Review of the New Sennheiser MKH 8060 Shotgun

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 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!

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Writer, musician, photo taker and video maker. When not writing somewhat longish articles for this blog, I write incredibly short things on Twitter: @SamMallery

13 thoughts on “Review of the New Sennheiser MKH 8060 Shotgun”

  1. Well, I only had the MKH 8060 for a short time, but in that time I managed to create a shootout video of the MKH 8060 vs. the Rode NTG-3. Just wait until I post that video, then you can decide for yourself. I have to finish a project or two before I can edit that one and post it, so be patient…

  2. Hi Conrad. I just put a lot of time and effort into finishing and posting The Great On-Camera Mic Shootout 2011, and now I’m going to use my creative production gear on actual creative productions for a while. I need a break from nerdy tech shootout videos. I did review the 8060 vs. NTG-3 footage recently. Both mics sound great in the footage. The NTG-3 is a seriously good sounding shotgun. The MKH 8060 is amazing sounding, and it’s a lot shorter and a lot more lightweight than the NTG-3. The protective tube that comes with the NTG-3 is a lot heavier too. But really, these are different mics for different kinds of people. The NTG-3 is for people who want to spend less money and still sound good. The MKH 8060 is for a pro who needs a more versatile microphone, something shorter and lighter that sounds top-notch and can be used in different ways. You just need to figure out which of those two people you are.

  3. Is there a quality difference between recording of the mixer directly to the camera and the recording from the mixer to an external recording device?
    Is this microphone better than MKH 416?

    Thank you sir

  4. Hi Khater. You indeed get a better sound when you’re using a good mixer like a Sound Devices 302, and sending a line-level out of it into a portable digital recorder, recording a WAV file at a high sampling rate and a high bit-rate (I always set my recorders to make 48kHz 24-bit files).

    The MKH 416 is a great microphone. It sounds good, and it’s tougher than an all-weather tank. But, if I was setting up to do some outdoor booming, I would likely choose to attach the MKH 8060 to my boompole instead of a 416.

  5. I have ” ME66/K6″ and “zoom H4N” and i am not satisfied with the result. My Q is :
    If I connect the microphone to the mixer “Sound Devices 302” then to the “zoom H4N” Does that give me a better result and why?
    Thank you Again :)

  6. @khater, you should get a marginally better sound (higher quality preamps, limiters and signal processing) from using the 302. Not huge. But better. The K6 is well below the level of a 416 (Or, I assume this new one that I haven’t heard), you’d get more bang for your buck (I think) with a better mic. The other thing to try is to phantom power the K6. That mic sounds so much better without the battery in. Noticeably different. The 302 does that, I don’t think the zoom does, but I’ve been wrong in the past and don’t use the zoom regularly.

  7. great review. I think of buying that mic. thought of sanken first but this is a better option price wise… for cs-3 I needed +700$ for rycote kit while I have a spare ws-2 that will host the mic perfectly. and some say they sold their sc-3s to get 8060…
    how would you compare it with mic’s like CMIT-5U, cs-3e, MKH-60 or kmr81i?

    @Khater As I recall Zoom has an p48 option somewhere in menu. the quality problem comes from low(er) bad quality preamps and A-D converters. while there is nothing you can do at A-D stage you can help your sound buy using a mixer with good pre’s and “overriding” the recordrs preamps. and as stated above – always record at 24/48 … while zoom doubtingly will record true 24 bits, it’ll hopefully give more than 16… that will help fight the noise floor at later stage. besides this technical part on-axis sound and proper gain levels are a must, no matter what quality equipment you use.

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