Sennheiser MKE 400 | An Encapsulated Shotgun Mic Solution!
Sennheiser released an update to their MKE 400 to make it more in line with the excellent MKE 200 that we reviewed a little while ago here: The MKE 400 is Sennheiser’s answer to that powered larger on-camera shotgun mic’s like the MKE 200 I compared to the Video Micro by Rode think of this one being like the video mic.
The mic now sports a lot of similarities in design and features shown in the MKE 200 like the enclosed shock design which adds great resilience and some built-in windproofing to boot but just like the MKE 200 it comes with the world’s softest ever dead-cat now just in a larger size, the excellent locking Audio cables also make a return giving you the confidence that everything is plugged in and secure. This new design is also very small and compact for this style of mic making it very portable and lightweight.
Where it differs from the MKE 200 however is the MKE 400 has an active microphone with a much larger internal element this gives it a hotter signal and extended range when recording. It’s powered by 2 AAA batteries so super easy to swap out when they die on the go. There are three gain levels to choose from being – and + [whatever that means] and a low-end roll-off for those rumbly situations. And finally, on this site, there is a built-in headphone monitor port with volume control this is an excellent addition allowing you to, with no fuss, monitor your audio in-camera without a headphone jack or an external monitor is the only way.
Now as I always say when reviewing microphones you should really go for whatever microphone you prefer the sound of as the sound is subjective. Obviously, there are other factors that might sway your choices, like price and features. But, in the end, we use microphones to capture sound so you should make sure the microphone you buy suits your needs.
In my personal opinion though I do very much like how the MKE 400 sounds. It’s clearer and performs much better in the wind compared to the Rode it might have a little less low end but the Rode sounds muddier overall.
Overall I am really liking this MKE line of mics Sennheiser are building. The MKE 400 built-in shock mount design is really unique and continues to give me confidence along with the locking jacks. The gain symbols may be a little ambiguous on the side but I think that was a conscious decision to make the microphone as simple to use as possible and the built-in monitoring means I don’t have to worry about the audio anywhere near as much and focus on what I’m filming. A
Check out the full review below to get all the details and help decide if this mic is for you!