Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 Shotgun Mic Review

The Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 is a short shotgun interference tube microphone specially designed for use in film, radio, television, and outside broadcast applications. While it has remained a favorite of professionals since it's release, it has gained increased popularity with the rise of YouTube and podcasts. With that in mind, we decided to take a closer look at the popular Sennheiser mic. Keep reading to find out how the MKH stacks among a growing field of shotgun microphones.

 

The Features Of The Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3

At its core, the MKH 416-P48U3 is a compact pressure-gradient shotgun interference mic. Shotgun microphones like the MKH 416-P48U3 are easily the most highly directional of all unidirectional mics. Although most of their sensitivity is focused at the very top, they also have small spots of sensitivity on its left, right and rear -- just much less than any other unidirectional microphone. Because their area of sensitivity is so narrow, shotgun mics are perfect for situations where background noise is unwanted, such as in movie sets, stadiums, voice-over work, or field recordings, just to name a few. So while your typical musician might not have too many uses for this type of mic, those looking for something where capturing a specific voice or sound is paramount will find shotgun mics a necessary and essential tool. Aside from excellent direct sound capture and impressive feedback rejection, the MKH 416-P48U3 also features superb consonant articulation and is highly immune to humidity thanks to its RF condenser design. It also comes in a matte black finish and supplied with an MZW415 windscreen for good measure.

 

Sennheiser MKH 416 P48U3 @ $999.95

The venerable MKH 416 is a compact pressure-gradient microphone with short interference tube, highly immune to humidity due to its RF condenser design. Featuring high directivity, low self-noise, high consonant articulation, and feedback rejection, the MKH 416 can handle difficult exterior filming and reporting conditions without any difficulty. Supercardioid/lobe pattern, matte black finish, supplied with the MZW415 windscreen

 

Features

  • Pressure gradient receiver with short interference tube
  • Hypercardioid at low and medium frequency
  • Above 2kHz approaches lobar pattern

Technical Data

  • Dimensions: 19 x 250 mm
  • Frequency response (microphone): 40 - 20000 Hz
  • Sensitivity in free field, no load (1kHz): 25 mV/Pa +- 1 dB
  • Nominal impedance: 25 ohms
  • Min. terminating impedance: 800 ohms
  • Equivalent noise level: 13 dB
  • Equivalent noise level weighted as per CCIR 468-3: 24 dB
  • Maximum sound pressure level (passiv): 130 dB
  • Current consumption: 2 mA
  • Voltage: 48 +- 4 V Phantom

 

 

 

The Sound

There's a good reason why the Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 is the go-to shotgun mic of the movie industry -- the sound quality is phenomenal. If you're familiar with shotgun mics, you'll instantly appreciate the superb sound capture and rich tonal qualities. Overall, it has a very pristine and cutting full-bodied tone, able to pick up all the little intricacies of your of your sound source without any added muddiness or coloration. If I had to sum it up to one word, it would be "professional." As a mic for work such as podcasts, video content, and voiceovers, it's a perfect mic, easily able to give you a high-quality recording without much trouble or post-processing. And despite the MKH 416-P48U3 having a very narrow field of sensitivity, it still offers a decent amount of recording "space," meaning you can move a bit without fear of having an unbalanced recording. The side-rejection is also outstanding, as you can imagine. While those out there who have a soundproof room or generally quiet workspace might not get to experience just how impressive the feedback rejection truly is, those out there that use shotgun mics for outdoor broadcast recordings will truly come away impressed with just how well the sound source is isolated from exterior noises. All in all, the MKH 416-P48U3 is the go-to shotgun mic for a reason.

 

The Verdict

While the price of admission might make some out there hesitate on pulling the trigger on the MKH 416-P48U3, if you're looking for a high-quality microphone that is easily among the best in its class, it is well worth every penny. Its the perfect mic to give podcasts, videos or voiceover work that professional feel that you can't replicate with lesser gear. It's also a no-brainer for outside broadcasts thanks to its superb sound isolation and feedback rejection. Combine that with the high-quality construction and reputation that Sennheiser mics are known for, and you have a piece of gear that truly stands above the rest.