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Rode K2

Test & Review

Are you looking for a microphone with multiple polar patterns? Rode K2 microphone is the best choice for you. It is a tube microphone with a large diaphragm. Discover through this guide our test and review of this condenser microphone from Rode.

Rode K2 microphone test and review

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

If you want to equip your home studio with a high quality microphone , why not choose the Rode K2? large diaphragm condenser microphone known for reproducing sound with great detail.

Is this Rode microphone model capable of delivering a good performance, whatever the source in front of it? Is it easy to use for a beginner? What accessories come with the microphone? Through this article, discover the answers to all your questions about this microphone with multiple directionality . Here is the complete test of the K2 from Rode.

Rode K2 microphone review
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Focus on the Rode brand

Rode is a brand whose reputation is well established. Today, this company's products are sold in more than 110 countries around the world. Before going into more detail in the Rode K2 test, let's first focus on this Australian brand.

Rode is a company created by Henry and Astrid Freedman in 1967, but the company has been taken over by their son Peter Freedman since 1990. This brand specializes in professional audio recording equipment . In its rich catalog, we find several categories including speakers, mixing consoles, amplifiers and microphones.

When it comes to microphones, Rode is enjoying great success among gaming and streaming enthusiasts with its USB microphones . In this category, the most popular include the Rode Podcaster and the Rode NT-USB . For information, note that the latter also exists in a miniature version: the Rode NT-USB mini.

Note also that Rode recently launched a sub-brand called Rode X. With the latter, it exclusively offers products dedicated to gamers and streamers. As of this writing, Rode X has already launched three products. Rode XCM-50 USB condenser microphone and the XDM-100 dynamic USB microphone.

Furthermore, this company has been able to attract audio professionals thanks in particular to the Rode NT1 . Two years after the release of this legendary microphone, in 1992, the brand hit again hard by offering a more versatile professional microphone : the Rode NT2. Indeed, the latter offers 3 choices of directivity just like the Rode K2, the model which is on our test bench today.



Rode K2 Microphone Overview

The Rode K2 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone like the Neumann U47 FET and the Telefunken U47. As its name suggests, this type of microphone is equipped with a condenser. Its role is to convert the charge into an electrical signal . The latter will then be transferred to the preamp or sound card.

Unlike a dynamic microphone (moving coil mic), a condenser or condenser mic has a built-in amp. This is why this type of microphone needs an external power supply to work . Moreover, the K2 already comes with its own power supply.

In addition to its power supply, the Rode K2 is accompanied by an anti-shock suspension called SM2 . This is a support designed to mount large diaphragm condenser microphones from the Australian brand. This device has the function of isolating unwanted noise such as floor vibrations and rumbling.

In terms of looks, the K2 is a real feast for the eyes. It benefits from an impeccable finish that resembles the high-end models of the German brand Neumann. It weighs only 815 g, which can be an advantage for nomadic producers .

The power supply of the Rode K2

As noted above, the Rode K2 comes with its own power supply . On its front panel, we find the following elements:

  • An On/Off switch
  • A blue LED that indicates whether the device is on or off
  • A directivity change dial

On the rear panel of this device, we find the following elements:

  • A microphone output jack
  • An earth connection
  • A microphone input jack
  • A voltage selector
  • A mains power socket
Rode K2 power supply
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Before using this microphone, be sure to set the switch to the correct voltage . Depending on the voltage required in your country, you should select 115V or 230V. Besides, be sure to plug the male plug of the 7-pin cable into the 7-pin input jack on the rear plate of the power pack. food. Next, connect the 7-pin female plug to the mic.

Then, plug your XLR cable into the power supply's output jack, routing this output to your mixer. The best would be to avoid cables that are too long so as not to harm the sound reproduction.

Your recording equipment is now ready. All you have to do is plug in the mains power to start testing the performance of the Rode K2.

The Rode K2 and its multiple directivity choices

Most studio microphones only offer a cardioid polar pattern . This polar pattern makes it possible to capture sounds in front of the microphone and ignore sounds towards the rear. As for the sounds on the sides, these are strongly attenuated.

With the K2 from the Rode brand, its field of application is not limited only to capturing sounds in front of the microphone. You can change the microphone sensitivity depending on the sound source to be recorded. Indeed, it displays several types of directivities:

  • A cardioid polar pattern : to make the microphone sensitive only to sounds coming from the front
  • Figure 8 directivity : for sensitivity to sources coming from the front and back of the microphone
  • Omnidirectional directivity : for equal sensitivity in all directions

To change the directionality of the K2, you simply need to use its power supply . Adjust the dial accessible on its front face to the polar diagram of your choice.

Each directivity is represented by a small symbol. Point the small white dot on the dial toward the inverted heart to select cardioid polar pattern. Set this to inverted 8 for bidirectional directivity. And to change it to an omnidirectional microphone, position the dial on the round-shaped diagram .

In addition to these 3 main directivities, this microphone also offers intermediate levels . For example, you can point the dial to a position halfway between cardioid mode and omni mode. Obviously, this is not without consequences on the sensitivity of the microphone. Indeed, with this intermediate position, you will notice a slight pickup of sounds coming from the rear .

The levels between the main directivities therefore have an impact on the sound reproduction . Feel free to experiment with the different positions to determine which one best suits your application and sound source.



Areas of application for the Rode K2

The use of the Rode K2 is not limited to voice recording . Thanks to its switchable directivity, this model can be adapted to a wide range of use .

For example, if you want to record a singer's voice in the studio, simply set the microphone to cardioid mode. This is also the directivity to choose for capturing acoustic instruments like a guitar or a flute.

You can also use this microphone to pick up a guitar amp . However, you will certainly have a better result with a dynamic microphone like the Sennheiser E609. With its flattened shape, it can be easily installed on your studio equipment. You can thus record your electric guitar in optimal conditions.

If you plan to record two singers simultaneously, the wisest option would be to choose bidirectional mode. However, they must be placed on either side of the microphone to bring out correct sound reproduction . In fact, this type of directivity rejects lateral sources. These are in a blind spot.

Can we use the Rode K2 to take vocals from several singers at the same time? The answer is yes. To do this, simply make sure to point the dial towards the circle diagram. In this way, the microphone will be equally sensitive to sounds over a 360° angle .

And for gaming and streaming, can this mic do the trick? Here again, the answer is yes. However, for greater convenience, it is better to turn to a USB microphone which benefits from a Plug & Play system .

In fact, this type of microphone plugs directly into the USB port of your computer. No need for an external sound card. Remember to favor reliable models that have proven themselves such as the Blue Yeti X micro-USB or the famous Rode NT-USB .

Another area in which the Rode K2 finds its importance: stereo sound recording .

As an example, if you want to record your acoustic guitar with the MS (Mid-Side) technique, you will need two K2 microphones. One set to cardioid polar pattern (the Mid mic ) and the other to the figure-8 pattern (the Side mic ). As for the positioning of the microphones, point the Mid microphone towards your guitar and the Side microphone below it so as to form a 90° angle .

areas of application of the Rode K2
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Focus on the sound quality of the Rode K2

The Rode K2 delivers good sound quality overall. From the first listens, you can immediately notice that it reproduces sound with impressive detail. The sound is clear, especially in the treble. We can also hear a nice depth in the bass sounds .

By installing the SM2 suspension, this microphone effectively suppresses handling noise . However, to limit plosives when recording in cardioid mode, do not hesitate to use a pop filter. Thanks to this device, you can eliminate unwanted noise generated by plosive consonants such as B, D, G, K, P and T.

Using a pop filter allows you to increase the sound quality of the microphone . In addition, this device also protects the capsule from splashes of humidity during voice recording.

The maximum SPL of this model is 162 dB . This means it is able to withstand high sound pressure levels without distortion.

What about the proximity effect? Well, unsurprisingly, by selecting cardioid mode, this mic is prone to proximity effect . This means that the closer the user speaks or sings to the microphone, the more low frequencies will be amplified. However, with omnidirectional mode, this effect becomes less pronounced.

Other sound quality of the Rode K2: Its excellent signal-to-noise ratio . It must be said that this is a particularity that this model shares with most large diaphragm microphones.



The technical characteristics of the Rode K2

  • Microphone type: large diaphragm tube condenser microphone
  • Polar patterns: cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional (+ intermediate levels)
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz
  • Maximum SPL: 162 dB (@1kHz, 1% THD)
  • Sensitivity: -36 dB ref. 1V/Pascal (16 mV @ 94 dB SPL) (±2 dB)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: > 81 dB SPL
  • Output impedance: 200 ohms
  • Equivalent noise level (A-weighted): 10 dBA
  • Output connection: XLR
  • Dimensions: 208mm x 55mm x 55mm
  • Weight: 815g
  • Accessories included: SM2 shock mount, case, external power supply
Rode K2 Packaging
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Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4,9 /5

Value for money

4,7 /5

Global mark

4,8 /5

Our opinion on the Rode K2 microphone

Sound quality worthy of a high-end microphone, practical included accessories, wide range of use, the Rode K2 has something to please. Every audiophile will certainly be delighted to welcome this masterpiece into their recording studio.

This condenser microphone can meet the needs of demanding music producers since it provides a lot of detail.

It also stands out for its versatility. Thanks to its multiple choices of directivities, this model adapts to several sound sources and recording contexts. It can be used in particular for singing and recording musical instruments. It is also practical for setting up an MS recording technique.

With its figure-8 directivity, this microphone greatly facilitates the task during an interview. In fact, all you have to do is place the two people concerned on either side of the microphone and that's it.

In addition, changing the sensitivity of the microphone remains child's play. You simply have to turn the dial available on its power supply.

The other advantage of this microphone lies in its accessories. The power supply is easy to use. Everything is also well detailed in the user manual. And what about the shock mount? This device really helps remove unwanted vibrations. Enough to optimize the quality of recordings.

Most :

  • Clear and detailed sound
  • Versatile
  • High-performance shock-absorbing suspension
  • Easy to handle power supply

The lessers :

  • No high pass filter

Our verdict on the Rode K2: This microphone passed our test with success. We forgive the absence of a high-pass filter (a device that would cut low frequencies at a certain level).

Considering all its sonic advantages, we can only recommend this model to you. In addition, it can meet wide usage from vocal recording to instrument capture. Not to mention, this microphone from Rode offers excellent value for money.

Rode K2 Demo

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