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CardioidSennheiser Electronics Corporation MKH 8040

Cardioid Pencil Condenser Microphone

The MKH 8040 is part of Sennheiser’s modular 8000 series. It is a short cardioid pencil condenser, one of three in the 8000 series (see also 8020 and 8050). The mic is also available in stereo sets.

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 model), high-sensitivity (20 mV/Pa) transducer.

The MKH8040’s polar pattern is consistently Cardioid below 2kHz. Above 2kHz, rear sensitivity increases, and at higher frequencies, the pattern narrows.

The mic’s published frequency response shows the high-frequency -3dB point at 60kHz, well above the commonly accepted threshold of human hearing (~20kHz). See David Blackmer’s article, The World Beyond 20kHz for information on how such a response can affect perception.

Mix - 2008
Generally, I had good results with the MKH 8040s. My only complaint is that they often needed a bit of help in the upper audible frequency range. They did provide a nice midrange presence no matter what I tried them on, specifically making the organ, guitar and drums pop in the mix.

Sound On Sound - 2008
In direct comparisons with a pair of my own MKH40s, I felt that the top end of the new models sounded a little more open and airy, while the bottom end was fractionally warmer. These differences are subtle, but they will probably help the 8000 series appeal to those who felt the original mics were a little too cold and precise. Thankfully, though, this subtle re-voicing doesn’t detract from the inherent clarity and precision of the MKH design, which remains its key strength.

The MKH 8040 consists of:

  • MKHC 8040 microphone capsule/head (length: 41mm)
  • MZX 8000 XLR module (length: 34mm)
  • MZQ 8000 microphone clip
  • MZW 8000 foam windscreen
  • User manual
  • Aluminum transport case

The Sennheiser Electronics Corporation MKH 8040 is also known as: MKH8040.

The mic was released in 2008.


Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (20 mV/Pa; 35 - 50,000 Hz)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diameter n/a
25 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 142 dB
Self-noise: 13.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
55g (1.94oz) 75mm (2.95'') 19mm (0.75'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48 ± 4v

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