Vloggers, videographers and content creators… lend me your ears (and voice)..

I’ve never been one much to do Christmas gift idea lists for my readers, and so it is again this year.

But Sennheiser sent me a list of equipment ostensibly as a “gift buying guide” thing, and it actually does stand up as a guide to “what mic for what task” as well. Thrown into the mix are some suggested headphones too.

This inofmration might be particularly useful if you are considering starting up vlogging for example.

Now I freely admit I use Sennheiser mics and headphones, and due to this, I am happy to say that I have at some point used most of the ones suggested, and can vouch for their build and sound quality.

So here it is: I hope it proves useful (and the Chrissy decorations on the images are their idea, not mine) 🙂

MKE 200 Upgrading your video blogging audio is just one microphone away – Sennheiser’s MKE 200 brings presence to your voice, while features like a built-in windscreen and shock mount keep your recordings sounding cleaner than ever before. AUD$199

MKE400MKE 400 If you’re searching for that perfect on-camera microphone, look no further! The MKE 400 is a compact, highly directional, on-camera shotgun microphone designed to isolate and enhance the audio for your video, and comes with built-in windscreen and shock mount. AUD$299

MKE600MKE 600 Even the most demanding filming challenges can be handled with an MKE 600 shotgun mic. Thanks to its high directivity, it picks up sounds from the direction in which the camera is pointing and effectively attenuates noise from the sides. AUD$499

MKE 440

MKE440Prefer stereo sound? The MKE 440 on-camera stereo mic has two aligned and matched mini shotgun mics, so it captures the natural audio you want and rejects off-axis noise. AUD$599


MKH416MKH 416  A classic – Sennheiser’s MKH 416 moisture-resistant interference tube microphone lets you capture superb broadcast-level audio in demanding conditions. Ideal for your next professional film, TV, or location recording. AUD$1069


LAV USB-CXS Lav USB-C Whether connected to a computer or a mobile device with a USB-C port, with XS Lav USB-C you can record yourself simply and effectively, helping you instantly produce better content. AUD$129


SS Wireless PortableXS Wireless Portable Lav Mobile Kit

Designed for vloggers, content creators and streamers on the go, the Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Lav Mobile Kit includes everything you need to get high-quality audio into your smartphone videos. AUD$349

MK4MK 4 With the typical warm sound of a studio condenser mic, the MK 4 is a great all-rounder for podcasting and voice-overs, as well as for recording vocals and instruments. It delivers fantastic sound quality, while still being an affordable choice for home recording. AUD$419

MD421MD 421-IIOne of the best-known microphones in the world, the cardioid MD 421’s full-bodied sound and five-position bass control make it an excellent choice for most instruments, as well as group vocals and radio or television broadcasting AUD$635


HD25HD 25

Great sound, super-rugged and lightweight! The iconic HD 25 is one of the most widely used headphones among professionals. It’s ideal for any professional monitoring environment. AUD$349

HD280 ProHD 280 PRO

The HD 280 PRO monitoring headphones boast extremely robust construction combined with the sound quality, modular design, and excellent noise isolation you need in the field AUD$179.95


HD300 ProHD 300 PRO

Modelled on the precise sound reproduction of the legendary HD 250 Linear headphones, the HD 300 PRO delivers a neutral, high-resolution working sound, at the same level of precision you apply to your production. Its sound pattern remains delicate and accurate in every application AUD$369


Review: GoPro Hero 11 Black

If you line up a GoPro 9, 10 and 11 side by side, I challenge anyone to see an immediate difference, because as far as I can tell, there isn’t one.

Resolution and Other Techie Stuff

But under the bonnet, things are very different. The biggest single change is the new sensor which has grown in size to 1/1.9 inches and now has available an 8:7 aspect ratio for shooting, and ups the ante for resolution increasing to 27.13MP up from 23MP.

Now of course this aspect ratio means you can shoot almost square still images in high resolution, but there is another bigger benefit if you are a TikTok’er YouTube’er or Instagram’er. If you shoot video at 8:7, you have the option to crop in editing to 1:1, 4:3, 16:9 or even 9:16 for these platforms. If you use the GoPro Quik app, these presets are already there (assuming you don’t mind smartphone editing of course). It also means you can shoot stabilised 4:3 video with a Superview (GoPro’s widest lens setting).

Another change is you can now shoot 5.3K and 4K at 120Mbps bit rate, an increase of 20% over the Hero 10.

And with the Hero 11, GoPro has opted to go the 10bit colour rate for the very first time. If that is pure gobbledygook to you it simply relates to the number of colours the camera can record, in this case it is 1billion, up from the 16.7 million of the Hero 10.

This means that in shots of the sky with a brilliant sunset say, the gradient between the colours will be considerably smoother and colour definition overall much better.


Also scoring a makeover is GoPro’s already impressive stabilisation I mentioned earlier. There is a new mode they call AutoBoost which basically means the camera has ‘smarts’ and can detect any shake automatically and switch on the Hypersmooth system.

Shot on GoPro Hero 11 Black in  Supervidei 2.7K Handheld

In conjunction with the stabilisation, like the Hero 10, the Hero 11 has a horizon lock system which basically means as the camera is taken off the horizontal plane (tilted) it will keep the horizon straight in the image. The Hero 10 allowed this up to 27° but the 11 covers a full 360° which means there is a hell of a lot of image processing going on in that sensor which is very impressive indeed.

The other big difference here is that the Hero 11 does all this out of the box whereas the Hero 10 needs the Max Lens Mod.

There is a minor limitation though, in that the maximum frame rate / aspect ratio pair when running at 5.3K is 30fps and 16:9. If you need a faster frame rate, you need to drop the resolution to 4K.

Showing the Horizon Lock

New Imaging Modes

There are three new imaging modes built in: Light Painting, Vehicle Light Trails and Star Trails.

An example of Light Painting is being in a dark room and waving a torch about. The camera shutter will stay open, and the Hero 11 creates a short video clip giving the impression of electronic brush strokes created by the light. Vehicle Lights Trails are similar but used to create the same thing from the lights of moving vehicles. Finally, Star Trails creates star lines caused by an open shutter and the rotation of the Earth.


Sometime back GoPro launched the Enduro battery as an option, but now it ships with the Hero 11. This is said to give you up to 80 minutes of shooting time. GoPro says the Enduro is more efficient when the camera is in “idle” mode.

The Enduro battery is also said to be more efficient in extreme cold.


If you are one of those that just want the minimum off fuss to get your stills or video, the Hero 11 now has two modes, Easy Mode and Pro Mode.

Easy Mode simply gives you less options to choose from, letting you basically point and shoot. If you switch to Pro Mode, you get access to all functions and settings of the camera to tweak and experiment to your heart’s content.

The Downside

All these new features are of course very welcome, but there a few things most users wish GoPro would address. The biggest of these by reading through various Facebook Groups is an overheating issue which many say has been a curse since the GoPro Hero 8. I have an 8, 9 and 10 and have never had this issue personally. A number of observers have suggested a lot of people have every function turned in the camera – many of them superfluous to the current operation – and this will not only cause overheating but also minimise battery life, so this is worth checking.

Another solution, and one I often employ, is to remove the battery altogether and use a PowerBank connected via the USB-C. The drawback to this is of course you’ll lose the full portability, but if you have a GoPro mounted on a car, boat, trailbike etc it is a worthwhile option. You need to remove the battery door, sure, but GoPro do also sell a “pass through” door for this very purpose.

The second gripe is the low light usability. There was hope the larger sensor might have knocked this issue on the head but sadly not. Again of course GoPro do make an add on option, the Light Mod, but this needs a shoe to sit in. The easiest way to get this is via the Media Mod (which I have on my 9 and 10 permanently). Why? Because I prefer to have external audio from a Sennheiser MKE200 as against the on-board mics or the mic in the m Media Mod.

I can also use the Hollyland Lark C1 if the situation calls for wireless mic capability.


The GoPro Hero 11 retails at $549.98, but much to many dealer’s chagrin I’d venture, you can buy through the GoPro online store with a “subscription” and save $200.

The subscription model offers a few extras, the most notable being automatic Unlimited Cloud Storage. Also included is the GoPro Quik app getting some extra features such as the Speed Tool for slo-mo effects, filters for snow and water and some themes and original music to add to your videos.

You also get offered discounts on GoPro accessories purchased from the site.


The GoPro is without question the de-facto “standard” in action cameras. I wrote a few years back that many others – Nikon, Canon, Sony included – tried to muscle in on the market but none really took off (despite the Sony offerings being very, very good).

DJI is still hanging in there of course, although with the Action 2, I feel they went slightly off the rails and thus brought out the Action 3 which is more conformist, and is in some ways, I think, superior to the GoPro.

But if it’s an action camera you want, then the Hero 11 has all the things you need with the caveat of the low light and potential overheating issues.

But I have to say at this point, a GoPro is not designed as a “Swiss Knife” camera. There are some things it is just not designed for. I have seen users ask questions about using the GoPro for wedding photography for example …

I suggest a good maxim is the one used by a popular outdoor store. The GoPro is for “BCF-ing fun!”

You can get more information from the GoPro website at https://gopro.com/en/us/shop/cameras

Tutorial: Live Broadcast Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro Workflow Example

Over the last couple of years, I have made mention a number of times to how the ripper little Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro has the ability to replace the equipment that was used to create the Microsoft office and Windows 95 training videos I wrote and directed.

One thing I have not stressed enough though I suspect, is that whilst the ability to include downstream and upstream keys, switch between 4 video and 2 audio inputs, store up to 20 online graphics (titles, lower 3rd etc), control cameras and mix audio amongst other things, the major thing is this can be done in a live broadcast as well as recording a session to an SSD for later playback.

So, I thought it might be interesting to describe that process to give a better idea of the workflow. I have set up a sample session to mimic a live broadcast. Equipment consists of a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro and a GoPro 9 and GoPro 10 (inside Media Mods to get the HDMI connectivity) for vision input on HDMI ports 2-4, my desktop giving input to HDMI 1 and a single Sennheiser MKE600 for audio input.

I have created a number of lower 3rds and some graphics with transparency in Adobe Photoshop and pre-loaded them into the Media Pool of the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro.

I have set it so that a live broadcast via Facebook Live is in place via the Ethernet port, and the session is also being recorded to a Samsung T5 connected to the ATEM Mini Pro USB-C port. To set the stream up, here are the steps:

  1. Got to your Facebook page and create a new post
  2. From the post options, choose Live Video (the left option)
  3. Select an option from the Welcome list (I chose the first) and then click Get Started
  4. As we are using the ATEM software, choose the Streaming Software option and then click Next
  5. The wizard will tell you that you can add an optional title and description. Click Next
  6. You can now add a title and description
  7. Copy the Stream key then generated from Facebook into the key setting in the ATEM Software Control’s live stream option.
  8. Click On Air in the ATEM software and after a few seconds, Facebook will display the live stream.

The sequence I will use to demonstrate the basics of the workflow are:

  1. Opening graphic from desktop
  2. Set Cam 4 as preview and load lower 3rd title
  3. Switch to desktop showing ATEM software Main Panel
  4. Switch to Cam 3
  5. Switch to ATEM software showing Camera Control panel
  6. Switch to Cam 2 with different lower 3rd title
  7. Switch to Closing Graphic


As mentioned, to create the full screen graphics, I used Adobe Photoshop. Similarly, the lower 3rds were also created here but instead of saving as a PNG with alpha channels, the ATEM Control software comes with a nifty bult in plugin that is installed into Photoshop when you install the ATEM Control software. This allows you to export directly from Photoshop straight into the Media pool of the ATEM Control software and creates the image with all the right parameters.

And I have finally found a use for Powerpoint! Just kidding, there are many slide show apps you could use for this, but if you have Powerpoint anyway, you may as well use it. I just created a slide show of four slides – the opening and closing images and the two screen shots of the ATEM Control software. I manually stepped through the slides as needed when they were displayed on my second monitor acting as HDMI 1 on the ATEM Mini Pro.

When I started playing the sequence and controlling the vision with the ATEM Mini Pro, it was all recorded onto a Samsung T5 SSD connected to the ATEM Mini Pro’s USB-C port. Of course, it you were going live via say Skye, Teams or Zoom, the USB-C port is connected to the PC if you want the ATEM Mini Pro to act as a pseudo webcam.

Simple! And versatile.


This is a very basic demonstration of using the ATEM Mini Pro in conjunction with the ATEM Control software, but you get the idea of what can be done. There are many other things you could do to enhance it – obviously I didn’t catch any audio and next time I will record an audio dialogue explaining what I am doing as well. I also used simple auto fades as transitions, but I could have used any of the built in DVEs of the ATEM Mini Pro in conjunction with those in the ATEM Control software. Similarly, the duration of the transition was left at the default, but I could have controlled that too if I’d wanted.

If you wanted to stick to exact timing, say you wanted to intersperse sponsor graphics between sections for an exact period, you could use macros for this – and any other operation for that matter.

To give you an idea of the breadth of the functionality of the ATEM Mini Pro, the English language section of the manual is 148 pages! I have had my unit now for getting on for 2 years and I am still finding out things of which it is capable.

And that doesn’t include the sibling models of the ISO, Extreme ISO, SDI, SDI Pro ISO and SDI Extreme ISO! Even at just over $2.5K, the top of the range unit is extraordinary value, and the Mini Pro I have at $500 is just staggering in its value for money.

If you have any questions, or I have not explained something either clearly or in not enough depth, feel free to contact me.


Update to Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3

The new firmware update, available via the Smart Control App (iOS, Android) enables multipoint device connectivity and a high-resolution sound mode for convenience and quality.

“Our latest update reflects the dynamic ways people want to use MOMENTUM True Wireless 3, including our most requested feature – multipoint. For example, one can switch from their favourite music streaming app to join an incoming conference call from their laptop – and back again – without having to reconnect manually,” says Frank Foppe, Sennheiser True Wireless Product Manager. “And our new high-resolution sound mode enhances the listening experience even further, letting customers enjoy wireless audio that rivals the rich and lively detail found in a wired connection.” 

The power of connection 
​Now, the premium MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 sound experience is available on multiple devices with a simple tap. The latest update allows users to instantly switch between two paired devices for dynamic management of active connections. Examples include streaming a podcast on a smartphone before switching over to an incoming video call, shifting from a television series on your tablet to a mobile voice call, and balancing voice calls between work and personal phones. Multipoint also switches back to the original audio source device if a call is answered mid-stream, and otherwise allows for effortless switching between two Bluetooth audio devices. Lastly, the multipoint update allows for seamless switching through all mutually supported codecs, such as aptX Adaptive, and SBC – even across mobile operating system platforms from various manufacturers.  

Next level performance 
​Bringing listeners even closer to the details in their music, the MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 update also introduces a high-resolution sound mode featuring 24-bit depth and 96 kHz sample rate capability, unlocking sound quality comparable to a wired headphone. By connecting MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 to an audio source also using the aptX Adaptive codec, this mode increases the Bluetooth bitrate up to 420 kilobits per second for optimum sound. In RF-challenged environments such as bustling public transportation, the MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 may utilise the codec’s data scaling capabilities to seamlessly adapt the connection integrity at any given moment. Users can enable the high-resolution sound mode via Sennheiser’s Smart Control App, making MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 the ideal companion for all popular music streaming services and their highest quality subscription tiers.

​Multipoint and high-resolution mode are available after updating the MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 to the latest firmware (Release 2.10.19 or higher) and updating the Smart Control App (App Store, Google Play; release 4.1.5 or higher).  The release also contains numerous optimisations and enhancements for Bluetooth and touch control features.

Review: Sennheiser MK4 Microphone

By Graeme Hague

The Sennheiser MK4 condenser microphone has been around for a while now, making its debut at NAMM in 2011, and it’s the perfect example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Although describing the MK4 as simply not broken is a grave injustice.

It’s a one-inch, cardioid-pattern condenser microphone, side-address using a gold-plated diaphragm, with a listed frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. It was the first microphone of this type to be released by Sennheiser, but these days those kind of specs put the MK4 in a very crowded category indeed. So, it comes down to the important stuff as to whether it stands out from the crowd or has become just another also-ran in a competing field of sub-AUD$450 microphones that rivals the Boston Marathon.

First impressions are good. The MK4 is built like a tank with a solid metal casing and mesh that will take some punishment—within reason, of course. Manufactured in Germany, it’s worth mentioning that the MK4 is “built alongside” high-end microphones like Neumann and others, so you can be sure that quality control is of the highest level. It comes with a standard mount, which makes sense because the wide range of applications you can throw at this microphone means that a suspended shock-mount often isn’t going to practical.

And that’s where the MK4 really shines—its versatility. The voicing of the MK4 when you connect straight it into any USB audio interface (as against a dedicated microphone pre-amp) is nice and flat until it starts to kick up a little after about 2.5kHz which gives the MK4 a pleasing edge that adds clarity to vocals and immediately had me dragging out the acoustic guitar. The result was as I’d hoped. That voicing did a great job of reproducing the bright, natural sound of my Epiphone with phosphor bronze strings. At the same time, the MK4 isn’t overly sensitive. It doesn’t sound overwhelmed when things get loud. At a sensible distance from a fairly crunchy guitar amplifier the MK4 had no problem at all.

Around the drumkit, the MK4 is best suited for overheads. Its physical size and that side-address will be hard to sneak next to the toms or snare anyway—and let’s be honest, there are plenty of microphones purpose-designed for the job—but that frequency response will give clean, clear cymbals. Mind you, weighing in at just under 500 grams you’ll need some solid, dependable microphone stands.

But enough of the project studio geekery. How does it work as a straightforward voice-over or podcasting microphone? Well, as I said, the slight tweak in the higher frequencies adds intelligibility to spoken-word vocals, and the cardioid pattern will let the MK4 function well as a “group” microphone with two or three people sitting in front of it, but of course the efficiency of the microphone can start to work against you with picking up ambient noise.

Likewise, with close vocals whether you’re singing or doing voice-overs, you’ll need to invest in a good pop-filter. Any one-inch diaphragm worth its weight in … ah, gold … will be sensitive to plosives and a pop filter is a must.

At a recommended retail price of AUD$419 the MK4 is excellent value, not just for the quality of microphone you’re getting but also for that workhorse versatility. The MK4 will take in its stride almost any job you throw at it, and you’ll have impressive results.

Don’t be surprised if the MK4 turns into your go-to microphone before anything else.

For more info, go to https://en-au.sennheiser.com/mk-4

Addendum: I have just heard back from Sennheiser and they tell me “The microphone is actually internally shock-mounted, just like a stage mic, and does not necessarily need a suspension shock-mount. 

As many people like the looks of such an external mount, you can get one for the MK 4, too, as an accessory. This shock-mount is open at one side so that you can bring the mic closer to e.g. a guitar amp.”

Great news! Thanks Sennheiser for the clarification!


New audio experience now streaming on Netflix

Netflix and audio specialist Sennheiser have announced a massive audio improvement for all viewers that access streaming (OTT) content with standard stereo equipment: AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio is now streaming on Netflix and delivers an incredibly immersive audio experience with standard stereo speakers. The AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio renderer translates original immersive mixes into 2-channel audio with a spatial experience far beyond stereo. During development, Sennheiser worked with Netflix and other industry partners to fine-tune the system, which is now available to license from Sennheiser. Netflix is the first streaming platform to deliver this significantly improved experience for select titles.

Surveys among viewers have shown that OTT customers often access content with standard stereo equipment – be it on a mobile while traveling, when casually watching via a tablet, or because the home listening space does not allow for a full surround sound set-up. While in the past these viewers were unable to benefit from the growing amount of music and films produced in Dolby Atmos® or MPEG-H Audio, the AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio feature has now changed this.

Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 4 benefits from new audio experience

AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio is a two-channel rendering of an immersive mix that is a drop-in replacement for stereo. It provides an improved audio experience wherever stereo is delivered today, be it standard TV sets, stereo systems, headphones, tablets, or laptops. Netflix is the first streaming platform to deliver this significantly improved experience: On select titles, like Season 4 of Stranger Things, Netflix has made AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio the default stream for any two-channel usage. Netflix viewers watching on a stereo system will automatically receive an improved and enhanced spatial experience – no user changes required.

“Sennheiser firmly believes in the immersive future of audio,” says Dr Renato Pellegrini of Sennheiser’s AMBEO team. “Creators all over the globe have been using our tools to create outstanding immersive works, pushing the boundaries of music and film production. With AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio, we are now taking the next step – making this new audio reality accessible to everyone.”

A sonic experience that is far wider than the playing device itself

Drawing on Sennheiser’s decades of research and innovation in immersive sound, AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio provides immersion far beyond what two-channel speaker systems can normally deliver, but without impacting the mix or tonal balance.

According to Scott Kramer, Manager for Sound Technology at Netflix, “We feel AMBEO Spatial Audio offers a meaningful improvement for Netflix members. Re-recording mixers often tell me that it better translates their detailed immersive mix work to stereo. Crucially, this process preserves the original sound mix and respects creative intent with a remarkably clean sound.”

From standard stereo mixdown (left) to full AMBEO effect (right): re-recording mixers can fully control and fine-tune the spatialization

Respecting the original mix while giving all options for fine-tuning

“What sets Sennheiser apart from other solutions is that the AMBEO rendering respects the original mix, tonal balance and dialog integrity, which is exactly what the re-recording mixer is looking for,” explains Pellegrini. “The processing is in line with Sennheiser’s reputation to deliver tools that are ‘transparent’ and do not interfere with the original sound. In a nutshell: Sennheiser 2-Channel Spatial Audio seeks to translate mixer intent, not to overpower it.”

The rendering software runs in the streaming service’s cloud-based encoding pipelines and produces AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio from existing ADM or IAB files, both industry-standard, open formats. It does not require another separate mix. A preview tool enables the re-recording mixer to compare stereo to AMBEO during postproduction and adjust the rendering settings by stems/groups. The renderer offers patented granular control of the spatialization, ranging from full AMBEO effect to standard stereo mixdown, while specific channels can be excluded from modification. For example, dialog can be preserved 100%, or modified slightly to match neighboring immersive scenes.

The preview tool of the AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio rendering software. The Object Viewer window at the bottom right shows fixed loudspeaker positions at the edges and individual renderings as blue dots. Pale dots are elevated sound sources

Total loudness is preserved, too, and a music mix can be kept for left and right channels while adding the immersive AMBEO rendering to all other channels. Naturally, all signals are properly time-aligned to match the original content.

Re-Recording Mixer Mark Paterson commented: “I’m a huge fan of AMBEO. I experimented with it a lot on the ‘Fear Street’ movies and was impressed with how the surround channel information was represented. I’m always looking for ways to get that Cinematic sound at home and on ‘The Adam Project’ I was able to make the mix sound really immersive on everything from high end soundbars to iPhones which I believe helps the audience connect more emotionally. It’s been a perfect format on ‘Stranger Things’. In the Atmos mix, Vecna’s voice wraps around you which is an important part of making him scary and larger than life. The fact that AMBEO is able to help recreate that in stereo is very impressive to me.”

For an up-to-date list of content available in AMBEO Spatial Audio, simply enter “Spatial Audio” in the Netflix search field.

Learn more at www.sennheiser.com/ambeo-spatial-audio

Do you know what is the right mic for the job? If not, read on!

Do you know what is the right microphone for a specific purpose? Or do you just use one mic for everything and hope it will sound OK?

The truth is, that as audio is such an important element of the whole video / film making process, you really should try and get the right and best mic for the job. Even if consider hiring one for a short time. (Videocraft are good for this).

For example, if you have a podcasting mic, this will be perfectly good for recording a voice over, but if you want some ambient noise outside – the rain dripping off trees, the wind howling, a thunderstorm, traffic noise and so on – it will just be crap.

So, to give you a leg up, we asked the experts at Sennheiser to give us a guide to work from. Yes, it uses their products to demonstrate what type, but whilst I am sure they’ll hope you do buy a Sennheiser, there are other mics on the market if, for example, your budget is a bit stretched.

To read the guide, click here. And if you are considering purchasing, have a look at Videoguys.

Review: Sennheiser HD25 mastering headphones

Ask any tech reviewer and they’ll tell you the most boring thing on the planet to review is a printer. Thankfully I don’t have that issue, as printers are not that often used in the video / filmmaking biz these days.

But they may also say the 2nd most boring is headphones. And I’d disagree.

Whilst I admit they are maybe not as sexy as say, a new cine camera or even an FX plugin, for those who ‘get’ audio, like me, they are very interesting.

Just to recap here for those late to the party, NEVER underestimate the power and importance of your audio. It is at least 50% of your production, and in production value, often a lot more.

This is why a good set of mastering headphones, such as the ones that landed on my doorstep yesterday from Mr Sennheiser are so vital in your kit.

And this set, the HD 25 model, is as the box says, “a legend among DJs and sound engineers”.

They are actually available in three variants; the HD 25 LIGHT with a single headband, HD 25 with a dual split headband and HD25 PLUS with extra earpads and cabling.

I have the HD25 with the dual split headband and very comfortable they are too. I did a 2 hour or so session last night and at the end had no aftereffects despite having the music turned up LOUD (I have discovered ‘Almost Autumn’)

The plug is typical Sennheiser with a combination 3.5mm / 6.35mm setup with the larger unscrewing from the former as an adaptor. The cable length is quite generous at around 1.5 metres.

The headphones are very light, but don’t let that fool you. The sound quality is exceptional in my opinion without any notable boosting of any frequencies or falsifying anything. Using my normal test music (Jeff Wayne “War of the Worlds”, Pink Floyd “Animals” and Yes “Talk”) along with the Almost Autumn tracks, everything sounded just brilliant with no added colour, which is necessary for mastering of course.

The recommended retail for the set I have is AUD$349 and the LIGHT variant is AUD$249.

For more information including technical specs see https://en-au.sennheiser.com/on-ear-dj-headphone-hd25



Review: RØDE NTH-100 Headphones

Headphones can tend to be a personal thing. One set may be my favourite to listen to Pink Floyd through, but someone else may think they suck for Billie Eilish.

It all depends on all sorts of techie things like frequency range and how they are “tuned”. For my music, I love my Sennheiser HD 300 Pro headphones.

But the new RØDE NTH-100 over ear cans are a different kettle of fish altogether. These are not setup so that any bass will rattle your back teeth. These are, like the Sennheiser HD400 Pros, monitoring headphones designed specifically for audio creation, mixing, music production, podcasting, on-location shoots and so on.

You see, what you are hearing is exactly what the sound is like; it has not been coloured or enhanced in any way at all. This means, for example, you can detect any flaws in the recording and compensate according in the production stage.

I received a set today from RØDE and I have to say I am extra impressed! There has been some serious thought placed into the NTH-100s from someone who obviously walks the walk as against simply (simply?) being an engineer.

Accepting the sound is brilliant – and you’d expect this from a company with a pedigree of RØDE – the NTH-100s have some nice touches that set them apart.

For one, they are super comfortable with memory foam ear pads, which is important when you may be in an editing suite for hours on end. Next, thoughtfully, the cable, which is of a decent length, is relocatable to the left or right-hand sides of the headphones and you get an adaptor to switch between a 3.5mm and ¼” jacks.

And the headband is fully adjustable and can be locked in place.

Finally, the price is realistic. At AUD$229 or thereabouts they are great value.

Highly recommended.

For more info, see https://rode.com/headphones/over-ear/nth-100


Road test: Podcaster Mics from Elgato, Thronmax.

If you don’t have a grand to spare to get the best of the best, what’s a budding voice over / podcaster to do?

There is no question the gold plated standard – as is the current buzz phrase –  for this sort of mic is the Sennheiser MKH416-P478U3 pictured above (and no, I don’t know who invents model numbers either), but at AUD$1000 and a bit, it is beyond the range of all but the most discerning, or perhaps a pro studio.

I have come across three options that might fill your needs. One is from Elgato (which have been around forever) and the others from Hong Kong based Thronmax.

All three are connected to your PC via USB-C / A making setup nice and easy with no specialist drivers necessary and all can either be desk stand mounted or attached to a boom arm.

Elgato Wave:3

The Elgato Wave:3 is a condenser style mic making it ideal for voice over and podcasting. Being a condenser means it picks up sound mainly around the front and sides, and less in the back and the Elgato Wave:3 is capable of 24 bit / 96kHz recording giving very high quality audio captures.

24 bit allows more flexibility in post editing and noise reduction.

A dial on the front of the Elgato Wave:3 clicks in so you can cycle through its different volume options and the rear has the USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack for monitoring.  On the top is a touch-sensitive sensor for muting. Just give it a tap it and the LED ring around the dial will turn red to show it’s now muted.

Thronmax MDRILL Zero Plus

The Thronmax MDRILL Zero Plus is a bit of an oddity in USB mics in that it is both a condenser mic (great for close up work such as voice overs) and omni-directional (for using in a conference situation say where the mic is placed on a table between participants).

You flick between the two modes by a simple turn of a knob.

In the former guise this is a good mic, but in the latter, it just didn’t work for me. The condenser mode seemed to actually work better than the omni mode did which is downright weird. I thought this might just be me, or this particular mic, but a check of other reviews confirmed my suspicions!

Which is a shame because everything else about this mic is stuff to like. You have the ability monitor audio via plugging a set of headphones in, no drivers are needed, it operates at 96kHz and it comes with a decent length of braided USB cable. You may – or not – also like the LED lighting.

The only caveat of the condenser mode is that you do need to be very close to the mic otherwise you are at a risk of picking up background noise such as keyboard clicks. To aid in this, I also used the Thronmax Zoom Boom stand, taking the mic out of the desk stand and thus off the desk.

Thronmax MDRILL One Pro

The Thronmax MDRILL One Pro became my mic of choice after testing all three for the purposes I had in mind.

Like its brethren, it is USB based, but unlike the Zero Plus which has two modes, one of which as I mentioned is not that good in my opinion, the MDRILL One has four – cardoid, stereo, omnidirectional and bi-directional.

The front of the mic has a control panel with a small screen and a couple of buttons. The lower of the two control which recording mode you want and an icon is displayed so you know what is currently selected. The upper button is simply a mute (here I do prefer the Elgato Wave:3 method I admit).

The screen displays the current gain and headphone volume (yes there is a headphone socket) and these settings are saved internally when the mic is unplugged.

One thing both Thronmax mics share is a technology the company calls Vertigain. The faces of the mic unlike “traditional” mics does not contain a mesh system but instead is a vertical grill design. The theory is that sound waves move vertically through the mic instead of being scattered.  This is said to allow the sound to pass through the grille more evenly.


I chose the Thronmax MDRILL One for my purposes not because of the features set – which is excellent – but for the audio quality compared to the other two. The Elgato Wave: 3 was a second choice, but I personally felt in my environment – and I admit this has a lot to do with it – it sounded muddy and had a slight reverb to it.

The Thromdrill MDRILL Zero Plus is just not in the same league as the other two I am afraid.

But of course, audio is very subjective as is most things when it comes to hardware (and software) choices. One person’s Holden is another’s Toyota, or something like that. So I would always, if possible, try and do a test recording of each you are looking at and then compare.

Prices (AUD$):

  • Elgato Wave:3 $229.00
  • Thromdrill MDRILL Zero Plus $149.00
  • Thronmax MDRILL One $239.00