Rode NTG3 vs Sennheiser 416

Microphone will affect the sound quality of your recording so it is necessary to find the most suitable options for your application, such as the Rode NTG3 Vs Sennheiser 416 that are best if you will be recording something that needs sound isolation. As a shotgun microphone, both of them will be similar but different and while they are equally great options, the sound characteristics are not exactly the same. If you wonder which of the two will be the better choice, let’s see below about what they can offer.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • What are Shotgun Microphones
  • What are Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416
  • How are the Design of Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416
  • How are the Specs of Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416
  • How are the Sound Quality of Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416
  • How are the Isolation in Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416
  • Rode NTG3 Vs Sennheiser 416

Shotgun Microphones

The microphone is our main device to work on audio whether it is for live application or when you need to process the audio further. This basic equipment is very crucial to decide your recording quality and this is why we have to choose the microphone carefully. In most cases the equipment will vary from one application to another because there are factors that users have to consider first. One of them is the environment where the audio is taken.

Loud environments cause more noise to be captured by the microphone as well and this is not always a good thing. Most often we don’t want too much of other noise to get into the microphone and if possible only focusing on one or few that are currently recording. This is very prominent in live applications where there may be a lot of background noise in the space. Dynamic microphone is what we usually use in this type of application but there is also a shotgun microphone.

As many people may already know, a shotgun microphone is the one that looks like a tube and is very long with slits at an even space along each side with a capsule near the rear end. This is also called as interference tube by some people because it is designed to allow sound from in the front of the mic to pass through the tube to the capsule while at the same time the sound from both sides of the microphone must enter through the slits and this is creating phase cancellation which results in the rejection of the off-axis sound.

This is why they are often used in a situation where you need to isolate the sound coming from the main source that we want to record and ignore the rest. This is probably the best microphone for those who are aiming for accuracy. However, just like most products and for microphones itself in general, the sound quality will vary among options so the level of rejection off-axis will also vary. Some of the best are capable of picking up sound from the front, rejecting those from the sides, and picking some from the back.

This type of microphone is very popular in video production because we need to pay attention to both image and sound at the same time. The shotgun microphone allows for a very narrow pick up pattern which lets you pick up what’s in front of the microphone, avoiding those that are currently happening in the surrounding area.  

 Rode NTG3Sennheiser 416
Product Dimensions14 x 3 x 7 inches
5.31 x 2.6 x 13.78 inches
Shipping Weight1.5 pounds
1.1 pounds
Best Offerclick hereclick here

About Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416

Different applications require different equipment and this is why you may want to consider the choice wisely. Besides shotgun microphone we also have lavalier microphone that can be useful in similar applications but different people may want a different level of audio quality as well. If you are here then we assume that a shotgun microphone is what you are looking for and there are also more than plenty to choose from in the market that come from varying companies.

High chances your favorite brands are already offering lots of amazing shotgun microphones in the collection but if you want to shop conveniently, we also recommend checking what other people with the same goal are getting because you may like them too. Among the options, Rode and Sennheiser are two amazing companies that are offering a wide range of choices based on the application and even price point. Rode for example have some of the pleasantly sounding voice over microphones like the Rode NT1 Kit Vs NT1A.

For those who want the best sound isolation and will be using the microphone in filming setup or similar application, the Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416 are two promising variants to consider. We have compared the NTG3 with the big brother NTG5 which resulting in similar sound quality but also personally we favored the NTG5 better for the sound character but, today we will see how this microphone will be against another favorite option in the industry, to see whether the lower price point is as attractive as it sounds.

In comparison, we do think the sound character of 416 or the MKH416 is very similar to the NTG3 and NTG5 side by side. All of them are clean, have quite a flat nuance to it but the NTG3 is probably the more neutral and flat one. If you concentrate on how they sound in the same room and at the same level of sound, the impression will give an idea that Sennheiser is just slightly brighter than the Rode.

Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416 Design

There are lots of good microphones out there and these Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416 are very sturdy but not identical. Side by side they look like typical shotgun microphones in general with the Rode just a tad longer. These microphones are 255 mm and 250 mm respectively while the diameter is the same or 19 mm. The unit quality is very good as well or very durable just like most shotgun microphones out there.

There seems to be few package options or kit when you are choosing these microphones but usually you will get the microphone clamp to attach into the type of mount you will have and windshield. The windshield here is foam type but you are free to use another windshield that will work better for filtering the input.

Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416 Specs

Moving further, let’s see what the Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416 can offer starting from the specs first to give you an idea how these microphones will sound. Both are RF bias microphones and Sennheiser comes with frequency response from 40Hz to 20kHz, the same as Rode. The output impedance is also the same 25 Ohm and maximum sound pressure of 130 SPL. These are XLR microphones, condenser types that will require you to provide phantom power which means we will need another source to supply the power. 

Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416 Sound Quality

Next is for the sound quality and as it has been mentioned above, these two are so similar to each other that we are not sure whether it is noticeable for the majority of people. They are neutral and are flat rather than prominent in character so it is great to preserve the original sound character too. However, in comparison they are not completely identical. We do think the MKH416 is more similar to the NTG5 which means it is also slightly brighter than the NTG3.

As the more affordable mic, we are worried about how NTG3 handles plosives or higher frequencies but it turns out really good, very clean, and not harsh at all. It is overall better than the NTG2 but similarly good to the MKH 416. If you listen to them side by side, it seems like the Sennheiser is giving the sound more nuance to it.

Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416 Isolation 

As for the performance of Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416 in isolating the sound source, they are also similar but not the same here. In comparison, the latter is better here because the level of sound it captures from the front and off-axis is more different than what NTG3 is offering. The Rode is capturing more sound from the sides of the microphone but this is not bad at all and it is also based on numbers so we are unsure whether it can be picked up by most people’s hearing. 

As for the microphones’ self-noise, they are also slightly different but not by much and in comparison, the NTG3 is actually the more silent here or if you get the NTG5, it will be even more silent than the little brother. It seems the MKH60 which is a higher choice from the brand is even more silent than all of the microphones we have mentioned here but it is also very expensive in comparison.

Rode NTG3 vs Sennheiser 416

It is easy to choose between these microphones because you don’t have a bad option. Side by side the NTG3 is just slightly longer in form factor, slightly less isolating, but is noticeably quieter than the Sennheiser 416 which is noticeably pricier. From the sound quality, Sennheiser is also brighter compared to Rode so this is subjective about which type of sound that you like better yet, we do think both are almost identical and sound really good. 

- Designed to withstand adverse environmental conditions
- 50% less self-noise than the majority of shotgun microphones
- True condenser (externally RF biased)
- Extremely low handling noise; High level of immunity to radio frequency broadcast
- Increased directivity due to interference tube principle
- Rugged, suitable for adverse climatic conditions
- Equivalent noise level weighted as per CCIR 468 3: 24 decibel
- Current consumption: 2 megaAmphere

Conclusion

Both Rode NTG3 and Sennheiser 416 are good options so we do think anyone who is going to use a shotgun mic will be happy with any of the two but, personally we recommend the NTG3 because it sounds amazing but is much cheaper.