It’s been a number of years since Sennheiser first unveiled their original MK4 studio condenser microphone and raised the bar for large diaphragm microphones in a new, lower price-point. This has continued to prove itself to be a very solid workhorse. I use one for a wide range of applications and just love the consistent and level sound it delivers. Well, it’s been around long enough for the team at Sennheiser to consider an upgrade and with that, they have delivered a new take on this quality microphone, making it even more usable to a wider range of musicians. Now, you don’t have to suffer from a poor capsule just because you are not using a dedicated interface with phantom power. The new Sennheiser MK4 Digital gives you the capsule we have come to love, with A/D conversion built into the housing for great quality plug and play use.
There are plenty of people starting out in home recording, or podcasting for that point, who simply do not want multiple devices just to get a sound into their recording software. A simple USB microphone is of course the way many of these users turn, and the results can be varied. Of course, there is usually a marked improvement on using a handheld dynamic microphone with a bunch of adaptors to get it into your computer’s 3.5mm microphone input. This is never a great option with a poor capsule, bad cable and substandard A/D conversion all letting the sound down. But, if you are going to invest in one microphone to improve your sound, you might as well make it sound really great in the process. With Lightning and USB cables included, you can run into a PC, Mac or even an iPhone and still get amazing audio quality.
Aside from the quality condenser capsule that the MK4 offers which is ideal for vocals and a range of instruments, the MK4 Digital has the added benefits of A/D conversion supplied by Apogee. With 24 bit/96 kHz you get plenty of headroom and amazing detail in the recorded signal. This is just what the MK4 capsule wants to ensure that everything it captures gets onto the recording. What I loved about the original is also very much the same with the new digital version in that you don’t need to do a lot to the signal to get it sounding good. Once the correct placement has been achieved, this microphone just sounds right. And, with the Apogee conversion, it all comes through in your recordings. Whether you are using this for vocal dialogue work in podcasts in a small room, or capturing a classical guitar in a large hall, you will hear the detail in the sound source when recorded and will be able to edit how you want from there. Not much needs to be taken out most of the time though; these microphones just sound spot on from the initial placement.
Hits and Misses
No interface or preamp required
Phantom power supplied via USB or Lightning
Great sounding capsule and A/D conversion
It would have been nice to have the XLR option included