Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware
If you were to take the Neat King Bee II and shrink the body down, I think the Worker Bee II would be the end result. As such, we still have a relatively sleek black body that curves down the sides. Gone is the yellow and black color scheme we saw on the original Worker Bee, and in its place is an updated and modern look, similar to the other second revisions from Neat and their Bee lineup. Even so, the body is still bee-like in semblance. Unfortunately, Neat did not provide any sort of external shock mount or integrated pop filter here. Instead, the metal mesh grille is exposed, but still protects the condenser capsule inside with a flat head on the front and a bulbous backside that is just like the King Bee II. The mesh is pretty hard, but it does have a bit of give in the middle of the microphone. Otherwise, the body's only input is at the bottom, which is an XLR connection. As such, connecting the Neat Worker Bee II to your computer will require an audio interface. Once again, I do like this more updated take on a microphone from Neat, as it is much sleeker while still not abandoning its unique roots.
With a closer look at the Neat Worker Bee II's head, you can see a better look at the mesh structure that surrounds the capsule. Interestingly enough, you can actually put the pop filter that was included with the King Bee II on this one, so it would be interesting if Neat sells it separately later on. Internally, the Neat Worker Bee II has a 25mm condenser capsule found inside. This picks up sound with a cardioid pattern, but we will explore this later in our review. The microphone features a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response and a maximum 145 dB SPL, or sound pressure level. This is actually higher than the previously reviewed King Bee II, and makes it more flexible for louder instruments or sound sources. Otherwise, the recording sample rate and bit rate depend on the audio interface connected to the computer. Other specifications include an 83dbA signal to noise ratio, 34dB dynamic range, and a 50Ω output impedance. Finally, this microphone requires +48V DC phantom power for operation.
From here, you can see the metal swivel mount for the Neat Worker Bee II, which attaches to a standard microphone mount. Unfortunately, there is no shock mounting externally and Neat specifies an internal shock mount instead. We will see how this rejects vibrations later on in our review. Otherwise, this mount just screws into the bottom of the Neat Worker Bee II, near the XLR plug. A 3/8" adapter is already installed into the mount, but it can be removed depending on the arm you install the Neat Worker Bee II onto. On the side, there is a large knob to loosen the swiveling action. As for the Neat Worker Bee II, this is 158.8mm in height and 76.2mm at its widest point, which is the head of the microphone. It weighs a total 420g, which is notably lighter than the King Bee II and only slightly heavier than the Bumblebee II with its base attached. I would still recommend a desk mount of sorts with the Worker Bee II just to make the whole unit easier to maneuver and use.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Recording Performance Tests