Not too long ago, professional filmmakers and photographers would have scoffed if you told them you’d be able to make short films with a device that can fit in your pocket and a laptop.
Some have put forward that the smartphone should be named the 8th wonder of the world. They are fantastic little things. Able to create and share high-quality video content anywhere in the world. But they do still have an Achilles heel – microphone quality.
Enter a legend…
Many content creators will tell you that getting vocals to sound good will cost you more than good video quality. Having a good microphone can be the difference between being taken seriously or being an amateur.
Sennheiser has come forward with a solution that can give you serious audio without breaking the bank. The MKE 200 mobile kit is meant to give your smartphone the boost it needs to become a proper recording device.
Leading the charge…
Are you a professional looking for an on-the-go option for spontaneous content creation or on a tight budget and just getting started? If so, the MKE 200 mobile kit is the perfect solution.
Sennheiser has released similar shotgun mics in the past. But, the recent smartphone revolution has created a new gap for devices such as these.
We decided to find out if you could turn a smartphone into a high-end recording device for around $130 in this Sennheiser MKE 200 Mobile Kit review.
Design and Build
Since this is marketed as a kit, let’s get started with what comes in the box. The entirety of the MKE 200 mobile kit comprises:
- MKE 200 directional on-camera microphone.
- Manfrotto PIXI mini tripod.
- Sennheiser smartphone clamp.
- Two locking 3.5 mm TRS to TRS coiled cables.
- Storage pouch.
The microphone is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessors in terms of design and build quality. The MKE has none of the looseness or rattles in previous shotgun mics from Sennheiser. The build is of lightweight aluminum, which adds strength but maintains portability.
Also, the MKE 200 microphone features an internal shock mount. This is a great addition to reduce handling noise and add stability to a recording. There is also a windscreen for outdoor use.
Cold shoe mount…
This will last as long as the microphone will. Easy to use, well-made, and perfectly suited to its task. All smartphones and most cameras should prove no problem. The cold shoe mount has a 1\4-inch screw-hole at the bottom for tripods or magic arms.
Aluminum smartphone clamp…
This features several locking joints to secure your smartphone and other accessories with ease. Like the microphone, the design is lightweight and simple to use.
Additionally, a good tripod is an absolute must for anyone who wants to make a serious recording. The Manfrotto Tripod included with the MKE 200 mobile kit is as sturdy and well-made a tripod as anyone could hope to start with.
Two high-quality, locking TRS cables…
The cables are coiled and angled to reduce the chances of them getting bent or developing kinks. A handy carry pouch is perhaps not the most sturdy and secure way of transporting a microphone.
But, the mic is well-made, and the sturdiness of the components makes it more than capable of dealing with knocks and bumps.
The MKE microphone offers excellent sound quality for the price range. It also outperformed its predecessors from Senhheiser with ease.
First off, the internal shock mount, horseshoe mount, and smartphone cable perform beautifully. They attach and fit seamlessly to any device and help to add the stability required to record properly.
Recording outside proved just as satisfying. While your range from the camera is limited, we found that the windscreen did a fantastic job of keeping noises down.
As expected from a Sennheiser microphone, the MKE 200 performs beautifully. Voices sound natural and come across as crystal clear. You’re getting one of the best external smartphone microphones on the market.
The microphone does a great job of removing unwanted low-frequency noises. This may cause some bass-heavy voices to lose body. But, this is a small trade-off for a quiet background.
While this is a directional microphone, it does a great job of eliminating the noises of cars passing by outside the window or footsteps passing your open door. However, you’ll struggle to record the dialogue between two people in the hopes of isolating just one voice.
Sennheiser MKE 200 Mobile Kit – Pros and Cons
- Comes with everything you need.
- Easy to use.
- Good sound quality.
- A USB-C or Lighting audio option would have been nice as not all phones have 3.5 jacks.
- The carrying pouch could be a bit more sturdy.
Looking for a New Microphone?
We can help. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best iOS Microphones, the Best Interview Microphones, the Best DSLR Camera Microphones, the Best Lavalier Microphones, and the Best Wireless Microphones you can buy in 2022.
Also, take a look at our detailed reviews of the Best Microphones For iPad, the Best External Microphones For iPhone, the Best Computer Microphones, the Best Live Vocal Mics, the Best Microphones For YouTube, and the Best Cheap Microphone Under $50 currently on the market.
Sennheiser MKE 200 Mobile Kit Review – Conclusion
The MKE 200 mobile kit delivered on its promise of making a smart device sound ten times better. Good enough to make a piece of content you’d be proud to put your name to. The design is lightweight and durable, and the components are easy to use and will last years if looked after.
Above all else, the audio quality improvement offered by the MKE 200 mic ends up boosting the production value of the entire piece of content. So much so that it more than pays you back for the $130 you spent on it. The final score is 8 out of 10.
Until next time, have fun recording.