Audio specialist Sennheiser have elevated sound for mobile filmmakers with their latest mini-microphone, the MKE 200.
Designed for easy on-camera use with DSLRs, mirrorless cameras and mobile devices, it ensures directional, clean audio capturing the sound of your subject while rejecting unwanted background noise. Camera lens accessories for mobile devices have advanced the quality and aperture for low-budget filmmakers, but now they can also add professional audio to their video clips.
Smart design makes the MKE 200 not only good for indoor capture but also for outdoor filming. To minimise any handling noise, they fit the microphone with a clever internal shock-mount which acoustically decouples the capsule from the housing. For protection from wind noise, Sennheiser engineers designed the MKE 200 with an integrated layer of protective mesh inside the housing. This protection is further enhanced by using the included furry windshield when filming outdoors.
The MKE 200 offers an entry point to professional filmmaking without the overhead or heft required of more expensive specialized equipment. This is a boon for independent filmmakers—minimising costs whilst maximizing the potential of lighter, low-budget kit to create a quality production.
The Sound Heritage of Sennheiser
Fritz Sennheiser founded the Laboratorium Wennebostel (Labor W, which translates as Lab W) in 1945. At the time of its foundation, the company produced measuring instruments from a farmhouse (still part of the business premises) and sold them to Siemens, who commissioned the laboratory to rebuild a microphone from an Austrian supplier (launching the MD 1 in 1946). In the same year, Sennheiser began developing its own microphone: The MD 2 thereafter expanding the portfolio to produce the first shotgun microphone, the MD 82, in 1956.
In 1957, Labor W introduced a wireless microphone system for professional TV use, developed in cooperation with NDR. Marketing the wireless microphone system together with Telefunken from 1958 as “Microport”. At the beginning of the 1960s, Sennheiser started research and development in condenser microphone technology, a technology that found further applications in recording audio for film sets and TV studios. At which time, Sennheiser introduced the MD 421 dynamic microphone, still in production today.
Another landmark for microphones came in the late seventies, with the first Microport multi-channel receiver and the development of a compander system which contributed to a decisive improvement in wireless microphone technology.
Sennheiser launched the evolution microphone series in 1998, followed by the evolution wireless microphone series in 1999. Up to this very day, many of the world’s biggest stars are using their evolution microphones—a runaway success which celebrated “20 years of evolution” in 2018.
In 2000, Sennheiser’s MKH 800 was the first studio condenser microphone to cover the entire frequency range of the new digital audio formats with just one transducer system.
The company innovated sound technology once again in 2012 with their Digital 9000 radio microphone system, the only digital wireless UHF microphone system in the world that can work without data reduction.
Sennheiser purchased a majority stake in Dear Reality, a company that specializes in spatial audio algorithms and VR/AR audio software in 2019 marking a seminal point in their heritage with the progressive integration of Ai in acoustic technologies.
Mobile Filmmaking with the MKE 200
With a legacy of engineering first’s, Sennheiser defines standards for sound quality—both in the capture and rendering of spatial audio. Our experience of the MKE 200 reflected the production expectations reputed by the company and exceeded all previous outcomes of other microphones in this category. As touted, the microphone was easy to to mount on all three camera formats and contributed little weight to the heavier DSLR (a bonus on long shoots). Noise reduction outdoors proved equally satisfying, buffering strong northerly winds whilst recording spoken audio clearly. On less turbulent outings, the MKE 200 proved an exceptional asset for picking up nature’s nuances, including distant birdsong and the soft chorus of a mountain stream.
Less time and money spent on editing and engineering postproduction. The swift turnaround and the higher audio output of social media reinforce the value of the MKE 200—besides editing out the occasional blooper, it’s essentially record and upload!
The MKE 200 retails a $199 AUD, available from https://en-au.sennheiser.com/mke-200