Sennheiser XS: Entry-Level Wireless Audio Kits for Video Creators

Esteemed German audio maker Sennheiser debut their new entry-level XS Wireless Digital series at NAMM 2019 just days ago. The new Sennheiser XS wireless kits are aimed at musicians and videographers on a budget that also don’t want to fiddle with channels and other settings that other more advanced wireless audio kits have.

The new Sennheiser XSW-D kits replaces the cable with sleek, compact transmitters and receivers that work on the 2.4 GHz for worldwide, license-free operation. Sennheiser have announced a few different kits some aimed at musicians and presenters, and others more applicable to video creators.

In addition to transmitting digitally in the 2.4 GHz range, the new XSW-D uses the acclaimed aptX Live codec. The receivers have antenna diversity; the transmitters work redundantly, transmitting all data packages twice to ensure reliable transmission. In case of interference, the transmitter and receiver will seamlessly hop to a free frequency.

Sennheiser XS Wireless Digital System

Images by Sennheiser

The audio latency remains below 4 ms. Up to five systems can be used simultaneously and they have a range of up to 75 m (250 ft). The transmitter and receiver units can be conveniently recharged via USB using the included charging cable and work for up to five hours on a single charge.

Targeting video creators, who prefer a quick and easy setup, the XS series use a one-touch single button operation for pairing. Pressing the buttons on both the transmitter and the receiver will power up and automatically link the units, clicking either button on the receiver or transmitter will mute the audio signal and pressing and holding both buttons again will power the system down.

The transmitter is connected to a handheld mic, a lavalier mic or an instrument, while the receiver can be directly connected to a mixing desk, a guitar or bass amp or the mic input of a video camera respectively.

Unlike the more advanced, but still in operating in the digital realm – Sennheiser AVX, the new XS series have built-in batteries (charge-able via USB-C) and no screens on the transmitters, which may be a deal breaker for some of you out there.

The new Sennheiser XSW-D wireless kits reliably records audio directly into a video camera via the mic input. The receiver attaches to the camera via the XSW-D cold-shoe mount and a 3.5 mm (1/8”) coiled cable, while the transmitter simply connects to a handheld or lavalier microphone depending on the use case and preference.

Videographers and content creators can choose between a Portable Lavalier Set complete with an ME 2-II clip-on microphone, a Portable Interview Set for use with an existing dynamic microphone, a Portable Base Set for use with an existing lavalier microphone, and the Portable ENG Set, which contains transmitters for a lavalier microphone (ME 2-II included) and an existing handheld dynamic microphone.

Sennheiser xs wireless digital

  • Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Lavalier Set includes:
    • ME 2-II clip-on microphone,
    • transmitter and receiver (both with 3.5 mm mini-jack),
    • belt clip,
    • cold-shoe mount,
    • coiled cable (3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jack),
    • charging cable (USB-A to USB-C)
  • Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Interview Set 
    • Transmitter for dynamic handheld microphones (XLR),
    • receiver (3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jack),
    • belt clip,
    • cold-shoe mount,
    • coiled cable (3.5 mm mini-jack)
    • charging cable (USB-A to USB-C).
    • NOTE: the microphone is not included in this set.
  • Sennheiser XSW-D Portable ENG Set
    • ME 2-II clip-on microphone,
    • 2x transmitter types (XLR + 3.5 mm mini-jack for clip-on mics),
    • receiver (3.5 mm mini-jack connector),
    • belt clip,
    • cold-shoe mount,
    • coiled cable (3.5 mm mini-jack),
    • charging cable (USB-A to USB-C).
    • The dynamic microphone is not included.
  • Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Base Set
    • Transmitter and receiver (both with 3.5 mm [1/8”] mini-jacks),
    • belt clip,
    • cold-shoe mount,
    • coiled cable (3.5 mm [mini-jack),
    • charging cable (USB-A to USB-C).
    • For use with an existing lavalier mic

Sennheiser XSW-D Technical Specs

  • Frequency range:
    • 2,000 – 2,483.5 MHz
  • Transmission power (EIRP):
    • max. 10 mW
  • Modulation:
    • GFSK with TDMA
  • Codec: aptX Live
  • Audio frequency response:
    • XLR/3.5 mm [1/8”] jack: 80 – 18,000 Hz;
    • 6.3 mm [1/4”] jack: 10 – 18,000 Hz
  • Audio ouput: max. 12 dBU
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: ≥ 106 dB
  • THD: < 0.1 %
  • Audio latency: < 4 ms
  • Battery pack:
    • Li-Ion, 3.7 V nominal voltage, 850 mAh cell capacity
  • Operating time: up to 5 h
  • Charging time: typ. 3 h
  • Input voltage of USB-C charging interface: 5.0V
  • Charging temperature:
    • 0 °C – 60 °C (32 °F – 140 °F)

The XSW-D Lavalier Set with the ME2-II lavalier mic is priced at $350 USD (pre-order via B&H).

The Sennheiser XSW-D Portable ENG Set is priced at $450, while the XSW-D Portable Base Set (without a mic) will set you back only $300 USD.

For more information head over to Sennheiser and/or B&H.

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