REVIEW: Bumblebee II USB microphone 


By M4 d SKI11Z


I HAVE BEEN a content creator since 2006, but never seriously considered entering into broadcasting. That is, until my early unboxing of “Halo 4” went viral.

Now, as I expand my social media reach and video game channels, a good, solid microphone for voiceovers, podcasts is a must.

Enters Neat Microphone’s “Bumblebee II” Cardioid Directional USB Condenser Microphone. It’s a sturdy, professional condenser microphone made for PC gamers, streamers, content creators and singers.

It retails for $99, but Amazon has it on sale for $51. It’s only offered in black, with a lime green ring surrounding the MX control dial. The microphone is USB Type C powered and has a headphone out to monitor your recordings on the fly.

It’s constructed for a desktop - the shock-absorbing feet keep the Bumblebee II stable. You can also use it with a boom mic stand. It weighs in at 14 ounces, but the stand-alone microphone is about 9 ounces. It’s constructed, sturdy and isn’t a lightweight.

The microphone uses a USB Type C to Type A cable to power the 25mm condenser. The Bumblebee II has a cardioid directional process to pick up sounds, nuances on recordings and streaming.

In my numerous sound tests, it can pick up background noise, but it’s rare. Any sound source that’s within two, three feet will be picked up on recordings.

Sound quality is good. It captures audio in 24 bit/96 kHz for clear digital sound. The MX control allows users to adjust sound levels simultaneously as users record content.

The Bumblebee II is marketed for PC gamers, content creators (podcasters, bloggers, influencers) and *professional* singers. However, unless you have the setup suitable for the Bumblebee II, you may feel the sting of a nice microphone with a limited amount of use in many, many situations.

For gamers: in order to get the best use out of the Bumblebee II, you’re going to need a PC/Mac running a current version of Windows/IOS. Older versions *may* work, but my laptop’s OS (Windows 7) saw the Bumblebee II but couldn’t locate the drivers for it. Plus, if you are an online gamer, thinking about using it with Twitch, you’re limited to PC platforms only. Sorry Xbox and PlayStation owners.

As far as content creators, it’s compatible with PC/Mac environments. Linux users may be left out. If you use your tablet/smartphone, forget it. It is a very cool microphone, but requires a PC/Mac to be effective.

Lastly, professional singers. It can work, and the MX control does help users adjust sound levels on the fly, but the directional condenser isn’t powerful enough to compete with professional microphones (Shure comes to mind). This may be a good fit for beginners but pros need a more focused microphone, not a full-spectrum mic.

The Bumblebee II offers many options for many, but is sadly not a master of any.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The review unit I was sent had a short in it that required it to be positioned just right to function. I’m unclear if this common, so be warned - SKI11Z

The verdict? 8 (out of 10)

The Bumblebee II performs well IF you have the setup that it fits in. In that light, it’s great. However, if you don’t have a PC or a Mac (with a fairly recent OS), this won’t work well.