Product Profile: Sennheiser MK4 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Sennheiser’s MK 4 is a professional-grade cardioid true condenser microphone aimed at project studio owners and home studios, but also live audio, where it is a great choice for both vocals and instruments. 

The large-diaphragm MK 4 is built at the company’s German factory in the same facility as Sennheiser’s other high-end microphones. 

Weighing in at about one pound, the MK 4 is designed around an internally shock-mounted capsule with a 24-karat gold-plated diaphragm. The Sennheiser MK 4 looks and feels like a quality product and is designed to be a step up from the large number of entry and budget-level microphones currently available in the marketplace. The obvious attention to detail in both design and construction is clearly evident as soon as you pick it up.  

The Sennheiser MK 4 features a fixed cardioid pattern and needs to be addressed from the front of the microphone which is indicated by the MK 4’s Sennheiser logo. The MK 4 is an all-analog microphone and requires +48 volts to operate. In testing the MK 4, I found the sound coming from the microphone to be neutral and relatively uncolored.  

The Sennheiser MK 4 can handle a maximum sound pressure level of 130 dB, meaning it can be used for recording everything from guitar amplifiers, acoustic guitars, vocals, even drums. The MK 4’s inherent versatility makes it a great investment for any professional application. Frequency response on the MK 4 is 20 Hz to 20 kHz, making it a perfect choice for capturing studio and stage vocal performances, podcasting, dialog or voiceovers or any other vocal intensive use. 

While the MK 4 does not come with a shock mount, it does come with a customized mic clip and pouch to store the MK 4 when it’s not in use. Sennheiser does offer an optional shock mount for the MK 4, called the MKS 4, which would be a good investment if you are planning to use your MK 4 primarily for the studio. The MK 4 is not water- or moisture-proof, so you will want to take some care to properly store the microphone when not in use. The shipping box is sturdy and can also be used as a storage case.

Equally at home in the studio or on stage, the MK 4 is a perfect go-to microphone for rehearsing, recording, or performing musicians. Its simple, no-frills design offers professional-grade sound at a competitive price point. While the MK 4 may not have some of the features of other microphones in this price category, such as roll off or switchable patterns, that is in my opinion more than made up for with the MK 4’s premium build, high-quality components and overall versatility. 

The Sennheiser MK 4 cardioid condenser microphone delivers great results on a wide range of instruments and applications. In my opinion, the Sennheiser MK 4 compares favorably to microphones costing considerably more money and sounds as good or better than any competing microphone in its price category. 

Bottom line, if you are looking to invest in a professional quality microphone without breaking the bank, the Sennheiser MK 4 is worth a serious look. 

The Sennheiser MK 4 is available for MAP $349. The MKS 4 shock mount is available for MAP $99. Sweetwater is currently offering an MK 4 Set with both the MK 4 and MKS 4 for MAP $399. If you’re looking to step up to the next level, Sennheiser also offers the MK 8, a premium-grade microphone based upon the same design as the MK 4 but offers three-step input attenuation, multiple patterns, a three-position switchable low-cut roll-off filter, and a three-position input pad switch for MAP $749.

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