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Sennheiser EW 172 G2 or the X2 XDR95?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by triggervision, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. triggervision


    May 24, 2006
    I've got around 500 bucks to spend on a wireless. I have searched and the wealth of information out there is mind melting. Which of these two would allow less interference and 0 compression? Which do you guys recommend?

    If there is a better unit to be had for 500 bones other than these 2, by all means tell me about it.

    Thanks guys.
  2. triggervision


    May 24, 2006
  3. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    I have an EW172-G2. It is a really really nice unit.

    I just heard about thw X2 XDR95, and ordered one. If it works out, I will sell my EW172.

    The X2 transmits digital with a frequency response which, according to their specs, is flat from 20hz-20khz. I don't see how you can go wrong with that.

    I probably would not have done it, because I like the build quality and sound is great. But I was able to get 20% off at Music123.

    So the net out of pocket is relatively small, considering what I can probably get for the EW172.
  4. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    I have an X2 portable and I've tried the Sennheiser. Even though the Sennheiser is very good, the X2 blows it away.
  5. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    Yeah, that's what I was guessing.
  6. triggervision


    May 24, 2006
    I like the idea that the X2 rackmount comes with all I need to rack mount it..Let me know what you think detracti....
  7. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    I have them both here, and A/B'd yesterday.

    On my rig, to my ears, I hear a bit more muddiness in the lows on the Senn, relative to the X2.

    The X2, I cannot distinguish from a cable so far.

    I do know that with by Boss LMB-3 engaged (Limiter pedal), on the EW172, I hear additional interference relative to a cord, but that's in our practice space. At home, I can't test if that goes away with the X2.

    The build quality of the EW172 is orders of magnitude better than the X2.

    The EW172 receiver and transmitter are nearly all metal construction, very rugged. It is also a little bit more complicated to set up.

    The X2 receiver and transmitter are all plastic, with antennas like you find on a computer WiFi access point/hub. They're loose-ish at the pivot.

    I like the antennas in the EW172 better. All metal, and nice tight solid feel where they pivot.

    After only a few minutes with the X2 transmitter, it is already down one notch on the battery indicator.

    With the EW172, I can play a 3-set gig on one set of AA's, and its only down 1 of 3 bars at the end of the evening.

    So I suspect the EW172 transmitter will have longer battery life.

    So, there are tradeoffs, depending on what is important to you. If it is all about purity of sound, I don't see how you can beat the X2.

    But for high volume hard rock like what I play, does it really make a difference? I can't say.
  8. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    So in all of my obsessiveness, I tried another experiment...

    I ran my bass into the input of this new Korg tuner stop box (DT10?) that I have here. It has two outputs - one bypass, one "output". So I can use it as a signal splitter.

    Next, I plugged the EW172 transmitter into one output, and the X2 transmitter into the other output. And then ran 1/4" from the back of each receiver to two channels on my mixing board... into two separate channels in Cakewalk, both recording to two tracks simultaneously.

    Cool eh?

    Between the EW172 and the X2, the first thing I noticed was that they were 180 degrees out of phase from one another. So I ran the EW172 track through CoolEdit, inverted it, saved a new WAV file, and then imported it into a new track adjacent to the X2 one. Now everything lined up.

    The waveforms are definitely different. To my ears, it sounds like slight muddiness introduced by the EW172. I zoomed waaay in on the waveforms, and you could see that they were different.

    What was even more interesting was a slight bit of latency - you could see it visually. The X2 wave was a little delayed from the EW172. The difference in M:B:T is 00:00:002. There is no numerical difference in H:M:S:F.

    Next, I unplugged the EW172, and ran a cord direct from the tuner output to the input channel where the EW172 output was plugged in. Now here's where things get interesting...

    The waveforms, when zoomed way in are identical... but there is a bigger latency between the cord and the X2. M:B:T is 00:00:006. Again this does not show up as anything in H:M:S:F.

    So yes, the X2 does appear to perflectly replicate the signal coming out of the bass, but with more latency. While the EW172 does change the signal, but with less latency. Although I do not think the delay is significant enough to be noticed, it is interesting.
  9. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    Thanks for putting up a true test comparison, it just confirms buying the X2 portable from a TBer was a good investment. :p

    Cool Edit? Wow, the only place I have ever seen that program is at the Radio Station I contract with for doing carts. I am getting ready to install it on my laptop for recording rehearsals.
  10. Very cool comparison... Thanks!

    I have the Sennheiser unit, and was considering a rackmount X2 swap. As you mention, the differences in a live environment might not make it worth it. I can attest that the Senn really is built like a tank!

    For now, I'm happy where I'm at. No complaints whatsoever with the Sennheiser, although I am that idiot with incurable GAS...
  11. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    X2 vs EW172 (EW172 signal inverted):


    I just sat here for a few minutes and looked at the differences in the signals above. Assuming that the peaks represent variations in amplitude, it looks like there is a small amount of compression that is being introduced. Low amplitude waves, that fall above a certain threshold appear to have their amplitude increased, and the high peaks appear to be attenuated slightly above a certain point.

    X2 vs Cord:

  12. triggervision


    May 24, 2006
    Wow. Above and beyond the call of duty I must say. And thanks for it. So it seems as though, for rock music like I play (and an active live performance), it comes down to build quality. I believe the plastic would not last long on a summer tour. With that said....are you selling your EW172? If you're keeping are you selling your X2?
  13. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    For now, I'm going to run w/ the X2 and hold onto the EW172. FYI, X2 also just came out with a new one, the XDS-PLUS. It uses a stomp-box style receiver that is all metal construction and specs nearly identical to the XDR95:


    I was going to sell my EW172, but can't bring myself to do it right now. See how I feel about it after a few gigs.
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    So, based on your reviews and comparison, it sounds like the X2 sounds better, just a tad, but noticeably. And it sounds like the X2 has a slight delay, large enough to be measured, but not large enough to hear when playing live.

    What is the street price of each of these units?
  15. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    $499. But at Music123, they're having a deal right now, where you get $100 off if your order is over $500.

    So I ordered one with a $1.95 string winder. ;)

    I think over the past few days, I'm warming up to it. One thing for sure, other than battery consumption, I do not have any motivation not to use the XDR95.

    I can't say that about the EW172. I'd use a cord whenever I didn't need it, because of the tone coloration it introduces.

    And street price on the EW172 is $499.
  16. axe


    Feb 1, 2003
    Yukon Oklahoma
    Has anyone had issues with short battery life on The X2 transmitter. the longest mine has lasted is an hour and a half. I am glad it has a battery display on the unit.
  17. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    The transmitter to the rack mount used more battery power because it is transmitting the highs and lows on seperate frquencies whereas the stomp box only transmits on one frequency at a time. My stomp box version gets about 4 hours out of a battery. If you go to Batteries Plus, you can buy a box of 12 9volts for $1.50 per battery.
  18. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    I figure its gonna be a 1 battery/gig kind of a deal, but haven't had a chance to play it out yet.

    In just messing with it at practice, I can go one evening of practice, at least 3 hours, with confidence.
  19. Trent Richer

    Trent Richer

    Mar 12, 2008
    Hello Guys

    I know this is an old thread but I tried the X2 XDS 95 (stomp box). It seemed great and the battery life was great. I was in an arena and once outside it started to stammer. I have a XDS PLUS on order. I figured it was a better unit with the anti jamming feature. I was told at the store that the rack mount version uses more battery life than the plus, then I heard they are vertually the same unit. I am really concerned about the battery life a the units boast they are good for 5.5 hours aprox and now I am hearing some people are getting 1-1.5 hours. That's not 5.5 aprox. Does anyone have any experience with the battery life? You guys helped me last time directing me to the unit and I am thankful for that as it was great! Thank you in advance!

  20. Joemkr


    Jul 17, 2008
    I have owned 3 of the old X-wire systems and loved them.
    right now I am using a Sennheiser ew100 G2 system and am pretty happy with its performance. I get around 10 hours use with it on rechargable batteries.
    Im glad Guy Coker, the original X-Wire engeneer redeveloped a better X-Wire product yet. For half of what the price of the original was.
    The freq res of my ew100g2 system is 40-18000hz with a s/n ratio of 110 db. Im think that this is fine for a 4 string bass, but what about a 5 string bass. To me the 40hz low freq res might not allow a 5 string to reach all the bottom that it could if the wireless had a lower freq res.
    This is what has got me thinking that the wide responce of the XDR95 would let the 5 string see or maybe I should say "hear" its full potential.

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