Sennheiser have released four generations of their Evolution Wireless radio equipment – known as G1 (1999), G2 (2003), G3 (2009) and G4 (2018).
In each generation, there are three feature series – 100 (most basic), 300 and 500 (most featured). The higher the series, the better the RF circuitry, so more channels can be run simultaneously. The signal-to-noise ratios also improve as you go up the series.
This equipment is like audio Lego and all the parts are widely compatible, including across generations.
With each generation, features have arrived new, or been included in more series than before.
There are other series which are not covered here. The 2000 series is higher-grade, but some of the transmitters look like the lower series gear. There’s a 1.8GHz variation from G3 onwards, incompatible with various kit from the other frequency bands. There’s an AVX system that’s short-range for video and ENG.
Model components are named with two letters + three/four numbers, e.g. EW135 (and then sometimes ‘G3’ etc. for the generation as well).
Component Part Prefixes in Model Names
|Component Type||Model Prefix|
|Transmitter – handheld microphone||SKM|
|Transmitter – belt pack microphone/instrument transmitter||SK|
|Transmitter – add-on for XLR microphones (often for ENG)||SKP|
|Transmitter – desk/rack mount, normally for IEM signals||SR|
|Receiver – desk/rack mount, normally to receive mics||EM|
|Receiver – portable pack (IEM/camera/tour)||EK|
|Gen||Hand held microphones||IEM Components||Other Components|
|G1 & G2||1, 3 or 5 to show the feature series, then two digits to designate the capsule.||300||100/300/500 according to the series.|
|G3 on||100/300/500 according to the series.||300||100/300/500 according to the series.|
|Microphone Capsule (from the Evolution series)||Two-digit wireless designator equivalent||Characteristics||Capsule ring colour (G1 and G2)|
(made in 500 series G2 only)
(made in 500 series G2 only)
|E965||965 (only available from G3)||Hypercardoid condenser||N.A.|
From G3 onwards, the hand-held mic capsules are freely removable and interchangeable, so you could buy an SKM100/300 transmitter body with a 835/845/865 capsule or an SKM500 transmitter body with a 935/945/965 capsule, but then interchange them.
The systems can also be sold in kits, and these have their own model designations.
Frequency Band Code
If you have a channel 38 licence, you can also use 823-832 MHz on the same licence. This rules out G1 kit, and G2 kit has a 2 MHz overlap from 830-832MHz.
For the UK, most users need band ‘E’ (which includes licence-free 863-865 MHz) or band ‘GB’ which includes channel 38, usable with a simple licence from OFCOM. Bands A-D are for elsewhere in the world, or need specialist licences.
There’s also a 1G8 (high 1.8GHz frequency) band, which will not work with all the same accessories and is not otherwise covered on this page.
Features by Series and Generation
|Pilot tone muting||No||Yes (Switchable)||Yes (Switchable)||?|
|TX Battery power shows on EM receiver||No||300/500 series only||Yes||Yes|
|IR Setting Sync to Receivers||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Band E Frequency Range||838-870 MHz||830-866 MHz||823-865 MHz||?|
|Band GB Frequency Range||N.A.||N.A.||606-648 MHz||606-648 MHz|
|EM Receiver PC Ethernet Control||No||No||300/500 series||300/500 series|
|EM Receiver Design||Black/grey fascia, hard buttons||100 series: red/grey fascia, hard buttons|
300 series: grey/grey fascia, rubber buttons
500 series: blue/grey fascia, rubber buttons
|100 series: red/grey fascia, hard buttons|
300 series: grey/silver fascia, rotary control
500 series: blue/silver fascia, rotary control
|Black/silver fascia, rotary controls on 300/500 series|
|EM Receiver Display Quality||Custom (basic)||100 series: custom (basic)|
300/500 series: full graphic
|All full graphic||?|
|EM Receiver Display Turns Red on Mute||No||300/500 series only||300/500 series only||Not 100 series|
|EM Receiver Headphone Output||500 series only||300/500 series only||?|
|SK/SKM Transmitter Display Colour||Green||Amber||White|
|SK/SKM Transmitter Display Quality||Custom||Full graphic||?|
|SK/SKM Sensitivity Adjustment Steps||10dB||10dB||6dB||?|
|SKM Transmitter Muting||Switch on base||Switch on base||Rubber button on SKM 300 only||Rubber button on ‘S’ suffix models|
|Variable TX Power||No||No||No (30mW Fixed)||30mW Fixed on 100/300 series or 10/30/50mW on|
500 Series Only
Desktop/Rack Receiver Power Supplies
|Gen||PSU Part No||Rating||Receiver Spec||Barrel Connector|
|G3||NT2-3||12V 400mA||100: 12V/300mA|
Power plugs are centre-positive.
Antennas & Antenna Distribution
Antennas and antenna distribution/splitting are more-or-less universal (even across brands, let alone generations). Sennheiser use 50 ohm BNC connectors. Do not use 75 ohm connectors, which have larger centre pins.
Antenna preamps and active antennas are tuned to specific frequency bands. The distributors/splitters are wide-band (i.e. cover all bands).
The distributors/splitters come with big power supplies that will also power the connected receivers. Each unit will supply RF to four receivers but has an additional output so that two distribution amps can co-operate to supply eight receivers, still with just two input antennas.
|Series||Antenna DA||DA Type||DA to Receiver Power||In-Line Antenna Preamps|
Suffix letter = freq band
|G1||ASP1||Passive||Via power leads||AB1-[band]|
|G2||ASP2||Passive||Via power leads||AB2-[band]|
|G3||ASA1||Active||Via antenna cables||AB3-[band]|
|A1031||Omnidirectional (in one plane)||–||No||Yes|
Active antennas can only receive. Passive antennas can receive and transmit.
Each generation has a different case format.
Antenna distributors/splitters have the same case format as receivers of the same generation.
|Gen||Rack Mounting Hardware Code||Front-mount BNC pass-through|
|G1||GA1||Only via half-width blanking plate|
|G2||GA2||Only via half-width blanking plate|
|G3||GA3||In rack ear or half-width blanking plate|
IEM – In-ear monitors. For stage performers to hear a sound mix, usually custom to them, to hear what’ going on.
ENG – Electronic news gathering. News reporting using modern equipment.
Errors and Suggestions
This page may contain errors and you shouldn’t rely on it without checking. Nothing is official. Some data is incomplete as well!