Sennheiser MKE 400 shotgun microphone gets a major facelift for 20th birthday

Sennheiser MKE 400
(Image credit: Sennheiser)

Sennheiser has completely redesigned its classic hotshoe microphone for videomakers - and so much has changed that only the name remains the same. By our reckoning the Sennheiser MKE 400 is some 20 years old, and has been one of the favorite mics for videographers ever since. But now with new features and a complete new look, it is designed to appeal to a new generation of mobile content creators too - reinforcing its position as one of the best microphones for vlogging.

The design of the new Sennheiser MKE 400 borrows heavily from the more compact Sennheiser MKE 200 which was launched last year - and the result is a shotgun mic that is both more elegant and smaller than its predecessor.

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

But the changes are more than skin deep. A key difference is that the microphone will be supplied with 3.5mm TRS and TRRS locking cables – so can be used with both mobile phones and with DSLR and mirrorless cameras. The MKE 400 will also be available as a Mobile Kit, including a Manfrotto mini tripod and a Sennheiser smartphone clamp.

The super-cardioid condenser microphone now boasts a headphone jack on its side, with independent volume control - which will particularly be useful for those using cameras without independent headset outputs. 

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

Other key features of the new MKE 400 include:

• rugged internal shock-mount

• internal windscreen (furry windshield also provided)

• automatic on/off function

• acoustic interference tube, that ensures pick-up from the direction in which the camera is facing while cancelling out distracting noise from the sides

• low-cut filter 

• 3-step sensitivity switch

• coldshoe mount with tripod thread

• powered by two AAA batteries, with a 100 hour life

• weighs 93.5g, and measures 126 x 67 x 37mm

The second-generation Sennheiser MKE 400 goes on sale this month for $199.95/ £179. The Mobile Kit version will retail for $229.95/ £199.

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.