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BidirectionalSennheiser Electronics Corporation MKH 30

Bidirectional Pencil Condenser Microphone

The MKH 30 is a bidirectional condenser with symmetrical polar response. The mic has a pencil style body like the others in the MKH 00 line, but is side-address.

The MKH 30 is a popular mic for use as the ‘side’ channel of Mid-Side field recordings. Its published polar graph shows a nearly perfect figure-8 pattern, consistent from 125Hz–8kHz, narrowing only slightly (~1dB) at 16kHz.

The switchable high-pass filter is unusual, in that it attenuates frequencies progressively below ~700Hz, then plateaus to a flat -5dB level from 40kHz–150Hz.

With the filter disabled, the mic’s frequency response is flat from 40Hz–17kHz, falling to -2dB at 20kHz.

Electronic Musician, 2011
Krause is very specific about the setup he and his crew use in the field under most conditions. “We use only Sennheiser mics — an MKH 30 and an MKH 40 — because they’re low noise and they’ve got a really nice dynamic range. They’re a little bit less sensitive to wind than other mics, and we can take them into habitats that are very humid without failure, unlike other mic systems. We use an M-S system: the MKH 30 is a figure-8 and the MKH 40 is a cardioid. They’re mounted piggyback on top of one another.”

The mic uses Sennheiser’s RF Condenser technology, which uses a low polarization voltage and loose diaphragm tension to produce a very low self-noise (13dBA — excellent for a small-diaphragm condenser), high-sensitivity (25 mV/Pa) transducer.

Like the other microphones in the MKH 20/30/40/50 series, the MKH 30 uses a 20mm (outside diameter) capsule, with a 15.5mm diaphragm made of 3.5-micron Mylar.

The mic ships with Sennheiser’s MZS 80 shock mount, and the MZW 41 foam windscreen.

The Sennheiser Electronics Corporation MKH 30 is also known as: MKH30.


Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Bidirectional (25 mV/Pa; 40 - 20,000 Hz)
  • Pad: -10 dB (Via Switch)
  • Filter: HPF: -2dB/oct @ 700Hz (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 15.5mm
Capsule diameter: 20mm
Diaphragm gauge: 3.5 microns
150 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 142 dB
Self-noise: 13.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
110g (3.88oz) 174mm (6.85'') 25mm (0.98'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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