The new Sennheiser MKE 400 is an on-camera shotgun microphone that has been specifically designed for vloggers, videographers, and mobile journalists.
There has been a myriad of on-camera shotgun microphones released over the years and with the growing number of content creators, it is a big market that companies want to be part of.
If you have been around long enough you may well remember the original MKE 400 that was announced way back in 2008. It was introduced to add better audio capabilities to cameras such as the Canon 5D Mark II.
The form factor of the MKE 400 is very similar to that of Sennheiser’s own MKE200 that was released in September last year.
The new MKE 400 features a headphone monitoring output with volume control, an internal shock-mount, internal windscreen, and automatic on/off function, plus it comes with accessories.
The MKE 400 utilizes an acoustic interference tube and a super-cardioid polar pattern that ensures pick-up from the direction in which the camera is facing while canceling out noise from the sides.
The MKE 400’s shock-mounted capsule is claimed to minimize handling noise, while the microphone housing doubles as a standard windscreen. For outdoor use, a furry windshield is included.
The microphone also features a 3-step sensitivity switch so you can adjust the audio level going into the mic input of the camera.
Along with the three-step sensitivity switch, there is also a low-cut filter and a headphone monitoring output. This headphone out features an integrated 8-step digital volume control. You can plug any headphone with a 3.5 mm (1/8”) jack directly into the MKE 400 and check levels and audio performance while you are recording.
The MKE 400 includes 3.5 mm TRS and TRRS locking cables that can be used with DSLR and mirrorless cameras or mobile devices. The mic has a cold-shoe mount with ¼-20 thread so you can mount it on cameras, gimbals, or even on a boom pole.
To power the microphone you need to use two AAA batteries. This is claimed to be able to keep the microphone running for up to 100 hours. A low battery indicator will warn you three hours before the batteries run flat.
When connected to DSLR or mirrorless cameras, the MKE 400 automatically powers on/off with the camera. Power detection also works with many smartphone models. As soon as you remove the MKE 400, it will automatically turn off. A manual power button is provided too, featuring an off-delay to avoid any accidental operation.
MKE 400 Mobile Kit
The MKE 400 is also available in the form of an MKE 400 Mobile Kit which includes a Sennheiser Smartphone Clamp and Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod.
Price & Availability
The MKE 400 retails for $199.95 USD. The MKE 400 Mobile Kit costs $229.95 USD.
There are a lot of competing on-camera shogun microphones in this space. These include: