Sennheiser recently introduced a new compact microphone, the MKE 200, that is more than just yet another Rode VideoMicro clone. I paired it up with the Sony a7S III, GoPro HERO9, and iPhone to test its sound quality in this hands-on review.
The Sennheiser MKE 200 measures in at 2.7 inches long, weighs 1.7 ounces, and features a super-cardioid microphone that focuses sound pickup from the front. The microphone capsule sits on top of an integrated shock mount which is itself housed inside the built-in perforated plastic wind shield we see from the exterior. This design makes the MKE 200 feel positively solid while mounted to a camera. For added wind dampening, the MKE 200 ships with a removable faux-fur deadcat cover.
What I Like
- As a microphone, you would hope my first list item would be its sound quality. Well, here it is. As you can hear from the video above, it greatly improves sound quality from every device it’s attached to. When compared to the popular VideoMicro, it also holds its own.
- The compact size and light weight means it’s a negligible carry along item. Whether you’re going to put it to use or not on any particular day, it’s not taking up much space to always have it with you. I find a lot of times with mobile content creation that it’s usually a very spontaneous act, and being able to always carry something that elevates that is a nice positive.
- It comes bundled with both a 3.5mm TRS cable for cameras and a 3.5mm TRRS cable for smartphones.
- I like the design of the MKE 200 with its concealed shock mount. I prefer it over the floppy external shock mount like the VideoMicro. It keeps the camera setup feeling nice and solid rather than rattly.
- The built-in plastic windscreen proves to be beneficial in that its less to worry about while shooting, especially when you can’t be monitoring your own sound all the time. Above in the outdoor example shots we can hear that it handles wind quite well on its own without needing to step up to the included deadcat.
- Being a compact microphone, it relies on power coming from the camera so there’s no batteries to carry or worry about charging.
- Not to go on too much talking about the VideoMicro in a Sennheiser review, but at some - point - it - becomes - ridiculous how often it’s been tastelessly mimicked. I’m just saying that it’s refreshing to see the MKE 200 be its own unique product in the compact microphone space, and be a competently good one at that.
What I Don’t Like
- Not necessarily a “don’t like” item, but I do recognize that the front-facing cable jack is different. You may not like it simply because it looks different. In use, I do think it’s really no better or worse than the traditional rear plug. Not being right in the way of the rear monitor is a positive, but I do wish the cord was shorter for less chance of bouncing on the lens up front.
- The price is probably a touch too steep. Yes, I do think it’s an acceptable price for what you get, however as I’ve brought up an annoying number of times already, the VideoMicro has dominated this space for a long time and is $40 less. Even dropping the price $20 might convince many more people to go for it and “step up” to the newcomer MKE 200 instead.
The Sennheiser MKE 200 costs $99.95 and is available to order now.