Rode NTK Vs K2 Comparison

Are you in a disquiet because you are wondering whether you should purchase Rode NTK or Rode K2? Despite the differences in names, looks, and prices, the two products still share quite a lot of similarities and resemblances with each other. Rode NTK comes with a darker brown hue and is a little bit more affordable. On the other hand, Rode K2 has a light brown, almost silverish color. It is also a little bit more expensive compared to Rode NTK. Most of their internal systems seem to be identical. Well, is that so?

Rode NTK Vs K2

The Similarities
Indeed, both Rode NTK and Rode K2 are tube condenser microphones. They both have pressure gradient acoustic principle, and each uses valve/tube impedance converter with bipolar output buffer. Each uses a 1” capsule. They have a similar frequency response range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz, so they can capture the same lows, mids, and highs. They have the same output impedance of 200 Ohms. (Please read also: Rode NTK Vs Neumann TLM 102)

Technical Specs

Rode NTKRode K2
- Frequency Range: 20Hz - 20kHz- Frequency Range: 20Hz - 20kHz
- Output Impedance: 200Ω- Output Impedance: 200Ω
- 158dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)- Maximum SPL: 162dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)162dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)
- Maximum Output Level: 29.0mV- Maximum Output Level: 30.0mV
- Sensitivity: -38.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (25.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz- Sensitivity: -36.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (16.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
- Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted): 12dB-A- Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted): 10dB-A
- Power Options: Power supply included- Power Options: Power supply included
- Address Type: Side- Address Type: Side
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid- Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Figure 8, Omnidirectional
- Capsule: 1.00"- Capsule: 1.00"
- Active Electronics: Valve/tube impedance converter with bipolar output buffer- Active Electronics: Valve/tube impedance converter with bipolar output buffer
- Acoustic Principle: Pressure Gradient- Acoustic Principle: Pressure Gradient

They both are side-address mics. They do have identical overall dimensions, as each of them measures by 208mm x 55mm x 55mm. They both require being powered using a power supply, which is included in their bundles. They both have XLR output.

The Differences
Perhaps the first difference that we can notice when holding both mics at the same time is that Rode K2 is slightly heavier than Rode NTK. This is due to the K2 having more internal components than the NTK.

Rode K2 has multiple polar patterns. Its polar pattern can be switched between cardioid, figure eight, and omnidirectional. The cardioid picks up sounds especially from the front, slightly from the sides, and attenuates the rear. The figure eight picks up from the front and the rear, and not from the sides. Meanwhile, the omnidirectional picks up sound from all directions equally well. Having multiple polar patterns can be very beneficial, as you have the versatility needed to handle different recording needs and conditions. On the other hand, Rode NTK only has a single cardioid polar pattern.

In addition, the K2 features slightly lower equivalent noise level (10 dB-A) and higher output level (30 mV) compared to the NTK (12 dB-A, 29 mB). As the effect, the K2 can deliver even cleaner, stronger sounds than the already excellent NTK. The K2 also has a slightly higher maximum SPL handling than the NTK, which allows the mic to capture louder voices without distortion.

Last but not least, Rode K2 actually comes with newer capsule design the NTK. The improved design indeed improves the audio reproduction quality. Compared to the NTK that can be quite harsh at times, Rode K2 typically sounds smoother and more pleasant to the ears while staying bright and crisp enough. The K2 also has much less high-end bites than the NTK.

Rode NTK Vs K2

- Large 1 inch capsule with gold plated diaphragm
- Class A valve circuitry
- Ultra low noise
- Wide dynamic range
- Hand-selected and graded 6922 twin-triode valve
- Large 1" capsule with gold sputtered diaphragm and internal shock mounting
- Ultra low noise
- Wide dynamic range
- Class 'A' valve circuitry
- Hand-selected and graded 6922 twin-triode valve

So, should you pick Rode K2 or Rode NTK? The NTK is good, but the K2 is better. The smoother audio characteristic can be very beneficial in recordings. Besides, the multiple polar patterns add a great deal of versatility!

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