Recording audio using a stock microphone on a video camera/DSLR will only result in audio that is very noisy or bad in terms of quality. In order to fix this, a lot of people use third party microphones with better audio instruments to record better audio for their videos. Sennheiser MKE 440 is a compact stereo microphone for cameras and it can easily be mounted in the flash shoe mount. All you need to do is plug-in this shotgun microphone and it will start recording audio. What else does this microphone have to offer? Let us find out in this review!
Design & Build
Since this is a stereo shotgun microphone, the design is kind of unique and it is made out of a rugged metal housing in the form of a wire mesh. The microphone is shaped just like a V but it is laid out horizontally. The base of this microphone has all the controls built on it and there’s a coiled 3.5mm audio input aux cable that will be used to connect the microphone with the camera.
For powering the microphone, you need to add two AAA batteries. Yes, the microphone requires external power since the power from the 3.5mm input won’t be enough to power this thing. Sennheiser has fitted a patented and specially developed shock mount for the microphone which will sit on top of the camera thanks to the shoe mount. You have better noise handling and the rubber suspension for the microphone is integrated into the metal mesh that covers the internal monitors.
The Sennheiser MKE 440 is something that you can term as new or unconventional. We have seen other stereo microphones from companies such as Røde and their Stereo Videomic Pro is vastly different from the Sennheiser MKE 440. The Røde uses a traditionally configured XY stereo microphone setups which are different from what Sennheiser is trying to do. Most cameras do not come with an audio pre-amp that will produce the best audio and in that case, we need to completely rely on an external microphone.
The best thing about the MKE 440 is that the microphones are two directional microphones and this results in better noise cancellations from the sides and the back of the camera. In a closed studio or a room, the Sennheiser MKE 440 is able to capture audio in a narrow fashion. What that means is the fact that it is able to pick up the audio from sources that are closer to it more clearly.
Also, since this is a stereo microphone, this works really well in case of interviews.
Price & Verdict
In India, the Sennheiser MKE 440 costs anywhere around Rs. 21,000-Rs. 22,000. This translates well from its Dollar pricing where it costs $350 in the United States. The price is good if you want to have a single microphone solution for all your audio related stuff for your camera. The price is, of course, a premium since you have options from Rode as well. But overall, Sennheiser is doing the stereo thing a bit different as compared to the other brands and this is what makes them stand out from the rest of the crowd.