheapest-feeling little bit of the product with a principally plastic building. If this had been to turn out to be my most important mic, I’d fairly shortly be ditching that stand in favor of a desk growth anyway. The design of the mic itself isn’t something radical, however it’s additionally so compact as to be totally inoffensive when sitting in your desktop – which is greater than be stated for a few of its extra outlandish friends.

Would I exploit it as my most important microphone? Should you? Well, all of it is determined by your value bracket. But from my time testing the Bumblebee 2, I do assume it’s completely applicable as a starter mic for anyone seeking to decide up a flexible USB mic that may very well be used for streaming, gaming, work, or music. Versatile is the important thing phrase there – as versatility is just not one thing that comes notably straightforward inside this type of value vary. Usually you may get a mic that’s first rate at only one factor, and naff at others. That isn’t the case right here.

I hopped on to report a latest episode of the VG247 Best Games Ever Podcast whereas utilizing the Bumblebee 2, and whereas my colleagues did discover I used to be utilizing a unique mic and commented that I didn’t sound fairly nearly as good as I often do, there’s an necessary caveat right here: the mic I often rock, the Rode NT-USB, is thrice the value of this humble providing from Neat Microphones. That it will get so shut is spectacular; $99 for a 96KHz pattern charge is especially so. It’s unlikely to set the world on fireplace, however it’s additionally a straightforward advice for these squarely in its audience.

Curious what our teasm makes use of day-to-day? Check out the VG247 Gear List, itemizing all of our favourite {hardware}.


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