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Sennheiser MKH 416 Microphone Review

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Microphones are undeniably an integral part of modern lifestyle, even when we aren’t actually using them. Even if you’ve never thought about starting a podcast or building a home studio, a microphone has probably impacted your life. How? Through the media you consume. For every favorite TV show and beloved film, you have a whole collection of microphones and people working to bring you the best possible experience.

 The Sennheiser MKH 416 is one of those mics— in fact, it might even be the mic. In an industry full of such diverse creative talent as film and TV, it can be hard to pinpoint just one thing as an industry standard. But the Sennheiser 426 is exactly that— a shotgun mic that has been the backbone of sound equipment from blockbusters to small indie features.

The MKH 416 has set the bar for the film and TV industry for years, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a production company that doesn’t have at least a few of them in their cabinet. It’s so well loved that some productions even request it specifically for their filming. With a reputation for durability and versatility, you’ll see just how well it holds up in this Sennheiser MKH 416 review below.

NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Shout4Music earns from qualifying purchases. This post includes Amazon links throughout.

About the Sennheiser MKH 416 Microphone

 

Polar Pattern

Hypercardioid / Lobar

Frequency Response

40-20,000 Hz

Sensitivity in free field, no load (1kHz)

25 mV/Pa +- 1 dB

Nominal Impedance

25 ohms

Equivalent Noise Level

12 dB

Maximum Sound Pressure Level (passive)

130 dB

 

The Sennheiser MKH416 is a compact pressure-gradient shotgun interference tube microphone that was specially developed for use in film, television, radio, and outside recording activities. It’s been used in nearly every major motion picture released in the last few years, and is able to capture quality sound and dialogue even from a distance.

Besides its use in film, television, and other outdoor recording situations, the MKH-416 has also been slowly gaining popularity as a voiceover mic. In an industry dominated by large-diaphragm condenser microphones, the staying power of the Sennheiser 416 shotgun mic is certainly admirable, and reflective of the all around quality of the mic.

Sennheiser MKH 416 Microphone Pros

The MKH416 has been described by many users as the “desert island” mic, or the mic that they’d bring with them if they were stuck on a deserted island. It has a quality sound that’s lively without being too bright, and its hypercardioid polar pattern gives it a tight recording capability that allows it to block out unnecessary background sounds while still flattering its sound sources.

Specially Designed

When it comes to sound quality, the 416 mic simply can’t be beat. Compared to other mics designed for use in film and TV, the MKH 416’s sound quality is phenomenal. It has a full-bodied tone that nonetheless preserves clarity and brightness, and despite its somewhat narrow polar pattern it offers a good range of recording space. Additionally, the hypercardioid polar pattern allows you to capture perfectly a single sound source while rejecting background and unnecessary noise, making this a great mic for voiceovers and individual sounds.

Pure, Perfect Sound

When it comes to sound quality, the 416 mic simply can’t be beat. Compared to other mics designed for use in film and TV, the MKH 416’s sound quality is phenomenal. It has a full-bodied tone that nonetheless preserves clarity and brightness, and despite its somewhat narrow polar pattern it offers a good range of recording space. Additionally, the hypercardioid polar pattern allows you to capture perfectly a single sound source while rejecting background and unnecessary noise, making this a great mic for voiceovers and individual sounds.

Your Outdoors Mic

One of the difficulties in recording outdoors is getting your mic to handle all the different sound information and weather conditions. The MKH 416 was specially designed to perform well in non-studio conditions. Its hypercardioid polar pattern allows it to pick up single sound sources with clarity and precision, blocking out unnecessary background noise like traffic. It’s also resistant to humidity, and its compact design makes it easy to set up and use when you’re on the go.

Steady and Reliable

The Sennheiser MKH 416’s popularity in the film and TV industry is absolutely unparalleled. Ever since its release, it’s been a staple in production and filming equipment sets all over the world. Its overall performance is incredibly reliable, and on the whole it’s less sensitive to plosives (p-sounds, t-sounds, or b-sounds) and the proximity effect. It also comes with an MZW415 windscreen to protect your recordings from pesky wind noise.

Your Voice, Center Stage

The MKH 416 has been used to record an incredible variety of sounds for the screen, from traffic sounds to bangs and crashes, but where it really excels is with recording the human voice. Its hypercardioid polar pattern makes it perfect for blocking out background noise, and it captures human voices with depth and clarity.

While using it in a podcast setting might not allow you to experience the full range of its impressive design, the MKH 416 brings a richness and liveliness to voiceover and podcast work that’ll make your every recording feel like real life. Users who tend to speak close into the mic should look at investing in a separate pop filter for best results, but on the whole it’s an excellent podcasting and voiceover mic.

What People Are Saying

The Sennheiser MKH 416 is an industry standard for a reason. It’s perfectly filled its niche, with a design and engineering that’s perfect for recording in field conditions. It’s also got the added bonus of being one of the best mics for voiceover work, making it a true workhorse in and out of the studio. No wonder people say this mic is worth its weight in gold!

Where to Buy the Sennheiser MKH 416 Microphone

Whether you’re in the recording studio or out of it, you’re going to need a mic that can capture the best sound against all odds. That mic is the Sennheiser MKH 416. While it might not have the versatility of other mics, it’s fantastic at what it does, and would be a credit to literally any microphone cabinet. Find the best deals for the Sennheiser MKH 416 Microphone here.

Sound Quality
9
Design
9
Features
8
Price
9

Summary

The Sennheiser MKH 416 is an industry standard for a reason. It's one of the most famous mics in film and television, and has recorded audio for hundreds of your favorite films and TV series. It's also a surprisingly excellent voiceover and podcasting mic, with a richness and clarity that set it apart. A must-buy for sure.

Total Rating

8.8
Naomi Feller

Originally from the East Coast, Naomi started singing as young as 3 years old. In her early teens Naomi made some embarrassing YouTube videos before settling on a love for Podcast editing. When she's not pouring over endless amounts of audio, she lends her expertise to us here at Shout4Music with her crystal clear and finely tuned microphone reviews.

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