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Review: Sennheiser AVX Wireless System

The Sennheiser AVX wireless sound system records crisp, clear, noise-free sound, is simple to configure and operate, and runs for hours on a single battery charge.

My Tests

To test the system, I connected the receiver to my Panasonic AVCHD camcorder (Figure 3, below) and started recording in and out of my office.

 

Figure 3. The AVX receiver connected to my Panasonic AVCHD camcorder. Click the image to see it at full size.

My baseline test was to assess how the gear sounded in a typical recording environment. Without question, the mic system was the most noise-free that I’ve ever tested: a total flat line when not talking as you can see in Figure 4 (below), with very clear sound reproduction and a completely natural sound. The microphone is susceptible to handling noise, which you can see as slight bumps at the start of the waveform, and I produced more than a few plosive pops when using the mic, but that’s more a function of training and on me, not the mic.

Figure 4. The mic system was completely quiet when I wasn’t speaking. Click the image to see it at full size.

You can hear the clarity for yourself in the video I recorded in my office.

 

To test the effective distance of the unit, I stood my tripod at one end of my driveway and walked down to the street, which by my count was about 80 yards away. I stopped and spoke at ten-yard intervals, but it made no difference; the audio sounded the same from the end of the driveway as it did when standing next to the camera (Figure 5, below).

Figure 5. Here I am, about 240 feet from the camera, and the audio was perfectly clear.

Again, to hear for yourself, you can watch the scintillating video below--working title: “A Walk in a Driveway in Galax.”

 

About 50 seconds in, I tested the system’s automatic gain control, essentially shouting into the microphone to see if I could cause peaking. The microphone was totally unimpressed, and tamped down on the volume without distortion or anything close to peaking.

As a final test, I recorded audio in a noisy environment to test the cardioid pickup pattern on the handheld microphone. As you can hear in the video below, the mic did a great job isolating the sound of my voice and minimizing the ambient noise. This is a microphone you can use with confidence at a sporting event or concert, or any event with lots of ambient noise.

 

Overall, as you can probably tell, I was impressed with this system. Like many videographers, I’ve struggled for years to produce perfect sound with systems in the $200−$600 range. It’s no surprise that with audio gear, you get what you pay for, and a step up in price may be in order. 

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