Gear Review: Sennheiser MK 8 Condenser Mic

An affordable, yet extremely high-end condenser microphone
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tyler@magneticmag.com
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An affordable, yet extremely high-end condenser microphone

Sennheiser is one of the staple brands in the pro audio industry, well known for their headphones, wireless transceivers, and of course microphones. While some of their more expensive professional products are beyond the reach of many of our readers, the MK 8 is a truly accessible and versatile solution for both pro users, as well as those with personal and project studios.

Like most of Sennheiser’s gear, the MK 8 is designed and built entirely in Germany. The MK 8 offers five pattern choices: super cardioid, cardioid, figure 8, wide cardioid, and omnidirectional. It also offers two levels of input padding at -10dB and -20dB, as well as two choices of low-cut filtering at 60Hz / 18dB per octave or 100Hz / 6dB per octave.

MK8_switches.jpg

With a 20 Hz-20 kHz frequency response, the MK 8 picks up all the frequencies that a human is capable of hearing. Frequency response wise, the MK 8 is extremely mid-neutral with high-end boosts around 10 kHz that brighten recordings.

So what did I think of the MK 8 when I actually used it to record vocals?

The MK 8 is clear, neutral, and has a modern top end that isn’t too crisp to be jarring, but rather soothing. The microphone stands out as being particularly suitable for both acoustic guitars and vocal recordings. With low noise and a clean and detailed sonic character, the MK 8 will fare equally well in home studios as well as in more professional setups.

Recording vocals on the MK 8 was a pleasant experience, and the microphone held its own when compared to other, much more expensive models. I recorded multiple genres ranging from pop, to electronic, to hip hop and rap, and in each genre I was extremely satisfied with the sound the MK 8 produced. A fast attack and response for quick raps made recording in the pocket effortless. Pop vocals sounded neutral yet warm, with an emphasis on the high-mid frequencies that imparted a modern and appealing signature to the sound. To be honest, every recording with the MK 8 sounded great and I just kept the 60Hz low-cut on; I didn’t turn on the pad and just ran straight into a mic-pre, and then into my computer. I never had to change those settings except for review purposes, but they worked for multiple recording artists both male and female.

With a price tag of $649.99, the MK 8 is at the top of Sennheiser's "less expensive” range of microphones, perfect for producers or artists that want to improve their sounds yet don’t have superfluous funds. It is a versatile, clean, and neutral microphone that can be extremely useful in any recording situation.

FEATURES

  • Dual-diaphragm true condenser microphone
  • Five switchable polar patterns
  • 3-position switchable low cut/roll-off filter
  • 3-position pad switch
  • Two 24-carat gold plated 1” diaphragms
  • Shock-mounted capsule
  • Rugged metal housing
  • Safely sheltered electronics
  • Designed and made in Germany

Purchase the MK8 from Sennheiser