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KEY FEATURES

  • Programmable Mute Switch
  • Includes GA3 Rack Mount Kit
  • Solid Build Quality

Sennheiser.com
$399.00 and up

Sennheiser’s Evolution series of wireless mic systems has been “evolving” for two decades across four generations. In fact, my company still has some original G1 wireless systems in our rental department providing excellent sound after a thousand events. Since the debut of the G1, the product line has grown extensively with new features and offerings each time, yet its elegant interface and solid build quality have remained. With the advent of the new G4 line, Sennheiser has kept the familiar form while expanding the function set dramatically. The line still consists of 100/300/500 series in a good/better/best scenario. For smaller environments, the 100 series is perfect as it has all the quality needed for long-term reliability without some of the advanced features of the 300/500. The 300 series is best known for the industry-standard IEM packages, while the new 500 line is decidedly in the professional market thanks to a new chipset with double the RF bandwidth of its lesser siblings. Let’s take a look at what’s new under the hood of the G4.

To begin, all systems now include the GA3 rack-mount kit, so life just got easier for us all. New Easy Set-Up allows the user to daisy chain up to a dozen systems together and sync them all at once, thanks to included link cabling. A new Escape button remedies one of the few sore spots of the G3, while the change from orange backlighting on the display to high-contrast black/white is bittersweet, as the new display is easier to read but loses the vibe of a BMW interior. The handheld transmitter is now sheathed in aluminum to reduce weight while maintaining strength, and a new programmable mute switch goes beyond simple on-off to allow muting of either the AF (audio) or the RF (Radio Frequency) or disabling of the mute function altogether. This last option can be a lifesaver or terminator depending on the capability of the mix engineer. Finally, as part of the trend toward remote monitoring, Sennheiser has made G4 compatible with Control Cockpit, their innovative software for controlling, monitoring, and maintaining multiple wireless systems.

If you include the P series, designed for ENG portable use, Evolution consists of four lines ranging from cost-effective to full on pro, and have a bewildering array of configurations and options. To make it simpler, expand the good/better/best tiers mentioned above to the handheld mic elements: 835 dynamic cardioid, 845 dynamic supercardioid, and 865 condenser. The 900 series capsules are available as well and are considered a valuable step up in performance. For bodypack systems, decide on lapel, headset, or instrument, and pair with the newly configured Base kits, meant as transmit and receive systems able to accept mics and cabling.

Turning the TX/RX around yields the basis for wireless IEM, and here the new G4 version delivers improved synchronization, thanks to a new backlit IR target, easier readability with an OLED display, and up to sixteen compatible channels for larger-scale events.

Sennheiser has taken a great product, the G3, and made it even better. The new features are clearly in direct response to customer comments (see, they listen) while none of the beloved attributes of the older model have been removed. With excellent customer service, a stellar in-field support team, and impressive engineering chops, Sennheiser has made it even easier for anyone to have simple, interference-free wireless.

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