Sennheiser comes to the rescue with the latest XS Wireless Digital series that still offers the professional-level audio quality, but in kit that’s minimal and offers easy plug-and-play use.
At the heart of the system are the cylindrical wireless and transmitter packs which are much smaller than the conventional Sennheiser wireless systems. You plug your mic into the stereo input jack on the transmitter, and the receiver comes with a clip-on hotshoe mount that sits on top of your camera, and plugs into the mic socket with the included coiled lead. Turn both the packs on with the single button and they automatically link up together. You’re ready to shoot.
Pushing the main button once mutes the audio. Hold the button for three seconds and the kit powers down. It’s that simple, and worked flawlessly every time we used it.
The units are charged via USB which lasts for up to five hours, and are part of a whole system so you can use them for live performances or anything else that needs to transmit audio wirelessly.
"We had no dropouts, just clear and crisp audio"
The kit we tried was the ENG kit which adds the ME 2-II clip-on lavalier mic, and a second transmitter with an XLR mount that you can use on a handheld mic. We tried it with one of Sony’s E835 cardioid mics which costs a reasonable £74/$99.
The lav mic was crisp, clear and to our ears every bit as good as Sennheiser’s more expensive audio wireless kits – but obviously without the control these offer. The XLR worked excellently and was simply plug-and-play. It’s simple and fuss free.
We had no dropouts, just clear and crisp audio. The range is claimed to be 75 metres/250 feet in ideal conditions. We tried them outdoors past this distance and they still worked. But like all 2.4GHz systems, objects in the way or electrical interference can
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Pro Moviemaker rating: 9/10
Light, easy to use, affordable, very portable and expandable into a full system. All this makes these ideal for the less tech obsessed.
Pros: Very simple to use, small and light
Cons: No full manual control
Audio frequency response: 10-18,000Hz
Audio output: Max 12dBu
Signal-to-noise ratio: >106dB
Run time: 5 hours
Wireless network: 2.4GHz
External charging: USB
Connections: USB-A, ⅛in mic socket, XLR
This feature originally appeared in the Summer 2019 edition of Pro Moviemaker.