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Sennheiser 416 alternatives?

Alexis Zarembski

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Think about the locations you're most likely to be working in? Quiet, or places where you have some control over ambient sound? Or noisy streets, factories, etc where you want a mic that can suck out dialog and reject the noise? And as Niels ask, what do you dislike about the 416 (that will help guide suggestions)? And do you have any other mics (such as a shorter hyper) that you plan on keeping? And, how much are you hoping to spend?


This isn't a test; just let us know more about how and where you plan to use your new/dream mic... 🙂

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Thank you for challenging me!

Up to now, i used to rent all my equipment.

As for the mics, i had only two options:

Either the 416 or the MKH 60.

What i hate abour the 416?

It's off axis coloring effect

It's frequency response dramatic differences

It's "fake"fat presence

It's sensitivity to boom movements





I am looking two different solution

A shotgun for sucking dialogue on doco production

Another cardiod mic for interviews and talking heads.


My budget:





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20 hours ago, Alexis Zarembski said:

A shotgun for sucking dialogue on doco production




i am not familiar with "sucking dialogue" ... at least in positive terms.

The Sanken CS-3e is a multi-element shotgun mic, which has a tight pattern and performs well in both interior and exterior environments (in the hands of a skilled boom op or course).

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

A lot of good options here, MKH50 is great and will flow well if you also use your MKH60.  (The 8060 pairs with the MKH50 very well too, and I prefer it to the MKH60)


I would (and have) chosen a Deity S-Mic II over the 416, and at $425 it's a steal.  They also have the S-Mic II-s which is better for indoor recording.


Also, to echo someone above, at your budget I'd recommend a used Scheops Cmit-5u.  It's a truly beautiful microphone.

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I realy like the Dpa 4017 (very neutral), Neumann kmr is a bit better then mkh 416 as is the mkh 8060,  with the cmit i have mixed experiences ( the one i rented from a friend seemed to be more a nice weather mic), so there is a big choice - just take some mic stands, rent the mics you are interested in and put them close to each other and listen what you likes best...

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Sanken CS3e is a really great short shotgun.  It even worked well indoors (well, not in the tile bathroom set); great reach and a nice sound.


It is NOT the same tool that a Sennheiser MKH50 (also my favorite) and should not be compared.  Might as well compare a TRAM to a U87.  Different tools.



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Everyone‘s just going to list their favorite mic. What’s the point for you? All of these mics are great, only you will be able to determine which one you like best. If you cannot rent them, buy used (from a reputable source) and sell if you don’t like them. Obviously, renting is the better choice. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/25/2019 at 5:09 PM, IronFilm said:

The brand new Rode NTG5 is worth a look as well

I used one last night in a very unconventional way in a less than ideal audio situation and it worked surprisingly well. It seems like a wonderful piece of kit for the low price Røde asks for it, good build quality, nice accessory package included with decent quality mic mount and furry windshield for under $500.00?

I too have never been a huge fan of the 416. It's rugged, reliable and sounds ok but I agree with the OP about some of my beefs with it, I like other shotguns of various flavors much more. Leaning toward the 8060 over it, although that new Sanken is interesting too.

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whichever manufacturer/mic you decide to add to your collection, hang on to the 416 for those iffy weather days and shady insurance productions. Most of all remember it's not the mic that makes the sound. Listen, record, listen to the playback. Put it to work and when you get tired of that one, do it again. 


and for it's worth I'm still hanging onto the 4017 as my top hitter. Though I do always like a good sanken. I still need a few years of listening to really get I want from a CMIT, but some day.

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  • 1 year later...

my 'pocket' on this?... i just sold all my 416'es and

bought ecm 925p's

 notice i did not say them in the same breath!

no doubt the 416 are very very good especially in increment weather and  not only 'industry standard'

but i was able to buy the crew an amazing dinner with the change

 yes over $800 change !!!!!!!

 thats a lot , for me

just do not get the ecm 925p's wet

 and it really does not matter if you loose them on location

 as i have


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