Review: Sennheiser MKE 440 Compact Stereo Shotgun Video Microphone
Pros:Good audio quality and reduced wind noise
Cons:High price tag
This is definitely a unique style of microphone that I’ve never used before. It has a Stereo Super-Cardioid pick-up pattern, and it achieves this with two mini shotgun mics mounted in a V-shape arrangement which is similar to microphones in an XY pattern, but this mic allows you to pick up audio further away, while […]
This is definitely a unique style of microphone that I’ve never used before. It has a Stereo Super-Cardioid pick-up pattern, and it achieves this with two mini shotgun mics mounted in a V-shape arrangement which is similar to microphones in an XY pattern, but this mic allows you to pick up audio further away, while also rejecting any ambience and background noise. In my opinion it sounds really great. I noticed while testing it that it especially sounded really good for close-up audio that was around 3 to 6 feet away.
As far as the physical aspects of this mic goes, its very high quality. It’s made from an all metal construction, even the micro-mesh is stainless steel, so it’s very durable and will hold up. Its lightweight at 165 g which is about a third of a pound, and its 5 inches long and 2.5 inches tall, so it’s not a large mic for your camera. It runs off of 2 included AAA batteries, which should last around 100 hours. The coiled cable with the 3.5 mm jack comes from the front of the mic, which is nice so it doesn’t hang in front of your screen. The shoe mount is square, which I love cause because it allows you to mount it sideways in case you want to record any voice-over from the side of camera, which I do regularly during unboxing videos.
For the switches on the side we have the on and off switch which lights up green when you’re battery is full and the light changes to red when it only has 4 hours left of power. Next to that we have the Sensitivity switches so from left to right we go from -20 db to 0 db to +20 db. And the last switch is the low-cut filter for reducing low wind noise and rumble.
And speaking of wind noise, this mic does a really good job of protecting from low wind noise and it does that with the outer micro-mesh cover, but also when you look inside you can see how there’s a covering over the tubes to protect it from wind-noise as well. Now don’t get me wrong, if the wind is strong, you’re going to hear it, and they offer a fur windshield specifically for this mic for $50 for that specific scenario.
And while I have this mic open, let me focus on something that you can’t really appreciate unless you’ve taken it apart, which is the internal shock mounting of the tubes. This really shows off the German engineering involved in all of Sennheiser’s products. Especially when you compare it to other brands like Rode. Now Rode is a great company that makes good products, but when you compare the bolted on external Rycote Lyre suspension of the Rode VideoMic to the cleaner simplistic internal design of the MKE 440, it’s pretty obvious which company spent more time on this aspect of their mic.
Overall I really enjoyed using this microphone and even though it retails for $350, I think that it’ll bring you years of solid good quality audio.