Sennheiser has let us know it has updated and revamped some of its video mics. We have requested review units and as soon as they have arrived, we’ll get straight onto testing them. For now though, here are the official releases from the company.
Sennheiser re-invents the MKE 400 Camera Microphone
For vloggers, videographers and mobile journalists, storytelling is equal parts art and craft. Perhaps more than anything else, it is sound that makes a story come to life. Whether interviews, commentary or ambience, sound is the key to captivating and drawing in an audience. To provide creators with a tool to explore their sonic horizons, Sennheiser has launched the new MKE 400 – a highly directional compact shotgun microphone that brings compelling audio to DSLR/Ms and mobile devices alike.
“Much has been said about the importance of good audio for video,” says Kai Lange, Senior Product Manager at Sennheiser. “Now, the new MKE 400 lets users experience how vastly it improves in-camera audio, lifting storytelling to the next level and wowing audiences. We’re replacing the well-known and much loved MKE 400 with this new model, and even die-hard fans will agree that the latest version surpasses the original in many ways. The new MKE 400 now also features a headphone monitoring output with volume control, has a rugged internal shock-mount, clever internal windscreen and automatic on/off function, plus it comes with ample accessories included.”
Your audio upgrade: the MKE 400 compact shotgun microphone enhances in-camera audio for vloggers, videographers and mobile journalists
Everything you need to capture compelling audio
1. A highly directional microphone to focus on your subject and eliminate background noise
The MKE 400 achieves its directionality with an acoustic interference tube, providing a super-cardioid polar pattern that ensures pick-up from the direction in which the camera is facing while cancelling out distracting noise from the sides. The result: dialogue recordings with presence and clarity that will help bring your content to life.
2. Protection from wind and handling noise
The MKE 400’s shock-mounted capsule minimises handling noise, while the cleverly designed microphone housing doubles as a standard windscreen. For outdoor use, a furry windshield is included: Simply place it over the integrated windscreen for maximum wind protection while recording. The microphone’s low-cut filter also does its part in removing problematic low frequencies like the hum from air-conditioning systems or the rumble from wind.
A look inside the MKE 400 reveals the acoustic interference tube, which is shock-mounted (blue elements) to prevent handling noise from transferring to the capsule. The mic housing doubles as a standard windscreen, saving space and hassle.
3. Flexible adaptation to any sound source
In your creation process, you will come across loud and confident speakers – but you will also want to catch those softer voices. The 3-step sensitivity switch adjusts the audio level to the mic input of the camera, helping you to address all the differences in dynamics that you encounter on a shoot.
4. Full control over the sound
One of the most important things when recording audio is to check levels and monitor your sound. Therefore, the MKE 400 is not only fitted with a low-cut filter and three-step sensitivity switch to fine-tune your sound but also with a headphone monitoring output and integrated 8-step digital volume control, as not every camera has its own audio output. You can plug any headphone with a 3.5 mm (1/8”) jack directly into the MKE 400 and conveniently check levels and audio performance while rolling.
Full control: conveniently check levels and audio performance via the MKE 400’s built-in headphone monitoring output with volume control
Your video recording is most likely not confined to one device, and your microphone doesn’t have to be either. The MKE 400 includes 3.5 mm TRS and TRRS locking cables to be used with DSLR/M cameras or mobile devices, ensuring that switching from one device to another is accomplished with ease. The mic’s cold-shoe mount with ¼-20 thread allows for universal mounting atop of cameras, gimbals or even at the end of a boom pole.
6. The luxury of a small package
A wise saying is that the best mic is the one you actually have at hand. The MKE 400 helps you stay ready by being so compact and lightweight that you can take it anywhere. The microphone housing doubles as a standard windscreen, and the shock-mount is inside it – this not only leaves valuable space in the camera bag but also on the camera itself, providing room for other accessories. Speaking of accessories – the MKE 400’s cables are coiled and locking so they stay out of your way and stay securely connected while shooting.
7. Generous operating time
It takes just two AAA batteries to power the microphone for up to 100 hours of continuous audio capture. A low battery indicator will reliably warn you three hours before the batteries run flat – more than enough time to finish the shot you’re working on.
8. Manual or automatic power on/off
When connected to DSLR/M cameras, the MKE 400 automatically powers on/off with the camera. So your mic is ready the instant your camera is, and helps you save energy when you’re not rolling. Power detection also works with many smartphone models: if 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.
The MKE 400 Mobile Kit in action
The Mobile Kit – an ideal option to get started on great sound
The MKE 400 is also available as “MKE 400 Mobile Kit” which additionally includes a Sennheiser Smartphone Clamp and Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod in a convenient package for your camera bag or mobile set-up.
Contents of the MKE 400 Mobile Kit
Kai Lange adds: “As a creator, you need tools that can keep up with your pace and empower you to design engaging content for your audience. The MKE 400 is the solution you’ve been looking for: a camera microphone from the brand that audio professionals trust.”
The MKE 400 retails at $399.95 AUD / $439.00 NZD.
The MKE 400 Mobile Kit retails at $449.00 AUD / $499.00 NZD.
Sennheiser XS Lav mics for content creation
There probably isn’t a faster and simpler way to add a high-quality vocal track to your videos: Just clip on Sennheiser’s new XS Lav mic, connect it to your mobile device or computer and start rolling. Whether you’re podcasting, recording a voice-over, interviewing or vlogging – this omni-directional clip-on mic will deliver clear and natural sound. Available as XS Lav Mobile with TRRS connector, XS Lav USB-C with USB-C connector, and XS Lav USB-C Mobile Kit with an additional Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod and Sennheiser Smartphone Clamp.
“Simple, straightforward audio recording and a clearly noticeable upgrade in sound quality – this is what the XS Lav family will give you,” says Nicole Fresen, Product Manager at Sennheiser. “These mics will become your indispensable audio companions for content creation.”
Mic up like a pro
Upgrading your audio is in fact one of the most efficient ways to improve the overall quality of your content. The built-in microphones of mobile devices and laptops simply don’t perform well enough as they are caged within the device’s housing and capture environmental sounds in addition to your voice. This also requires you to remain at the same distance from the device for consistent audio levels and sound quality.
Using a dedicated microphone from the XS Lav family will reveal all the difference that a lavalier microphone can make. By placing the microphone closer to the sound source, you are able to isolate your voice and attenuate distracting noise from the surrounding environment. Despite the cable, it also gives you more freedom to move in front of the camera without deteriorating the audio, making listening an enjoyable experience for your audience.
Discreet and effective: the XS Lav mics will improve audio quality and provide a professional look and feel
Furthermore, the omni-directional lavalier microphone is a commonly used type in professional broadcast applications. Being able to discreetly clip the mic to clothing offers a professional look and enhanced sound.
Simple and effective
XS Lav is hassle-free – your smartphone or computer will power the microphone and automatically switch from the internal mic. All you need is to plug the 2m cable into your device and you’re ready to record. A standard USB-C to USB-A adapter will make your XS Lav ready for legacy products, too. For video conferencing, simply choose XS Lav USB-C, as the 3.5 mm jack on XS Lav Mobile will disable your device’s audio output.
XS Lav is ideal when recording podcasts or video conferencing with your laptop
Versions, accessories, pricing
All XS Lav mics include a microphone clip, removable foam windshield and a draw-string storage pouch as a standard. The XS Lav USB-C Mobile Kit additionally contains a Sennheiser Smartphone Clamp and Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod.
XS Lav Mobile (with TRRS plug): $99.95 AUD / $109.95 NZD
XS Lav USB-C: $129.95 AUD / $149.95 NZD
XS Lav USB-C Mobile Kit: $195.95 AUD / $215.95 NZD
Sennheiser Mobile Kits cover all your audio recording needs
Rounding off the launch of its MKE 400 compact shotgun microphone for cameras and the XS Lav clip-on microphones for mobile phones and computers, audio specialist Sennheiser has also announced the launch of various Mobile Kits. These include a Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod and Sennheiser Smartphone Clamp, making them ideal for vloggers and content creators for whom the smartphone is the tool of choice during some or for all of their creation processes. To complement existing microphones, the Mobile Kit is also available on its own as an accessory.
The MKE 200 Mobile Kit with Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod and Sennheiser Smartphone Clamp makes this vlogging microphone even more versatile
“The Mobile Kits are designed to satisfy all your audio needs in ready-to-go packages,” says Nicole Fresen, product manager at Sennheiser. “Whether you prefer an on-camera mic or a wireless lavalier, there is the right mic for every requirement, plus a few clever accessories to cater to your needs.”
MKE 200 Mobile Kit and MKE 400 Mobile Kit
As video recording often happens on various devices, both the MKE 200 and MKE 400 include 3.5 mm TRS and TRRS cables for use with DSLR/M cameras and mobile devices, respectively. With the Smartphone Clamp and Manfrotto PIXI, the Mobile Kit versions have vloggers and creators prepared for all recording situations.
XS Lav USB-C Mobile Kit
This kit adds the Smartphone Clamp and PIXI to Sennheiser’s wired USB-C lavalier microphone to create an ideal vlogging and podcasting bundle.
XSW-D Portable Lav Mobile Kit
Sennheiser’s wireless lavalier solution is not only supplied with the Smartphone Clamp and Mini Tripod but also includes an additional TRS-TRRS cable for connection to smart devices (also available separately as XSW-D Mobile cable). This special cable features an attenuator to ensure optimum levels for mobile devices.
CL 35 USB-C cable
Maybe you need to connect to a smart device with a USB-C socket? Then the CL 35-USB-C cable (TRS to USB-C) is for you. Available separately as an accessory, it’s ideal if you want to use the MKE 200 Mobile Kit, MKE 400 Mobile Kit and XSW-D Portable Lav Mobile Kit with a USB-C device.
The CL 35 USB-C cable gets your MKE 200, MKE 400 and XSW-D Portable Lav Mobile Kit ready for recording with mobile devices with a USB-C connector
Pricing and availability
MKE 200 Mobile Kit, coming soon: $249.95 AUD / $275.95 NZD
MKE 400 Mobile Kit, coming soon: $449.00 AUD / $499.00 NZD
Wired lavalier microphone
XS Lav USB-C Mobile Kit, coming soon: $195.95 AUD / $215.95 NZD
Wireless lavalier microphone
XSW-D Portable Lav Mobile Kit, coming soon: $649.00 AUD / $719.00 NZD
CL 35 USB-C cable: $59.95 AUD / $65.95 NZD
Mobile Kit: $99.95 AUD / $109.95 NZD
XSW-D Mobile cable: $39.95 AUD / $45.95 NZD