Product Profile: Sennheiser XSW IEM

Sennheiser’s XSW IEM in-ear monitoring system is designed to provide solo artists, singer-songwriters, gigging musicians and project studio owners an affordable point of entry into Sennheiser’s professional in-ear monitoring technology. The XSW IEM is designed for ease of use while still delivering many of the professional-level features Sennheiser’s IEM technology is known for in the professional stage, fixed install, and touring industries worldwide. The XSW IEM is the most cost effective in-ear monitoring system Sennheiser has ever offered and succeeds in delivering a professional level end-user experience that will, for many people, be a significant improvement over their existing wireless in-ear monitors.

The XSW IEM operates on eight pre-configured frequency banks operating in the professional UHF range. Designed for worldwide use, variants of the XSW IEM kit are available to operate in all UHF bands. There's no quality difference between the variants, and the only potential issue would be if there are other devices in the area operating in the same band that you are. Each band covers a wide enough range of frequencies that you should never have a problem finding an open frequency. The XSW IEM ships with a complete set of international wall adapters making it useable anywhere in the world. 

The XSW IEM kit contains a transmitter, a receiver belt-pack, a starter pair of IE4 in-ear monitors and a power supply. Also in the box are rack ears for mounting one or two XSW IEM in a single rack space and a selection of silicon ear tips for the IE4. Both the XSW IEM’s transmitter and receiver feature a high-quality display that’s easy to read in all lighting conditions. The included IE4 ear buds are Sennheiser’s least expensive in-ear monitors. Stepping up to a better pair of in-ear monitors such as Sennheiser’s IE 100 Pro in-ear monitors will significantly improve the overall XSW IEM end-user experience.

Using the XSW IEM has been simplified as much as possible so that a minimum of technical knowledge is required to set up and operate it. Commonly used settings such as dialing in and pairing an available frequency setting gain, configuring mono or stereo operation, turning off and on the brick wall limiter and dialing in EQ settings have been simplified down to a minimum of clicks. Additional features and controls are easily accessible via a simplified, scrollable menu system. Dialing in basic settings and pairing the transmitter and receiver on the XSW IEM is simple, just turn on the transmitter and receiver, align the frequencies and hit the set button and you’re good to go.

The XSW IEM transmitter has two combo jacks to accommodate XLR or Line level inputs. The XSW IEM’s transmitter is made of metal and has a removeable rigid antenna. You can manually dial in a desired frequency on the transmitter or use the infrared sync function to pair the transmitter with multiple receivers on the fly. Two XSW IEM transmitters can be mounted in a single rack space; however, as the transmitters have different physical dimensions, you cannot fit an XSW IEM and a different model wireless Sennheiser transmitter such as transmitters from the evolution wireless series side by side in the same 1U rack space. 

From the transmitter’s front panel, you can easily switch between mono or stereo inputs and set user preset frequencies, and you can manually dial in a frequency using the up and down control buttons. Multiple receivers can be synced with one transmitter via the infrared sync function. The transmitter has a headphone jack with its volume control, so you can monitor input levels. The display on the receiver shows if the receiver has any conflicting frequency interference. In most cases, finding an available frequency just takes a few seconds. Additional features include an onboard brick wall limiter, EQ settings, and a focus mode for panning the inputs left, right or center. 

The XSW IEM’s belt pack receiver is made of hard plastic (one of the few compromises Sennheiser made over their more expensive IEM systems receivers, which are slightly smaller and made of metal) and features a rigid antenna. To avoid accidentally opening on stage, the receiver’s controls are secured in place behind the battery door. The receiver’s backlit control panel has an automatic dimming feature so it can be discretely used on stage. The display also shows your remaining battery level, antenna range and any existing RF interference. The receiver is powered by a set of three standard AA Batteries. Sennheiser advises that each set of batteries will last about six hours of normal use. The XSW IEM will also accommodate rechargeable batteries, which will help make it more cost effective to operate if you’re regularly using it for gigs, etcetera.

Sennheiser’s XSW IEM is a professional grade in-ear monitoring system and comes in at about half the price of the next level up in the Sennheiser wireless IEM product lineup. Designed for one or two users or a whole band, the XSW IEM sounds on par with Sennheiser’s more expensive evolution wireless G4 systems. Like all Sennheiser in-ear monitoring products, the XSW IEM is ruggedly built and is designed to withstand a reasonable amount of real-world abuse. To sum it up, Sennheiser’s XSW IEM offers the solo or gigging musician a complete professional grade IEM solution. It delivers the audio clarity and rock-solid stability Sennheiser is famous for, all at an affordable price point. Definitely worth checking out!

The XSW IEM is available now for $599.00. Find out more at en-us.sennheiser.com/xsw-iem-set