In order to get the best audio quality in your video works, you need to equip your DSLR camera with a reliable external mic. A shotgun mic is highly recommended if you want to be able to isolate the audio from environmental noise. In the following article, Sennheiser MKE 400 vs Rode VideoMic Pro will be compared against each other. Both are shotgun mics that are quite compact and lightweight. Which one is better?
Design and Construction
Truth to be told, size and build quality are two biggest differences between Sennheiser MKE 400 vs Rode VideoMic Pro. Although both of them are generally considered compact and lightweight, Sennheiser MKE 400 is smaller. It measures 130 mm x 62 mm x 21 mm. Rode VideoMic Pro is bigger at 170 mm x 100 mm x 75 mm. If you need to be as compact as possible, you know which one to choose.
Sennheiser MKE 400 once again has the better edge in terms of build quality. Shotgun mics are often used for field uses, so they have to be durable enough to withstand travels and environmental conditions. Sennheiser MKE 400’s chassis is made of a metallic alloy, and it is very sturdy and durable – see our previous comparison about Shure VP83 vs Sennheiser MKE 400. On the other hand, Rode VideoMic Pro is plastic.
Each of the two models comes with an integrated shock mount and camera shoe mount. Each mic’s cable ends in a 3.5 mm jack to connect to the camera.
|Sennheiser MKE 400||Rode VideoMic Pro|
|- Frequency response : 40 - 20000 Hz||- Frequency Range : 40Hz - 20kHz (selected HPF @80)|
|- Microphone connector : 3,5 mm stereo mini jack||- Output Impedance : 200Ω|
|- Sensitivity as per 121 TR 9-5 126 dB (\"vol -\") | 118 dB (\"vol +\")||- Sensitivity : -32.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (20.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz|
Sennheiser MKE 400 works with a single AAA battery which can last for about 300 hours. By the way, the battery door is very easy to open and close. Perhaps the only bad thing is that the LED indicator does not light up all the time when turned on. It simply flashes once when turned on. So, you can’t really tell if the mic is turned on or not if you didn’t see the flashing.
On the other hand, Rode VideoMic Pro works with a 9V battery, and the battery door is very unintuitive to use. It is difficult to open and close, and the small plastic door can be lost easily. The LED indicator lights up when the mic is turned on.
In terms of performance, both Sennheiser MKE 400 and Rode VideoMic Pro are great. They have excellent sound quality. Sennheiser MKE 400 may sometimes sound relatively thinner, but you can adjust the volume level in the EQ and use the wind cut switches to make the sound fuller and richer. On the other hand, Rode VideoMic Pro can produce more low frequencies, so it may sound more natural. Rode VideoMic Pro also has a slightly lower self noise level, so it tends to deliver a little bit more clarity.
Sennheiser MKE 400 Vs Rode VideoMic Pro
In general, Sennheiser MKE 400 is more recommended. It is more compact and portable, and it also has better build quality. In terms of sound quality, it is very close to Rode VideoMic Pro. You can simply adjust the volume level and use the wind cut switches to make it fuller and richer.