Hello, I’m Victor Bailey and I come from Philadelphia. My friends reckon I do alright as a bass guitar player. I also have my own home studio. Here on the website I get to share things with my musician friends about interesting gear and promoting your music. Here I’ve had a look at two microphones for live vocal performing and come up with some interesting facts about both.
One thing I know is that there are several microphones on the market for live gigs and it can get quite confusing trying to pick the best. In fact, sometimes it can be downright frustrating to wade through piles of technical jargon before choosing something. I’ve tried to simplify things a little here.
We all know that good things are made in Germany, and microphones – particularly the Sennheiser range is no different. Not surprising that with over 70 years in the music industry, their equipment will be well-made. This is a good place to start because right off the bat, we know that both microphones start off being high quality pieces of equipment.
Now, I know that price comes into the equation and sometimes the cheaper version is the better, but it’s good to keep an open mind when looking at musical equipment. Sometimes one item will be exactly what you need and be cheaper, while occasionally you will just have to fork out and pay more for an item.
Let’s take a look at them both
This is a very popular microphone and well suited for home studios. It’s also great for singers and stage performances. Sounds good in churches and often favoured by speakers, the microphone can handle higher sound pressure levels better than some others. Because the mic rejects feedback you can holler and not get that annoying squeak. Because of the shock-mounted clip, the microphone does not pick up the extra noise when you handle it.
This microphone works very well with two singers in front of it because of the cardioid pickup system. This gives an arc of about 130 degrees around the front. This means that two singers don’t even need to stand that close to be heard together. It also means that if you feel the need to walk around with the mic, it works very well to keep a steady level of amplification.
Once you take the microphone out of the box you will see right away that it is made of the same durability as other Sennheiser mics, it looks and feels rugged. You would expect nothing less from German production, would you?
The microphone comes with an XLR-3 connector point.
The mic has a sensitivity level of 2,7 mV/Pa and frequency response of 40. The mic works very well with female voices and seems to make them sound fuller and a little warmer. This mic was chosen by Avril Lavigne on her live performances. Several other female performers have also made this microphone their choice for onstage work.
The Sennheiser microphone comes with carrying pouch and standard microphone clip as well as a 10-year warranty.
This microphone also has a cardioid pickup with great feedback resistance. You will also find there is very little feedback noise when handled. The sensitivity response differs a little from the e835, but this mic can also be used successfully by two singers at the same time.
The mic is made with new technology shock mounts inside it so that hums and vibrations are significantly reduced. Basically, the microphone will pick up the voice rather than the noise of handling it.
The Sennheiser e935 has an XLR-3 connector and like the e835 also comes with a 10-year warranty.
Between the two there is not much difference in the quality of construction. Both are made of metal and are very high-quality. Both mics can still perform in adverse weather conditions.
Possibly the biggest difference is in the size. While the e835 is slightly larger, it is still lighter than the e935.
Neither of the mics come with the XLR cable, you need to buy this yourself separately.
Because both mics are cardioid, they keep unwanted noise from handling to a minimum. Both can handle high pressure sound levels well and both have minimum feedback.
The natural voice sounds the same with both mics although the e835 is generally used for live audiences and stage-work. It can also be used for recording and drums. Excellent for speeches.
The e935 has an advantage here because it works for almost everyone. It doesn’t seem to matter what the voice type is, the mic can handle anything from bass to high-pitched female voices.
You will notice that the e835 tends to pick up more stage noise while the e935 has a clearer, smoother sound and is perfect for karaoke and moderately loud stages.
The e835 is still considered to be the budget microphone, coming in at an attractive price over the e935. While price should not be the most important issue, it does play a part. However, the difference is not that great unless you are on a tight budget.
To sum up
Even though the e835 is well priced and does what you would expect it to do, I think that paying a little more money is justified here, and I think many users will err towards this microphone.
Both microphones are extremely durable and can withstand being roughly handled – typical of German builds, but the e835 is slightly larger and may feel more comfortable in large hands.
The e935 is suited to more voice types than the e835 and seems to deliver a better and smoother sound, particularly with female voices.
The 935 is just a little more attractive than its counterpart and even if you are on a strict budget, it isn’t that much more to pay. What you will get is better all-round sound with less handling and feedback interference. It will also suit most people no matter what they need it for.
Further reading: best rapping microphones on the market.