These days, the need to record audio or video products keep increasing as the time goes by. With it, the need to have proper equipment becomes a must so that the result of the recording is fit with the result that you want. Here, we will review and compare one of the necessary equipment, which is the microphone, that you might want to have. We will take a look at the Sennheiser MKE 600, a long running product from Sennheiser, and the Rode NTG4, a relatively new product released by the acclaimed Rode.
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 power, 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.
For its size, the Sennheiser MKE 600 can be considered as small compared to its predecessor with 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. Read also: Bluebird Mic Vs Baby Bottle.
So, how about its performance then? Well, the Sennheiser MKE 600 can be said as an improvement among its equal to a shotgun microphone. 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.
|Sennheiser MKE 600||Rode NTG4|
|Product Dimensions||10.08 x 0.79 x 4.02 inches||13 x 3 x 5 inches
|Shipping Weight||15.2 ounces||1 pounds
|Shop now at Amazon||click here||click here|
The microphone has a frequency range of 40 Hz to 20 kHz. However, you cannot 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 at 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 new Rode NTG4 microphone. Just like the Sennheiser MKE 600, the Rode NTG4 is a shotgun microphone. This microphone can be used in various applications and situations, be it attach to a DSLR camera, conference, attach to a boompole, or as a normal mic, the Rode NTG4 can handle it. The Rode NTG4 is, unfortunately, not as flexible as the MKE 600 in terms of ways to power it up. The NTG4 microphone cannot use batteries as a way to power the microphone. The microphone can only be powered up with phantom power, which come in three configurations: 12V, 24V, and 48V. The good news is, this configuration will allow the microphone to stay on so long as the power source is still active, resulting in no more unrecorded audio accidents due to the microphone losing its power.
The Rode NTG4 can be said as a small microphone, with its long slender tube body construction, makes it look like an actual stick rather than a microphone. The microphone is 225 mm or 8 inches long, and has the same size for its diameter and width, which is 22 mm or 0.8 inches wide. Even with such construction, you can still feel its weight just like any other microphone, as the NTG4 microphone is weight at 125 grams or 0.2 lbs., which is close to what the weight of the MKE 600. This microphone comes with few accessories in the box that can be used with it. Other than the body of the microphone itself, it also comes with a Rode microphone clip, a padded zip pouch, and most importantly, the Rode windshield.
Now, let us talk about its performance. The Rode NTG4 has frequency range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz with selectable HPF or High-Pass Filter at 75 Hz. The high-pass filter will come in handy if you want to record audio higher than what the normal setting can catch. Since the Rode NTG4 is a “shotgun” microphone, it needs to be aimed at the source of the sound for it to be as efficient in recording the desired sound. The Rode NTG4 has an acceptable level of self-noise when compared to other microphones with similar price tag, which is at 16 dBA. The NTG4 also has a high-level maximum SPL or audio that it can catch, which stands at 135 dB SPL, makes it really good choice for a loud noise recording.
Sennheiser MKE 600 vs Rode NTG4
All in all, the Sennheiser MKE 600 might be the best choice for you. Although a little bit pricey, with the Sennheiser priced at 329 USD compared to Rode NTG4 285 USD, the Sennheiser MKE 600 gives you versatility when compared to NTG4. With two ways of power options, battery and phantom, it can give you more flexibility in how you can use the microphone. The Sennheiser MKE 600 also has almost all the capability of what the NTG4 microphone has, other being unable to record audio 20 Hz lower.