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Sennheiser MKE 400 Mobile Kit Review

The rise of podcasting and indie content creation in all its forms has affected the audio industry in one particular area. Manufacturers now try to make tech as easy-to-use and portable as possible. 

The future has arrived…

The shotgun microphone is nothing new, but in recent years it’s become good enough to take seriously, especially in the more affordable sector of the market. None more so than those made by Sennheiser. 

The very first lower-cost models they attempted were not good, to say the least. But, they kept at it, perhaps envisioning the future where everyone with a cellphone can become a filmmaker. 

Obtaining high-resolution video is now possible with an array of smart devices and cameras that are ever more accessible and affordable. Audio, on the other hand, remains a bit of a problem. No one wants to lug a huge microphone around when they’re spontaneously making videos.

Enter the Sennhieser MKE 400 Mobile Kit… 

This is the second generation of this all-in-one shotgun microphone to make professional audio accessible to the masses. These kits have been proving all the more popular, especially among smartphone users. The MKE 400, though, is aimed at attracting even high-end camera users. 

For around $230, the MKE 400 mobile kit promises to be an all-in-one solution to increase the audio and, therefore, overall production value of your content. But is it the best video recording microphone kit you can buy?

I decided to mount this little sound-capturing cannon on my Cannon and take a few snaps and vids. So, let’s see if those zany Germans finally got it right in my in-depth Sennheiser MKE 400 Mobile Kit Review.

Design and Build Quality

Sennheiser MKE 400 Mobile Kit
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

The sleek black aluminum design of the second generation MKE 400 is a far cry from the first, which came out nearly 13 years ago. The new matte black enclosure is not only more compact and sleek but more durable and stable.

In the box…

The entire MKE 400 mobile kit consists of:

  • MKE 400 battery-powered shotgun microphone.
  • Wind furry.
  • One TRS to TRS cable.
  • One TRS to TRRS cable.
  • Manfrotto PIXI mini tripod.
  • Sennheiser Smartphone Clamp.
  • Cold shoe mount.
  • Fabric carrying pouch.

As expected from Sennheiser, you are getting quality components in the kit. The microphone is sturdy and durable with an internal shock mount. Control switches on the slides might be small, but this is not a large microphone. The branding is minimalist, and the construction is superb. 

When recording with a shotgun microphone… 

One of the most important things to compensate for is handling movement and wind noise. Luckily, the MKE 400 has an integrated windscreen and polar pattern to counteract these factors. The sleek cylindrical body shape of the microphone also helps to minimize wind noise. 

The MKE 400 sits on top of a high-grade, easy-to-use, built-in cold shoe mount. Beneath the cold shoe mount sits a ¼-inch screw hole. So, you can mount the MKE 400 to an array of tripods, booms, and traditional mic stands.

Microphone Controls


The MKE 400 has a three-step sensitivity switch to adjust the input gain of your source audio. Keep in mind that this is a super-cardioid capsule. It is designed to reject as much off-axis noise as possible. So distance and loudness will factor greatly in how you use this function. But I’ll get to that later.

Next to the input gain, you’ll find a low cut or high pass switch for cutting out those unwanted low-end rumbles in your shooting environment. And next to that, there is a power button. 

Handy features and form…

On the other side of the mic, you’ll find one of the most appreciated features, a 3.5mm headphone jack and simple volume control for your headphones. The volume control has eight steps that are in increments of 6dB each. 

The cherry-on-top is that the headphone jack is located on the front of the microphone to make it stay out of the way and less likely to tangle. As a result, this is one of the easiest to use shotgun microphones you can buy.

Battery Life

The MKE 400 uses three AAA batteries. Courteously, the folks over at Sennheiser do include three batteries with the purchase. On a single charge, the MKE 400 will deliver a very respectable 100 hours of use. 

The Rest of the Kit

The included TRS and TRRS cables have locking tips to ensure they don’t accidentally bend or twist around in the socket. The fact that they are angled, and coiled just makes them all the better. Likewise, the included wind furry is plush and made from high-quality fibers. 

A good tripod and clamp are usually things you’d invest in as much as a microphone. Luckily, the MKE 400 kit is an all-in-one solution. And the included Manfrotto tripod and Sennheiser Smartphone clamp are deal-sealers for many users. Both these items are of top quality and durable.

While the cotton carry pouch lacks any kind of padding or soft lining on the inside, it is still a worthy addition to the kit. I’d still recommend storing the microphone in the pouch inside a padded bag, such as a side pouch on a camera bag. 

Sound Quality


The MKE 400 has a frequency response of 50Hz to 20kHz and has a super-cardioid capsule design. It is made for directional use, usually with just one or two sources. 

Testing the MKE 400… 

Indoors at a distance of around three to six feet with a camera and smartphone, I found the performance to be stellar. Multiple speakers of both genders were asked to say a few lines, and the voices had a rich, natural timbre. 

While this distance is what’s recommended in all situations, I found myself trying even seven to nine feet and still having good results. 

The microphone was clear, and the super-cardioid design performed as expected. Off-axis noise from a loud fridge in the next room wasn’t audible at all. Never mind the dog barking in the neighbor’s yard. This is one of the best unidirectional microphones on the market.

When moving outside… 

There was a noticeable difference. It’s here that the input controls and wind furry became very useful indeed. With moderate wind and quite a few pedestrians passing by, I was able to record a friend and was able to achieve workable footage after a few attempts. 

Getting the input level right for different situations will be a matter of finding a balance between the MKE 400’s input switch and your recording devices. Although, once you’ve found your sweet spots, these will rarely change. 

Monitoring Quality

It seems strange having a section just for this function. But, it is what I find myself most grateful for on the MKE 400. Having the ability to monitor the quality of the audio you are recording in real-time is an invaluable resource to any content creator, whether it is a vlogger or filmmaker. 

The headphone amp on the MKE 400 was powerful enough for my high-grade, studio-quality headphones. I usually only use them with recording devices, like interfaces and mixing desks that have adequate preamps built-in. 

Yet, when trying them on the MKE 400, I found they were plenty loud enough. This makes all the difference in your final production, as you can make vital adjustments to your sound while you’re still in a position to do so. 

Sennheiser MKE 400 Mobile Kit Review – Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Reasonably priced.
  • Includes everything you need.
  • Well-built components.
  • Good sound quality.
  • Headphone jack for monitoring.
  • Very useful sound controls.

Cons

  • There is no thread adapter included to account for different size microphone stands.

Need a Great Microphone?

We have you covered. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Interview Microphones, the Best Live Vocal Mics, the Best Microphones For Recording Vocals, the Best Microphones For YouTube, and the Best Lavalier Microphones you can buy in 2022.

Also, take a look at our detailed reviews of the Best Dynamic Microphones, the Best XLR Microphones, the Best Condenser Microphones, the Best Wireless Microphones, the Best USB Microphones, and the Best Cheap Microphone Under $50 currently on the market.

Sennheiser MKE 400 Mobile Kit Review – Conclusion

Are you a podcaster, filmmaker, vlogger, or any kind of content creator looking to go the next step in audio but can’t afford expensive mics and booms? If so, the MKE 400 mobile kit truly is an all-in-one solution. Easily one of the best microphones for making videos


Whether you’re using a smartphone or a professional camera, the clamp and tripod will help you find stability and control no matter your situation. The microphone sounds great and is easy to use. Believe me, when I say that this will make viewers take you much more seriously. The final score is 9 out of 10.

Until next time, have fun making music.

5/5 - (33 votes)
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About Warren Barrett

Warren has spent nearly half a century (now that's a long time!) as an ink-stained wretch writing for music magazines and websites and has no plans on giving up soon.

He is curious about all types of music and instruments apart from any genre with 'Urban' in the title. He's also not so keen on Plastic Potted Plants, Reality TV, and any movies with Kevin Costner in them.

He lives in Delaware with his wife Wendy and lots of great memories...

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