The Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital is all the rage right now. I was personally sent a unit a few months ago and was eager to give it a whirl.
Amazingly, I realized I’d never played guitar with a wireless setup prior to this. I’ve used wireless mics, especially as a former audiovisual tech, but never a wireless setup for my guitar. And so, this was an exciting journey of discovery.
Here are my thoughts on Evolution Digital Wireless. Did it live up to the hype? Keep reading to find out…
It seems a tad indulgent to comment on the packaging, and it might not even have occurred to me to do so if it weren’t worth commenting on.
But I have been sent a couple of Sennheiser products to this point, and what their boxing demonstrates to me is that they care.
I make no claims of Sennheiser’s being the most beautiful, luxurious wrapping ever invented. I have been sent a set of Status Audio headphones and considering the price (affordable) and quality of the product, when those cans arrived at my doorstep, it felt like I was opening a Christmas gift. Stunning packaging.
Even so, there is pride in the Sennheiser boxing, and it is well designed. That enhances the overall experience of the product.
Ease of Use & Setup: Slight Hiccups
I can admit that I was trying this baby out on a sleepy Sunday, so if I was feeling a little sharper, setup probably could have gone a little smoother. Which isn’t to say it was terrible because it wasn’t.
I’m also not saying that this is the fault of Sennheiser. I’m not even saying that this factors into my overall rating of the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital.
But I must point out the irony in the fact that I had to think about how the cabling was going to work as I was setting up a wireless unit.
The user manual seemed to indicate that the AF out on the receiver was for the included 1/8” to 1/4” cable, when clearly it accommodates standard 1/4” cables. Maybe I’m missing something here? But the 1/8” cable is quite obviously for the transmitter, not the receiver.
Once I got my cabling sorted out, though, setup was quick and painless.
The transmitter and receiver pair just as Bluetooth devices do. That part should be familiar to most. It should be noted, though, that the on switch for the transmitter is on the inside (where the batteries go). Nice design – you shouldn’t bump the power switch on accident.
After that, I didn’t adjust anything on the receiver. I only adjusted my amp to taste, and I was well taken care of.
Range & Performance: No Issues
I live in a humble basement suite. Even so, my first inclination with a wireless unit is to test its range.
So, I strapped on a guitar, and walked around the various rooms while playing – the living room, the bedroom, the kitchen, the bathroom, and even the study in the far corner. I heard a slight delay at that distance (as is to be expected), but I didn’t notice any signal dropout while walking about.
And as I understand it, the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital automatically maintains signal integrity on your behalf. No effort required on your part unless something is off.
One of the things a guitarist might be concerned with is a degradation in tone. And let’s face it – this is nothing new. Whether it’s cabling, effects pedals, or rackmount units, our signal path tends to dictate the integrity of our sound.
I’m happy to report that I did not notice any degradation of tone while using the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital.
Now, when I switched from my Ernie Ball Music Man Axis (with humbuckers) over to my Fender Mexi-Strat, I did notice quite a bit of noise. And while that’s somewhat expected with a Strat (equipped with single coils), I can’t fault the Evolution Wireless, because I think there’s a loose connection in the guitar (it’s high time I took this baby in for a look over). Might explain why I’ve had some issues with it on other occasions.
Overall, I can’t promise flawless performance at any range, I don’t think even Sennheiser promises that, but within reason, the Evolution Wireless will deliver with flying colors.
Practical Application: Yes!
Could I see myself using the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital live? Yes! I would even be happy to try it at my next gig.
It doesn’t eliminate the need for cabling, and the freedom of movement offered will still be somewhat dictated by how well you’ve secured your transmitter, but overall, it’s going to give you far more freedom to move around on stage without worrying about you or someone else tripping over your cables.
I only tested the unit with a bare minimum setup (amp and guitar), but those with a more sophisticated signal path should still enjoy the benefits of a wireless setup, if that’s what they’re looking for.
Appearance & Esthetics: Magic
Both the transmitter and receiver are compact and sturdy pieces of gear. They look nice, are easy to set up, and honestly, most instrumentalists using the Evolution Wireless console probably won’t find the need to adjust the receiver.
Esthetically speaking, the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital is pleasing to the eye. The modest black and grey color scheme is standard stuff, but it’s standard for a reason – it works. Plus, the display is bright and easy to read.
The box comes with rackmount mounting gear, as well as power adapters in case you happen to be plugging in across the world (in your gigging efforts). Seems like they’ve thought of everything here.
Final Score for the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital: 8.5/10
I couldn’t find any major issues with the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital. Only minor nitpicks or areas for improvement. I’ll summarize.
The issue with the user manual (AF out) is a funny one, and if someone can sort me out on that, I might bump the score up a notch.
And then there’s the issue with noise. Again, while I don’t think my Strat is in perfect working order, it might not reflect an isolated incident (further testing needed). And, with more sophisticated guitar setups, it might be something to look out for as well.
But overall, the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital Instrument Set works near flawlessly. Setup is mostly fast and easy, and there’s no lengthy menu surfing required. For the most part, it works automatically in the background.
It’s a practical solution for live performance, and a fun one for general practice and jamming purposes too. It preserves the integrity of your tone and keeps your signal strong and clean.
There’s not much I can say about its durability besides what has already been said, but if you take care of your gear, I can’t anticipate you’ll run into issues with this product. It should last you a good long while.
In brief, the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital comes with excellent packaging, relatively easy setup, strong sound integrity, nice esthetics, and reliability.
Find the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital here.