When I wanted to upgrade my personal studio with a great vocal mic, I decided to go with a Rode K2. It's been my go-to ever since. Paired with my Audient iD22, this mic delivers phenomenal clarity. It can easily punch through the loudest mixes, with only minimal processing. At the same time, it adds that classic tube warmth, so my vocals sound smooth and natural too.
I have owned and used just about every Rode microphone for one reason - they work in critical environments and make engineering easier! A pair of K2s were my main overhead microphones in a busy studio that I managed where time was critical. The K2s always allowed my drum sound a warmth and clarity despite the not-so-perfect room. They are so versatile and can wear the many hats that are needed in any studio environment, whether it be a home studio or a commercial facility where bang for buck is important. You will always be happy that you invested in a Rode microphone because it will work for you.
Rode K2 Mic
The Rode K2 large diaphragm condenser microphone is absolutely the best mic that I've ever used for recording vocals, acoustic guitar, violin, ukulele, and djembe. It's very warm and rich. I would have no hesitation in recommending this mic to anyone looking for a great, reasonably priced large diaphragm condenser mic for their studio.
Rode K2 as VO mic
I purchased this mic last year at GearFest and it's the best I've had. I use a Neumann TLM102 at work and would MUCH rather have the K2 for voice over work. I use it strictly in my Whisperroom and only for VO work. I've been really impressed with this mic. Sounds great. Never fails me.
Often times, these reviews are based on very short time trials, and not by individuals who really know what to listen for. Just thought I'd follow up to my purchase many, many moons ago. I purchased my K2 from Sweetwater 12 years ago, and this has been my main vocal mic ever since. Not having a ton of money to throw around, I went with what I thought was the best bang for the buck at the time, and after 12 years I'm still glad I went with this mic. So far, the K2 has performed 100% of the time with excellent results. I've ran it through BLA Auteurs, ART pres, 002 Rack (stock and BLA mod'd), and now with Neve & API pres. It's just hard to get a bad recording with this mic. There have been on occasion a singer that this mic wouldn't work with, due more or less to the singer's tone and projection rather than the mic itself. This mic works on everything - room mic, saxophones, acoustic instruments, you name it. As long as Rode is still making this mic as good as they did 12 years ago, you won't regret purchasing one. *SIDE NOTE: About 3-4 years ago the plastic arm broke on the shock-mount, so I had to replace the shock-mount. The shock-mount and mic did get tipped over once while attached to the mic stand, so I kind of attribute that to the cracked swivel arm. However, the mic continued to work flawlessly even after taking a spill. The PSU has never let me down, either. I highly recommend this mic. I may even buy another one day as my studio continues to grow.
Rode K2 is one of the best.
I have ran a pro studio for going on 20years. I know I did not start with K2. I started with a cheaper Neumann. Then I got the K2 when it first came out. I sold my other mice. I never used them again. Honestly, why keep a couple grand of mins in a drawer. This mic has it all, high Psl, tube warmth, variable patterns, own power supply. But the best thing it has is a great great sound. I ran Voidstudio in NC from 1998 to 2008, Used it there on bands rappers everything. When I moved to Fl I got another one, now I use them on drum overheads, Ac Gtr, amps, and mainly vocals. Everyone I record comments on how good it sounds. I was going to get a new mic pre, but it going straight into QU24 with comp set to slow onto, gives you the exact sound of expensive pre and comp outboard gear. But no noise, it has such a low noise floor and a smoothness to it others don't... I am sure that the $3000 mics are probably the best mics, but I would rather spend $700 have a couple love the sound and not freak out every time someone new is at the mic. Hit it, knock it over, come on anyone who has really ran a studio knows when musicians and rappers get exited nervous etc.. Crap happens... These sound great and are made like a tank
Might buy another one
I just remixed a song thats recorded with this mic. When i mixed an entirely different beat to this song the vocal still stood out fromthe K2 from the mix of the newer instruments.
I've tried a large variety of vocal microphones over the years, but this is the one I always come back to and use for my voice. It is rich and creamy, and has just the right of warmth and presence to sit in the mix without a lot of messing around with EQ.
It does require a little bit of extra setup because it uses and exterior box for powering the electronics, but Rode provides ample cable to do so. And, you should allow the tube at least 10 minutes to warm up and settle before recording "keeper" vocals.
I've also used it on acoustic guitar, and it does a great job when its set on the omni pattern and placed about 2 feet from the guitar. It gets a great blend of sheen plus the warm low end of the body.
Highly recommended for a home studio microphone!!
This thing records acoustic guitar and my voice like a champ!!!!
This thing makes me sound so much better than any mic I have ever owned!
Paired with the Roland Duo-Capture EX and ReflexionX and recording in such a tiny room, I can't believe my ears!!!! Thank you Ryan Murray for the recommendations!
Easily the best value in a tube mic. PERIOD!
For a value priced tube mic this thing is really incredible. We now have two of these that we use for everything from drum overheads to saxophone. vocals, choirs, acoustic guitars, metal guitars ...you get the idea.
Like others have said, the variable polar patterns are such a HUUUGE benefit. I have no idea why other mic manufacturers do this. You can simply dial in how much of the room you want to hear by not clicking on a preset setting, but gradually moving from one polar pattern to another. This simple feature makes this mic well worth its price. It sounds incredible for the money and will take a ton of SPL. If you let the mic warm up really well it turns super silky and just makes everything not just "tubey", but super "mellow tubey", if that makes any sense.
Our mic locker has about 60 mics in it and for the money, this thing simply cannot be touched for value. Some or our mics cost 5 times what this thing costs but there is no way they have brought us 5 times the value of the Rode K2. Huge band for the buck.
I only wish it had a HPF. That would really just make it perfect but that is nit picking.
If you are considering any mic under $1000, save up your money and buy this mic
Great Amp Mic
Used this mic on my old Gibson tube amp. Sounded warm and gorgeous
Simply Awesome...if you replace the tube.
Okay when I first bought this mic I wasn't completely blown away. It was dark with an edge that I really didn't like. I can see how some people may think the K2 is overrated, but it isn't bad by any means (e.g. stock).
Now what you need to do to make this mic really shine is to change the tubes. Look into NOS (i.e. New Old Stock) tubes particularly the Mullard ECC88 (Holland). Perhaps there is something better, but that is the one that I got and it works wonderfully. The mic overall is much improved and the annoying peak is gone.
The mic is built like a tank and it will be my "go to" microphone until I can afford a Brauner VMX haha.
Best Bang for Your Buck
As a small project studio owner, I was searching for the one microphone that I could use on the most sources. After weeks of research, I decided to purchase the K2. Wow. I was not dissapointed at all. If you are looking for an accurate mic, look no futher. The multipattern feature alone is worth the price of admission. Great on vocals, especially hip-hop, and great on acoutic guitar. Put it in Omni mode and throw it over a drum kit. Grab another figure 8 mic, and use the Blumlein technique. This mic is SO versatile, I would reccomend it to anyone looking for a mic that can do more.
Reading then Hearing !
Thanks to Rode and the reviews ive read till ive really invested my belief in this amazing yet surprisingly averaged priced tube microphone... i was really satisfied after hearing the results of our recordings ... was looking for a nicely priced high quality vocal mic and i know the rode NTK was the predecessor of this K2 w/c a friend recommended ... seeing the graphs of both mics when they capture the audio signal you will see the difference or enhancement then listening to both of them after recording then you'll hear the big difference... Any commercial recording studio has this microphone i believe if you dont then you missed a very good deal...
THE BEST IF YOU HAVE THE BEST SURROUNDINGS
THIS MIC IS INCREDIBLE, INCREDIBLE IF YOU HAVE A SOUND PROOF VOCAL BOOTH THAT IS. I HAD IT POWERED THROUGH A UNIVERSAL AUDIO 610 AND WAS RECORDING IN MY OPEN ROOM SET UP WITH YOU KNOW ACOUSTIC TREATMENT AND IT STILL PICKED UP EVERY SINGLE ODD NOISE YOU COULD IMAGINE. THINGS I HAD TO SIT AND WONDER WHAT WAS, WAS PICKED UP LIKE BACTERIA UNDER A MICROSCOPE. I WAS SO MAD BECAUSE I HAD TO TURN OFF EVERYTHING IN THE HOUSE AND STILL IT WAS PICKING THINGS UP. THEN I WENT TO MY FRIENDS HOUSE WHO USES A BOTTLE WITH A AVALON MIC AND THE SOUND WAS DAMN THERE JUST AS GOOD, IT WAS GREAT. SO I SOLD HIM THE MIC FOR 50 BUCKS LESS AND WENT BACK TO MY NTK. I FEEL THAT THE NTK IS BETTER FOR THE HOME STUDIO PERSON, BUT IF YOU HAVE A REAL LIFE STUDIO GO WITH THE K2 NOTHING IS COMPARED, LITERALLY
New plateau for vocals
I've used quite a number of different microphones over the past ten or so years in home recording.The Rode K2, chosen after discussion with Sweetwater sales engineer Jason Koons, really sends the quality of my vocal recording to another level. It is amazing that a superb sound quality you can't quite put your finger on emerges from using this mike. It is the first tube mike I've owned so I have no other similar mikes to compare it to. I can only say that the sound quality is awesome. I do own Nt1, Nt1a, nt5stereo rig, Beta 87a, sm58s and a number of other dynamic and condenser mikes. This K2 is head and shoulders above any of them on vocals. It is also excellent on acoustic guitar.
Amazing bang for the buck!
Having now used the K2 in a variety of situations for over a year, I can safely say that I have never used such a dependable, excellent sounding microphone in anything near this price range. You owe it to yourself to really listen to this beauty. What I like most about it is the absolute predictability of its sonic character and response. After a 15 minute warm up, it is rock solid for as long as you can stand to record it. The smoothness of the frequency response is a MAJOR plus for an engineer, requiring only simple, non-obtrusive EQ to obtain spectacular results! The low noise, high SPL handling, and balanced sensitivity are a joy to work with in almost every way. Just remember to use a high-pass filter when close miking anything living, because I have sucessfully recorded excellent heartbeats from vocalists and flautists! Also, this mic wants an excellent pre-amp, AND an excellent A/D converter for best performance; but, with the money you save on the mic, you can afford it, right?
change a tube for it~2
I have the K2 over 8 monthes, I change many tubes for it, almost every style 6922 u can find in the world. Believe me, Change a Valvo (Made in Germany) Not Amperex made or Mullard made Valvo. Just change a Valvo for it , u will find the amazing, Particully for Female Vocal.
My first mic -- and still the most used mic in my studio.
My first mic -- the Rode K2 -- is still the most used mic in my studio. I've yet to find something that won't sound good on this mic. Can handle very high SPL. This is one LDC that i'm not afraid to use on a guitar amp or a bass drum. I liked it so much that the following day, i got my second K2.
Then again, i've always been a fan of Rode mics.
Rode has gone and done it again
Just when I thought I'd heard it all from Rode, they went and threw me a curve. I had already owned the NT1-A, NT1-A and NT2000, but wanted something with a bit different character. The one element I insisted on was Rode's benchmark non existent self noise. The K2 did NOT dissapoint here. It went further. I finally had a chance to cut some vocal tracks with it a few weeks ago. The clarity coupled with the overall smoothness is something you can NOT describe with words.... you HAVE to hear it. Built like a Rolls Royce and with a superb power supply, it has it all (including that nice long power supply cord which should take you easily from control room to recording room). What a great product for an unreal low price. I truly feel this affords a NO compromise result...
I'm loving it!
I love my k2! I use it with a Presonus Eureka and it's giving me a great sound! The right interface, mic, preamp and your ears and you can't go wrong.
I compare this mic with reference to u87 as standard. If YOU need a rich,creamy vocal that can be compete with modern commercial quality, this is the mic. A quality preamp will do alot for this mic, i match it with a avalon 737, pull up the a few db on 20k for abit of air, and i can say honestly, nothing within even twice the price can beat. The mic do adds colour, and for vocal is perfect, however, when i tested with acoustic guitar recording, it doesn't shine as much as vocal, it acctually makes it sounded thin and missing the presence. I compared this to u87, and c414 as reference, but yes, in a way, this is a tube mic, so its not accurate to compare it with solid state. But overall, this is the mic i will keep for the next 20 yrs or so for vocal work, i cant stress it enough how old k2 is on vocal. Don't even look at the price....is unreal compare to the quality it gives.
WELL I LOVE IT....
OKAYYY SO FOR THE MONEY, THERE ISN'T ANYTHING THAT CAN TOUCH IT; WITHOUT THE FACT THAT IT'S ONLY $700 DOESN'T RULE OUT THE FACT THAT IT DOESN'T EMBARRESS SOME OF THE MORE COSTLY MICS EITHER; I'VE WORKED WITH MANY ARTIST IN MANY STUDIOS, PROJECT, HOME, LARGE , SMALL, LIVE; & I HAVE USED A LARGE VARIATION OF MICS FROM THE SONY TO THE U87'S-67'S-47'S, GROOVE TUBES, ORIGINAL & ALESIS, WHICH I HAVE AS WELL...AT4033,4040, AKG, ETC ETC....NEEDLESS TO SAY, & I DO HAVE MOST OF THESE MICS I NAMED, THE K2 IS ON THE SAME OR BETTER PLATFORM THAN THESE MICS; I HAVE IT RUNNIN THRU A LA-610....NEED I SAY MORE; OF COURSE LIKE ANY MIC, U SHOULD WANT TO HAVE A GREAT PRE TO RUN IT THRU; IT'S VERY MUSICAL, TRANSIENTS ARE CLEAR, TONES ARE TRUE, MIC IS WARM, IT'S JUST A GOOD GOOD MIC; SOUNDS GOOD ON MALE OR FEMALE BUT WHAT IT DOES ON A FEMALE VOCAL, WOWWWWW....ANYWAY, EVRYONE WILL HAVE THEIR OWN OPINION....THIS IS MINE.....
The Rode K2 is a very accurate mic: so much so that I was surprised by the flatness of the response and lack of color. This is a good thing!To say that the sound is "warm" is not to say that it has more bass. The tube gives it a more "rounded" and smoothe character. I switched out the stock 6922 tube and put in an Amberex NOS tube--which brings out more clarity, warmth, and harmonic overtones in an already very nice mic. By comparison, this mic has the detail of the Shure KSM44, but with the warmth that makes acoustic guitars and vocals come alive. Listen to the other reviewers: this mic deserves a good preamp.
Great mic for the price but loose patterns
I have had two of these microphones for four or five years and generally speaking, they are wonderful and transparent. I've used them for everything: vocals, acoustic guitar, drum overheads, fiddle. They have more transparency than my AKG 414s but lack some of the warmth of those mics. The other thing that has been a challenge with these microphones is the polar pattern. I can barely tell the difference between the cardioid, figure eight and omni patterns. They are all very loose, so not good in a small room (like mine) when you're trying to isolate between instruments. It's so loose that I've wondered if there is something wrong with my mics. I have tried to contact Rode several times both in the US and Australia with dismal amounts of success. They never have time to answer my questions about this polar pattern issue. But when it's a solo overdub, they are great. But they do compete well with mics costing much more.
Great mic for the price with one issue
I think this mic sounds great. I love it on acoustics, vocals, drums, amps and whatever else someone might have. Really does sound great for $700. My only issue is that I've already on my second shockmount in just under 2 years. The screw is made of plastic and seems to strip or just get too stressed and then falls apart. At $35 it's not the end of the world to get another one though.
A Primary Tool In The Tool Box
I'm not a "go-to-mic" type of person. I find that mics work in combination with preamps, processors, room sound, the rest of the mix etc. A few mics seem to magically work on anything, and they usually cost about 3k plus. The Rode K2, however, at 700 just needs a bit of push to really stand out. Go the extra mile and swap out the 6922 (The Amperex, Holland made is great). If you check out the polar pattern of the K2, you'll notice extra sensitivity in the sibilance range. Changing the tube will get rid of that. Takes the brittle sound out of drums, and the essed-out sound out of the voice (though I actually like it for guitar and bass, seems to give it a bit of edge). Eq down you 6-700 range, and give a little push in the presence. Assuming your pre-amp is good, you will have a crystal clear sound print ready for mixing with your other tracks. It takes a bit of extra work to make that K2 really do its thing, but the sound is really fantastic once you get there.
Very good but not exceptional
I bought this mic and took to China for couple recording sessions for a pop singer and some movie music. K2 works well with project studios, because its sound is just never wrong or remotely disappointing. With K2 in a project studio setting you know you'll get a good sound before the session. However is it that competitive compare to C414 or U87? No, and there's still a big and clear difference between this and high-end classic mics, and it's especially obvious when you take it to a studio with absolutely first rate gears.
K2 has about the highest price a lot of musician can afford in their project studios, and a lot of pro studio owners too, before they dive into the $1000 plus range. And while the value seems great, I'd still say it's a little bit too much. $600 would be the perfect price.
Versatility is the Key
For the price you cannot get a better condenser, period.
I run it through my Avalon 2022 preamp, then to my Rosetta 200 converter; it has consistently given me very nice results from vocals, acoustic guitars and guitar amps.
Climbing the K2
So, here goes the K2 review.
I had the good fortune of bringing my newly bought K2 over to my recording freak's...i mean friend's house and testing it against 10 other mics.
The K2, like others have said is a great all arounder. Anything that is cheaper than this mic definetly pales in comparison. However, the Nuemann TLM103 did prove to have a nicer line in both the extended highs and lows.
In our testing that was the closest competitor and everything else that beat it out was much more expensive (like a $5,000 vintage M149...duh).
Still, the defining benefit of this mic in my ears was its musicality and smoothness. Not as airy as I would ultimately prefer, and the prescence leaves a hair to be desired...but the midrange is very natural and beautiful. The lows taper nicely and unless you're going to spend more it is very servicable in many an endevour.
Make sure you got the milk to go with it..........
This is a wonderful microphone by Rode. I would even use the word beautiful to describe it. However, if you do not have GOOD, "tube" mic pre, your money would be better off being spent there before buying ANY new microphone. I purchased the K-2 and ran it through my "at one time" mic pre the ART Pro Channel which is a semi respectable, cost effectve preamp. The sond was.........tinny.
I sold the ART Pro Channel on ebay after 12 more attempts at a good vocal sound. After my dissapointment I sacked up, pulled out the Visa and bought a new Avalon vt 737 sp for $2,000. I took it back to the studio, breathed in some air, plugged in the K2 and.......... BAMB!!!!!!! (Sonic Nirvana)
There it was...... the warmth, the air, the wet smooth sound that we all hear on our favorite songs. To plug a microphone like the K2 into a mediocre preamp like a firepod, or a mackie board, or a digi rack is like adding water to Captin Crunch. If you want the Whole Milk flavor, buy a tube pre you can't afford. After all, we only live once.
This mic is a bit like a warmer NT2 which I also own. Good mic for the price for sure. It's still a little on the bright side for me but I make sure and record with no EQ. All in all a good mic.
NOT A VERSATILE VOCAL MIC
Used it on focusrite pre,uad pres,apogee..can give good result on certain range og vocal but personally i dnt like it on female voice..
Change a tube for it
This mic is very good for it's price, I give the U 87
4.o and give it 3.0, I think the only thing 87 better than it, Is The Sound of k2 is a little bit dark. I record the vocals mostly, And it is a little
bit dark , I give the U149 3.5 only, It is not good as it's Price. I suggest the k2 owner change a tube for it , a cca of simons is good enough to make your k2 sounded better than U149, But still npt as good as U 87 or a Manly. But it costs u 850 USD Only, MIC+ NOS CCa Tube.
This mic is pretty good, but it's definitely not as great sounding as it is made out to be. It is a surpisingly dark mic. I changed the tube and everything, but the tone has just remained suprisingly dark.
With that said, it did deliver good results on guitar amps. It probably sounded at it's best in that situation. Rock vocals came out sounding ok, but like I said, slightly darker than desired.
In closing, I'd look at something else for vocals. I suspect it would be best used as a guitar amp mic or a drum room mic (because of it's polar patterns). That's just my $.02
K2 VS. Blueberry
I went out a year ago and purchased a B.L.U.E. Blueberry just for the purpose of recording vocals... just to be VERY disapointed with my results, very harsh and brittle.
upon returning the mic a few days later, I had an engineer from my area that had tracked the Dropkick Murphy's recommend this mic... and at half the cost, it is easily three times the mic!
I love this thing, and have plans to purchase a few more!
I find the K2 to perform well on every thing from vocals to guitar amps to percussion and bass guitars!
... and when it doesn't seem to give the sound I'm looking for, changing the polar pattern will gimme the sound that will compliment the source nine times out of ten. Extremely versital!
warm and pleasant to the ears, hey this thing will even make a crappy A/D converter sound decent!
9.8 on a scale of 0-10
You won't find a better mic at even twice the price!
A sound to die for...
I am a young female RnB / Jazz singer and have been recording for 4 years. I have been using many other mics on my voice such as AKGs C414s and AT4040 series mics (4047 and 4060). I then tried the Rode K2 for a few days in the studio i use. I wanted a mic that can capture my voice with out adding any harshness or a cheap effect to it. The moment the engineer set up the K2, i just starting singing away, and playing with distances and the available proximity. Wow, this mic performed beautifully, and it captured my voice with classy flattering warmth and added a subtle air on the top. I have never heard my voice sound so amazing in solo, without any eq or reverb. I was shocked. We then had a acoustic guitarist go over my vocals, to see how it sounds in a mix with guitar and bass, and again Wow. I was lost for words, it sounded like heaven.
Finally i have my own magical vocal mic which i will carry around to all my sessions. Fingers crossed this will be my last ever mic to be use on my voice. Its a bit heavy, but its in a protective case...and its ugly...but hey its a freebie.
I may pick up another K2 in the near future, as i may never find another mic for my voice as good as this, if rode ever decide to discontinue it.
We now have two K2s.
We use em for drum overheads, vocals, acoustic instruments and percussion - all with wonderful results.
I don't notice much difference when using the pattern sweep knob.
The best studio mic for the money for sure. You'd have to step into the $2000 range of mics to get any better - and then versatility ius diminished by the distict character that higher end mics have. The Rode K2 is wonderfully neutral.
ABSOLUTElY AMAZINGLY AWESOME
The K2 is incredible, I had recorded on a Friends NTK and it doesnt even compare, if your trying to decide between the two, spend the extra cash and get the K2 you WONT be dissapointed. Its freaking crazy! Clearest mic I have ever heard, it lives up to it's hype, actually it lives past it's hype, way past, The K2 is gonna be my friend FOREVER!!!
I just got my Pro Tools 002 setup, and purchased a Rode K2 mic after reading some very positive reviews. I am very pleased with this mic. The mic is very flat, very transient, and has worked very well thus far on male vocals and acoustic guitar. I can tell it's going to be a superb mic for amplified applications, as well. I may end up buying another soon.
The things I notice mostly about this mic is that it's very even throughout the harmonic spectrum. I backed off my gain when recording the vocalist, and there was no loss of presence. Great mic for most uses.
K2 wins!..and loses
We pitted the K2 against an ORIGINAL Telefunken Ela M 251, and won! However, the 251 we used had seen better days. Then we put it up against a Blue Bottle and the newer SoundElux 251, and we lost, but not by as much as the price difference would lead one to believe. Having saved $4200.00, I think I'll get some more gear!
I upgraded from an NT1 to the K2 and wow what a difference. This mic for my vocals is warm, tight, excellent frequency response. This mic takes EQ well. I'm very happy with the way this mic sounds and has inproved my recordings. I think this is a best buy. Comes with a nice plastic case, excellent shockmount and quality cable along with the power supply.
I received this mic last week and put it through its paces with a very talented female vocalist. It captured every nuance without being too bright or too dark. This mic is a great value. Rode really did their homework on this model.
I just purchased Rode K2. All I can say is - wow!!! I've never heard anything better than this... Actually I have a feeling that this mic hears more than my ears... Sound is neutral, no coloration, at least for me. Fantastic mic for male vocals or acoustic instruments. (Not tried with female vocals, but I think that it is very good in all aspects).