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Shotgun mics may not be the most popular options in a home or studio setting, but they lead the way when it comes to recording in field conditions. So named because of their elongated shape— visually similar to a shotgun barrel— these mics are used for capturing dialogue and sound effects with focus and quality. They usually have excellent noise rejection, and are able to zero in on the sound source near-perfectly.
If there’s one manufacturer that comes to mind when you bring up shotgun mics, it’s Sennheiser. With the Sennheiser MKH 416 serving as an undeniable industry standard, it’s no question that the company has become the go-to for sound engineers and crew in the film and TV industry. With a lightweight yet durable design, incredible sound, and all around fantastic quality, the MKH 416 has proven its quality again and again.
But despite the MKH 416’s legendary status, its price can put it out of the reach of many beginners. Sennheiser aims to bridge this gap with the Sennheiser MKE 600, a shotgun mic that promises to offer professional quality for less than half the price of the MKH 416. If you’re interested in seeing just how well this boom microphone holds up, then read the rest of this Sennheiser MKE 600 review below.
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40Hz – 20kHz
21 mV/Pa at P48; 19 mV/Pa with battery powering
15 dBA at P48; 16 dBA with battery powering
132 dB at P48; 126 dB with battery powering
48 V+/- 4V (P48) or battery/rechargeable battery 1,5V/1,2V AA size
The Sennheiser MKE600 is one in a long list of top quality microphones from Sennheiser, and one that promises to be especially useful for smaller crews and indie filmmakers. Designed to be the ideal video camera microphone, the MKE600 can be attached to a boom or to the camera itself, enabling users to record in any situation.
This German-made Sennheiser shotgun mic is meant for recording on the go, making it especially valuable for journalists and videographers. With high directivity that successfully eliminates noise coming from the sides and rear, as well as a battery option that ensures maximum flexibility, the MKE 600 is a portable, professional-level addition to the Sennheiser boom mics.
Sennheiser shotgun mics are famous for providing top tier sound and background noise rejection that holds up even in outside recording conditions. The MKE 600 is the most affordable Sennheiser boom mic yet, but despite its affordable price manages to offer the professional-quality audio that’s become the company’s trademark.
Getting the right audio in field conditions can be a bit of a struggle, and compact XLR-based shotgun microphones that can offer convenience and quality can be a bit hard to come by. The Sennheiser MKE 600 stands out due to its compact size, with a 20 mm diameter and 256 mm long barrel. This makes it lightweight and easy to carry when you’re trying to record on the go. With the accompanying MZS 600 shock mount and MZW 600 foam windshield, you have a set up that’s portable and reliable.
The MKE 600’s frequency response curve is relatively flat, with a slight peak between 7 and 10 kHz at around 2-3 dB. Overall, its sound is smooth and natural, although it can get a little muddy the closer the sound source is. When compared with Sennheiser’s MKH-416, the MKH 600 sounds a little gentler, without the brittleness of the MKH 416’s mid-high frequency. It has presence without sounding too dull, with a broad range that’s perfect for nearly every kind of sound source.
With all the work that goes into designing and engineering a microphone, you’d expect that you get what you pay for, but the MKE 600 puts all other mics in its price range to shame. Despite its modest design, it offers convenience and portability that other microphones can’t, and performs fantastically in indoors and outdoors conditions without the need for additional editing in post. The MKE 600 is a balanced mic with a professional-level sound, packaged with a price that’s friendly for amateurs and low-budget outfits alike.
Perhaps more than its cousins the MKH 416 and the MKH 60, the MKE 600 is designed for use on the go. This mic performs optimally on phantom power, but in situations where phantom power is unavailable or not possible, it does offer an AA battery compartment. The MKE 600 also lacks an attenuator switch, which is a blessing in disguise for users who might occasionally have left the mic on the wrong switch otherwise. It does come with a switchable low cut filter, which can be especially useful when recording dialogue.
The focus and directivity of shotgun mics make them essential companions for filmmakers and journalists doing recording work out on the field. The MKE 600 is well-adapted to this sort of work thanks to its compact size and battery powered options. Its switchable low cut filter, which reduces low-frequency sounds, also allows for stronger noise rejection, as human voices tend to come in at higher frequencies. For this reason and much more, the MKE 600 is an excellent companion for recording interviews, podcasts, or other vocal work outside the studio.
Sennheiser has long been a juggernaut the shotgun mic industry, and the MKE 600 is the newest jewel in their crown. With its lightweight, compact design, incredibly transparent sound, and fantastic portability, this mic is a must-have for videographers and journalists on the go.
Shotgun mics are known for their great noise rejection and directivity. Finding the perfect shotgun mic that combines all that with an incredible sound and affordable price might seem like an impossible ask, but that’s exactly what users with get with the MKE 600. Portability, affordability, and fantastic sound— there’s really nothing better. Find the best deals for the Sennheiser MKE 600 Microphone here.