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EW D1-835S Evolution Wireless D1 Digital Vocal System – $699
PROS: Great sound, sonically adjustable, expandable.
CONS: Rack mounting hardware not included.
Wireless systems used to be expensive, and any cheap or mid-priced unit usually skimped, wiping out any actual sound and build quality or value to getting one (especially for DIY and indie performers). Sennheiser’s new (and awesome) D1 system brings the high-end feel and sound to a reasonable price point.
Our test unit came with Sennheiser’s E835 wireless mic, but can work with their instrument belt pack, lavalier microphone pack, headset microphone pack, or their E845S microphone. The ability to pair up eight systems makes this a consistent and scalable package, regardless of the transmitting device. The E835 mic is well made, with metal construction, and only two switches: 1) a small mute switch, which is super sturdy and won’t accidently switch on or off and 2) the power on button, which lights up, and is just as difficult to accidentally engage. A small LCD display indicates battery power and signal strength. Power is supplied by 2 AA batteries, and has about five-six hours hours in normal use (our tests back that up).
The receiver is really where the action happens. It is a half rack configuration, and the antennas are mounted on the back. There are a few (not included) optional mounting kits that can move the antennas to the front, or even mount two units side by side. The pair button does just that, and easily. There are a few digital menus that can be browsed, but thankfully don’t go too deep to overwhelm the user. Naming the device (when pairing multiple units, this is a great function to have), a walk test function also allows the user to walk the room and get a sense if there are any interference issues. Network settings (for paring multiple units), system settings, and audio settings are all handy.
Under the audio settings, there’s a lot of tweaking power; Low Cut, EQ, De-Esser & Auto Gain controls. This really provides the options necessary to tweak the sound source, and not to have to rely on any outboard effects for tone shaping. It’s a digital system, operating at 2.4Ghz. The unit works on an Audio Frequency Management platform that continuously scans for interference or low signal frequencies, switching automatically to the strongest frequency and constantly checking the strength of the wireless signal (so you don’t have to – you’re there to perform, and not monitor signal strength, right?).
Sound wise, it has plenty of punch and no loss of signal. For any performer who wants a quality wireless setup, this shouldn’t be overlooked. For the pro-audio professional, eight of these would fit in a four space rack – no need to do the math on size and performance, it’s worth it.
2.4 GHz digital transmission with license-free operation
Automatic Frequency Management continuously scans for interference
AFM Automatically changes frequencies if needed
Adaptive high-power transmission continuously checks wireless signal strength
Adjusts transmission power for consistent, reliable performance
D1 systems deliver up to 100 mW, which delivers generous usable working range