Representing the same brand, the Rode K2 and the NTK share a series of similarities that maintain their hereditary progression as well as some vital distinctive characteristics that make one of them a better microphone than the other.
We’ll talk about them systematically as we proceed further and find out who emerges out as a winner – Rode K2 or Rode NTK.
Let's have a look at their specifications:
|Parameters||Rode K2||Rode NTK|
|Acoustic operating principle||Pressure Gradient||Pressure Gradient|
|Frequency range||20 hz to 20 khz||20 hz to 20 khz|
|Equivalent noise level||10 dB A-weighted||12 dB A-weighted|
|Maximum Sound Pressure Level||162 dB SPL||158 dB SPL|
|Impedance||200 ohms||200 ohms|
|Sensitivity||36 dB at 1 khz||38 dB at 1 khz|
Rode K2 vs NTK – Let's clear the smoke!
Design and build
The Rode K2 and the Rode NTK can be thought as brothers as they have some resemblances with each other; the foremost being that both the Rode K2 and Rode NTK are tube condenser microphones.
Now, coming to one of the most significant differences between the Rode K2 and the Rode NTK is the capsule design. Rode K2 houses a newer capsule design than the Rode NTK.
You get a gold-sputtered diaphragms in a large dual-diaphragm capsule in the Rode K2 while the Rode NTK features dual-triode tube.
However, a valve impedance converter with bipolar output buffer is common in both the Rode K2 and the Rode NTK.
- Both have a similar output impedance.
- Both have the same frequency response range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, so we know that they will capture the same lows, mids, and highs.
- Both need to be powered using a power supply which comes along with their packaging.
- Both are connected using an XLR cable.
However, there is one key feature which puts the Rode K2 way ahead in the game than the Rode NTK in terms of usability and practicality, and that is the polar pattern.
The Rode K2 has multiple polar patterns which can be switched between Cardioid, Figure of 8 and Omnidirectional.
- The Cardioid pattern specializes in picking up the majority of the sound from the front, a little from the sides and completely blocks out the sounds coming from the rear.
- The Figure of 8 picks up the signal from the front and the rear and blocks out the sounds coming from either side of the microphone.
- The Omnidirectional patterns picks up sounds equally from all directions.
No wonder, having multiple polar patterns, the Rode K2 becomes very versatile and can fit your recording needs and conditions perfectly.
Meanwhile, with the Rode NTK, you get only a single Cardioid polar pattern.
Sound and performance
This is the segment where things take a turn and get competitive.
Firstly, going with the similarities, both the Rode K2 and the Rode NTK are warm sound microphones, especially while recording vocals and other acoustic instruments.
Their mid-range sounds nice and full and helps the audio signal to cut through the mix with ease.
The low-end has the necessary depth and richness, and doesn’t make it sound muddy.
However, the high end of the Rode NTK is slightly boosted than the Rode K2. What happens due to that? It makes the Rode NTK to sound quite harsh and has quite some high-end bite which results in some of the vocalists sound shrill. Admit it!
On the other hand, we have the smooth sound Rode K2 which is both pleasant to the ears and has sufficient amount of brightness, crisp and detailing to it as well.
Furthermore, while the Rode K2 has a balanced sensitivity, the Rode NTK is highly sensitive and picks up even the slightest of ambient sounds and makes it really difficult to use it in a noisy environment.
Also, the Rode K2 boasts of a lower self noise than the Rode NTK which helps the former in delivering a more cleaner and stronger sound than the latter.
So if you want to focus on the minute details of any recording, Rode K2 would be a better option than the Rode NTK anyway.The Rode K2 has a higher sound pressure level handling capacity than the Rode NTK.
Meaning that with the Rode K2 you can capture loud noises without it getting distorted, which isn’t the case with the Rode NTK.
Similarities and differences:
- Both are side-address microphones
- Both have a pressure gradient acoustic principle
- Both are warm sound microphones
- Rode K2 has a higher sound pressure level handling capacity than the Rode NTK.
- Rode NTK is highly sensitive than k2.
- Rode K2 has multiple polar patterns whereas NTK comes with a single cardioid polar pattern.
Rode K2 – pros and cons
- Capsule features an internal shock-mount
- Switchable polar patterns
- Might take some time for the tube to heat up
Rode NTK – pros and cons
- Excellent for acoustic guitar recordings
- Very light-weighted which makes it easily portable
- Can be noisy during recordings
To sum it up, after sharing a line of similarities and significant differences, our verdict about the better microphone between the Rode K2 and the NTK is quite evident and it is undoubtedly the Rode K2.
There is no saying that the Rode NTK is a low performer, given the price tag attached to it. However, in comparison with the Rode K2, it does lack in performance and features as well.
So if you can afford a slightly more investment, then we would definitely recommend you to go for the Rode K2.
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