Podcast Equipment

Sennheiser MKE 400 Review: Powerful Shotgun Mic at an Affordable Price

7 min read

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Looking for a quality shotgun mic? The Sennheiser MKE 400 is a popular choice due to its compact size and quality sound. In this Sennheiser MKE 400 review, we explore the components and features of this mic, as well as some alternatives. 

Our Verdict

Sennheiser MKE 400

The Sennheiser MKE 400 stands out as a robust and versatile shotgun microphone, ideal for creators who prioritize portability and ease of use without compromising on sound quality. Its durability and audio clarity makes it a reliable choice for all creators.


  • Compact and durable design.
  • Excellent sound quality.
  • Built-in windscreen and shock mount.


  • Lacks XLR connectivity.
  • Supercardioid pickup pattern may not capture ambient sounds effectively.

Overview of the Sennheiser MKE 400

The Sennheiser MKE 400 is a compact shotgun microphone for podcasters and YouTube creators. It is especially useful for creators who need a durable and reliable mic for both studio and field recording. This microphone is a favorite for its ability to deliver clear and focused audio, significantly improving the production quality of any content.

YouTube video

Design and Build

The Sennheiser MKE 400 showcases a sleek, compact design that’s built for durability and ease of use. It features an all-metal housing which not only adds to its ruggedness but also provides a professional look. 

Sennheiser MKE 400 design and build

The microphone is lightweight, making it easy to mount on a variety of cameras without adding significant bulk. An integrated shock mount helps to reduce handling noise. The built-in windscreen is a crucial addition, as it effectively minimizes wind noise when recording outdoors.

Sound Performance

The sound performance of the Sennheiser MKE 400 is impressive, offering clear and detailed audio capture, which is essential for professional-grade content creation. It’s good at maintaining natural sound quality while focusing on the audio directly in front of the microphone, which is ideal for interviews, dialogues, and voice-overs. 

The microphone’s sensitivity is finely tuned to pick up subtleties in speech and ambient sounds. This makes it particularly effective for podcasters and YouTube creators who require pristine audio clarity.

Sennheiser MKE 400 sound performance

Pickup Pattern

The pickup pattern of the Sennheiser MKE 400 is supercardioid, which is highly directional and focuses on sound coming from directly in front of the microphone while minimizing noise from the sides and rear. 

The supercardioid pattern makes the MKE 400 an excellent choice for capturing audio in scenarios where sound directionality and isolation are crucial. This targeted audio capture ensures that the primary audio source is always clear and prominently featured in the recording.


The Sennheiser MKE 400 offers straightforward connectivity, primarily designed to interface directly with cameras and mobile devices via a standard 3.5mm TRS jack. This feature ensures compatibility with a wide range of recording equipment without the need for complex adapters or setups. 

Additionally, the microphone includes a TRS to TRRS cable that makes it possible to connect to smartphones or tablets, expanding its versatility for creators who use mobile devices for their content production. This plug-and-play approach simplifies the process of getting started.

Sennheiser MKE 400 connectivity

Setup and Use

Setting up the Sennheiser MKE 400 is incredibly user-friendly, making it ideal for both novice and experienced creators. The microphone attaches easily to a camera’s hot shoe mount and connects via the 3.5mm jack. It operates on two AAA batteries, which provide up to 100 hours of operation. 

For optimal audio capture, the MKE 400 features easily accessible controls, including a sensitivity switch and a low-cut filter, so you can adjust settings on the fly based on the recording environment. This makes it an excellent tool for dynamic recording conditions.

Sennheiser MKE 400 on camera


  • Type: Shotgun microphone
  • Connector: 3.5mm TRS and TRRS jack
  • Frequency Response: 50 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Pickup Pattern: Supercardioid
  • Sensitivity: -23 dBV/Pa
  • Max SPL: 132 dB SPL
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 75 dB
  • Power Supply: 2 AAA batteries (up to 100 hours of operation)
  • Low-Cut Filter: Yes, switchable
  • Housing: All-metal
  • Integrated Shock Mount: Yes
  • Windscreen: Built-in, with optional furry windshield available
  • Dimensions: Approx. 5.12 x 2.44 x 2.36 inches
  • Weight: Approx. 93 grams (without battery)

What’s in the Box of the Shure MV7?

When you purchase the Sennheiser MKE 400, the box typically includes the following items:

  • Sennheiser MKE 400 Microphone: The main shotgun microphone unit.
  • 3.5mm TRS to TRS Cable: For connecting to cameras and audio recorders.
  • 3.5mm TRS to TRRS Cable: For connecting to smartphones and tablets.
  • Furry Windshield: An additional windscreen for enhanced noise reduction.
  • Carrying Pouch: A soft pouch for storing and transporting the microphone safely.

Who is the Sennheiser MKE 400 For?

The Sennheiser MKE 400 is ideally suited for content creators who need high-quality audio in their productions, ranging from podcasters and YouTube creators to filmmakers and videographers. 

Its compact design and straightforward operation make it perfect for those who often record both indoors and outdoors, such as when conducting interviews or travel enthusiasts capturing their adventures. 

The microphone’s ability to isolate speech and minimize background noise also makes it a popular choice among professionals and amateurs seeking to enhance the audio quality of their video content.

Sennheiser MKE 400 Alternatives

If the Sennheiser MKE 400 isn’t for you, here are some popular alternatives.

RØDE VideoMic Pro

The RØDE VideoMic Pro is a compact shotgun microphone, known for its clear audio quality and ease of use, making it a strong alternative to the Sennheiser MKE 400. It features a Rycote Lyre shock mount that provides isolation from physical vibration and handling noise. 

This microphone also includes a +20 dB level boost, which is ideal for use with DSLR cameras that tend to have noisy preamps. Its lightweight design and focused pickup pattern make it particularly good for capturing dialogue directly in front of the camera.

Deity V-Mic D4

The Deity V-Mic D4 is a versatile and durable shotgun microphone that offers excellent sound quality at a competitive price. Like the Sennheiser MKE 400, it features a supercardioid pickup pattern that focuses on sound in front of the microphone while reducing side and rear noise. 

The D4’s robust design includes a low-cut filter to manage low-frequency noises and an auto-power feature that conserves battery life. This microphone is particularly well-suited for indie filmmakers and content creators who need a reliable, high-performing audio solution that won’t break the bank.

Sennheiser MKE600

The Sennheiser MKE600 is a step up in the Sennheiser line and serves as a professional-grade alternative to the MKE 400. 

It offers a highly directional supercardioid/lobar pickup pattern, which is excellent for isolating speech in noisy environments and capturing clear, detailed sound. The MKE600 is designed with a longer body, which enhances its directionality and focus. 

Additionally, it can operate on phantom power or AA batteries, providing versatility in various shooting conditions. This microphone is favored by professionals who need enhanced audio precision and reliability in their recordings.

Azden SMX-30

The Azden SMX-30 is unique because it features both a directional shotgun microphone and a stereo microphone in one unit, providing versatility unmatched by the Sennheiser MKE 400. 

This dual-mode allows creators to switch between mono and stereo recording, making it perfect for capturing ambient sounds as well as focused audio. 

It includes a gain control switch and a low-cut filter, similar to the MKE 400, but adds a unique integrated shock mount to reduce handling noise. The SMX-30 is ideal for video creators who require flexibility in their audio recording options.

Sennheiser MKE 400 Review FAQs

Here are some common questions people ask about the Sennheiser MKE 400. 

What is the Sennheiser on camera shotgun?

The Sennheiser on-camera shotgun refers to a type of microphone like the MKE 400 or MKE 600, designed to mount directly on cameras, providing focused, directional audio capture ideal for video production.

How far can a shotgun mic reach?

A shotgun mic like the Sennheiser MKE 400 can effectively capture clear audio from subjects up to 10-20 feet away, depending on the environment and specific microphone characteristics.

Does the Sennheiser MKE 400 have phantom power?

Yes, the Sennheiser MKE 400 can be powered by phantom power (48V) or by AA batteries, making it versatile for both studio and field use.

What makes Sennheiser so good?

Sennheiser is renowned for its high-quality audio products, precision engineering, and consistent performance across a wide range of audio equipment, making it a trusted brand among audio professionals and enthusiasts.

Can the Sennheiser MKE 400 be used with a smartphone?

Yes, the Sennheiser MKE 400 can be used with smartphones using the included TRS to TRRS cable, making it versatile for mobile filmmakers and content creators.

Is the Sennheiser MKE 400 good for indoor use?

Absolutely, the Sennheiser MKE 400 performs exceptionally well indoors, especially in controlled environments where its directional pickup pattern can effectively isolate the subject’s voice from ambient noise.

What is the battery life of the Sennheiser MKE 400?

The Sennheiser MKE 400 operates on two AAA batteries and provides up to 100 hours of operation, making it highly reliable for extended recording sessions.

Should You Buy the Sennheiser MKE 400?

Deciding whether to purchase the Sennheiser MKE 400 depends largely on your specific audio needs and the environment in which you’ll be recording. This microphone is an excellent choice for content creators who require a reliable, high-quality audio solution that can handle both studio settings and dynamic outdoor environments. 

Its compact size, robust build, and ability to deliver clear, focused sound make it particularly appealing to podcasters, vloggers, and mobile journalists.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider. The MKE 400, while versatile, does not feature XLR connectivity, which can be a limitation for those looking to integrate the microphone into a professional audio setup. 

Additionally, while it performs well in noisy environments, its supercardioid pattern may not capture as wide a soundscape as some users might need, particularly in situations where ambient sound is important to the recording.

Overall, if you’re looking for a portable, easy-to-use microphone that provides excellent sound quality for a variety of applications, the Sennheiser MKE 400 is certainly worth considering. 

If you enjoyed this review, please check out some of our other microphone reviews:

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Dennis is a content marketer and web developer with years of experience helping startups and small businesses build their online platforms. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughter.

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