If you are used to doing an interview, conference organizer, or want to start a new career as a vlogger, having a good microphone is a must. Usually, people choose a specialized type of microphone to do this, namely a shotgun microphone. A shotgun microphone is what is known as a highly directional microphone, where to receive the best quality of sound, you have to aim it directly at the source of the sound. Today, we will review two line up of shotgun microphones from the already famous manufacturers of microphones, which is the Sennheiser MKE 600 series and Sennheiser ME66 series.
Sennheiser MKE 600
First, let us take a look at Sennheiser MKE 600. This shotgun mic is specifically designed to fit into DSLR cameras. However, it does not mean that it is only exclusively usable with a camera. You can use this microphone independently depending on how you set it up. The Sennheiser MKE 600 is powered in two ways, battery-powered and phantom powered. For battery-powered, you will need to provide two AA batteries to power it up.
In this way, the microphone can last for about 150 hours of continuous use. It will also light up an indicator indicating how many powers it has left in this setting. With phantom-powered, you will need an XLR-3 cable connected to your camera or recording device. The specific amount needed to power it this way is about 48 volts. Read also: Rode VideoMic Pro Plus vs Deity Microphone V-Mic D3 Pro.
For its size, the Sennheiser MKE 600 can be considered as small compared to its predecessor with a size of about 10 inches or 25 cm long and 0.8 inches or 2 cm for its diameter. The weight itself is quite light for about 4.5 ounces or 125 grams when standing alone. When you buy this microphone, it will come with a shock mount and a foam windscreen which you can replace if you have one that is better in quality.
|Sennheiser MKE 600||Sennheiser ME66|
|Product Dimensions||10.08 x 0.79 x 4.02 inches||1.6 x 1.6 x 9.4 inches
|Shipping Weight||15.2 ounces||2.4 ounces
|Shop now at Amazon||click here||click here|
So, how about its performance then? Well, the Sennheiser MKE 600 can be said as an improvement among its equal to shotgun microphones. The microphone has a low-cut filter that is switchable for you to reduce the impact of wind noise hitting the microphone, so you do not have to worry about wind noise disrupting the sound when recording outdoors.
The microphone also responds to sound quite well at about 7 kHz to 10 kHz in around 2 to 3 dB. However, you can not really put it far away from the source of the sound as it will impact the sound quality this microphone can catch. The low-cut filter also works incredibly with it being able to offset sound up to 200 Hz, so not only wind noise but also vehicle and even machinery.
The self-noise that this microphone produces can be said to be close to those generated by more expensive professional-level microphones with it only producing a maximum of 16dB when being used. This resulting in the microphone is excellent at capturing low volume sound. On the other hand, the Sennheiser MKE 600 can record sound for up to 132 dB while phantom powered and 126 dB while battery powered.
Now, let us take a look at the Sennheiser ME66. This shotgun microphone has already lasted for about 20 years in the market and still use up to this day. What is unique about this microphone is that it is one of those modular microphones, particularly the ME66 microphone is made to fit the Sennheiser’s K6 and K6P power modules. This is, in itself, quite different compared to the Sennheiser MKE 600.
As previously mentioned above, this microphone can only be used with K6 or K6P power modules. It means that you will be required to buy not only the microphone but also the power modules if you have not had it yet. This will become costly, with the microphone alone standing in the price tag of $209.95 while the K6 is priced at $210 in Amazon. That being said, it also means that this microphone can only be powered with phantom configuration, as neither the K6 nor the K6P power modules support batteries. These power modules also need the same amount of power as what the MKE 600 requires to function, which is 48 volts of power.
The microphone is built with anodized black metal housing which functions as protection so that it may still function well even under rough use conditions. Just like any other shotgun microphone, you can add accessories such as foam windscreen to reduce the impact of wind in your recording. However, you will not be provided with one when you buy this microphone.
In the case of its capability of recording sound, the Sennheiser ME66 has more or less similar capability when compared to the Sennheiser MKE 600. Only that it has a lower maximum sound that it can record at 125dB, 1dB lower than the Sennheiser MKE 600’s maximum when powered by batteries. However, the great thing about this microphone is that it has much lower values of self-noise compared to the Sennheiser MKE 600 at 10dB when working at full power. This low self-noise ensures that the microphone does not even give away its presence in the recording.
The microphone alone is around 2.9 ounces or 82 grams and 8.7 inches or 22 cm in length. However, this will increase considerably after it is combined with the K6 or K6P power modules.
Sennheiser MKE 600 vs ME66
Both microphones will function well if what you are looking for is a shotgun microphone. However, I only advise you consider buying the Sennheiser ME66 if you already have K6 or the K6P power modules, as it means that you will have an additional variety to your choice of microphone. If you do not yet have the K6 or K6P power modules, the I would recommend for you to get your hands on the Sennheiser MKE 600. With it being lightweight, supermodular in power option, and designed specifically for DSLR cameras, it will be the best choice for you if you need a shotgun microphone.