Who Is The Sennheiser MK 4 Microphone For?

  • The Sennheiser MK 4 microphone is an ideal candidate to upgrade anyone's existing recording rig
  • The MK 4 is easy to use and doesn't have any unnecessary features
  • The Sennheiser MK 4 allows for clean recording of voices, instruments and more
The Sennheiser MK 4 is a phenomenal microphone that may be a little too much for beginners

Sennheiser has a legacy of creating high quality audio products, from headphones to live audio production to recording. That's why when we got the Sennheiser MK 4 microphone to review, we knew it would be good. The only question was exactly how good it was. As it turns out, it's really, really good.

Perfect Sound Recording Quality

The Sennheiser MK 4 is as straightforward a microphone as they come. There are no additional buttons, knobs, switches or any other features built in. There is just a microphone that has an XLR port. That's it.

That simplicity is probably the MK 4's greatest strength. This microphone captures audio perfectly, and allows that audio to be played back exactly as how it sounded live. There are no ways to color the audio signal or alter it at the microphone level. For audio professionals, this is the ideal way to record, as it gives much more control when editing the audio in post-production.

The MK 4 can be used in all sorts of situations. It is ideal for recording voices or acoustic instruments, as recordings come back sounding identical to the live performance. Those looking to create podcasts, do voice overs for videos or who regularly use video conferencing will appreciate the quality here as well. Additionally, Sennheiser's advertising mentions that the MK 4 works well with recording amplified sound, but I didn't have the opportunity to test this out for myself.

The MK 4 is simple, but attractive

Outside of its audio quality, the MK 4 is also a fairly attractive microphone. The black and silver color scheme is simple, but elegant, and the pop of gold from the one-inch diaphragm is bright enough to be noticeable, but is muted enough from the housing that it isn't overpowering.

Minor RF Interference

When testing out the Sennheiser MK 4, I went over to a friend's apartment who is a professional audio engineer. While testing out the MK 4, we both noticed some minor RF interference when the microphone got close to a power source. It sounds almost like tiny beeping that can be heard in the background of the audio feed from the MK 4.

This was a little confusing for the two of us. On one hand, RF interference is something that all microphones have to deal with, so it isn't something that is necessarily unique to the MK 4. Similarly, my friend's apartment has some notoriously terrible wiring which could have caused the interference.

The XLR port on the bottom of the MK 4

On the other hand, my buddy has dozens of microphones of varying quality levels. None of his other microphones have these RF issues when used in his apartment. The RF issues with the MK 4 are very likely due to the environment we used it in, but is something to keep in mind when making a purchase. It is also best to use the MK 4 in an area away from a power outlet or WiFi-emitting device, which is a good practice to use with any microphone.

Not For Beginners

The most important thing to know about the Sennheiser MK 4 microphone is that it is not an ideal purchase for a beginner or someone who wants a simple all-in-one set up. This is a microphone that requires additional hardware to get up and running, and might be a little too advanced for someone who just wants to make some basic recordings.

The Sennheiser MK 4 will require some additional hardware if it is to be used with a computer. First, users will need a way to interface with the computer. This interface needs to be able to provide phantom power, as the MK 4 will not work otherwise. While it is minor, users will need a place to put the microphone, as there is no included stand or arm. Users will also need at least one XLR cable, as there are no included cables either. The only thing that comes with the MK 4 is the microphone itself, a padded storage pouch and a small clip to help attach the microphone to a stand.

Everything included with the Sennheiser MK 4

The MK 4 is more or less a professional-grade microphone, so it will perform better than the all-in-one options out there. However, if a microphone is only intended for quick work video calls or talking with friends online, a more simple solution may be desired. If you want something a little more basic that doesn't require any additional hardware, may we suggest the Samson Q9U or HyperX SoloCast?

This quality also comes with a higher price tag. $300 is a healthy amount to drop on a microphone, which again points to this not being the best choice for an introductory product. That said, my pro audio friend was very impressed with the price tag for the MK 4, noting that he would be elated at the microphone's quality for its price point. Those looking to upgrade an existing recording set-up will find exactly what they are looking for here.

Final Thoughts

Those who are looking for a basic microphone to talk on video calls or when streaming may want to skip over the Sennheiser MK 4, but those looking to improve their current set-up or want the best out there should look no further. The MK 4 is the ideal microphone for creating high-quality content at home, from podcasts to music. The MK 4's no-frills approach to recording makes it simple to use and results in perfect, natural sounding recordings every time.

We did experience some issues with RF interference when running our tests, but seeing as there are so many other factors that could have caused this, it is likely a non-issue for most users out there. And with a price tag of $300 for this quality, it's hard to go wrong.