e 600/800: Within everyone’s budget – above the norm
At the end of the 1990s, the evolution series changed Sennheiser at all levels – from development through to sales and distribution. Whereas hitherto the German brand had been known for its – rather high-cost – broadcast and studio solutions, the engineers were now also developing microphones for live stages. How does one combine high standards, one’s own experience and the possibilities offered by automated production? The answer to this was demonstrated from 1998 onwards by the e 600-series instrument microphones and the vocal /speech microphones from the e 800 series. As a result, legendary but previously expensive prototypes from the MD series suddenly also became available at prices which – finally – was within the budget of a much wider group of the population. Here, “evolution” was not simply a name but a philosophy. Models whose performance people were not satisfied with were overhauled within a short space of time and reissued. Shortly afterwards the e 900 series arrived to crown the evolution range; these products provided workflow, sound and a robustness which also satisfied the very exacting demands of live performances.
On the one hand it is generous, on the other, unusually precise. In the first few years its sound was considered “pretty German”. Well, alright. More accurate would be: The e 845 is so precisely tailored to phonetic subtleties that it was a surprise to some ears. Because it has very precise ‘hearing’ even in the upper frequencies.
Among the best for singers, songwriters and speech-focused genres
It was imperative that when the product made its market debut it should be better than the norm. And indeed, the e 845 belongs to the pioneers, to the firstborn of the evolution series. As soon as it was born, it received characteristics that other providers were marketing as premium features – for example the supercardioid pick-up pattern. As a result the microphone focuses more clearly forwards and becomes less sensitive to sound waves from the side. It also copes relatively good-naturedly with a variety of distances. “If you move about more on the stage, if the distance between your mouth and the microphone varies now and then, the effect is not as great”, is how Product Manager Sebastian Schmidt describes the mic’s advantage. However: “The e 845 is a very fine-resolution product and offers huge speech intelligibility. This is perfect for singers, songwriters, for smaller groups of performers or for more speech-focused genres. The e 845 shines wherever it doesn’t have to assert itself against an entire band. On loud stages, when one or two amps are running, it would need EQ assistance. If we are talking about the ability to get through in a mix, then off the top of my head I would say the 900-series vocal microphones are the superior choice.”
The brief elevation at 4,000 Hz gives the e 845 a bigger presence that extends to those high frequencies important for understanding speech and song – in any language.