Sennheiser just launched their new universal wireless audio system at NAMM music show in California. The Sennheiser XS Wireless Digital – shortly XSW-D is a universal and simple 2.4 GHz sender-receiver solution for many different scenarios. It is available individually or in kits and the price is quite interesting.
Sennheiser has been known for reliable and high quality audio equipment among filmmakers for quite some time. Their wireless audio sets are widely used and popular – for instance the professional wireless Sennheiser G3 set, the newer G4 or the Sennheiser AVX (link to our review). The family-owned company from Germany just announced their newest addition to the world of wireless audio – the Sennheiser XS Wireless Digital (XSW-D). They are introducing it as an “easy entry into the world of wireless audio”. Let’s see what this product is all about.
Sennheiser XS Wireless Digital (XSW-D)
The new XSW-D system is designed for a variety of uses. It offers solutions for both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras with 3.5mm jack inputs as well as cameras with XLR audio inputs. It is also designed for use with music instruments as a sort of wireless audio cable.
Sennheiser even made a “Sound academy” for the new XSW-D system. It is a series of 5 youtube videos aimed to explain the new products, setting up the connection, going into technical details and so on. You can take a look at the videos here:
The Sennheiser XS system establishes a wireless link in 2.4 GHz frequency spectrum, which can be used worldwide without a license. It allows for up to 75 m (250 ft) of (unobstructed) range. Naturally, inside a building and through thick walls the range will be significantly shorter.
The new Sennheiser sets introduce simple one-touch operation. Pressing the button on both the transmitter and the receiver will power up and link both devices. One short click on any of the devices will mute the audio. Pressing and holding both buttons will power them down. The transmitter and receiver work for up to five hours on a single battery charge and they can be conveniently recharged via USB.
All parts of the new Sennheiser XSW-D system can either be purchased individualy or as a sets. Sennheiser offers following sets:
- XSW-D Portable Lavalier Setincludes the ME 2-II clip-on microphone, transmitter and receiver (both with 3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jacks), belt clip, cold-shoe mount, coiled cable (3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jack) and charging cable (USB-A to USB-C).
- XSW-D Portable Interview Setincludes a transmitter that plugs onto a dynamic handheld microphone (via XLR-3F connector), a receiver with 3.5 mm (1/8”) mini-jack, belt clip, cold-shoe mount, coiled cable (3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jack) and charging cable (USB-A to USB-C).
- XSW-D Portable ENG Set includes the ME 2-II clip-on microphone, two transmitter types (XLR-3F for dynamic handheld microphones and 3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jack for clip-on mics), a receiver with 3.5 mm (1/8”) mini-jack, belt clip, cold-shoe mount, coiled cable (3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jack) and charging cable (USB-A to USB-C).
- XSW-D Portable Base Set includes a transmitter and a receiver (both with 3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jacks), belt clip, cold-shoe mount, coiled cable (3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jack) and charging cable (USB-A to USB-C).
For those wanting to build their own kit, these are all individually available XSW-D components and accessories:
- Microphone transmitter for dynamic handheld microphones (XLR-3F connector), includes charging cable
- Microphone transmitter for lavalier microphones (3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jack), includes charging cable
- Camera receiver (3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jack), includes charging cable
- Cold-shoe mount
- Coiled cable (3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jack) for connecting the receiver to the camera
- Transmitter belt clip
I personally quite like the simple design of the new transmitters. I have worked with the Sennheiser AVX system many times and I like its reliability and compact design. It looks like Sennheiser has taken it even a bit further with the XSW-D series. I hope it is still as reliable as the AVX set.
The whole Sennheiser XSW-D portfolio of products is already available for pre-order. Prices of the sets vary between $300 and $450 USD (between €240 and €365 in Europe). That is quite an interesting pricing in my opinion when compared to the older (more expensive) Sennheiser AVXsets. Links to our partner shops can be found underneath the article. Additionaly, if you are attending the NAMM show in Anaheim, California, you can visit Sennheiser booth (Convention Center North, Level 1, Booth No. 14108).
What do you think of the new Sennheiser XS Wireless Digital system? Can it be something to complement your kit? Let us know in the comment section below.