Perfect for orchestral recordings – the MKH 8090 wide cardioid condenser microphone from Sennheiser

Sennheiser is expanding its MKH studio microphone series with the addition of the MKH 8090, whose wide cardioid pick-up pattern makes it the ideal microphone for orchestral recordings.

Online PR News – 12-September-2012 – Old Lyme, Conn. – Audio specialist Sennheiser is expanding its MKH studio microphone series with the addition of the MKH 8090, whose wide cardioid pick-up pattern makes it the ideal microphone for orchestral recordings. The RF condenser microphone is perfectly suited as both a main and a spot microphone. An optional screw-on module can be used to convert it into a digital AES42 microphone.

“The MKH 8090 combines omni-directional and cardioid pick-up patterns to produce an impressive orchestral microphone,” explained Kai Lange, product manager for wired microphones at Sennheiser. “Used as a main microphone, it picks up the entire sound body and a healthy proportion of room acoustics, while as a spot microphone it has sufficient directivity to screen out other sound sources without making the recording sound too ‘narrow’.”

Meticulous sound tuning
One of those responsible for fine-tuning the microphone was tonmeister Gregor Zielinsky, International Recording Applications Manager at Sennheiser: “During the development of the MKH 8090, we focused on ensuring that the sound perception of the microphone is precisely between that of the omni-directional MKH 8020 and the cardioid MKH 8040. Through further fine-tuning, we succeeded in creating a microphone with a sound that seems to ‘shine’, and which has great presence and musicality.”

Accessories for (almost) every application
The MKH 8090 benefits from the wide range of accessories available for the 8000 series, such as microphone stands with different heights, various microphone clips, a shock mount, remote cables with different lengths, windshields and accessories for ceiling mounting.

Also available as an accessory is the MZD 8000 digital module, which converts the audio signal of the MKH 8090 into a digital signal according to the AES42 standard (Mode 2) directly at the microphone head, thus ensuring a lifelike, natural sound entirely without cable losses or interference from other sources.

Sennheiser’s MKH series works according to the RF principle, which Sennheiser has been using for more than 50 years and has developed to absolute perfection, for example through the use of symmetrical transducers.

The MKH 8090 will be available in October and will cost $1,199.95.

About Sennheiser
Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Sennheiser's pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

You can find all the latest information on Sennheiser by visiting our website at or by contacting:

Rachel Smolin
Public Relations
Sennheiser Electronic Corporation
(860) 434-9190, Ext. 180
Jeff Touzeau
Public Relations
Hummingbird Media, Inc.
(914) 602-2913

MKH 8090.jpg: The MKH 8090 is an ideal orchestra microphone, for use as both a main and a spot microphone

Technical Data MKH 8090
Pick-up pattern wide cardioid
Frequency response 30 Hz to 50 kHz
Sensitivity -34 dBV/Pa (20 mV/Pa)
Max. sound pressure level 142 dB SPL
Equivalent noise level 13 dB(A) (DIN-IEC 651), 23 dB (CCIR 268-3)
Nominal impedance 25 ohms
Min. terminating impedance 1 kohm
Phantom powering 48 V ± 4 V (P48, IEC 61938)
Current consumption 3.3 mA
Diameter 19 mm
Length 41 mm (75 mm with XLR module)
Weight 25 g (55 g with XLR module)
Operating temperature -10 °C to +60 °C

The MKH 8000 series at a glance
MKH 8020 omni-directional
MKH 8040 cardioid
MKH 8050 super-cardioid
MKH 8060 short shotgun
MKH 8070 long shotgun
MKH 8090 wide cardioid
MKH 800 Twin dual-capsule microphone with two separate audio signal outputs to remotely adjust any pick-up pattern required

The principle of the RF condenser microphone
RF condenser microphones are a special type of condenser microphone. Instead of the high polarisation voltage that is usually required, a relatively low RF voltage generated by a low-noise oscillator is applied to the capsule. This voltage is modulated by capacitance changes produced by the sound waves moving the capsule diaphragm. After demodulation, a low-noise audio frequency signal with very low source impedance is available. This signal can be used to directly drive ‘ordinary’ bipolar transistors, which have lower random noise than the field-effect transistors that are commonly used. This extends the frequency response of the microphone and, even with small capsules, enables it to achieve excellent low-frequency response that is otherwise only possible with much larger capsules. Smaller capsules have the additional benefit of enhancing high-frequency response. A further advantage of the RF principle is the fully floating, balanced output, even though the capsule is grounded.

Symmetrical capsule design
RF condenser microphones from Sennheiser have a special symmetrical ‘push-pull’ capsule design that uses a front plate in addition to the back plate. The diaphragm is positioned between these two acoustically transparent plates, which ensure unchanging acoustic impedance. The result is extremely low distortion figures, a higher capsule output with lower noise and therefore a particularly clear signal.