Sennheiser announced the fifth generation of its wireless microphone system. The company says it’s purpose-built for content creators, filmmakers and broadcasters, offering a wide range of applications. It’s a digital UHF wireless system “with a new portable design and unmatched audio quality” that’s designed to be as easy to use as possible.
Accessibility seems to be one of the major selling points of the Sennheiser EW-DP system (buy here), with a stackable “intelligent receiver” to help beginners get up and running quickly and to help old pros save setup time on set and speed up the workflow. There’s also a smartphone app that lets you remotely control up to 16 systems simultaneously from a single device.
Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital: EW-DP
The series includes the stackable EW-DP EK receiver, allowing you to put multiple receivers on your camera or at your audio recording station. Sennheiser says they designed the system to be fast and intuitive to use while still offering the reliability and consistency you need on set. Also in the series is the EW-D SK, a bodypack transmitter for clip-on mics, the EW-DP SKP, a plug-in XLR transmitter, and the EW-D SKM-S handheld transmitter.
The system features an extremely low latency of only 1.9 milliseconds (that’s 0.0019 seconds), with a wide input dynamic range of 134 dB. This wide dynamic range, Sennheiser says, minimises distortion, allowing you to capture everything from a whisper to a scream.
|Audio link frequency ranges||Q1-6 (470.2-526 MHz)
R1-6 (520-576 MHz)
R4-9 (552-607.8 MHz)
S1-7 (606.2-662 MHz)
S4-7 (630-662 MHz)
S7-10 (662-693.8 MHz)
U1/5 (823.2-831.8 & 863.2-864.8 MHz)
V3-4 (925.2-937.3 MHz)
V1-3 (1785.2-1799.8 MHz)
|Bluetooth LE Frequency Range||2404-2480 MHz|
|Audio frequency response||20 Hz - 20 kHz (-3DB) @ 3dBfs|
|Audio THD||≤ -60 dB for 1kHz @ -3 dBfs input level|
|Operating temperature||-10ºC - +55ºC (14ºF - 131ºF)|
|Relative humidity||5-95% (non-condensing)|
|Input voltage||~1.8 - 4.35v|
|Input current||Typ. <250 mA / Max. <400 mA (BA 70)
Typ. <400mA / Max. <750mA (2xAA batteries)
<300mA @ 5v (USB-C standalone)
|Power supply||2xAA batteries 1.5v or BA70 rechargeable battery pack or USB-C PD power supply (max):
5v / 1500mA
9v / 900mA
12v / 700mA
|Transmitter power (radiated)||BLE: max. 10mW EIRP|
|Audio output power||<2 dBV max (high level) / <4dBU max (high level)|
|Headphone output||<50mW into 16 Ohms|
|Weight (without antennas and power supply)||Approx 140g|
Control via receiver or Smart Assist app
You can fully automate the setup, operation and monitoring at a distance from the receiver using the smartphone app available for iOS and Android. It communicates over Bluetooth and lets you automatically coordinate frequencies for up to 16 systems on set simultaneously. This includes features such as remotely overriding the mute button when it’s been accidentally left on – we’ve all been there at some point!
This means you don’t need to be manning every camera and zipping between devices to check and configure them. You can do it all from wherever you happen to be through your smartphone. A hub with video tutorials and manuals is also included within the app to help guide you through the process.
Multiple power options
The EW-DP has multiple power options. Each receiver comes supplied with a BA 70 lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which lasts for up to 7 hours, as well as a pair of AA batteries. How long it’ll last on AA batteries obviously depends on which AA batteries you use. Alkaline disposables, for example, will have a different runtime to NiMH rechargeables. It can also be powered by 5v over USB-C, letting you power it completely externally from either a power bank or charger.
The Sennheiser EW-DP is the first portable wireless system that has magnetically stackable receivers, Sennheiser says, with a user-facing OLED display and full remote control via smartphone.
Coming in the future
In October, Sennheiser will be releasing the EW-DP SKP, an XLR transmitter with 48v phantom power. The device is designed to turn any wired XLR microphone, whether it be dynamic or condenser, into a wireless microphone. For example, you can mount something like an MKH416 on a boom pole and have it communicate with the receiver wirelessly instead of having XLR cables all over the set for people to trip on.
The EW-DP SKP will also feature a locking 3.5mm socket for plugging in lavalier microphones, letting you utilise it even when you’re not using an XLR mic. It also features a microSD card slot for 24-bit 48kHz on-board recording of a backup.
The Sennheiser EW-DP is (or will be) available in three different sets.
The EW-DP ME 2 SET is currently available to pre-order for $699, which includes a bodypack transmitter, and the ME 2 omnidirectional lavalier microphone. The EW-DP ME 4 SET will include a cardioid microphone for noisier environments, and the EW-DP 835 SET, pre-order now for $899, includes a handheld transmitter with the Sennheiser MMD 835 dynamic microphone. Those sets appear to be coming soon.
All sets include the EW-DP EK receiver, a magnetic mounting plate kit, a BA 70 rechargeable battery, two standard AA batteries, a locking 3.5mm TRS to 3.5mm TRS cable, a locking 3.5mm TRS to XLR cable and a USB-C charging cable for the receiver.