Neat Skyline Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware

On first glance, the Neat Skyline is unique in its appearance. Its shape and profile are somewhat similar to a towering building on the skyline, which is possibly what they were intending in the first place. It has a shape that flares out in the middle and converges inward at the top and bottom. My girlfriend thinks this actually looks like an upright biscotti, which is probably why she kept pretending to bite the Skyline. I can agree with this, especially since from the side it actually does look like a cookie meant to be dipped in coffee. As you can tell, Neat has sent us their white version of the Skyline, but a black one is also available. Branding on the Neat Skyline is kept to a single logo at the front. At the top, you can see holes on the front and the side to allow sounds to be captured. Under these holes is a foam layer to muffle unwanted noises picked up by the condenser capsule. Overall, I think the design is one-of-a-kind and will stand out from the competition. I would have liked to see the Skyline placed on a pivoting base to let users angle the unit slightly upward or downward. This would be helpful, especially if users are very close to the microphone on their desk so they can align the Skyline better.

The Neat Skyline is pretty light at 179g, and most of this weight can be felt in the base, which should keep the Skyline standing tall. As for its dimensions, the Skyline does not exactly reach the skies, but it measures 19.7cm in height, 12.1cm in depth, and 5.1cm in width. I would not really say it is small or big in either case, but it does have a smaller footprint than the other desktop microphone we have taken a look at, the ROCCAT Torch, due to its more compact base. The top where the condenser capsule sits under is made out of a thin metal frame, while the rest of the body is made out of plastic.

At the base of the Neat Skyline, we have a single button that is simply used for muting and unmuting. When this is plugged in, the button glows green while the microphone is not muted and red when it is muted. I would have liked to see some sort of activity LED to show when the Skyline is actively capturing, similar to how the ROCCAT Torch worked. Otherwise, the button is a comfortingly squishy rubber button. It does not have a clicky bottoming out or tactile feedback to when it is pressed. This ensures the listeners or recording does not capture when you mute, since it is a soft button. You also do not need to push the button down very far before the mute activates.

Internally, the Neat Skyline records 24-bit depth audio at a 96kHz sample rate. This is a bit on the lower side in both its bit depth and sample rate, but should do you fine for typical recordings. There is a single condenser capsules inside with a permanent polarized pattern. The Neat Skyline provides a maximum SPL, or sound pressure level, of 122dB. This specification generally refers to the maximum volume of sound the microphone can take before it starts to distort.

The base of the Neat Skyline can be seen here with four circle rubber pads to keep the Neat Skyline standing in its place. This does a good job at keeping the unit in place, especially as the base is where majority of the weight is located on this microphone. The base and the biscotti top are permanently attached to each other, and there are no other holes to mount the Neat Skyline onto an external arm. Otherwise, the bottom shows different certifications as well as its product name. As you can see, the serial number can be found in the middle. The Neat Skyline was designed in USA and made in China. Finally, you can see the USB Type-C connection and plug that leads out the back.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Recording Performance Tests
4. Conclusion