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This argument has been put forward numerous times in various forums, however differing responses do make it hard to form my own conclusions.

My dilemma: To buy an NTG-3 or Sennheiser 416 as my short shotgun (Currently putting together a kit, mic collection currently includes an AT815b and ATM33a).

My budget is $700 AUD.

I have heard it said "if at the same price, buy the 416, however if not, get the NTG-3. If budget is a concern, then definitely the NTG-3". Thoughts on this statement? I have been patrolling ebay of recent and have found a 415 & 416 for similar prices than the NTG-3.

I may have just answered my own question BUT:

Although it will be primarily used for location dialogue, a limited budget will probably see this mic be used for ADR recording, foley SFX and ambient work for the foreseeable future. It may also be used in wedding and live event scenarios.

Also, when it comes to sweetening in post, am I likely to find one easier to work with than the other?

With this in mind, would the Rode be 'better' as an 'all rounded' mic (with its slightly wider pick-up) and suggested warmer sound? Or would the brighter sound of the 416 be negligible, and ultimately be a 'better' investment in the long run.

Many thanks for your shared thoughts, knowledge and experiences with each.

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I'd be going with the 416. This mic is often used for recordings things other than dialogue (SFX, Foley, VO, etc.) and is a very well respected, reliable, and great sounding mic.

As far as ADR goes, you should be using whatever mic was used on location in order to match the sound easily. There is a good chance that it could be a 416 as it's so widely used, so that's another positive in getting one.

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The 416 is a much more standard mic at least here in the US. It's used for a lot of ADR, SFX recording and voiceover for commercials. If you work or plan on working with other engineers, studios etc. it could be nice to have the "standard". The tight pickup can be nice for ADR so that you don't hear the room.

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I dunno.. getting tired of these "this mic is standard and this one isn't" arguments.. I know people who hate the 416 intensely. Then, in field conditions, Røde haven't had the experience Sennheiser have, but that still leaves you with extra money if you "risk it". I don't think you can go wrong with either mic.

Last but not least, there are fakes going on Ebay. If you plan to keep a mic for many years, and it's available to purchase new, you might as well buy first hand.

  • Thanks for the link georgi. Very interesting video comparison. In a situation where there is slightly more headroom, would there be any audible difference? I have heard rumours the RODE is slightly basier, and can 'let in' a little more bgd noise if it is in the lower end? Or have I been overthinking, reading a few too many reviews? – Beaks Sep 18 '13 at 16:22
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I've used both... I was in the same position... about to buy the Rode when I got an offer on a used 416 for only a few bucks more. I have to say I much prefer the 416 so I went for it(however that was bought from a production I'd actually worked on so I knew the mic and it's condition). But mics ARE a subjective thing. If you can rent both for a day, it might help your decision.

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I dislike my 416 indoors very much, the rear lobe is rough in reverberant spaces. I prefer cs3 or mk41 indoors. Outside I love the rejection of the 416. I cannot comment on the rode, no experience with it.

  • The 416's Achilles heal? When you say reverberant spaces, is it noticeable in say the 'typical' house lounge? Or only a problem in bathrooms, stairwells etc? – Beaks Sep 18 '13 at 16:26
  • Hard floors, low ceilings, just ends up with more room than I prefer. – Michael Gilbert Sep 19 '13 at 3:26
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The 416 may get you more business based solely on its reputation.

It really surprised me in its performance for voice over. I've heard they sound nearly identical, but haven't heard anyone comment on

1 The NTG-3's durability over several years of abuse (naturally; it's a new mic)

and

2 Using it for voice over work.

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I reckon the differences between the 2 mics in terms of sound is very minute, there are quite a few blind tests with sound engineers on youtube and most of them can't tell the difference between the 2 mics.

The 416 certainly has the reputation for being a workhorse, but having used both and owning the NTG-3, I rather like my Rode. The only problem back when I bought it was that I was using a G2 plug-on to go wireless and that didn't work with the Rode.

It's worked well for me for the last 6 years or so, bought it when it first came out and their blimp (too heavy for use) was sold at an additional $1 so I really have no complaints. IMHO I reckon it was money well saved to get the Rode and invest in a better boom pole or put the money towards getting a Sanken. They sound so much better than the 416.

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I used the 416 a lot at work for TV shows and it´s great and a very directional mic. The NTG3 isn´t that directional because it´s a hyper cardioid. But i love my NTG3 and i tend to say that i like the sound of it a lot more. In my ears the 416 sounds thinner. But that depends on your own hearing. Just think about that you don´t need a expensive mic for very good sound. I think Røde has it´s place in the Industry and they get more popular every day because they build great products.

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