The Sennheiser AVX is a wireless microphone system for 'videographers'. Sennheiser say 'From professional wedding videos to documentaries - among the various AVX sets you’ll find one for your individual usage. Rely on perfect sound quality, just relax and leave the rest to the dependable Sennheiser technology'. 'AVX has a different target group compared to ewG3-p. G3 offers more options and flexibility for the professional user with audio and RF background, AVX is for the self-contained videographer who needs to focus on capturing a story'. Three systems are offered, with a choice of a handheld transmitter and body packs with two alternative microphones.
The receiver is fitted with a male XLR connector to plug directly into the microphone input socket of a video camera and can be switched on by phantom power supplied by the camera. As a result, the receiver turns on as the camera is turned on, for convenience and to save battery power. It should avoid the silent video that occurs when using a separately powered receiver and the user does not think to check that the receiver is on. The receiver is supplied with an adapter lead and hot-shoe adapter to mount the receiver on a camera without XLR input.
'AVX operates in the licence-free 1.9GHz frequency range, which can be used in many countries worldwide without registration'. Different parts of that band are used in different areas of the world; the items listed here are configured for use in the UK. Note that the 1.9GHz band used for DECT phones, for example, and that other systems may well be trying to use the same frequencies at any given location.
Sennheiser tell us: 'Perfect audio transmission between the microphone and your camera is guaranteed: Before any interference become audible, the AVX selects the best operating frequency and switches to a clean channel.' And: 'AVX is equipped with adaptive transmitting power, meaning that the system always uses the power that is required to maintain a reliable connection between the microphone and the camera receiver. This not only ensures a stable link, it also reduces battery power consumption - as does the automatic on/off function.' Sennheiser suggest that a maximum of '12 AVX channels' should be used in the EU 'in the same environment'.
Power source - Both types of transmitter and the receiver are supplied with rechargeable Lithium ion battery packs. They may be charged using the Sennheiser NT 5-10U USB power supply/charger supplied with each set, a standard USB power supply/charger or via the USB port of a computer or USB hub with its own power supply or mobile USB power supply (power bank).
System specifications - Auto frequency management, RF output power: Adaptive, up to 250mW (peak) country specific. Encryption: AES 256. Sampling rate: 24-bit, 48kHz. Dynamic range: Better than 120 dBA. Operating time: Better than 4h, receiver, typically 15h transmitter.
Contains the following : 1x EKP AVX receiver, 1x SK AVX bodypack transmitter, 1x ME 2 clip-on microphone, 1x BA10 battery pack, 1x BA20 battery pack, 1x EKP AVX adapter, 1x NT 5-10U power supply unit, 1x CI 400 adapter cable, 1x microphone stand clamp for handheld transmitter, 1x bag.
Contains the following: 1x EKP AVX receiver, 1x SK AVX bodypack transmitter, 1x MKE 2 clip-on microphone, 1x BA10 battery pack, 1x BA20 battery pack, 1x EKP AVX adapter, 1x NT 5-10U power supply unit, 1x CI 400 adapter cable, 1x microphone stand clamp for handheld transmitter, 1x bag.
Contains the following: 1x EKP AVX receiver, 1x SKM AVX-S handheld transmitter with MMD 835-1 cardioid microphone head, 1x BA20 battery pack, 1x BA30 battery pack, 1x EKP AVX adapter, 1x NT 5-10U power supply unit, 1x CI 400 adapter cable, 1x bag.
EKP AVX - Receiver
This plugs directly into the XLR audio input of a camera or recording device. The EKP can also be connected to DSLRs with the included adapter cable.
Self-configuring digital transmission 'eliminates time-consuming radio frequency setup'. The 'ultra compact receiver rotates around the XLR connector to avoid collision with other devices' mounted on the camera. It switches on and off automatically with the camera - saving battery power. The AVX system 'matches perfectly to your camera's input sensitivity without having to adjust the audio level on the microphone'.
An 'AF out' button is used to display and adjust the output level. A four-LED display shows remaining battery life or audio output level. The 'On/Off/Check' button switches the receiver on or off or checks the charge status. A status LED shows if a radio link is established or if the transmitter is muted. It operates in red if the transmitter battery has only 15 minutes left or less, or if there is no link to a transmitter. It is also used during transmitter-receiver pairing. A 'Pair' button is used to identify a paired transmitter or to change the pairing. The BA 20 removable battery-pack has an LED to show charge status and a micro-USB socket for charging.
Frequency response: 20 - 20000Hz . Distortion: 0.1% THD, typical. Noise: Better than -90dBA. Audio output: 3-pin male XLR, -30 to 0dBu in four steps. Dimensions: Approximately 81 x 21 x 25mm, not including XLR connector. Weight: 87g. Operating temperature: -10 to +55 degrees C.
SKM AVX-835 Handheld Transmitter
This, the handheld transmitter for the AVX system, has a 'robust dynamic directional microphone' which 'reduces background noise in loud environments' and is 'the ideal choice for street interviews'.
A display screen on the side of the body shows the 'name' of the radio link (which takes the form AVX XXXX, where XXXX are the last four digits of the paired receiver), the expected battery life and the field-strength of the transmitted signal at the receiver. An on/off button at the base is slid briefly to turn on, and slid and held to turn off, the transmitter; and adjacent LED lights green if a link to the receiver is established and the battery is sufficiently charged. If the transmitter is muted, the LED shows yellow and flashes red or green or alternately read and green to indicate the 'pairing' status when the 'Pair' button is operated. It indicates in red if the transmitter battery has only 15 minutes left or less. The BA 10 removable battery-pack has an LED to show charge status and a micro-USB socket for charging.
Dimensions: 275 x 40 (length x diameter)mm approximately.
SK AVX Bodypack Transmitter
This is built in a metal housing, with a squat antenna housing on the top, a removable rechargeable battery pack on the bottom and a metal belt-clip at the rear.
On the top panel, a 3-pole, 3.5 mm jack socket provides the microphone input; it is fitted with a thread so that a screw-locking microphone connector may be locked. (A line-level connection can be made with an appropriate cable, see manual). An LED status indicator is adjacent; it lights up green if a radio link to the receiver is established and the battery of the transmitter is sufficiently charged. It flashes green if the 'Pair' button has been short-pressed - paired devices are being identified. It flashes alternately green and red if the 'Pair' button has been long-pressed - the transmitter establishes a radio link to a receiver whose 'Pair' button has also been long-pressed. It shows yellow if the transmitter has been muted with its 'Mute' switch, which is adjacent. It flashes red when battery capacity of the transmitter is only sufficient for approximately 15 minutes of operation. Continuous red means there is no link to a receiver.
A display panel on the front shows the name of the radio link (AVX-XXXX where the XXXX is replaced by the last four digits of the serial number of the paired receiver); expected battery life of the battery pack; the RF signal level of the transmitted signal at the receiver.
The on/ off switch is on the side; a short press switches the transmitter on, a long-press switches it off. A 'Pair' button requires a short-press to identify the paired receiver or a long-press to change the pairing.
The BA 30 battery pack has a micro USB socket for charging, covered by a flap; a charge status LED shows the battery is fully charged with green and red when charging is taking place.
Dimensions: 100mm high, including antenna, 65mm wide, 24mm thick. Weight: 87g without battery.
ME 2-US Microphone
The ME 2 is a 'sub-miniature clip-on lavalier microphone which is suitable for both speech and instrument miking applications'. It has an omni-directional pick-up pattern and offers 'high speech intelligibility'. Colour: Matt black.
Transducer: Permanently polarised condenser. Pick-up pattern: Omni-directional. Maximum sound pressure level: 130dB. Response: 30-20000Hz. Diameter: 6.5mm. Cable: 1.6m, with screw-lock miniature jack. Included accessories: Clip for 'easy attachment on clothing', foam windshield.
The MKE 2 is a 'high-quality, sub-miniature clip-on lavalier microphone which is suitable for both speech and instrument miking applications in all areas of live work'. It 'fulfils the most stringent demands on sound quality and is extremely rugged' and has a 'very high sound pressure handling capability'. A 'special Umbrella Diaphragm and a welded housing protect the MKE 2 against sweat and moisture, making it an ideal choice for theatrical productions'. Colour: matt black.
Transducer: Permanently polarised condenser. Pick-up pattern: Omni-directional. Maximum sound pressure level: 142dB. Response: 20-20000Hz, +/-3dB. Diameter: 4.8mm. Cable: 1.6m, with screw-lock miniature jack. Included accessories: Lapel clip, metal windshield, furry cover, frequency response caps (boost treble), 1x MZC 2-1 cap (short), 1x MZC 2-2 cap (long).
EKP AVX Adapter
This provides a 'hot shoe adapter and a belt clip' for the EKP AVX.
CI 400 Adapter
This has a 3-pin, XLR female connector, wired to a 3-pole, 3.5mm, jack plug. Note that the jack plug is wired with both tip and sleeve grounded, with the line output connected to the ring contact, which may not suit all cameras.