It's clear there’s a growing segment of musicians and performers working on smaller stages who are considering switching to wireless in-ear monitoring, but concerns about expensive, complicated, and/or unreliable systems have kept them from making the move. If this sounds familiar, then you’re going to want to check out Sennheiser’s new XSW Wireless IEM systems, engineered to provide clear sound you can count on, while being easy to set up so you can focus on delivering your best performance.
Sound levels from wedges and monitors can vary dramatically as performers move about on stage, causing feedback problems and making it difficult for musicians to hear themselves accurately in the mix, while wired in-ear systems limit freedom of movement. Wireless in-ear wireless monitoring solves these problems without relying on excessive volume that can damage your hearing.
The XSW Wireless IEM is easy to use, even if you’re new to wireless systems. The half-rack tabletop transmitter can send to as many bodypack receivers on the musicians as necessary and provides two ¼"-XLR combo inputs, allowing you to send one stereo or two different mono audio sources to the monitors at the same time. For simple setups, you could plug a microphone into one input and an instrument into the other, while for larger band applications you might want a vocal mix on one input and an instrumental mix on the other input.
On the bodypack receiver, musicians can dial-in the volume and panning for both signals to get the balance that works for them, so the singer can turn up the vocal feed to hear herself better, while the band may prefer more of the instrumental mix to help ensure they stay in the pocket. Alternatively, performers can engage the Focus mode, which mixes both inputs together while allowing them to foreground one over the other for monitoring emphasis. Advanced features include limiting and EQ to let you tweak the sound to your liking. If you need additional mixes fed to the performers, no problem—just add as many additional transmitters as you need.
The system transmits in the UHF frequency range, making it immune to the cell phone and Wi-Fi interference that can plague 2.4 GHz systems. Each bodypack receiver runs on two AA batteries for approximately 6 hours and includes a pair of IE 4 in-ear monitoring headphones, which reproduce accurate audio with a wide dynamic range and are equipped with exchangeable ear sleeves designed to provide a comfortable fit.
The XSW Wireless IEM system is available as a starter set that includes the transmitter, receiver, in-ear headphones, a rack-mounting kit, power supply, and batteries. Both the transmitter and receiver are available as individual components so you can expand the system easily as your needs (or band) grow.
Questions or thoughts about Sennheiser’s new XS Wireless IEM? Let us know, in the Comments section, below!