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Sennheiser MKE 400: A Sound Choice

Posted on Mar 6, 2024

Voted best on-camera microphone by Photography News readers in our annual awards, we hear why the Sennheiser MKE 400 compact directional shotgun microphone will give a real boost to the audio content of your videos

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As content creators, we now have the opportunity at our fingertips to create high-quality 4K video and capture stills which are capable of reproducing billboard-sized images, all thanks to the latest cameras.

However, venturing into video recording may reveal that built-in audio capture is not always a top priority for camera manufacturers compared to visuals.

The answer is incorporating an additional accessory microphone, whether it’s used on or off camera.

Luckily, there is a winning choice recommended to you by Photography News readers – the Sennheiser MKE 400. The continually innovative, 75-year-old brand remains an industry standard for delivering professional audio.

Attaching to a camera via a 3.5mm coiled cable, this product has been awarded best on-camera microphone by the enthusiastic readers of this magazine. So what made it a winner?

Excelling in audio

An on-camera microphone like the Sennheiser MKE 400 is a great choice for those who want to keep a mirrorless camera or DSLR-equipped shooting rig both highly compact and mobile. This directional microphone weighs just 93.5g and measures a mere 126x67x37mm.

It comes supplied with interchangeable 3.5mm coiled TRS and TRRS cables that offer compatibility with a camera or even mobile device. Additionally, a 3.5mm headphone output allows for levels to be monitored while recording is taking place. 

Its directionality is achieved via an acoustic interference tube, which helps isolate audio in front of the camera and reject unwanted background noise from the sides. Power comes conveniently supplied via two AAA batteries, automatically powering either on or off when connected to DSLR or mirrorless cameras.

What sets the Sennheiser MKE 400 apart is the integration of features like the windscreen and shock mount – which are typically separate accessories.

The built-in wind protection makes the mic seriously compact and enables consistently great sound. For outdoor shoots, a furry windshield is included, too.

The shock mount minimises handling noise, and the fact that it has been integrated into the microphone housing means that cables and other accessories cannot get tangled in it.   

Furthering the advantages are advanced features such as a three-step gain sensitivity switch, which enables distortion-free sound in any environment.

Clear and intelligible speech is provided thanks to its switchable low-cut filter, which helps to eliminate wind noise. 

Put simply, this is a microphone designed to isolate and enhance the clarity of audio for video capture.

Plus, thanks to the range of devices it can connect to, the Sennheiser MKE 400 means video recordings don’t have to be limited to a specific piece of hardware.

As a case in point, smartphone videographers should investigate the MKE 400 Mobile Kit, which includes the MKE 400 microphone, Sennheiser Smartphone Clamp, plus Manfrotto Pixi mini tripod – all of a convenient size for your camera bag.

So, make 2024 the year in which you take the first step in upgrading audio and boosting the professional qualities of your video content.

When it comes to winning accessories, the Sennheiser MKE 400 directional shotgun microphone is clearly worthy of its place on the podium as the ideal tool for vloggers and videographers.

Read more about the 2023 PN Awards.

First published in Issue 113 of Photography News.

MKE 400 Microphone
MKE 400 Microphone

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