Sennheiser have produced some classic microphones over the years, and continue to produce them today. Case in point, the MD 441-U dynamic studio microphone is coming up to 50 years since its original release, so I thought it fitting that I give one of these great microphones a good once over. I have never been shy about my love of Sennheiser microphones, and models like the MD 441-U exemplify why I love it when i get my hands on one to test.
Like the similarly styled MD 421, this microphone has the look of a tool that has come right out
of the 60s, and that’s because it has. Sennheiser have not seen the need to update the outer casing and change the look of these microphones over the years, and why should they? The microphone is praised for its audio quality, and the retro look it sports is part of its charm. The housing might be a little large and so can be difficult to work with in some applications, but that aside, there is very little to fault with the design of this microphone.
What the MD-441 delivers is a sound that’s quite unlike what might be expected of a dynamic microphone. It sounds more like a large diaphragm condenser microphone than a dynamic. The hum bucking coil design means it has a very low self-noise and so can be run at high gain levels if needed. When challenged with extremely high SPLs, the MD-441 stands up and takes all that can be thrown at it too. It excels in high volume situations, even with very close proximity mic positions.
As a super cardioid microphone, you get a very direct pickup pattern from this microphone so it makes an ideal tool when recording multiple voices or instruments in one space. There is excellent side rejection offered from the MD-441, basically, what you point it at is what you hear. Whether that be a vocal or an instrument, it’s going to deliver a detailed reproduction of that sound. I know a lot of people tend to stray away from dynamic microphones in the studio, thinking they just can’t get the articulate audio capture from them that they may want, but the MD-441 is an absolute exception and should be able to stand proud next to any condenser microphone.
Hits and Misses
Astonishing sound from a dynamic microphone
Able to withstand very high SPLs
Clear, precise and crisp audio capture
It’s quite a large and cumbersome unit
Frequency response: 30 - 20000 Hz
Nominal impedance: 200 Ω
Transducer principle: Dynamic
Pick-up pattern: Super Cardiod
Dimensions: 270 (L) x 33 (D) x 36 (W) mm