Rode NTG4+ vs Sennheiser MKE 600

Shotgun microphones may not be as common as typical condenser or dynamic microphones but they are also the most ideal if you are recording in a place where there are many other noises that can be captured by the microphone. Shotgun microphones like Rode NTG4+ Vs Sennheiser MKE 600 are best for their directionality and they are actually versatile as well even though typically more expensive. If you wonder which of the two will be the better choice, let’s see the comparison below. 

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • What are Shotgun Microphones
  • What are Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600
  • How are the Design of Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600
  • How are the Specs of Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600
  • How are the Sound Quality of Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600
  • What else Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600 can offer
  • Rode NTG4+ Vs Sennheiser MKE 600

Shotgun Microphones

We all know that a microphone is used to capture sound whether it is your voice or instruments and many other sounds. There are so many types of microphones which makes them not always identical to each other and technically, based on the build and everything that made it a microphone will play a role in affecting the sound quality. There is no single microphone that is best for all types of applications and all types of users so it is best to shop according to what you want.

When it comes to microphone, there is this unique variant called shotgun microphone and it actually has nothing to do with a real gun but probably a bit similar in effect. A shotgun microphone is included in the highly directional type which means it must be pointed directly to the target or your sound source. Being extremely directional makes this microphone must be placed at an ideal distance and angle from the source because if not then it becomes off-axis or not properly captured. 

They are very unique not only because of the naming but also the shape. Usually microphones will have a grille at the top and body at the bottom but not with this microphone. You will see a small tube, like a stick usually from 8 to 24 inch long and along the sidewall there are perforated holes. This part is necessary for the phase cancelling function from the sound that comes from the rear of the microphone while those coming directly enter each of the holes thus adding phase by the time it reaches the diaphragm.

Depending on the microphone, not all shotguns are made the same and on the basic they can be separated into supercardioid such as Rode NTG3 Vs NTG5, hypercardioid, and ultra cardioid. The first polar pattern means it has a narrow pick up pattern at the front while rejecting the sound coming from off-axis. The second is similar but is even narrower yet they will have an extended pick up pattern on the back. The last is the narrowest so moving even slightly may cause your voice to be off-axis.

The main benefit of using shotgun microphones is their directionality which is unmatched by other types of microphones and this ability is great to let the user focus on the single or main sound source while ignoring the rest. It is very prominently used outdoors, in movie making or show production, and in interviews because they pick up very little of other noises from the sides.

 Rode NTG4+Sennheiser MKE 600
Product Dimensions0.86 x 0.86 x 10.94 inches
10.08 x 0.79 x 4.02 inches
Shipping Weight1 pounds
15.2 ounces
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About Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600

If this advantage is also what you are looking for then a shotgun microphone is a very ideal option to consider. This type of microphone is usually quite expensive however but it is matched well with what they can offer and in most cases they are also used in a more professional setting. The options are abundant out there and almost all big audio equipment brands also carry a range of shotgun microphone so if you already have a favorite brand, we can check their collection first.

For those who want to shop quickly, choosing from named brands like Rode and Sennheiser is just convenient. These companies are familiar names in the market with a long history of producing high-quality audio equipment including microphones. We love many of their dynamic and condenser microphones especially for streaming and simple setup at home but they also carry some of the most capable shotgun microphones that not only sound great but also quite affordable.

Those who want a directional microphone with versatility may want to consider the famous Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600 for what they can offer. These microphones are very clean and clear when it comes to sound quality making the two ideal for capturing human voice in various setups. They are not exactly the same as well but we love both for their reliable performance. In comparison, the MKE 600 is probably better suited for a more compact setup however. 

The sound characters are not the same as well so it can be subjective to which sounds better to your ears and which sounds more appealing to the audience but we do think they sound amazing with mostly flat response and slight boost on the higher end to give the sound a clarity and crispness without overdoing it. In addition, between the Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600 the former do have some to offer to let you tweak the sound character to match with the preference or situation.

Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600 Design

Before getting into what they can offer sound wise, let’s see the unit first and as you can expect, both of them are very robust. They are made of all-metal body but the form factor is not the same with the NTG4+ being the longer variant at 278 mm while the latter is only 256 mm. These microphones are very suitable for anyone who wants to get the directionality of a shotgun microphone and in addition the NTG4+ is also slightly wider in diameter. 

In the box these microphones come with the necessary tools so we don’t have to buy it separately yet, only the MKE 600 has the shock mount. Sennheiser put foam windshield and pouch with the manual inside while Rode comes with the microphone clip, padded pouch, windshield, and micro USB cable. These microphones are battery powered as well which is great for the convenience. In comparison, price wise the NTG4+ is the pricier one.

Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600 Specs

Moving further, let’s see what the Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600 can offer starting from the specs first to get an idea about how they will sound. Starting with the Rode, this microphone is coming with a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz so it can cover all the sound that is captured by the human ears. Its sensitivity is 25mV and the noise level is 16dBa which is very low as well. On the other hand the MKE 600 is from 40Hz to 20kHz with the sensitivity of 21Mv/Pa. The noise level itself is 15dB.

Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600 Sound Quality

Now let’s listen to these microphones because they are very similar here. These microphones are coming with smoother responses which have some of the advantages as well for the outdoor application. To say it simply, these microphones are sounding very natural with a flat response almost all across the frequency but they are not exactly identical too. The mid-range of MKE 600 is slightly elevated to boost the brightness of your voice and this is more prominent compared to NTG4+.

Rode actually also boosts the high frequency but it is just slightly and it even dampened some of them probably to make it more comfortable to the ears. Side by side the MKE 600 is more prominent in character which makes it also slightly brighter compared to Rode in its preset mode.

Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600 Features

Another difference is because the NTG4+ is coming with more features that you can find on the body of this microphone. There are few buttons here and besides the normal or flat mode, we can use its high-pass as well. This filter will attenuate the low frequency or cut some of them so you don’t get to record the sound that is unwanted. It also comes with the high boost mode and this will probably make the microphone sounds more similar to the MKE 600.

On the other hand the MKE 600 has the low-cut filter which is the same to high-pass that you can activate and this is very useful to minimize the low frequency such as reducing wind-noise when you are recording or using the microphone outdoors.

Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600 Power Source

As for the power source, Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600 are condenser microphones so we will need phantom power to make them work but, it is not the only option because there is rechargeable batteries too inside that we can use when there is no power source. The battery of these microphones are claimed to last for more than 100 hours of applications which is great and it also makes sure that we can rely on this feature when needed.

Rode NTG4+ vs Sennheiser MKE 600

Both Rode NTG4+ and Sennheiser MKE 600 are good microphones based on which seems to fit in your application the most. In comparison the MKE 600 is probably the one with a brighter sound since it elevates the high-end more prominently than what the flat setting of NTG4+ is offering. Rode also featured a high-pass filter and booster for this microphone meaning we can tweak the sound character a bit to meet the application or your preference.

- Broadcast sound quality
- Low noise circuitry
- Internal rechargeable lithium battery, supplying over 150 hours operation
- Fully charged in under two hours via MicroUSB
- Pronounced directivity
- Maximal rejection of side noise
- Switchable "Low Cut" filter minimizes wind noise
- Phantom or battery powering

Conclusion 

There is no bad option here because both are good microphones based on the sound quality and ease of use. If you prefer the sound to be brighter or slightly boosted on the higher end then we will recommend the MKE 600 but if you like it more neutral, the NTG4+ is the most ideal choice.