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Old November 20th, 2014, 04:01 PM   #1
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Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

The short version: All Positive!

I recently purchased a Sony UWP-D16 combo wireless system. Street price about $800.
Initial use was all good with better audio quality than what I had been using for wireless to camera recording (AT1800).

Some features that are very helpful-
Menu switchable 48 volt phantom from the plug-on TX.
Menu switchable Mic/Line input level on both the plug-on and belt-pack TX's.
Small size of camera mounted RX that uses only 2 AA batteries.
USB powering (or charging, but NiMH batteries are not included with the set) can be used with all three devices.
Locking connectors for all inputs and outputs.
Plug-on XLR is self-tightening when plugging on the mic and quick-releasing when the latch is depressed.
Nicely backlit display on all three devices.
IR sync between TX and RX for channel setting.
Comes with both XLR and mini-TRS cables, and a basic omni lav.
Comes with 2 belt clips for RX and Belt-pack, shoe mount for RX, and a pouch for the Plug-on.
Digital companding.

I'll add more if any problems develop but so far I'm very pleased.

Last edited by Jay Massengill; November 20th, 2014 at 04:37 PM.
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Old November 20th, 2014, 11:08 PM   #2
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

I've just bought 3 sets of the Sony UWP-D16 seems to tick all the boxes for my needs.....
What I do know is the supplied Sony mics are bad, bad, bad but I do have Rode Lavs to put on them.
But the thing im looking for the most is wireless Hyper or shotgun mics for corporate interviews....
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Old November 20th, 2014, 11:55 PM   #3
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

User tests in the NY/NJ area (over on another forum) revealed that the UWP-D16 system had a significantly shorter useful range than the Sennheiser G3 equivalents.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 12:06 AM   #4
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

The tests I have done locally seem to indicate the opposite to that... The Sony default out of the box is set to low power TX when changed to high TX the range is SO much better.. But when the Sony does drop out it seems to be a complete mute rather than going through the hash / noise stage of the G3's.
I have a friend in the theatre world that will tolerate some noise in a stage production where as a complete drop would be a problem, but for what I'm doing where it is location TV shoots, short range of less than 20m and most times the takes are repeatable the Sony wins easily.



Last edited by Brian P. Reynolds; November 21st, 2014 at 01:00 AM.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 06:30 AM   #5
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

The UWP-D16 sets are available in 3 frequency bands, so for any location, picking the right frequency band to purchase as well as the best frequency to operate on would be important. This is of course true of any wireless set.

Also as mentioned, operating with either High or Low output power for the specific circumstances is important too. Indoors in bad environments operating at High power can be counter-productive.

Obviously outdoors at Low power will be shorter range but longer battery life. It's rare that I'm more than 50 feet away. Usually it's less than 20 feet away.

Adjusting the power output is something I always take note of for my circumstances.

Last edited by Jay Massengill; November 21st, 2014 at 10:23 AM.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 11:21 AM   #6
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

I questioned the YT tester as to setup ect, who said the frequency selection was 'out of the box', so I would surmise, the results of that 'shootout' are only a rough indication of performance .. YMMV.

BTW Jay, does the Sony plug-on transmitter have full 48V Phantom Pwr.? I ask this because the G3 SKP 500/2000 Phantom Pwr. transmitter goes for over $700 by itself
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Old November 21st, 2014, 12:34 PM   #7
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

I have not actually measured the phantom voltage, nor have I used a mic yet that demands full 48 volts. But Sony specs claim it is full 48v, the box says 48v and the transmitter's menu page and external indicator light are both labeled as 48v.

Some additional info on the Plug-on TX High/Low transmitter power in the user manual that came with my USA set:

USA- 40mW/5mW

Europe- 30mW/5mW

Thailand, Taiwan, Korea- 10mW/2mW

No mention of Australia RF output power ratings in my manual.

The Belt-pack TX only has 30mW/5mW for USA, Europe and China.

And 10mW/2mW for Thailand, Taiwan, Korea.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 01:34 PM   #8
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

I was part of a test done on these back in the summer for another forum, but am not in NY :-)

I got a local audio (for video production) pro to help me evaluate them. We found the range significantly worse than the Senn. systems - even an old G2. The phantom power did work on the plugin module with a microphone that requires full phantom (my AT 4053b) but the output was fairly weak. We tried all kinds of output adjustments on both the transmitter and receiver.

The unit had some nice features, but I ultimately sent it back to B&H and just kept my G2 system. Was mine defective? I don't know - didn't try to get a replacement.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 03:28 PM   #9
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

The plug on Sony Tx unit seems to run a 416 happily..... I think the specs for a 416 are 48v (+/- 4v)
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Old November 21st, 2014, 03:30 PM   #10
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

Thanks Jay, I would assume 48V then. So your saying it was around $800.. that's dirt cheap, especially with a Phantom Prw butt-plug transmitter. I can't see how they can build it for that cheap w/o some serious compromises, I'd like to get one for some hands-on evaluation.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 03:37 PM   #11
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

Sony do several different combinations of Tx and Rx units.

sony uwp | B&H Photo Video

But do keep in mind that the Lav mic included in some sets is poor, so add to the cost of another decent mic.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 04:40 PM   #12
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

I tested the Plug-on TX with my AT4021 cardioid mic this afternoon. It needs 48 volt phantom power and worked just fine.

I laid the mic and TX on the lectern of a 72-person training room with riser seating. Then I placed my iPhone on the lectern playing a song from its internal speaker facing toward the mic from about 24 inches away. Then wearing earphones connected to the receiver I walked the entire hallway circuit around the OUTSIDE of this training room and its attached breakout rooms. The TX was set to High power RF output with 0 input attenuation.

The receiver was set to 0 output level and 10 on the headphone output (both at default).

The signal was loud and clear and at no time did I have any dropout or loss of signal quality. Maximum distance was probably 75 feet and at times during this lap it was transmitting through 1, 2, or 3 walls as well as my body as I faced away from the TX.

I can't imagine I would need more range than this in my current work, and if I did I would make certain I had clear line-of-sight.

On Monday I will try my AKG C480b/CK63 hypercardioid, hopefully on a static boom at normal boom distance and angle.

During testing yesterday using the Plug-on with a Sennheiser K6/ME64 cardioid and a Sony ECM-670 short shotgun I had enough signal going into my Canon XA10 camera to engage the mic input attenuation and set the level dial to 1 mark above 50%. Speaking in a normal voice at normal mic distances I could easily achieve -12db recording level on the camera.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 08:53 PM   #13
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

Well, perhaps my unit really was defective. In our test we were getting dropouts at 50 feet - already unusable - and no signal at all by 75 feet. This was not line of sight, and one of the intervening walls was a brick exterior of a house. While that might be acceptable range for many uses, my G2 doing the same test got to 180 feet - over triple the range - with no dropouts before I just gave up and stopped walking.

I did like the color screen and the capability to power the unit via usb. I also was pleased to find that accessories such as third party lavs bought for the previous Sony wireless system also work on the new UWP-D system.

But the Sony has less range, and gives very weak output with dynamic mics. If you can live with the lesser range and really need the phantom power capability from the plugin, then the Sony at $800 *is* cheaper than getting the basic Sennheiser ($630) and adding on the super expensive ($530) plugon transmitter that provides phantom.
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 07:43 AM   #14
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

Sorry to hear about the problems you had. I assume you can absolutely verify the transmitter was set to H for high power RF on the display screen?

I'll certainly be keeping my ears open for any dropouts as I always do no matter what wireless I'm using and I'll report back if any problems come up.
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 09:49 AM   #15
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Re: Initial impression of Sony UWP-D16 wireless set

I don't know what kind of frequency selection scanning the Sony system has and Dave's system may have been picking up interference.. typical of range issues.. analog or digital. That said, I find the Sennheiser's built-in scanner inadequate. I usually check for a vacant or low level RF channel in unknown areas with an online frequency finder and check with a stand-alone RF scanner when arriving at the location as well.

Last edited by Rick Reineke; November 22nd, 2014 at 12:59 PM.
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