IBC 2017

IBC 2017: Sennheiser presents MMD 42-1 microphone head, HANDMIC Digital, previews FOCUSMIC Digital

The accessory portfolio for Sennheiser wireless microphones has now been further expanded and is showing at this year’s IBC with the MMD 42-1 dynamic microphone head, HANDMIC Digital, while also previewing the FOCUSMIC Digital.

The MMD 42- 1 dynamic microphone head is an omni-directional capsule that’s well known from the popular MD 42 reporter’s microphone. It is also a component of the AVX Combo Set, but will now be made available as an individual accessory that is compatible with most of Sennheiser’s wireless systems. The microphone head is extremely rugged, minimizes wind/pop noise and forgives less than ideal positioning.

The MMD 42-1 is a high-quality dynamic microphone head with an omni-directional pick-up pattern. Its design, including a double-layer mesh basket, minimizes wind, pop and handling noise. With journalism applications, the capsule will ensure excellent speech clarity and consistent levels without the user having to point the microphone directly at the interviewee. “Acoustic ruggedness” is ensured by its high maximum sound pressure level of 154 dB.

The MMD 42-1 microphone head is compatible with the Sennheiser wireless microphone series AVX, D1, SpeechLine Digital Wireless, evolution wireless, 2000, 6000 and 9000

At IBC, Sennheiser is also announcing the availability of its HANDMIC Digital. An ideal choice for mobile journalism and podcasting, the microphone brings broadcast sound quality to iOS devices as well as Macs and PCs. The HANDMIC Digital is extremely rugged, highly resistant to cell phone interference, and offers ideal suppression of handling, wind and ambient noise, which is important when recording on the showfloor, at events, in manufacturing spaces or in similarly noisy environments. The dynamic HANDMIC Digital features Apogee’s A/D converter and pre-amp technologies for direct connection to USB or Lightning ports.

The FOCUSMIC Digital, yet another accessory being shown, also happens to be a rugged yet mini-shotgun microphone for high-quality videography with the iPhone; the FOCUSMIC Digital is currently being previewed. Designed with a proven Sennheiser capsule and Apogee PureDigital pre-amp and A/D converter, the FOCUSMIC Digital plugs directly into the Lightning port of the iPhone and delivers high-quality, focused audio from the direction of filming. The new mic attaches to the smartphone via a rugged metal grip that can accommodate a variety of iPhone models (from SE and X to 8 plus) and case designs, and also allows the mic to rotate through 270°, including a selfie position and a transport position. The FOCUSMIC Digital will be available from Q2 2018.

The FOCUSMIC Digital is an ideal choice for any mobile journalism task from interviews to commentary and for general filming work and content creation. “As its name suggests, the FOCUSMIC Digital will bring directional high-quality sound to your iPhone videos,” says Dela Bahlke, product manager at Sennheiser. “Whether you’re using the mic for private or professional video applications – it will break the sound limits imposed by the phone’s built-in mic and preamp.”

“Like other products co-developed by Sennheiser and Apogee – ClipMic digital, MKE 2 digital, MK 4 digital, and the AMBEO Smart Headset – FOCUSMIC Digital benefits from the expertise of two leaders in audio recording technology to deliver a transformative solution that provides professional sound quality and ease of use in an industry-standard form factor,” says Sean McArthur, Apogee’s Director of Marketing. “We know mobile videographers from the enthusiast to the professional will love working with FOCUSMIC Digital.”

The FOCUSMIC Digital will ensure convenient iPhone videography and includes the following:

Enhanced and focused audio
“Smartphones face a substantial audio challenge: their built-in microphones and microphone pre-amps are designed for phone calls, not for video sound,” says Bahlke. “Therefore, content creators who want to deliver quality videos to their audiences need to employ an external microphone and a dedicated preamp.” The FOCUSMIC Digital uses a tried-and tested Sennheiser camera microphone capsule, and features a high-quality Apogee in-line A/D converter and mic pre-amp to capture quality audio. The new mic effectively rejects side noise, enabling focused sound capture even in loud environments.

App control for setting the gain and useful filters
To adapt the microphone to close and distant sound sources, its sensitivity or gain can be conveniently adjusted via apps such as Apogee’s free Maestro and MetaRecorder applications. These apps also allow to set various DSP filters that enhance the audio recording still further, such as a rumble filter, a hiss reducer or an overload protection function (gain control). These settings can also be retained should the user then opt to film or record with an app that does not offer such extensive configuration options.

Rugged enough to go anywhere
As a rugged partner to the iPhone, the FOCUSMIC Digital features an all-metal microphone casing and a sturdy metal grip. The grip is fitted with a standard ¼” (20 UNC) thread to attach to camera accessories such as tripods, table stands and handles.

The FOCUSMIC Digital will provide focused audio from the filming direction and conveniently swivel through 270° – from transport position to POV position and “selfie” mode

On this grip, the microphone can be turned through 270°: from the 0° rest and transport position on the back of the smartphone to the interview/filming (POV) position and further to the “selfie” position. A total of 14 lock positions are available to optimally direct the mic at the sound source.

The FOCUSMIC Digital is supplied complete with a foam windshield. No batteries are needed as the microphone is powered directly by the smartphone.

The estimated availability of the FOCUSMIC Digital is Q2 2018.

Preliminary technical data
Transducer principle: permanently polarised condenser microphone.
Pick-up pattern: super-cardioid/lobar
Connector: Apple Lightning connector
DSP filters and functions: rumble filter, hiss reducer, overload