Can you hear the difference between cheap and expensive mics?

Sennheiser recently sent me six different microphones from $49 to $999. Does spending more money really improve audio quality? You are the judge.

This mic comes with a 1/8 headphone jack or USB-C. It’s a fast and cheap wired lav that can be used with a smartphone, computer or directly in a camera.

This is an incredibly easy to use cordless toilet system. Instead of complicated menus and channels, you simply turn on the receiver and transmitter, and they automatically start working.

This small microphone can be paired with a smartphone or a camera. It has no buttons or internal battery. Just plug it in and it will work.

The MKE 400 is a shotgun microphone designed to be mounted on a camera. It has a built-in battery, high pass filter, gain switch and headphone output for monitoring.

The MKE 600 is similar to the 400 in that it has an internal battery, but it also has an XLR socket on the back, giving you the option of using it on a camera with its own battery or plugged in with phantom power.

The 416 is one of the most famous shotgun microphones in the world. It has no fancy features. Just plug it in with an XLR cable to capture world-class sound.


Watch the video above to hear each microphone side by side, but here’s my review: The Mobile XS Lav sounded really bad, especially when compared to the wireless lav. The XSW toilet system sounded really good, with a nice flat profile. The MKE sound brighter than the lavs but sound significantly worse than the MKE 400. To my ears the 400 and 600 sounded nearly identical. Surprisingly, when I compared the 400 and 600 to the MKH 416 in my concrete room, I preferred the cheaper mics. Keeping price in mind, the big winner in this test for me was the $199 MKE 400.

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