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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB: The Classic Live Audio Board => Topic started by: Jeffrey Lotz on June 20, 2011, 11:31:12 am

Title: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Jeffrey Lotz on June 20, 2011, 11:31:12 am
We are currently looking into updating our rig.  We wanted to go with wireless mics for our vocalists to help clean up our stage a bit and make it look a little "neater".  Money is a bit of an issue, but not a huge one.  The thing that we are most concerned with is getting the most bang for our buck so to speak.  I've been looking a lot at Sennheisers, I've heard as a general rule of thumb you can not go wrong with Sennheiser when it comes to wireless.  I have read through several blogs and the like and have a better understanding of some of the different features of different receivers.  What I am having a hard time finding is some good (and by good I mean informative, not just in favor of) reviews of people that have actually tried out any of these systems.

I know that a lot of choosing mics comes down to preference as well. But I wanted to see if I could get any good input on here
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 20, 2011, 01:20:04 pm
We are currently looking into updating our rig.  We wanted to go with wireless mics for our vocalists to help clean up our stage a bit and make it look a little "neater".  Money is a bit of an issue, but not a huge one.  The thing that we are most concerned with is getting the most bang for our buck so to speak.  I've been looking a lot at Sennheisers, I've heard as a general rule of thumb you can not go wrong with Sennheiser when it comes to wireless.  I have read through several blogs and the like and have a better understanding of some of the different features of different receivers.  What I am having a hard time finding is some good (and by good I mean informative, not just in favor of) reviews of people that have actually tried out any of these systems.

I know that a lot of choosing mics comes down to preference as well. But I wanted to see if I could get any good input on here

What model line of Sennheiser?  While the Evolution series is pretty decent (and superior, IMHO, to similarly priced competitors) the 3000 and 5000 lines are audibly better, the construction more robust, and the software support for multi-channel systems is very good.

At those levels, though, Shure and others have some nice kit.  The UHF-R works well and sounds good.

Another brand that makes very good gear is Lectrosonics.  The Venue-series receivers can put 6 channels in 1 rack space and takes care of antenna distribution internally.  The RF is rock solid and the digital hybrid audio path is clean and sweet; no companding.  There are other features that may be appealing to you, visit their web site.

What makes "bang for the buck" varies considerably for each user.  How much buck, per channel, are you budgeting?

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Steven Barnes on June 20, 2011, 01:56:44 pm
What model line of Sennheiser?  While the Evolution series is pretty decent (and superior, IMHO, to similarly priced competitors) the 3000 and 5000 lines are audibly better, the construction more robust, and the software support for multi-channel systems is very good.

At those levels, though, Shure and others have some nice kit.  The UHF-R works well and sounds good.

Another brand that makes very good gear is Lectrosonics.  The Venue-series receivers can put 6 channels in 1 rack space and takes care of antenna distribution internally.  The RF is rock solid and the digital hybrid audio path is clean and sweet; no companding.  There are other features that may be appealing to you, visit their web site.

What makes "bang for the buck" varies considerably for each user.  How much buck, per channel, are you budgeting?

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc

Tim has got some really good points here, I have been using the UHF-R stuff for a while and it has always been rock solid for me, but it all comes down to budget. I have always preferred the sound of the cheaper sennheiser stuff vs. the competition, and will always recommend them if not going to the top of the line pro grade gear.

What kind of budget are you looking at?

Another thing to look at is microphone capsules for various brands. What mic are you currently using now?
There are a few different capsules available for each brand of wireless, so that might also be a big deciding factor. If you want a Neumann head, they are only available for the sennheiser stuff, If you want M80 or Audix stuff it is only available on the shure stuff.

Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Keith Broughton on June 21, 2011, 07:25:23 am
It's my opinion that the Sennheiser G3 systems are very good value for the $$.
Seems like the RF quality is better than the pricing would suggest.
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on June 22, 2011, 04:04:22 pm
My current system is Sennheiser 2000 series. Our hand helds have either the MMK 965 and MMD 945 and 935 capsules. The MMK 965 capsules sound very very good. And the battery compartments on the 2000 and EW 500 G3 series hand helds are much, much, much easier to get open than the 3000 and 5000 series.

BTW, the MMK and MMD 900 series capsules DO fit on the 500 G3 series hand held transmitters.
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Alwin Acuņa on June 23, 2011, 05:12:09 am
My current system is Sennheiser 2000 series. Our hand helds have either the MMK 965 and MMD 945 and 935 capsules. The MMK 965 capsules sound very very good. And the battery compartments on the 2000 and EW 500 G3 series hand helds are much, much, much easier to get open than the 3000 and 5000 series.

BTW, the MMK and MMD 900 series capsules DO fit on the 500 G3 series hand held transmitters.

 just asking if the 965 capsule will fit G3 ew100 series transmitters.? Thanks
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: MikeHarris on June 23, 2011, 11:26:55 am
just asking if the 965 capsule will fit G3 ew100 series transmitters.? Thanks

yes
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on June 23, 2011, 12:33:33 pm
yes

Are you sure about that? I was under the impression the the 100 and 300 series EW had the capsules hard mounted on the transmitters, i.e. they could not be removed.
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Alwin Acuņa on June 23, 2011, 04:35:03 pm
yes

Are you sure about that? I was under the impression the the 100 and 300 series EW had the capsules hard mounted on the transmitters, i.e. they could not be removed.

G3's ew100 are removable...
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Justin Bartlett on June 23, 2011, 09:46:11 pm
yes

Are you sure about that? I was under the impression the the 100 and 300 series EW had the capsules hard mounted on the transmitters, i.e. they could not be removed.

All G3 handhelds have swappable capsules.  We have 20 100-series G3 systems; I have swapped between e865 and e835 capsules periodically on some units.  They're interchangeable with everything up to the 2000 series; my understanding is that the big-time stuff (3000/5000 series) is different though.
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Lee Buckalew on June 23, 2011, 09:59:24 pm
Are you sure about that? I was under the impression the the 100 and 300 series EW had the capsules hard mounted on the transmitters, i.e. they could not be removed.


All G3 handhelds have swappable capsules.  We have 20 100-series G3 systems; I have swapped between e865 and e835 capsules periodically on some units.  They're interchangeable with everything up to the 2000 series; my understanding is that the big-time stuff (3000/5000 series) is different though.

All capsules that can be used on the 2000 series can also be used on the 500, 300 & 100 G3 series.  LE can not do this.  The Neumann capsules can not be used on the 500, 300 or 100 G3 without an aftermarket (do it yourself) mod.  They will work on all, as I understand it from folks at Sennheisser.

Lee Buckalew
Pro Sound Advice, Inc.
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Brian Simmons on June 24, 2011, 02:31:56 pm
I am looking to invest in a wireless system and was about to purchase a G3 , but I thought I was going to have to go with the 500  because that was the only one that would accept the e900 series capsules. So you are saying that if I went with the 100 series I could use a e945 capsule with it ?
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Lee Buckalew on June 24, 2011, 03:13:07 pm
I am looking to invest in a wireless system and was about to purchase a G3 , but I thought I was going to have to go with the 500  because that was the only one that would accept the e900 series capsules. So you are saying that if I went with the 100 series I could use a e945 capsule with it ?

yes, you could use an e945 capsule with a 100 series G3.  There are many reasons that I would not suggest going below a 300 series.  Among these would be; better sound quality, the ability to link to a computer n.etwork and use software to program the systems and monitor other wireless use in the area.

Lee Buckalew
Pro Sound Advice, Inc
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Brian Simmons on June 24, 2011, 03:56:21 pm
yes, you could use an e945 capsule with a 100 series G3.  There are many reasons that I would not suggest going below a 300 series.  Among these would be; better sound quality, the ability to link to a computer n.etwork and use software to program the systems and monitor other wireless use in the area.

Lee Buckalew
Pro Sound Advice, Inc


so there is a difference in sound quality between the 300 and 100 series ? how about the 500 and 300 series ? same audio quality ? what other features can I expect the 500 to have over the 300 series ?
thanks for your help
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 24, 2011, 06:46:26 pm
yes, you could use an e945 capsule with a 100 series G3.  There are many reasons that I would not suggest going below a 300 series.  Among these would be; better sound quality, the ability to link to a computer n.etwork and use software to program the systems and monitor other wireless use in the area.

Lee Buckalew
Pro Sound Advice, Inc


so there is a difference in sound quality between the 300 and 100 series ? how about the 500 and 300 series ? same audio quality ? what other features can I expect the 500 to have over the 300 series ?
thanks for your help

We don't own any G3, so I can't comment on audible differences between 100-300-500, but in G1 the differences were features.  The audio and RF were identical.
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Lee Buckalew on June 25, 2011, 09:14:16 am

so there is a difference in sound quality between the 300 and 100 series ? how about the 500 and 300 series ? same audio quality ? what other features can I expect the 500 to have over the 300 series ?
thanks for your help


We don't own any G3, so I can't comment on audible differences between 100-300-500, but in G1 the differences were features.  The audio and RF were identical.

I am on vacation and am not at my laptop to access my information so am going from memory on this.

In each generation of the evolution series, there have been differences in both audio quality and features.  The main audible audio quality difference is better signal to noise as you move to the next model up.  This can be a significant factor if you are using many mics at once or are in a very quiet environment.  Since all models are cross compatible they feature the same companding and the same front end for RF. 

Features sets are significantly different.
Current generation, G3;
The number of presets that can be stored in each unit varies by series.  NOt a huge deal if you keep everything pre-tuned but, if you travel it can be very handy to have a larger selection.  Also, if you use them in different locales around a facility, having the whole facilities' frequency set, per range, pre-set can be a huge time saver.
All series are IR programmable so that each receiver can be used to program it's associated belt pack.  All settings are stored and transfered.
As mentioned, the 300 series and up offer network connection and control capabilities (this was also true of the first and second generation too, but it required an interface to interconnect the receivers and the network).
The 300 series offers a remote mute switch for the belt packs and an on/off switch on the side of the handheld.  This is programmable for different operation.  The 300 series is also available in contractor pack sets with both handheld and belt pack transmitters at a cost savings over buying them separately.
The 500 series offers a package with the belt pack and an MKE2 that are very cost effective.
All, 100, 300 and 500 series G3 offer rechargeable battery options that track properly with the battery meters and can be charged in the transmitters in the same chargers whether handheld or belt pack.
Two of the series, I think 100 and 500, offer guitar cable emulation (variable high impedance emulation) for wireless instrument cable use.


There is a very long list of differences but, again, I am not able to access all of my notes right now.

Unless cost is the driving factor I would choose/recommend nothing below the 300 series simply for the ability to connect to a network and utilize remote software.

Lee Buckalew
Pro Sound Advice, Inc.
Title: Re: Best Wireless Handheld Systems
Post by: Eric Reese on June 25, 2011, 10:48:23 am
Hey Everyone,
Lee has pretty much summed up most of the features/benefits. (Thanks Lee!)  I just wanted to add that the S/N ration on EW 100G3 is >110 dB (A), and on EW500 G3 is >115dB (A).  (It's up to you if this is significant or not.)

Also, Neumann capsules are currently only available for our 3000/5000 products.  Neumann capsules for 2000 Series will be shipping in a few months.

You can certainly use the 900 Series capsules with EW100G3 Series, although the last time I did the math on the cost difference of purchasing an EW100 Series with an extra capsule versus purchasing an EW500 Series with the same capsule, the difference in price IMHO was worth the extra $ to upgrade to the EW500 system.

With EW300G3, EW500G3, 2000 Series, and 3000/5000 Series you have networkability and control options via our "WSM" program and a computer (free download on the www.sennheiser.com (The German site)). Incidently, we just released a firmware update that will allow these systems to network with each other via CAT5 (and switch) and will allow a "master" unit to send all scan information to all other units for easy frequency coordination without the use of a computer and WSM.

I hope this helps clarify some of the questions.

Thanks,
Eric
Sennheiser
National Market Development: Systems Integration

(Also a weekend warrior...)