Sennheiser Evolution Wireless (EW) Series Comparison

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 Naming

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 TypeModel Prefix
Transmitter – handheld microphoneSKM
Transmitter – belt pack microphone/instrument transmitterSK
Transmitter – add-on for XLR microphones (often for ENG)SKP
Transmitter – desk/rack mount, normally for IEM signalsSR
Receiver – desk/rack mount, normally to receive micsEM
Receiver – portable pack (IEM/camera/tour)EK

Number Suffix

GenHand held microphonesIEM ComponentsOther Components
G1 & G21, 3 or 5 to show the feature series, then two digits to designate the capsule.
300100/300/500 according to the series.
G3 on100/300/500 according to the series.
300100/300/500 according to the series.
Microphone Capsule (from the Evolution series)Two-digit wireless designator equivalentCharacteristicsCapsule ring colour (G1 and G2)
E83535Cardioid dynamicGreen
E84545Hypercardioid dynamicBlue
E86565Cardioid electretRed
(made in 500 series G2 only)
Cardioid dynamicSilver
(made in 500 series G2 only)
Hypercardioid dynamicGrey
E965965 (only available from G3)Hypercardoid condenserN.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 mutingNoYes (Switchable)Yes (Switchable)?
TX Battery power shows on EM receiverNo300/500 series onlyYesYes
IR Setting Sync to ReceiversNoNoYesYes
Band E Frequency Range838-870 MHz830-866 MHz823-865 MHz?
Band GB Frequency RangeN.A.N.A.606-648 MHz606-648 MHz
EM Receiver PC Ethernet ControlNoNo300/500 series300/500 series
EM Receiver DesignBlack/grey fascia, hard buttons100 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 QualityCustom (basic)100 series: custom (basic)
300/500 series: full graphic
All full graphic?
EM Receiver Display Turns Red on MuteNo300/500 series only300/500 series onlyNot 100 series
EM Receiver Headphone Output500 series only300/500 series only?
SK/SKM Transmitter Display ColourGreenAmberWhite
SK/SKM Transmitter Display QualityCustomFull graphic?
SK/SKM Sensitivity Adjustment Steps10dB10dB6dB?
SKM Transmitter MutingSwitch on baseSwitch on baseRubber button on SKM 300 onlyRubber button on ‘S’ suffix models
Variable TX PowerNoNoNo (30mW Fixed)30mW Fixed on 100/300 series or 10/30/50mW on
500 Series Only

Desktop/Rack Receiver Power Supplies

GenPSU Part NoRatingReceiver SpecBarrel Connector
G2NT2-113V 300mA10.5-16V/300mA2.1×5.5mm
G3NT2-312V 400mA100: 12V/300mA
300: 12V/350mA
5.5mm OD
G4NT2-3 CW

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.

SeriesAntenna DADA TypeDA to Receiver PowerIn-Line Antenna Preamps
Suffix letter = freq band
G1ASP1PassiveVia power leadsAB1-[band]
G2ASP2PassiveVia power leadsAB2-[band]
G3ASA1ActiveVia antenna cablesAB3-[band]
Antenna ModelPatternGainActive?Wideband?
A1031Omnidirectional (in one plane)NoYes

Active antennas can only receive. Passive antennas can receive and transmit.

Rack Mounting

Each generation has a different case format.

Antenna distributors/splitters have the same case format as receivers of the same generation.

GenRack Mounting Hardware CodeFront-mount BNC pass-through
G1GA1Only via half-width blanking plate
G2GA2Only via half-width blanking plate
G3GA3In 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!

Please submit addenda and new information.