Music Gear News
Sennheiser XS Wireless Digital - Your Ticket to the World of Wireless
This is a cable-free zone. Please leave your jack leads, microphone cables, and audio snakes at the door. You can collect them on the way out.
By Daniel Martin-Lemmon | Published 05/11/2019 - 10:33
It's time to take a look at the Sennheiser XS Wireless Digital systems. With easy-to-use, dedicated sets for vocalists, instrumentalists, and videographers, Sennheiser have engineered the XSW-D wireless systems to give you everything you need to perform, without being tied down by cables.
We've got nothing against cables.
Quite the opposite in fact. They play an enormous part in pretty much everything we do on Earth. I mean, without a cable at some point in the last few hours, you probably wouldn't be able to read this, would you?
But the world has evolved. Whilst we still need them for a lot of things, there are times when they just get in your way. You can't get your TV in the right place, the sockets were installed by sadists, and it just throws your Feng Shui straight out of the window. It's a nightmare. And it's not just your house that suffers either. If you're a musician, videographer, or entertainer, you know how much of a pain cables can be. In fact, they can be straight up dangerous.
Unless you've gone to town with the gaffer tape, covering every inch of visible cable with your trusty, noisy reel of adhesive safety ribbon, you can pretty much guarantee that someone, at some point, is going to faceplant into the floor. And that's never fun.
What's more, you'll often find that you end up shackled to one place. It's as if someone has wrapped a chain around your ankles. When you're doing the things you love, you don't want to take up valuable mind-space thinking about the radius within which you can perform. Because nothing can kill your flow like running to the edge of that radius with the dreaded 'boom' of a cable being unplugged at full volume.
But there's a solution. And whilst we can't address the house situation with a 60 Minute Makeover, we can give you the freedom to perform the way you want to.
It's time to go wireless.
The name says it all really. Wire. Less. So, less wires. Genius.
But where do you start? Some people say, that if you whisper the words 'wireless system' into a mirror three times, a sound engineer will appear behind you and begin bombarding you with technical jargon and arduous specifications. Pilot tones, frequency bands, RF power... There's a lot to take in.
You'll often get the same thing when you're shopping for the perfect cable. Seemingly endless lists of jacket materials, conductor cross-sections, capacitance figures, screen types. It doesn't end. Getting your sound from one place to another should be simple. Not riddled with insanity-inducing lists that make you question whether you're buying a cable, or the components to build your own space station...
Luckily, Sennheiser know your pain. And this year, they brought out a wireless range to fight that headache. And it goes by the name of XS Wireless Digital (or XSW-D for short).
So, what is XSW-D?
It's wireless with a difference. The main one being that you don't need a 20-page handbook just to switch it on. If this is your first foray into the wonderful world of wireless, this is a system that will suit you down to the ground.
A single button is all that stands in your way. Press it on both your transmitter and receiver to power them up and link them at the same time. Once they're on, linked, and plugged in, clicking the button once lets you mute your signal. This can be done from either side, and it's perfect for breaks, or when you just need a bit of silence. And when you're all done for the night, just hold the button for a few seconds to power it down. It's as simple as that.
XSW-D systems were designed with simplicity in mind. Plug-and-play components with easy one-touch operation mean you can spend more time doing what you love, and less time trying to figure everything out.
Most importantly - does it sound good?
It's safe to say that Sennheiser know a thing or two about sound. They've spent a pretty extensive amount of time paving the way for the audio industry. Over 70 years in fact. And during that time, they've gained the trust and devotion of some of the world's biggest names.
That unmatched engineering precision from the German heartland has given every Sennheiser product a pretty astounding reputation. You'll find their gear in countless recording and broadcast studios, almost every TV and film studio, and scattered across stages all over the world.
When it comes to wireless, they're one of the biggest names in the game. Many regard them as royalty within the wireless world. And there's a very good reason for that. Decades of innovation have brought about a reputation that has made Sennheiser synonymous with quality and performance. And XSW-D systems are no different.
There's no need to worry about noise and interference. With a digital heart transmitting your signal across the future-proof 2.4GHz frequency spectrum, XSW-D is crystal-clear throughout its entire 75-metre operating range. Pristine in fact. No break-up or distortion the further away you go. Just clean, clear, and full. All the way to the edge.
If you happen to be wondering how big 75-metres really is, we can tell you. It's pretty big. You could get almost three-quarters of the way across a football pitch, and you'd still be in range (just don't get caught if you're not meant to be there). And remember that deafening 'boom' from a cable being wretched from its socket when under load? That's gone. Once you step over the edge of the XSW-D's rather large operating range, it's silent. No mind-haunting explosions of noise, whatsoever.
So, what do you need?
That all depends on you. Are you a singer? A guitarist or bassist? A videographer? No matter what you do, the XSW-D family has got you covered...
For the voice.Back to top.
Well that was embarrassing. Not only did that massive bang deafen everyone in the room, but that guy in the front row now has an XLR-shaped imprint on his forehead, and there's a trail of destruction across the stage. Oops. Looks like it's time to find a more practical way to get your voice out there.
When you want to be heard (without being tied down), look no further than the XSW-D Vocal Set. A transmitter and receiver, both with XLR connectors, complete with Sennheiser's renowned XS 1 dynamic mic. It's an all-in-one solution for singers, presenters, embarrassing wedding speeches, and more.
And if you've already found your voice with your own dynamic microphone? Why not try the XSW-D XLR Base Set. You still get both the transmitter and receiver with XLR connectors, but you can use your own mic. It'll also save you a bit of cash!
If you want to keep your hands free, why not take a look at the XSW-D Lavalier Set. The transmitter boasts a locking 3.5mm mini-jack connector that mates perfectly with the included ME2-II lavalier mic. The mic can be clipped to your clothes, staying well out of your way whilst still capturing every detail of your voice.
There's also the XSW-D Presentation Base Set if you already happen to have a favourite lavalier or headset microphone in mind.
Shop now | XSW-D XLR Base Set
Shop now | XSW-D Vocal Set
Shop now | XSW-D Presentation Base Set
Shop now | XSW-D Lavalier Set
For the instruments.
Tired of dragging your pedalboard around the stage with you? After all, your gear isn't a stubborn pet that's not quite ready to go home... So, take that leash off, ditch the jack cable, and go where you want to without anything weighing you down. The XSW-D Pedalboard Set is here to save you.
Place the unique pedal receiver at the front of your signal chain. Just like you would with your tuner. Speaking of tuners, this handy little device has one built in, and it transfers your signal to the rest of your board with a standard patch cable, just like any other pedal would. The difference is that you don't need to physically tether yourself to it anymore. The 1/4'' transmitter that comes with the set simply plugs into your guitar, and wirelessly synchronises with the pedal receiver.
If you're already happy with your tuner, or you don't want to use pedals at all, you can grab the XSW-D Instrument Base Set. This gives you the same 1/4'' transmitter from the Pedalboard Set, as well as a matching 1/4'' receiver that you can simply plug into the start of your pedalboard, or straight into your amp, mixer, or interface.
And you don't have to worry about your sound quality. Right up to the edge of the system's 75-metre range, your signal remains full and clear, so you sound like you. Now that seems like a much better alternative to the long, tone-sucking trip hazard of a 30-metre jack lead, doesn't it?
Shop now | XSW-D Instrument Base Set
Shop now | XSW-D Pedalboard Set
For the cameras.
It's a real shame. You've lined up the perfect shot. Everyone is in position. You're just waiting to press record. But what's that? Ah, of course, it's that long, snaking microphone cable that someone didn't quite finish hiding... But there's a solution. Because the XSW-D family has four unique sets that will never ruin your shots.
From cinematic perfectionism, to the run-and-gun approach. The XSW-D Portable ENG Set gives you all the flexibility you could need. Two transmitters - one with an XLR connector, and one with a locking 3.5mm connector - let you use both handheld dynamic mics as well as discreet lavalier mics. Plus, Sennheiser's ME2-II lavalier comes included so you can get to work right out of the box.
The receiver features a 3.5mm connector and can be mounted on top of your camera with the included cold shoe mount. Simply plug the included coiled cable into your receiver and your camera, and you're all set. No annoying cable snakes roaming around in your viewfinder.
If you've no use for a handheld mic, give the XSW-D Portable Lavalier Set a try. It's similar to the ENG set, but it doesn't come with an XLR transmitter. This one still comes complete with an ME2-II lavalier mic, or you can try the XSW-D Portable Base Set if you'd prefer to use your own lav or headset.
And if, on the other hand, your weapon of choice is a handheld mic, take a look at the XSW-D Portable Interview Set. With this, you still get the cold shoe mount, the coiled cable, and the receiver with a locking 3.5mm connector. But the transmitter in this set features an XLR connector. Perfect for use with your favourite dynamic microphone.
Oh, and if you're worried about how the XSW-D components might look on camera, don't be. Sennheiser have designed every single part of the XS Wireless Digital family to be sleek and unobtrusive. It's not always about the looks, but sometimes, it definitely helps.
Shop now | XSW-D Portable Base Set
Shop now | XSW-D Portable Interview Set
Shop now | XSW-D Portable Lavalier Set
Shop now | XSW-D Portable ENG Set
So that's that.
Go forth. Experience freedom. Experience the future. And discover a world without wires (well, almost anyway).
Shop now | All XSW-D wireless sets
Read More | See the latest Music Gear News at Gear4music
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