On-Set with Sennheiser’s EW 500 Film G4 Wireless Combo Set

Sennheiser ew500WirelessCombo

With the arrival of Sennheiser’s new EW 500 FILM G4 Wireless Combo Set, I recently had the opportunity to test them on-set in a few different configurations. The kit includes one transmitter, one MKE 2 clip-on lav mic, one receiver and one plug-on transmitter for use on handhelds or boom applications. During past TV and film productions, I had used the Sennheiser G3 transmitters and receivers utilizing their older lav mics and was curious how these would compare to the new G4’s performance.

We’ve all had situations where the frequencies can get really crowded and you need to scan for another one especially since we’re losing the 600 MHz to 700MHz range. One of the first things I noticed with the EW 500 G4 series is that there’s up to 2x the amount of frequencies available compared to the G3. I was recording interviews in a busy downtown night club area using the EW 500 G4 transmitter and receiver as a camera hop, sending the mix wirelessly to the camera and soon realized there was a lot of radio traffic interference in the vicinity. I was quickly able to scan a wider range of frequency options (Up to 88 MHz bandwidth, up to 32 channels), sync the transmitter and receiver together via infrared, and continue the interviews.

The EW 500 G4 wireless combo system also includes the SKP 500 plug-on transmitter that can make a handheld mic wireless or for your shotgun mics on a boom pole. I was particularly interested in using this transmitter with a shotgun mic for a wireless boom option since it also has Phantom Power (48V). While on-set filming a commercial, I was able to easily use the SKP 500 plug-on transmitter for a cable-free wireless boom set-up.

To be honest, the lav mics that shipped with the older G3 kits were not my favorites. However, the EW 500 G4 Wireless Combo Set ships with the MKE 2 Gold broadcast quality lav mics which were a major improvement and offer better frequency response. In a recent interview I did on the Location Sound Podcast, I spoke with Stickman Sound owner, Fernando Delgado, regarding using the MKE 2’s on the boxing trainers during live broadcast boxing events and he was happy with their performance as well.

Regarding transmitter power, there is an increased RF output power adjustable to 10mW, 30mW and 50mW for greater range. I found the battery life was impressive and I didn’t have to switch batteries as often as other wireless brands I’ve used. Overall, Sennheiser’s new EW 500 FILM G4 Wireless Combo System performed exceptionally well and is worth a look.  https://en-us.sennheiser.com/broadcast-film-wireless-combo-system-lavalier-ew-500-film-g4

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