Sennheiser has been a leader in wireless microphone technology for decades, and there’s a Sennheiser wireless microphone system that’s perfect for practically any application. This guide will help you identify the strengths of each system and decide which Sennheiser wireless system is best for you, whether you’re a solo performing musician or a sound tech needing a wireless system for your theater productions.
Sennheiser’s Wireless Systems Overview
There are a wide range of Sennheiser wireless systems, with solutions for everything from solo musical acts to complex, multichannel broadcast systems. Let’s take a look at three different series of wireless products from Sennheiser to determine which applications they fit best.
Sennheiser’s most affordable wireless solution, the XS Wireless series presents exceptional value for musicians, singers, and presenters. Like all Sennheiser wireless systems, the XS Wireless series is quick and easy to set up and will automatically search for available frequencies to use. XS Wireless is a smart choice when you’re on a budget and don’t need to run multiple simultaneous systems.
Compared to Sennheiser’s XS Wireless series, the Evolution Wireless series offers enhanced wireless range, improved audio quality, and the opportunity to run more systems simultaneously. The transmitters in the Evolution Wireless series also provide more visual feedback, like a higher-resolution battery life meter. All this makes the Evolution Wireless series a popular choice for gigging bands.
Evolution D1 Wireless:
When you need the added versatility and security that digital wireless provides, look to Sennheiser’s Evolution D1 Wireless. Digital wireless systems like the Evolution D1 operate in a range that is not restricted based on region, so you can use them anywhere in the world. Digital wireless systems also offer encryption for security purposes. Sennheiser’s Evolution D1 wireless offers the same great audio quality and ease of setup as the Evolution Wireless series.
Choose the Sennheiser 2000 series when you need the highest sound quality, frequency agility, and channel count. Enhanced control software makes large-scale 2000 series systems easier to set up, manage, and troubleshoot. You’ll find 2000 series wireless systems in major venues and sports arenas for these reasons. If you’re in a big-name band on a national tour or setting up a complex multi-channel microphone system for a theater, school, or church, you’ll want the reliability and flexibility that the 2000 series offers.
Which System Fits My Application?
- Solo musicians and presenters: XS Wireless series gives you clear sound and maximum value when you only need a few wireless channels
- Gigging bands: Evolution Wireless provides the enhanced sound quality and increased channel count you need to rig up a full band in most environments
- Touring acts/broadcast: Sennheiser’s 2000 series offers maximum sound quality, channel count, and frequency agility, allowing you to create complex systems with outstanding reliability
- Video work: Sennheiser’s EW 112-p G3 system features a bodypack transmitter and a camera-mountable receiver for on-camera interviews and dialogue
|Series||Single-channel System Cost||Max. Simultaneous Channels||Total # of Tunable Frequencies||Audio Frequency Response||PC Control via Ethernet?||Applications|
|XS Wireless||$399.95||12||960||80Hz-16kHz||No||Solo musicians, singers, and presentations|
|EW 100||$599.95||12||1680||25Hz-18kHz||Yes||Smaller bands, public speaking|
|EW D1||$699.95||8||N/A||20Hz-20kHz||Yes||Gigging bands, public address, government installations|
|EW 300||$849.95||24||1680||25Hz-18kHz||Yes||Gigging bands, small to midsize installations, theater productions|
|EW 500||$1,049.00||32||1680||80Hz-18kHz||Yes||Gigging bands, small to midsize installations|
|2000 Series||$2,649.90||64||3000||25Hz-18kHz||Yes||Large installations, touring acts, sporting events, broadcast|
Components of a Wireless Microphone System
A complete wireless system includes a microphone (or instrument cable), a wireless transmitter, and a wireless receiver. The transmitter takes your instrument or microphone signal and broadcasts it to the wireless receiver. The receiver has an audio output to connect to your mixing board or sound system. Whether you’re singing, playing an instrument, or giving a presentation, these three components form the backbone of your wireless system.
There are a wide variety of microphones available for Sennheiser wireless systems – each designed to excel in a specific application. Headset microphones like the Sennheiser ME 3 are perfect for active presenters and performers, giving you hands-free convenience onstage. For interviews on camera, or other situations where a headset microphone is not desirable, a lavalier microphone like the Sennheiser ME 4 can be attached to clothing for a less conspicuous appearance.
For performing vocalists who prefer a handheld microphone, a combination microphone/transmitter like the Sennheiser SK 300-865 G3 is perfect. It combines a great-sounding Sennheiser vocal mic with a built-in wireless transmitter – no beltpack transmitter required.
There are a variety of wireless transmitters available for Sennheiser wireless microphone systems – each designed for a specific application. Bodypack-style transmitters like the Sennheiser SK 300 clip onto your belt or instrument strap and allow you to connect a headset, lavalier mic, or instruments such as electric guitar or bass. Plug-on transmitters like the SKP 100 G3 allow you to convert virtually any XLR microphone into a wireless microphone.
Any transmitter you choose will require batteries for operation. While Sennheiser transmitters provide hours of use before requiring new batteries, you’ll always want to make sure you have fresh batteries on hand to avoid interruptions to your performance or presentation.
Your wireless receiver uses antennas to capture the signal sent by your wireless transmitter, with an audio output to connect to a mixing console or sound system. Sennheiser’s receivers feature a front-panel display for easy identification of channel frequency and other important information. For multichannel wireless systems, it’s convenient to place all of the wireless receivers in a dedicated rack case – call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer for more information on rack solutions for your wireless gear.
Antenna Combiners for Larger Systems:
When you’re working with dozens of wireless channels in a live sound or broadcast environment, you can improve your signal transmission reliability greatly with an active antenna combiner, like the Sennheiser AC3200-II. It allows you to use one antenna with up to eight transmitters and distributes the different signals to your receivers. You can place one single antenna wherever you need to get the best reception and then run a single cable back to your rack of receivers. It’s much more convenient than using individual antennas on each receiver and helps give better range and coverage for your wireless system.
Wireless Systems Manager Gives You Complete Control
For comprehensive control over your system, Sennheiser’s Evolution Wireless series and 2000 series wireless products feature a built-in Ethernet port that gives you full control over your wireless system from your laptop. You can save scenes for easy recall, import spectrum scans, lock assigned frequencies, and much more. When you’re working with a large multichannel wireless system, using Sennheiser’s Wireless Systems Manager is much more practical and efficient than dialing in settings on every receiver individually.
Getting the Most Out of Your Wireless System
Regardless of the wireless system you’re using, there are some simple tips that will maximize your wireless experience.
First, maintain a clear line of sight between transmitters and receivers. While it may be tempting to put your wireless receiver rack in the back of the room or in another room altogether, this will reduce the effective range of your signal and risk signal dropouts.
Consider an active antenna combiner for larger multichannel systems. Antenna combiners allow you to use a single antenna for multiple receivers: it’s a solution for a much cleaner setup and makes it easier to maintain a clear line of sight. Active antennas usually offer enhanced signal reception too, and they can even be positioned remotely away from your main receiver rack.
Don’t forget that your wireless transmitters rely on batteries for operation. While Sennheiser’s wireless transmitters offer impressive battery life, you don’t want your show to be interrupted due to low batteries in a transmitter. Keep plenty of fresh batteries on hand, and replace them immediately before showtime for peace of mind.
With this guide, and a clear understanding of your application and needs, you’ll be able to find the right Sennheiser wireless solution. Don’t forget that at Sweetwater, we’ve been setting up and working with countless wireless microphone systems for decades. For more information or help designing your own wireless system, just give your Sweetwater Sales Engineer a call!