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Sennheiser Launches Digital 9000 Wireless System at IBC

Sennheiser’s new Digital 9000 wireless system includes the SK 9000 bodypack transmitter, EM 9046 receiver and SKM 9000 handheld transmitter.

Last week at IBC in Amsterdam, Sennheiser unveiled Digital 9000, a digital wireless system targeted at broadcasters, theaters and high-profile live audio events that the company says can transmit completely uncompressed audio that is free of artifacts and has superb dynamics. The system includes the EM 9046 receiver, SKM 9000 handheld and SK 9000 bodypack transmitters, along with a suite of accessories, and was designed for high channel counts in an increasingly dense frequency environment.

The digital wireless system is fitted with two transmission modes: High Definition (HD) mode and Long Range (LR) mode, which was designed for difficult transmission environments with many sources of interference. It promises maximum range with a proprietary Sennheiser digital audio codec.

Digital 9000 offers IR synchronization between receivers and transmitters and a convenient antenna loop-through for creating larger receiving systems. Sennheiser states that the system does not generate any intermodulation products due to the high linearity of the entire system, from transmitters to antennas and receivers, and a special transmitter design. Transmission frequencies can be set in an equally spaced grid. The receiver also automatically measures the RF cable loss between the receiver and the booster and adjusts the gain accordingly.

The EM 9046 receiver offers three display modes that show an overview of important parameters in live situations, and an icon-based menu. Users can monitor channels via the headphone output, either individually or any number of channels combined.

EM 9046 front and rear panels

The modular EM 9046 receiver is a mainframe that accommodates up to eight receivers internally. The receiver system covers the UHF range from 470 to 798 MHz (328MHz bandwidth). To integrate the system into an existing infrastructure, the user can choose between transformer-balanced analog or digital AES3 audio output modules, or a mix of both.

System set-up is facilitated by a built-in graphical spectrum analyzer to scan the RF landscape, and an RF level recorder for checking reception and optimizing antenna positions. The receiver will also suggest the best transmission mode for the working environment, and automatically set an appropriate gain to counteract RF cable losses. The system’s antenna boosters can be controlled via the receiver, which is helpful for installations with remote antenna positions.

The multichannel receiver and the transmitters can optionally use encrypted data transmission, with proprietary keys generated randomly. This is designed to protect a radio link against hijacking and tapping.

The receiver stores up to 10 complete system configurations so that set-ups can easily be recalled and repeated.

The SKM 9000 handheld transmitter is compatible with all evolution wireless G3 and 2000 Series microphone heads, including the Neumann capsules KK 204 and KK 205. The handheld can also be fitted with four dedicated 9000 Series capsules.

The SK 9000 bodypack transmitter comes in a magnesium housing that combines maximum robustness with low weight. The transmitter can be used with any clip-on or headset mic with a 3-pin Lemo connector and has a line input for guitars or other instruments. The SK 9000 is available in four different frequency ranges (88MHz switching bandwidth); a command switch for communication between crews and artists/reporters is available as an accessory.

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