Thursday, September 15, 2005

Sony beats the rattle out of Sennheiser

Here is a recommendation to go for the new Sony UTX-P1 wireless microphone set, instead of the Sennheiser SKP 30U which is a very similar miniature plug-on transmitter. The Sony device is new, the Sennheiser equivalent has been around for about 18 months.

Sennheiser's blurb says that "any cabled microphone (even condenser microphones) can be instantly converted to RF wireless operation - simply by plugging the transmitter into the microphone connector." That is misleading. The microphone needs to have a metal casing, since the transmitter uses the metal case of the microphone as an antenna. And the locking ring at the bottom is certainly not suitable for all Sennheiser micrphones. If you start to rely on the strength of the spring inside the XLR-3 connector on the Sennheiser (made by Neutrik AG so I was told), then you will be sorely disappointed after a few months standard use - the microphone starts to rattle on the end of the transmitter creating annoying rattle noise.

I think that’s a design fault, but the manufacturers don’t agree with me - and were extremely unhelpful at IBC, making out that this was not a problem. Curiously the Sennheiser UK site says there is now a 10 year guarantee on these components, - but only for products purchased after August 1st 2005....oh what a shame I do not qualify.

I’m going to test the Sony version to see if it is any better. In the meantime, I'm looking for alternatives to Sennheiser.