At the NAMM Show 2018, Sennheiser unveiled the latest in its wireless audio products, the Evolution Wireless G4 series. A lot of our readers would be familiar with the G2 & G3 family of wireless mics, receivers & transmitters. In particular, the wireless receiver & belt pack transmitter were very popular amongst filmmakers & broadcast shooters due to the compact size and reliability.
The new G4 line aims to improve on what was already a solid system with increased RF power, longer transmission ranges & battery life. The usability of the devices is also improved.
The Evolution Wireless G4 range includes products in four different series. The 100, 300, 500 & IEM series for musicians. While the G4 wireless system encompasses multiple kits, e.g. rack-mounted receivers, handheld mics & music we will focus on the broadcast & ENG systems in this article.
The G4 100P & 500P Series
The wireless transmitters & receivers look very similar to the previous generation, using the same sturdy metal housing. From the specs, there doesn’t seem to be too much difference between the G3 100P & G4 100P units.
- Rugged all-in-one wireless system with high flexibility for broadcast quality sound
- Excellent sound and construction quality
- Easy to use and fast setup time
- Powerful and reliable wireless transmission
- Transmission range: up to 100 meters / 330 feet
- Up to 8 hours of operation time
Where there are big improvements though is with the new EW 512P model.
- Highly versatile
- Professional film sound and excellent construction quality
- Easy to use and fast setup time
- Plug-on transmitter with phantom power
- Up to 88 MHz bandwidth, up to 32 channels
The 512P G4 comes with a much better lav mic, the MKE 2, operates on up to 32 channels with up to 88MHz of bandwidth. Compared to 42MHz on the 122P. The 512P is made to be used on larger film sets and has a higher RF output power up to 50 mW. The 100P can only transmit at up to 30 mW. Previously the EW 512 was only available with a half-rack receiver.
What wireless audio set up are you using?
— Newsshooter (@TheNewsshooter) February 1, 2018
What about Sennheiser’s AXV system?
Another popular wireless audio system for broadcast & filmmakers is Sennheiser’s AVX system released back in 2015 due to the size & form factor. Available with either the ME2-II lavalier mic ($699) or the MKE2 in the Pro kit ($899) the price is not that much more than buying an equivalent transmitter/receiver pack like the EW 112P G4 at $599.
For broadcast & run & gun situations, the AVX system makes a lot of sense. It doesn’t require any extra mounting as it plugs directly into the XLR port and has an internal battery which can be recharged via the USB port. It can be auto-switched on & off by phantom power. As far as comparison, the AVX system operates on the 1.9GHz band which is license-free.
Enough to sway Sony Shooters away from the UWP-D11?
A strong competitor to the G3 & G4 systems has been Sony’s UWP-D11 kit. Similarly priced at $599 it also offers good performance and reliability.
For Sony shooters, adding the SMAD-P3 MI Hot Shoe Adaptor allows for a similar set up to the AVX system, with the receiver communicating directly to the camera via the hot shoe without the use of any extra cables.
Another advantage of the UWP-D system is that you can use the URX-P03D to use transmitters into a single 2-channel receiver.
The RØDELink Wireless Filmmaker Kit at $399 offers great value for a wireless audio system. While it is a lot larger than the other competing products, it offers a simple to use 8 channel system opereating on the open 2.4GHz spectrum at a great price.
Which Frequency Bands?
Due to the different operating frequencies worldwide, units can be purchased in either different frequency bands.
Sennheiser has a handy website which you can use to see which frequency bands are clear to use in your country.
Pricing & Availability
Sennheisser EW 112P G4 (Wireless Lav set with MK2-II or ME 4) – $599
Sennheiser EW 512P G4 (Wireless Lav set with MKE2) – $899
Sennheiser EW 135P G4 (Handheld Kit) – $599
Sennheiser SKP 100 G4 (XLR transmitter) – $299
Sennheiser SKP 500 G4 (XLR Transmitter) – $499
The G4 series is expected to ship in April.