NAB 2016: Sennheiser Showcases Mics for Mobile and Action, Becomes GoPro Developer
Microphones for mobile devices and GoPro cameras and a two-channel camera receiver promising maximum compatibility headline the Sennheiser exhibit (Booth N5729). The audio-equipment specialist has also signed up with the GoPro Developer Program.
Mic for Smartphone or Tablet
The HandMic digital transforms any smartphone or tablet into a professional recording tool for vocals and speech. Highly resistant to cellphone interference, the cardioid dynamic handheld is suitable for mobile journalism, podcasting, or vocal and instrument recording. Benefits include great sound quality and presence, high feedback rejection, and excellent suppression of handling and wind noise. An Apogee A/D converter and pre-amp translate these qualities into digital. The HandMic digital will be available in the third quarter.
“Users are increasingly relying on their mobile devices for recording speech and vocals,” said Achim Gleissner, commercial manager, Broadcast and Media. “However, the quality of built-in microphones leaves much to be desired for prosumers and professionals alike. This is the reason we have created the HandMic digital, which offers all the benefits of a Sennheiser dynamic handheld. It is a further step in our ongoing collaboration with Apogee Electronics.”
The HandMic digital comes in a rugged, all-metal housing and uses a proven Sennheiser cardioid capsule that has been shock-mounted to suppress handling noise. The microphone is highly resistant to wind noise and the EMI emitted by cellphones. It handles sound-pressure levels up to 150 dB and provides excellent suppression of feedback.
Via supplied cables, the HandMic digital can connect directly to USB inputs or to the Lightning sockets of iOS devices. A microphone clamp and a solid table stand are included. It can be used with common media-production programs and apps, such as FiLMiC Pro, Luci Live, Periscope, Logic Pro X, Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Pro Tools, GarageBand, and Apogee MetaRecorder.
All-New Action Mic for GoPro Cameras
Sennheiser is previewing a microphone designed to be the ideal audio partner for a GoPro camera. Featuring an ultra-tough housing, the new mic is able to withstand adverse conditions, such as wind, water, snow, and splashes of mud. With an advanced capsule design and watertight connection with the camera housing, it will be able to record audio under water and will allow users to capture sound in scenarios where audio recording currently yields poor results or is not possible at all.
“Achieving uncompromising sound quality for extreme-sports footage has been a challenge, and, more often than not, extreme athletes had to tone down their expectations regarding audio quality,” says Gleissner. “However, our forthcoming action microphone will solve these audio issues: it will make wind noise a thing of the past and allow audio recordings where currently only video is possible.”
The action microphone is currently undergoing testing across a range of extreme sports. “These ultra-tough field tests will serve to fine-tune the microphone’s performance,” says Gleissner.
At the show, Sennheiser is presenting a prototype and demonstration videos recorded with the prototype model.
The Sennheiser EK 6042 Two-Channel Camera Receiver
Getting its U.S. launch, the true-diversity EK 6042 slot-in camera receiver, which was previewed at IBC2015, can work with analog and digital Sennheiser transmitters or — a world first — a mix thereof, across a bandwidth of 184 MHz. It is a partner to Sennheiser’s top-of-the-range Digital 9000 series and all analog transmitters that feature HiDyn plus or HDX companders. The EK 6042 auto-configures for these transmitters via IR, saving setup time and hassle for broadcast and filming crews, who place a high value on sound quality and wireless reliability.
“The EK 6042 is an extremely versatile and frequency-agile tool — a ‘one for all’ receiver that will be the go-to solution for Sennheiser wireless users,” says Tobias von Allwörden, product manager, Broadcast and Media. “A further asset is its exceptional ease of use, including the auto-configuration feature and the option of conveniently programming the camera receiver via a web interface. As a true-diversity receiver with four separate receiver circuits, the EK 6042 is extra-reliable, even in difficult RF environments.”
The EK 6042 will work with any current Sennheiser series from Digital 9000 in long-range mode, to the 5000/3000, and even the 2000 and evolution wireless G3, automatically identifying the transmitter via an IR link. The camera receiver will choose its own operating mode accordingly, and automatically select the appropriate bandwidth and frequency in the UHF range between 470 and 654 MHz. Even older transmitters, such as the SK 50 and SK 250, can be used; all that needs to be done is to enter the fixed transmitter frequencies via the receiver’s web interface.
The EK 6042 can be connected to PC or Mac platforms via its USB connector and configured via the browser. There is no need to install any software. For example, users can enter transmitter profiles and lists of managed or licensed frequencies and can also import or export data.
Two separately available adaptors (15-pin and 25-pin) ensure compatibility with all common camera brands. For example, the EK 6042 receiver is SuperSlot-compatible and works seamlessly with Sound Devices equipment, as well as with ARRI and Panasonic (both Unislot) and Sony cameras.
For camcorders without an audio receiver slot, the EK 6042 can be camera-mounted using a special backpanel adaptor, which is available as an accessory. If the camera does not supply power to the receiver, a “piggyback” power adaptor can be attached to this housing and fitted with two hot-swappable BA 61 battery packs that allow an exact readout of the remaining operating time.
The camera receiver will be available in June.
Sennheiser Joins GoPro Developer Program
In other news, the company will be joining GoPro’s new Developer Program, which provides third-party developers with toolkits to connect their products with GoPro cameras and develop integrated solutions. At a GoPro-hosted press event, Sennheiser showcased new products from its audio labs that will allow GoPro users to match footage with high-quality audio.
“It is truly thrilling to be among the first to join the GoPro Developer Program to create audio-visual experiences that will transform our ability to share and experience our world,” says CEO Dr. Andreas Sennheiser. “By working with GoPro’s toolkits, we will be able to develop solutions that will enhance the unique footage that GoPro cameras can capture through our expertise in audio. I am looking forward with genuine excitement to see the incredible and creative work that will result when we give some of the world’s most creative and daring people new capabilities to see, hear and explore.”
Among the products being developed is Sennheiser’s forthcoming AMBEO VR mic. Developed in conjunction with VR-content producers, the microphone is a compact solution that captures high-quality audio in four quadrants. With a dedicated GoPro version in development, the new microphone will seamlessly fit into the workflow of live-action VR recording to bring a new dimension of realistic audio to VR environments. The VR microphone will launch in the fourth quarter.
Sennheiser Previews MK 4 digital for USB and iOS at NAB
Sennheiser is also previewing the new digital version of its MK 4, one of the audio specialist’s most popular recording mics. With high-quality Apogee A/D conversion and mic preamp technology, MK 4 digital connects directly to iOS devices, Mac and PC computers. The large-diaphragm MK 4 digital is the ideal partner for any mobile recording task requiring great sound quality with the typical warmth and detail of a true condenser microphone.
“I am delighted to announce the latest product to be born from our cooperation with A/D conversion experts Apogee Electronics,” said Wolfgang Fraissinet, Director Audio Recording at Sennheiser. “The MK 4 digital true condenser studio microphone will bring full, detailed sound and “made in Germany” quality to recordings on iOS devices, Macs and PCs. It will offer bands and artists freedom and flexibility in recording their tracks and song ideas, and will also be an ideal tool for high-quality speech applications from voice-overs to podcasts.”
“The MK 4 digital microphone is a great addition to the iOS/USB product family we have been developing with Sennheiser,” comments Betty Bennett, co-founder and CEO of Apogee Electronics. “Along with the new HandMic digital, and ClipMic and MKE 2 digital mics announced last spring, MK 4 digital combines the best of Sennheiser and Apogee technology to offer customers from across the audio and video production spectrum incredible tools for mobile recording.”
The MK 4 digital is a must-have microphone for the home studio and in mobile recording, whether in the rehearsal room or on the road. Its exceptional sound quality will also be an asset in the recording of speech. It is delivered complete with a USB cable and a Lightning iOS cable for connecting to iPad, iPhone or iPod touch as well as a microphone clamp and a pouch.
The microphone can be used with common media production programs such as Logic Pro X, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Pro Tools or Ableton Live and iOS recording apps such as GarageBand and Apogee MetaRecorder. The MK 4 digital will become available from summer 2016.