Sennheiser has plenty of experience with microphones, but how about hitting the stage with no strings attached? Let’s take a closer look at Evolution Wireless Digital Handheld Set.
If you’re a regular to the studio or stage, Sennheiser is a brand that needs little introduction. But they haven’t been around for more than three-quarters of a century for nothing: the German company has continued to innovate throughout its lifespan. Case in point: the Evolution Wireless Digital Handheld Set.
Of course, wireless systems aren’t anything new. Sennheiser’s disruption in this space relies on how easy it is to set up this system, its modular functionality, its integration with mobile app control, and the decades of microphone design pedigree that the company can bring to the table.
All in the family
Firstly, it’s important to understand that this Handheld Set is part of a broader Evolution Wireless Digital (EW-D) ecosystem. If you think of the rack receiver as the basis for the system, you can supplement with the handheld mic (which comes with its own transmitter), a lapel mic, and a headset mic (the lapel and headset work with a separate belt-pack transmitter).
As standard, the Handheld Set ships with Sennheiser’s rock-solid e 835 capsule. But even within the handheld context, modularity is key: no less than 14 other Sennheiser (and a few Neumann) capsules are compatible with the handheld transmitter. Need a super-cardioid mic to enhance separation? Yep, you can do that. Want to upgrade your onstage sound with a condenser capsule? That’s possible too.
Wireless setups can result in a bit of head-scratching on first glance. Not to mention all the additional concerns around frequencies that you need to get your head around. This only compunds when you start stacking multiple wireless transmitters and receivers in any given environment.
The great news is EW-D takes away the need for guesswork. For example, the equidistant tuning grid ensures that transmission is spread evenly across the UHF spectrum. So, if you have a stage with multiple speakers requiring their own wireless mic, you can dial it in with a minimum of fuss and not worry about intermodulation between channels (which can cause audio dropouts).
Being wireless, the next biggest concern is battery life. The Handheld Set works with an optional extra lithium-ion battery pack, which offers up to 12 hours of battery life. And if you only have AA batteries, you’ll still get up to 8 hours. While those kinds of specs sound a little ridiculous, when you consider the wide range of applications that the system is suitable for (all-day sporting events, conferences, etc.), it’s comforting to know that if you’ve charged up the batteries correctly, there’s always plenty of juice left in the tank.
And most impressively for a wireless handheld mic? Its incredible dynamic range: 134 dB to be precise. You might ask “why would I need that amount of headroom on stage?” Having this extended range means a more nuanced capture of the voice (especially in musical performances). Not having to worry about adjusting the gain on a transmitter, no matter what you’re pointing the mic at, is also a bonus.
Smart Assist App
There’s also a companion for iOS and Andriod which offers up control of all the EW-D’s parameters. Simply pair with the receiver via Bluetooth, then access all the receiver menu’s options via the app. And while it’s easy enough to navigate the options on the receiver itself (especially if you’re only using one), the app really comes into its own when your setup becomes more complex and expansive.
You can name receivers, manually dial in frequencies, monitor battery levels, and even set gain levels and mute microphones. Plus, accessing the Support Hub (which provides manuals and quick tips) is seamless via the Smart Assist app.
For a competitively priced and easy to use solution for all your wireless performance needs, the EW-D system ticks a lot of boxes. Taking the guesswork out of the setup, while offering fantastic performance should make it a winner for any conference or live performance.
Visit Sennheiser for more details.