Sennheiser’s new MKE 200 is a tiny on-camera microphone with built-in shock mount
Sennheiser has today announced its new MKE 200 on-camera microphone. Designed primarily for vloggers or anybody who sits there talking to a camera (like most people these days who’ve replaced real-world meetings with Zoom or Skype), it’s an unpowered microphone, meaning there are no batteries to deal with. And it also works with your smartphone.
We’ve seen a lot of new on-camera microphones come out over the last couple of years and there are generally two different types of on-camera microphone. Powered and unpowered. This is an unpowered microphone, like to the Rode VideoMicro. It just sits on top of your camera or on your smartphone rig, and is always ready to go when you hit record.
|40Hz to 20kHz
|-33 dBV/Pa at 1 kHz
|120 dB SPL
|Equivalent noise level
|20 dB SPL A-Weighted
|3 dB at 60° / 18 dB at 120° / 14 dB at 180°
|3.5mm locking connector (TRS & TRRS cables included)
|60 x 39 x 69 mm
Unlike the VideoMicro, the MKE 200 has a somewhat unusual design. Typically, on-camera microphones favour a more shotgun-style design. The MKE 200 also doesn’t have an external shock mount to mount it to the camera, either. It attaches straight to the hotshoe because the shock mount is actually internal, connected directly to the microphone capsule. It’s essentially a tiny on-camera blimp with the microphone already built-in.
And like a microphone blimp, the Sennheiser MKE 200 is designed to help reduce the effect that wind has on your microphone, although it does come with a furry windshield for filming outdoors, too. Also included are two locking cables. One is TRS to TRS for plugging into your camera, while the other is TRS to TRRS for plugging into your phone.
One thing to note about this microphone is that it is absolutely tiny, measuring only 69mm long. This means that if you’re shooting with super-wide or fisheye lenses, it’s much less likely to actually appear in the shot, as you sometimes see with larger, longer, shotgun-style on-camera microphones. Even with the furry windshield on, it’s pretty small. Being so small, it might be ideal for action cameras, too.
While it doesn’t autosense whether you’re plugged into a camera or a smartphone (which isn’t surprising, given that it’s unpowered), it does come with two cables for both uses. It’s interesting that the cable sticks into the front of the microphone and not the rear, as with most other on-camera microphones. So, if you’re regularly bouncing between video and stills, you’re not going to have that 3.5mm plug sticking into your head every time you bring the camera up to your eye. They’re also locking cables to minimise the risk of them accidentally falling out.
The Sennheiser MKE 200 is available to pre-order now for $99.95 and begins shipping any day now.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.