Test and Expert Review of Sennheiser E935 vs. E945

Test and Expert Review of Sennheiser E935 vs. E945

Are you looking for a high-quality microphone but you’re having trouble picking between the different professional models?

Have you decided on the great Sennheiser microphone but you’re unsure whether the E935 or E945 is right for you?

I don’t blame you! This can be a tricky area to navigate, and one I’ve seen people struggle with in my 20+ years as a musician.

This is especially the case when the two microphones are part of the same series as these two. They’re so close; it can be difficult to sort it out between the two.

But that’s why I’m here to help spare you frustration (and maybe some extra cash too!). This is exactly why you need a Sennheiser E935 vs. E945 in-depth comparison.

 Read on for a direct comparison, explanation of important features, and overview for each microphone.

Main Differences

For this section, you’ll find the main differences between the two microphones and their specs. This section may be the most useful for making your decision so make sure you come back to reference this part.

We’ll even help you understand all you need to know about the high-tech specs without the sound engineering degree.

Pros And Cons

Take a look at this easy-reference table for a breakdown of the two microphones. This chart is a summary of all the details the rest of the article digs into.

  Pros Cons
Sennheiser E935 ●     Great sound quality

●     Easy to use

●     Medium price

●     Good design

●     Sounds good for live performance and recordings

●     Cardioid polar pattern, less clear sound than E945

●     Needs a little more gain for lead vocals risking feedback

Sennheiser E945 ●     Great sound quality

●     Easy to use

●     Good design

●     Super-cardioid polar pattern picks up sound clearly

●     Sounds good for live performance, lead vocals, presentations, and recordings

●     Higher price

●     A little heavier

Note: The two microphones are part of the same series and feature many of the same design elements. The E945 is the newer model and has the benefit of newer technology.

Difference In Features

This section digs into the nitty-gritty of the specs for each microphone. The above pros and cons are inspired by these specs and how the microphone is to use.

Here is a quick chart comparing the two products.

Note: A brief hint about how the features are useful is in parentheses below each spec.

More details on each spec are in the following section.

 

Features Sennheiser E935 Sennheiser E945
Polar Patterns

 

 

Cardioid

 

 

Super-cardioid

 

(How the microphone picks up sound)

Frequency Response 40 – 18,000 Hz 40 – 18,000 Hz

 

(The high and low the microphone can pick up)

Dimensions 4.7 x 15.1 cm

 

(More compact size)

4.7 x 18.6 cm
Weight 12.5 Oz

 

(Easier to carry around)

12.9 Oz
Material

 

Metal Meta

 

(Quality, tough material)l

Cost Medium

 

(More affordable)

Medium-high
Connector XLR-3

 

 

XLR-3

 

(Ideal for live sound and quality pickup)

Microphone Type Dynamic Dynamic

 

(Normal for live music)

Sensitivity 2.8mV/Pa = -51dB 2.0 mV/Pa = –54 dB

 

(More sensitive to sound, handles louder sounds better)

Note: You may notice a lot of the features are the same. This is because the E945 is the model one step up and newer from the E935.

Explanation Of Features

This section explains what each of these features is and then how it impacts the user experience. If you’re not interested in learning about the specifics, go ahead and skip to the overview of each microphone.

Polar Patterns

Polar patterns are how the polar patterns collect the sound. Most microphones won’t pick up sounds from every direction; they actually are better off picking up sound in specific ways.

The standard polar pattern is cardioid which picks up sound from the front directions of the mic. This is a great choice for a dynamic microphone meant for live music.

Super cardioid microphones are still focused on picking up sound from the front of the microphone but in a more pure and intense manner.

To make this happen, it also picks up a little bit directly from behind the microphone. So you should watch where instruments and vocalists are placed in relation to the mic.

For most situations, especially those in live stage and lead vocals, the super-cardioid is preferred, so the E945 wins out.

For another explanation of cardioid vs. super-cardioid, check out this video.

Frequency Response

Frequency response refers to the range of pitches the microphone will pick up. Pitch is high and low of a sound, so a larger frequency response is considered better.

The range also means that the mic will pick up sounds vibrating along with the pitch of the instrument or voice. For example, a bass country singer sings low pitches, but there are also some higher pitches vibrating along with it.

A wider frequency range will pick up more aspects of the sound resulting in a better, more true sound.

Both of these microphones have the same frequency range, and the range is professional grade.

Dimensions

The dimension or size of the microphone shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but it may be a feature you use to decide between the two.

Both the E935 and E945 have the same shape and design, but the E935 is slightly smaller. If you’re extra cramped for space in your packing, then it may be right for you.

Weight

Along the same lines, the weight of a microphone can affect how portable it is. A lighter mic is easier to carry, and the E935 is slightly lighter.

Honestly, the difference is so small it won’t make much of a difference, but if you’re extra picky, give it a feel and see what fits best in your hand.

Material

Microphones are typically made of plastic or metal in differing amounts.

In general, metal housed microphones are ideal. They can record sound to a better degree, and they’re much tougher and, therefore, break less easily.

However, they do tend to cost more than plastic ones.

Plastic mics are usually cheaper and may end up having more high-tech selection options, but they will be lacking in sound quality and durability when compared to metal mics.

Some microphones are a hybrid of the two, using a metal housing with plastic selectors. These are usually higher-quality studio microphones.

But with live music, metal is still the way to go for its durability, sound sensitivity, and quality.

The metal material and design of the E935 and E945 are almost identical, so this category is a virtual tie.

Cost

Cost is always something you should be aware of, especially when dealing with top-notch microphones such as these two. In this area, you’ll find one of the big differences.

If you find yourself on a budget or you need to save money on other gear as well, it’s just fine to buy the E935 because it’s cheaper. The difference in quality is only moderate, so you can probably get away with the more affordable model if you need to.

But, if you want the clearly better sounding option, then you will need to fork over the little extra for the E495.

This being said, I wouldn’t consider either option “low-cost,” but they are both professional-grade microphones, so you’re going to expect to pay a bit more.

Still, there are a lot more expensive microphone options out there with the same or lesser quality, so I still consider both products a good deal. (Just don’t forget to check the price on Amazon.)

Connector

There have been different types of connectors over the years for microphones, and one of the newer trends are the USB ports for the mics.

However, on dynamic microphones such as these (see more in the next section), USB doesn’t work as well or instantly.

Both the E935 and the E945 use the newer model XLR-3 connectors. This 3-prong system is the current top of the line for microphones, especially live mics.

Two of the prongs collect the sound and phantom power while the third is the ground.

Microphone Type

There are two main types of microphones: condenser and dynamic.

Condenser microphones repack (or condense) the sound before re amplifying or recording the sound waves. Condenser mics tend to have more high-tech machinery involved, so they’re a favorite of the studio recording.

Dynamic microphones are designed to amplify the sound as true as it can. They’re also designed to handle more sound because they’re meant for live performance.

Both of the microphones we’re discussing are dynamic microphones, so if you’re looking for a good podcasting microphone, you may want to consider the Blue Snowball or Blue Yeti.

Sensitivity

Microphone sensitivity is one of the most important factors for dynamic microphones. With condenser mics in studio settings, you can control the environment more, so you don’t have to worry about this as much.

Sensitivity consists of two main elements:

  • How loud a sound is picked up within the sensitivity “bubble”
  • At what volume does this microphone peak

A highly sensitive microphone will pick up sounds more resulting in a louder sound from a smaller sound. Basically, it works more efficiently.

A less sensitive microphone will need to have the gain turned up to produce as much volume as the highly sensitive microphone.

When you turn up the gain, it increases the area the microphone picks up making all sounds louder, increasing the chance of peaking, and risking potential feedback sounds.

Some microphones which are more sensitive will also have a better sound pressure limit. This means it won’t peak or distort as easily.

The E945 clearly wins in this category. It’s more sensitive and has a better peak level.

The E945 will do a better job in live performances when used for lead vocals or a presentation than the E935. Both will do just fine for most live performance and sound recording situations.

Here’s a bit more of a graphical video showing what sensitivity is in relation to feedback.

Sennheiser E935 Overview

The Sennheiser E935 is one of their flagship dynamic microphones designed a few years back. For most live performance situations, this microphone will do a great job maintaining the clarity of sound while staying easy to use at a fairly affordable price.

Materials/Design

The E935 is made out of an all-metal housing. This metal protection also helps it keep a good sound, and it stays protected from many accidental drops.

It doesn’t come with a full mic stand, but a mic clip is available to help if you’re having trouble keeping it mounted.

The shape is in the standard long-form for holding while singing or speaking to a large crowd live.

The E935 is a dynamic microphone which means it’s designed for use in a live performance or presentation.

It’s all black with the Sennheiser logo tastefully stamped in white on the side.

Polar Pattern

The polar pattern for the E935 is a cardioid pattern. The name “cardioid” comes from the heart-shaped pickup point of the microphone.

Cardioid picks up sound from directly in front of the microphone. For those performing live, this microphone is less likely to accidentally pick up and amplify sounds from those around you.

This allows a sound engineer (or guy controlling the sound) to control the balance of your group.

Cardioid is the standard for all microphone polar patterns, although the newer Super-cardioid is becoming the new gold standard.

Sensitivity

This microphone is above-average for its sensitivity. With gain, you can control how much of the voice or instrument you’re picking up, but you won’t have to fiddle with it much to get it where you want it.

The Max SPL is also considerable. You won’t peak the microphone as easily.

Combined with the sensitivity, this makes the mic a great one to use with any kind of live performing instrument, though there are a few dynamic microphones with better sensitivity and peak (including the E945).

Sound Quality

For sound quality, you can always expect a clear, true sound when using the E935, unless you turn the gain up too high.

The metal housing and modern XLR-3 connector provide one of the clearest and true sounds you can find.

The only problems you might find in a dynamic setting are when the lead vocals are needed. This microphone may have some trouble picking up the sound in comparison to the louder instrumental sounds around it.

Then when you go to turn up the gain for more voice, you can pick up more of the instruments too.

Still, even with this, there’s a workaround if you can change the placement of the singer, instruments, and speakers.

Who’s This Mic For?

This microphone can be used by all but works best in live performance situations including:

  • Live music
  • Instrumentals
  • Speaking
  • Presenting with one person and no other sounds on the stage

Sennheiser E945 Overview

Sennheiser is well-known for quality microphones, and the E945 is no exception. In fact, the E945 is their flagship dynamic microphone and the more modern version of the E935.

As such, this microphone is a quality product with some of the most up-to-date features. It also may cost a little more than you’re willing to spend.

But the cost is well worth it, especially for those looking for an awesome lead vocals microphone.

Materials/Design

With an all-metal housing, the E945 keeps a good sound consistent with what it’s picking up. The metal also makes it durable and offers protection for when someone may accidentally drop it.

Though the mic stand isn’t included, it fits with most mic stands, and it also comes with a clip to help attach it even better.

The E945 is in the standard shape for holding a microphone while singing. It’s a long taper from the pickup to the end where it connects.

The E945 is a dynamic microphone meant to be used in a live show.

This microphone looks about the same as the E935, all black with the logo stamped in white on the side.

Polar Pattern

The polar pattern for the E945 is super-cardioid. This pattern picks up the sound from directly in front of the microphone in a more isolated and powerful way than the normal cardioid.

This pattern is becoming the gold standard for live shows. It works better at picking up only sound right in front of the mic.

It’s only downsides are that it costs a little more and does pick up sound directly behind the mic pickup.

This is one area where the E945 clearly wins.

Sensitivity

The sensitivity of the E945 is right up there with the best of the dynamic microphones available.

With the higher sensitivity, you don’t have to have the singer or speaker hug the mic. You also won’t have to turn the gain up as much.

This better sensitivity will help avoid accidentally picking up other sounds and projecting feedback.

The Max SPL on the E945 is higher than most other dynamic microphones. It can handle the louder sounds too.

Between the better sensitivity and super-cardioid pattern, this is where the E945 earns its higher price tag.

Sound Quality

For sound quality, you’re not going to regret this choice of a mic. The better pattern and sensitivity will keep the sound pure and unfettered with other sounds.

The metal housing and XLR-3 connector provide the most efficient link between the sound and amplification.

On top of all this, you won’t need to crank up the gain, so distortion will be very low even at loud volumes.

Who’s This Mic For?

The E945 is for many of the same people as the E935. It can be used for any sound needs, but it excels in these areas:

  • Live music
  • Lead vocals
  • Instrumentals
  • Speaking
  • Presenting in any situation

The Verdict

I hope you found the Sennheiser E935 vs. E945 in-depth comparison helpful.

For dynamic microphones, these two are among the best and very close in quality. The E945’s higher sensitivity and super-cardioid polar patterns make it a clearly better choice if money is no object.

If you’re pinching pennies, the E935 could save you a few bucks, and you’ll get about the same quality.

However, if lead vocals or a top-notch presentation experience is in play, then just go for the E945.

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