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Sennheiser MKE 400

Small shotgun microphone

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  • Sennheiser MKE 400

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  • Sennheiser MKE 400

 

Our take on the Sennheiser MKE 400

by Woody Sherman
Sennheiser

A shotgun microphone is one those items you'll need on almost any shoot. When you have to get the sound of crunching shoulder pads from the side of the field, the shotgun mic will be your friend. No place to clip or hide a lavalier mic on your competition-swimmer subject at the outdoor pool? Try the Sennheiser MKE 400 on long-sensitivity mode and hear her voice come into focus as if you were standing next to her. And try it mounted on a boom pole out of frame for solid audio capture of a "walk and talk" scene.

The MKE 400 has a super-cardioid pickup pattern, for rejection of sounds outside the pointing axis of the mic. It has a wired, 3.5mm minijack cable for connection to similarly-equipped gear, and it will run up to 300 hours on just one "AAA" battery. It has shock mounting built-in, for rejection of handling noise, and its switchable sensitivity means it can handle short- and long-distance recording. A foam wind shield helps guard against wind noise. Designed to mount on your camcorder's lighting shoe.

Highlights

  • compatible with camcorders and mixers with a 3.5mm unbalanced minijack input
  • up to 300 hours of operation from a single "AAA" battery
  • super-cardioid pattern rejects off-axis noise and lets you focus on sounds from your on-screen subject
  • built-in shock-mount prevents vibrations from muddying the sound
  • foam wind shield reduces noise when recording outdoors
  • switchable sensitivity for long and short distances
  • 5"L x 1-1/16"W x 5/16"H
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
 

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Shotgun microphone for DSLR and camcorder with attached 8" coiled cable (3.5mm miniplug terminal)
  • 1 "AAA" battery
  • Instructions for use

Our Product Research Team

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Features

Overview: The Sennheiser MKE 400 is a small shotgun microphone designed for use with DSLRs and camcorders with an accessory shoe and external microphone input. It is optimized for video recordings with a super-cardioid pick-up pattern and maximum side noise rejection. The microphone's frequency response is 40 Hz to 20 kHz.

Construction: The MKE 400 is approximately 5" long with a rugged, all-metal housing, and a removable foam windscreen. It has an 8" coiled cable attached at the rear with a 3.5mm miniplug terminal. The lightweight microphone weighs only 2.1 ounces.

Mounting: The microphone is designed to be used on cameras and camcorders with a standard accessory shoe. On the bottom of the mount is a standard 1/4"-20 tripod thread to allow you to mount the microphone on a tripod or a side-mount accessory bracket. The shoe mount doubles as a shock-mount to reject contact noise from the camera/camcorder.

Controls: There are two switches on the left side--Volume and On/Off Switch:

  • 2-way Volume Switch: Normal Sensitivity (-): for normal or very loud sound sources and cameras/camcorders with high input sensitivity; High Sensitivity (+): for extremely quiet or very distant sound sources and camera/camcorders with low input sensitivity
  • 3-way On/Off Switch: Off / On (linear frequency response) / On (low-cut filter is activated for minimizing wind noise.

Power Requirements: The MKE 400 is powered by a single "AAA" battery. A new alkaline "AAA" battery provides approximately 300 hours of operating time. An LED on the side of the microphone indicates when the battery power is depleted.

 

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Quick impressions from the Lab

Comment by Ralph Graves Staff Writer - Creative,

Simple sound solution

Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 7/12/2012 9:45:00 AM

I like simple solutions — especially when I'm working with basic (rather than advanced) gear. Getting intelligible sound from a camcorder's built-in microphone is always iffy, particularly if there's a lot of ambient noise. Professionals use shotgun mics to focus in on the sound they want, and now I can, too.

The MKE 400 is very lightweight, so it doesn't shift my camcorder's center of gravity when attached. And it makes a simple minijack connection. All I had to do was just plug it in, slip the mount into the camcorder's hotshoe, and I was ready to go.

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Sennheiser MKE 400 Reviews

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4 out of 5

Sennheiser mini shotgun microphone

Written By Blue, Tacoma, WA on Saturday, August 17, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The Sennheiser MKE 400 is a great companion to our new Canon XA25 Camcorder. We highly recommend this unit for enhanced audio. Good reach, nice pickup pattern. Clean audio in a compact unit.

Rich K
Pros:
Quality, Size, Range.
Cons:
None noted at this time.
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