Review: Sennheiser MK 4 Condenser Microphone

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

With the advent of digital recording, the number of “project studios” across the globe is higher than ever before. If you have a computer, you can have a decent recording set up for just a few hundred dollars. Released at Winter NAMM this year, the Sennheiser MK 4 Studio Microphone looks to offer these project studios a quality large diaphragm condenser mic at an affordable price.

Instead of boring you with technical specs, I’ll just let you know how this thing sounded with my own recordings and field tests. I assume any beginner studio would have at least one Shure SM57, so I’m going to compare the results of these two mics for voice with acoustic guitar accompaniment. I used GarageBand, a Tascam interface and a Planet Waves XLR cable.

I recorded myself playing an acoustic guitar and singing on a single track, which is where the MK 4 really showed its dominance over the SM57. The microphone really captured the ambiance of the room with its side-addressing capabilities. There was a great balance between the bass and treble notes of my guitar, while my voice had a nice spot in the midrange. The treble was never too harsh, while the bass was nice and tight, but with a richness all its own.

The SM57’s recording produced solid results, but it just didn’t have the warmth and ambiance that the MK 4 produced. I also had to move only a few inches away from the mic to get a solid signal, but such is the nature of dynamic mics. The track was much more sterile and the bass and treble just didn’t have the presence heard on the MK 4.

Several producers have raved about the MK 4 since it’s release, commenting that it “sounds expensive,” despite its $300 street price. Engineers have used it for everything from overheads for drums to rap vocals and reported stellar results. So if you’ve just started a studio, or if you’re looking to upgrade to a better mic for vocals and acoustic instruments, the Sennheiser MK 4 is a solid investment for your recording setup.


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