At the recent ProLight+Sound convention in Frankfurt, Germany, Sennheiser introduced its first single-sided, earworn microphones. These lightweight condensers are designed to wrap around the user’s ear for hands-free operation in live sound and studio environments. Two models are available: EarSet 4, featuring a cardioid pick-up pattern, and the omnidirectional EarSet 1.
While the EarSet 1 is particularly insensitive to pop and wind noise and, therefore, easy to handle, the cardioid EarSet 4 is an ideal choice for loud stage environments, where it effectively suppresses ambient noise and offers excellent feedback rejection. Both microphones are light, comfortable to wear due to silicone tubing and resistant to perspiration and moisture. The earclip and boom microphone can be easily adjusted to fit ear and head shape. The cable, which has low sensitivity to structure-born sound, is very robust and has a diameter of only 1mm.
One of the beta testers for the EarSet 4 was pop artist Pink, best known for her use of acrobatics on stage, as seen in her recent performance on the Grammy Awards telecast. The sound and comfort of the EarSets impressed her enough that an initial model of the EarSet 4 was taken out on her Funhouse tour. According Horst Hartmann, Pink’s monitor engineer, "The EarSet is the first small microphone that is just as loud under live conditions and sounds just as good as a handheld microphone. Nothing like this was available before."
The omnidirectional EarSet 1 incorporates Sennheiser’s smallest mic capsule, the same one used on the MKE 1 lavalier mics. The cardioid capsule used in the EarSet 4 is from the company’s HSP 4 headset mic. The two models share a robust, close-fitting mechanical design, with flexible earclip and mic boom to enable easy adjustment across the endless variety of human head and ear shapes. The mic cable is 1mm in diameter and features a low sensitivity to structure-born sound transmission.
Both models are available in either black or beige, with either a LEMO connector for wireless use or a standard 3.5mm jack for hardwired applications. Supplied accessories include skin-friendly adhesive tape (easily covered by makeup), a cable clip for strain relief and a foam-lined protective transport case. The EarSet 4 also comes with a foam windshield, while the EarSet 1 includes caps for altering the frequency response.