Production

RØDE NTG5 short shotgun mic: 5 ways it dethrones the MKH-416

I prefer the RØDE NTG5 over the Sennheiser MKH-416 for 5 reasons.

Since before the NTG5’s review sample arrived from Australia, I was already thinking about different ways to measure and test it, both by itself and against the industry standard short shotgun microphone. Of course, I’m talking about the MKH-416, the ≈US$1000 microphone which was introduced by Sennheiser in the 1970s and became a go-to short shotgun from Hollywood feature films to industrial videos, and later even for voiceover work. Ahead, you’ll see images, listen to audio samples and read the 5 reasons why I strongly prefer the ≈US$500 NTG5 microphone kit— over the MKH-416.

5 ways the NTG5 dethrones the MKH-416

I am very grateful to Emmy-award winner actor and voiceover talent Memo Sauceda for his participation and use of his MKH-416 microphone in his Whisper Room to facilitate the comparisons made in this review article. (I have never owned a MKH-416 or a Whisper Room, even though both are very popular.)

  1. Size
  2. Weight
  3. Native frequency response curve
  4. Output level
  5. Cost

Size

The bare MKH-416 measures 1.91 mm x 24.99 mm. On the other hand, the bare NTG5 body measures only 19 mm x 203 mm, making it easier to travel and less likely to scare to TSA agents.

Weight

The bare MKH-416 body weighs 175 grams. On the other hand, the bare NTG5 body weighs only 76 grams, which will be a great relief to boom operators who often need to stretch their arms and shoulder muscles for multiple hours as they sustain the entire package.

Native frequency response curve and recordings

All of the below recordings were made at our 48 kHz standard, trimmed and normallzed and uploaded at 48 kHz mono WAV. No filtration or compression was used. Please use wifi or other unmetered data connection to listen.

 

Above, MKH-416 with Allan Tépper’s voice in Whisper Room (raw, only normalized) reading part of the introductory letter from RØDE.

The native frequency response curve of the MKH-416 (shown above) is too boomy and susceptible to low-frequency rumble (although fortunately, no rumble is heard in Memo’s Whisper Room), which normally means an obligatory EQ in post production. On the other hand, the native equalization of the NTG5 in many cases requires no post EQ, as you’ll hear below.

 

Above, bare NTG5 with Allan Tépper’s voice in Whisper Room (raw, only normalized) reading part of the introductory letter from RØDE.

 

Above, NTG5 with WS10 furry windshield, with Allan Tépper’s voice outdoors in a park (raw, only normalized), part of an upcoming CapicúaFM episode.
Above, NTG5 with WS10 furry windshield, with Liliana Zambrano’s voice outdoors in a park (raw, only normalized), part of an upcoming CapicúaFM episode.

Output level

The MKH-416 has a sensitivity spec of -32 dBV/Pa at 1 kHz. On the other hand, the NTG5 has a sensitivity of -23.5 dBV/Pa at 1 kHz, which means that it is much less demanding on any preamp. Memo and I noticed this huge 8.5 dB difference in output level as soon as we changed mics connected to his preamp.

Cost

The MKH-416 has a street price of US$999 (B&H link) and includes only the MZW-415 windscreen, the MZQ100 quick release stand adapter and a case.

On the other hand, the NTG5 kit has a street price of US$499 (B&H link) and includes:

  • PG2-R pistol grip shockmount (in use in the main image)
  • PG2-R cable
  • RM5 stand mount
  • WS10 furry windshield (in muse in the main image)
  • Foam windscreen
  • ZP1 zip pouch

Image credits

The main image was shot by Jorge Gutiérrez. The frequency curves are courtesy of each respective manufacturers’ data sheet.

Conclusions

The King is dead. Long live the King!

Si hablas castellano: ¡El rey ha muerto, viva el rey!

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Stand by for upcoming articles, reviews, books and courses. Sign up to my free mailing list by clicking here. If you previously subscribed to my bulletins and no longer receive them, you must re-subscribe due to new compliance to GDPR. Most of my current books are at books.AllanTepper.com, and my personal website is AllanTepper.com. Also visit radio.AllanTepper.com.

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One of my favorite service for broadcasting live via is Google Fi. Click here to save US$20 on Google Fi, which now works on iPhone and Android. With Google Fi (covered previously in several articles), there is no extra charge for data-only SIM cards on the same account, for up to 10 devices. You only pay for the total data, and data is free after 6 GB per month. So you could be using one Google FI SIM card on your primary phone, another in a tablet or secondary phone (or third, of fourth…).

FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur , BeyondPodcasting CapicúaFM or TuRadioGlobal programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own. Allan Tépper is not liable for misuse or misunderstanding of information he shares.

Copyright and use of this article

The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalitionmagazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!


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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

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Articles like that destroy any reputation ‘provideocoalition’ might have. Nothing else to say- too much nonsense to go into details. Somebody pays moneys I guess.