Sennheiser MK4 Mic Review

Today we're looking at the Sennheiser MK4 XLR Condenser Microphone, which is a great way to get into the Sennheiser / Neumann condenser mic ecosystem. 

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 11:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $300.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Carrying/Storage Pouch
  2. Microphone
  3. Microphone Mount (5/8" & 3/8" threading)
  4. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-32dB
  4. Self Noise: 10dBA
  5. Impedance: 50-ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic is good. I'm legitimately running out of things to say about all these mics. Most of them have an all metal body and a metal grill. This mic is no different. It has no switches for a padding or high pass / low pass, but on the bottom you'll find an XLR port. 

The frequency response is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz. This has a minor roll off beginning at 150Hz, and a much more drastic roll off beginning at 50Hz. The low-mids are flat until you hit 1kHz and it boosts 1dB with the peak at 1.5kHz which then returns to flat at 2.5kHz where it begins it's presence/treble/air boost beginning at 2.75kHz and ranging all the way up to 10kHz, where it gradually rolls off the air, where it is neutral at ~14kHz.

The overall performance of this mic is great for the price. On electric guitar, this mic sounds a bit dull because it's not over boosted anywhere, but I think fo that as a good thing when recording. On acoustic it sounded stellar with a good body and plenty of shimmer on the top. For singing it had a nice and airy tone, and on spoken word it had plenty of clarity that could be offset beautifully while utilizing the proximity effect. Additionally the off axis coloration around 90-degrees is not unpleasant like many cheaper condensers, which will yield a much better sounding recording if you're in a reverberant room. 

Pros

  • Nice, fairly subtle coloration
  • Good off axis coloration
  • Pretty hot output signal
  • Decent job at background noise rejection
  • Respectable 10dBA self noise
  • Good built quality

Cons

  • I personally don't like the look of it.
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Conclusion

This seems to be a great all purpose microphone as it worked well on everything I tested it on. I think where it really shines is on voice over. The thing I have loved about the Neumann condensers I have tested is the proximity effect. This microphone offers that buttery smooth low end that helps off set the boosts to the presence/treble/air, and it sounds stellar for that considering the price. 

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Sennheiser MK4
US: https://amzn.to/2Jz9ims
UK: https://amzn.to/2t0Iv7k
CA: https://amzn.to/2HGDuWL
DE: https://amzn.to/2HFmBMh

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

Sennheiser E935 Handheld Dynamic Mic Review

Today we're looking at a handheld dynamic microphone from Sennheiser, the E935.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 3:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $180.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Adapter
  4. Carrying Pouch
  5. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 40Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: ~-51dB
  4. Impedance: 350-ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels like it was made for the stage. It has a very substantial feel in the hand, with an all metal body, a very sturdy metal mesh grill, and a good amount of weight to it. There are no bells or whistles on this microphone either. It is a just a microphone with an XLR port so you don't screw anything up while you're performing on stage. 

The frequency response is listed as 40Hz - 18kHz. The frequency response on this mic begins to gradually roll off the bass at around 150Hz with a minor .5dB cut beginning at around 500Hz. From 500 Hz up to 1kHz, we see a gradual boost . and then we remain flat up to 2.5kHz at which point we begin another boost of ~ 3.5dB which remains relatively flat from 4kHz - 10kHz. There is a minor peak at 11kHz, and then a roll off that decreases steadily. 

The polar pattern of this mic is standard cardioid. The off axis and rear coloration are not terribly drastic which is a benefit. The main thing I noticed about this mic is how great it did at off-axis rejection. When playing an acoustic guitar a few inches away while singing, you could definitely hear the acoustic, but it was not distracting from the voice at all. 

The overall performance of this mic is excellent for stage use. On the electric guitar, you get some very bright and aggressive tones, as well as a nice bass roll off which cleans up the mix, and makes room for the bass to do it's job. On the acoustic you get a nice full body with plenty of high end attack which sounded very nice. Then on voice for singing the presence and treble boost allow this mic to cut through the mix, and the bass roll off helps tame any proximity effect, handling noise, or plosives. Unfortunately, the presence boost does introduce some minor sibilance issues.

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Pros

  • Excellent performance in regards to handling noise & plosive rejection
  • Great off-axis rejection for a cardioid microphone
  • More extended high end for added clarity
  • Sturdy build quality for stage use

Cons

  • Presence and treble boost lead to S's sounding slightly sharp

Conclusion

For stage use I think this microphone performed excellent, especially for a cardioid microphone. This mics ability to reject plosives (better than most dynamics), avoid handling noise, and tame proximity effect makes this a great mic for venues who cater to artists who do not necessarily have the best microphone technique. If you're a podcaster or let's player who is also concerned with background noise and not afraid of a mic being in your face, I think this thing will do a fine job for you. No matter what use case you are buying this mic though, if you are using this on voice, make sure to pay attention to the sibilance as it is somewhat sensitive in that frequency range and you may need to eq some of that out of your recording. 

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Sennheiser E935
US: https://amzn.to/2HmBLGU
UK: https://amzn.to/2FbKTvX
CA: https://amzn.to/2Jkld2Q
DE: https://amzn.to/2qOAF0j

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Mic Review / Test

Today I am testing out a microphone that I was incredibly excited to get my hands on. The Audio Technica AT-2020. This whole series of microphones is supposed to be great, and my first impression is good.

As per usual, I do need to include a disclaimer that this is an XLR Condenser microphone. That means that you need a proper audio interface for your computer, and you need proper phantom power (+48v) for this microphone to function properly.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $99 on Amazon.

What's In the Box 

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. 5/8 to 3/8” microphone stand mount
  4. Padded Mic Pouch
  5. Documentation

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is excellent. It has an all metal body and metal grill and has some nice weight to it. The mic mount is a nice sturdy metal, and the microphone storage pouch is very nicely padded for protection.

The frequency response is 20Hz-20kHz, which is everything you will need out of a microphone. I think that the acoustic guitar sounds very nice and clean. Vocals sound crisp on this microphone. Electric guitar sounds nice as well. I think it does extremely well in the low end by picking up those frequencies while controlling them and avoiding an overly boomy sound.

The microphone has a cardioid polar pattern, which is fairly directional. When testing it out, it seems like the pick up pattern is about 180-degrees. So anything in front of the mic it will pick up, and anything behind it, it should cancel out. When testing this out on the keyboard test, we heard a LOT more of my voice versus the keyboard, but you could still hear a bit of clicking in the background. During the distance test, we heard a bit of a drop off in volume as the distance increased, but it was not as drastic as a dynamic microphone. 

Pros

  • Great sound
  • Nice build quality
  • Full frequency response
  • Not overly boomy in the low end

Cons

  • Not great with sound isolation

Conclusion

So all around, I think that this is a great microphone and I found it very difficult to find any negatives for this microphone. 

I would not recommend this microphone to someone who is not concerned with getting high quality audio, or willing to invest in a proper Audio Interface. If you are just doing voice overs for gaming videos and are on a budget, this is not a microphone for you. If you're starting a little home studio, and want to record higher quality audio, this is a great starter mic. 

If you have any additional questions about this headset, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Audio Technica AT2020: http://amzn.to/1ScCehb
Behringer UM2: http://amzn.to/1WYlPMI