At NAB 2016 in Las Vegas, Sennheiser announced a brand new affordable compact shotgun stereo microphone for DSLR and videographers - the MKE 440. The compact unit features a unique twin shotgun microphones mounted in a “V-Stereo” configuration for a more directional pick-up pattern, while still capturing an immersive stereo experience.
“The MKE 440 is not only the most compact stereo shotgun microphone on the market,” said Kai Lange, Sennheiser product manager, Broadcast and Media. “Quite unlike other stereo camera microphones, it will predominantly pick up the sound from within the camera angle thanks to its new stereo principle.” The result is a well-balanced mix between ambient sound and clearly comprehensible speech and dialogue. “This enables DSLR users to capture professional stereo sound in one go, which saves production time and effort,” added Kai Lange.
Stereo microphones for video users have been available for some time, but they usually cost quite a bit compared to conventional shotgun microphones. This forces budget oriented users such as most DSLR filmmakers or those starting out to miss out on a truly immersive experience that a high quality stereo microphone offers.
The new MKE 440 from Sennheiser is here to change all that, thanks to its two mini-shotgun microphones and a new stereo design technique, which captures sound in the direction of the camera as opposed to more traditional and designs such as AB, MS or XY arrangements. The downside of these classic stereo set-ups is that they are prone to capturing sound and noises from the sides – including any comments from the camera operator or people next to them.
The two mini-shotguns of the MKE 440 are mounted in a V-shape arrangement that predominantly picks up the sound from within the direction of filming and rejects the majority of off-axis noise from outside the camera focus.
The mini-shotguns of the MKE 440 are matched and incorporate a super-cardioid pick-up patterns that overlap to create a front focus. The microphones are shock-mounted internally to reduce any handling noise and are protected against wind noise by a stainless steel micro-mesh. For strong wind, a special hairy cover is available as an accessory.
The design here is all-metal, the MKE 440 is ruggedly designed as one would expect from any Sennheiser product. The unit attaches to standard camera shoe mounts and als features a three-level sensitivity switch to adjust to softer and louder sound sources and has a switchable low-cut filter to eliminate low-frequency noise such as wind noise.
Two AAA size batteries are used to power the MKE 4400 and the green LED of the on/off switch doubling as an indicator of low-battery. The LED will turn red approximately four hours before the batteries run flat, ensuring sufficient time to finish shooting.
The Sennheiser MKE 440 is estimated to ship next month in June at a price point of around £249 + VAT. To place your order simply give us a call on 0208 977 1222.