In preparation for the upcoming Great On-Camera Microphone Shootout 2011, I had the chance to give the new Sennheiser MKH 8060 shotgun microphone a good, solid test. You can read this entire blog post and watch my review video, but I’ll go ahead and spoil it for you right now… This is one great sounding microphone!
One thing I’ve noticed is that the compact size of the MKH 8060 doesn’t really come through in pictures and on video. Even though it appears to be a somewhat average-sized shotgun microphone on screen, don’t believe what you see. This microphone is much shorter than the average shotgun. Check out my review video to hear how nice it sounds:
The mic was plugged into my Sound Devices 302 field mixer, where it was supplied with 48 volts of phantom power, and then plugged into my Panasonic GH2 camera. What’s remarkable about the sound in this video is that the GH2 has a tiny 2.5mm sub-mini mic input (probably the most insignificantly sized mic input on the planet). Keep in mind that the video was then compressed once with Final Cut Pro’s “Share” feature, and then compressed a second nasty time by YouTube.
It’s kind of funny… this microphone sounded so good that I instinctively stepped up my game when I spoke into it. I’m usually pretty casual when I shoot these gear review videos, but hearing the MKH 8060 with my headphones on as I spoke made me behave more like a professional announcer-type.
When you buy an MKH 8060, you’re effectively getting a Sennheiser 8000 Series starter kit. You can expand your kit buy getting the longer 8070 capsule, or the shorter 8050 capsule. If you want to plug the microphone into a digital AES42 input, you can get the MZD 8000 module. The 8000 Series also has all sorts of extension cables, mounting brackets, and podium stands that you can use this equipment with. If you have future plans to rig up the stage for an Academy Awards ceremony, you have found your mic!
The MKH 8060 still sounded really good when I was off target— when the mic was clearly not pointed at the optimal point to pick up my voice. This quality alone makes the mic worth the price of admission. I was also really impressed by how much the 8060 rejected the sound of my voice when I intentionally turned the mic away from me. The rear lobe seems pretty small and not very problematic. An awesome shotgun all around.
It should be pointed out that the MKH 8060 doesn’t have a low-cut switch or a pad attenuator. However, should you need to add one, you can simply pick up a separately available MZF 8000. This module will be compatible with any of the mics in the 8000 Series.
All in all, I think this is an awesome mic. I want one. I wish I could sound like a professional TV announcer guy all the time. Be sure to keep checking back over here at www.sam-mallery.com. The Great On-Camera Microphone Shootout will be posted shortly, and you’ll be able to hear how the MKH 8060 sounds back-to-back with the latest mini-plug HDSLR on-camera microphones, like the MKE 400, the Rode VideoMic Pro, and many other special guests. Stay tuned!