One thing I love about my work is that I get to use some really great gear well before I often expect to. I was only this morning looking at the Sennheiser website, reading about the new MK8 microphone and thinking about how popular the MK4 was to begin with. Not six hours later and I happened to have an MK8 sitting on my desk ready and waiting for me to test out. For those of you who own or used the popular MK4 microphone from Sennheiser, you’ll be glad to know that this one is a very good follow up. Twice the microphone deserves twice the title.
The MK8 does indeed continue on from the MK4 in its looks and design. They are, at a glance, very similar, but it’s in the inner workings that the MK8 stands out as the real champion of these two microphones. What the MK8 brings to the table is a dual-diaphragm design that greatly broadens the range of options and polar patterns. With _ ve different patterns available, it works from Omni through to _ gure-of-eight with various degrees of cardioid shapes in between. Although not an in_ nitely variable selection, it doesn’t need to be. The MK8 offers users enough variety in polar pattern choices to use it for any application that would suit a large diaphragm condenser microphone of this sort. The diaphragms themselves are mounted on a super _ exible rubber suspension within the housing, so they will take a great deal of rough handling and not get damaged through vibration. This means you can get away with the fairly rudimentary mount that comes with the microphone and not have to rely on a serious suspension mount to keep the microphone isolated.
HEARING THE DIFFERENCE
The MK8 delivers a very clear and crisp response and sounds like a microphone of twice its price tag. A two stage pad is in place for recording high sound pressure levels, although I didn’t really get to make enough noise to put this to any great use. But it will stand up in front of a guitar amp with no worries, handling up to 20 dB of gain that can be reduced at this stage. A high pass _ lter also allows for the low end to be rolled off at 100Hz or sharply taken out at 60Hz to further work along with the capsule’s suspension for isolating the microphone form unwanted low end rumble. When all is said and done, this is a really nicely assembled microphone that will work in a range of applications. It’s designed and built in Germany, and being from Sennheiser, you know it will last. As an all-rounder in any studio, this is a great microphone and would make a great option for a home studio looking for one condenser microphone that can do it all.
Hits and Misses
Smooth low frequency roll-off
Solid German build
Great range of polar patterns
If only for the sake of nitpicking, a better cradle could be supplied instead of the basic stand mount
• Dimensions: 160mm (L) x 57mm (D)
• Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
• Weight: 485 g
• Nominal impedance: 50 Ohms
• Transducer principle: externally polarised condenser microphone, 1‘‘ diaphragm