Sennheiser Esfera 5.1 Surround Microphone System

Sennheiser Esfera 5.1 Surround Microphone System

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Product Description

Introducing Esfera, Sennheiser’s innovative 5.1 surround microphone system which elegantly creates immersive surround audio from a single pair of X/Y microphones. Esfera simplifies workflows for broadcast professionals by efficiently capturing authentic ambience using just two audio channels, and converting this audio information to 5.1 at any point in the workflow - live or in post-production. The Esfera system features two components: the SPM 8000 two-channel microphone unit, and the SPB 8000 surround processor unit.


  • Perfect support of broadcast workflows
  • Decoding done in real time or in post production
  • Record two tracks and decode to surround at any point in the workflow
  • High-quality 5.1 microphone when connected with SPB 8000
  • Very natural sound
  • Weather-proof and rugged components

SPM 8000 Specifications

Dimensions length: approx. 237 mm
Frequency response 35 Hz to 20 kHz
Max. sound pressure level 142 dB SPL
Weight approx. 595 g (670 g with “hairy” cover)
Diameter approx. 106 mm
Pick-up pattern cardioid
Phantom powering 48 + 4 V (P48, IEC 61938)
Operating temperature -10C to +60C
Equivalent noise level DIN-IEC 651:†13 dB(A)
CCIR 268-3:†22 dB
Current consumption 3.3 mA
Sensitivity - 34 dbV/Pa (20 mV/Pa)

SPB 8000 Specifications

Microphone input
Impedance approx. 4 kΩ, balanced
Phantom powering 48 V, switchable
Connection 2 XLR-3F sockets, transformerless balanced
Dimensions depth with controls and sockets: approx. 44 x 482 x 275 mm (H x W x D)
depth with sockets: approx. 44 x 482 x 260 mm (H x W x D)
depth of housing: approx. 44 x 482 x 240 mm (H x W x D)
Weight approx. 3.9 kg
Power supply
Connector (Mains) 3-pin, protection class I as per IEC/EN 60320-1
Power consumption max. 15 W
Fuse 115 V AC: T 160 mA L 250 V
T 315 mA L 250 V
Voltage range 115 V~ / 230 V~, 50/60 Hz
Audio characteristics
THD, total harmonic distortion 0.03% at 64 dBu: gain: −12 dBFS at 1 kHz
0.004% at 30 dBu: gain: −12 dBFS at 1 kHz
Signal-to-noise ratio CCIR 468: -82.6 dB, 64 dB gain at 48 kHz sampling rate
CCIR 468: -106,1 dB, 30 dB gain at 48 kHz sampling rate
A-weighted: -85.5 dB, 64 dB gain at 48 kHz sampling rate
A-weighted: -109.3 dB, 30 dB gain at 48 kHz sampling rate
Unweighted: -84 dB, 64 dB gain at 48 kHz sampling rate
Unweighted: -104,3 dB, 30 dB gain at 48 kHz sampling rate
Gain +64 dB (max.)
Dynamic range 130.3 dB 30 dB gain (A-weighted)
Crosstalk -70 dB at 10 kHz (-30 dBu input, 30 dB gain)
Frequency response measured at AES3 Out Ω at 44.1 kHz sampling rate: 10 Hz-21 kHz
at 48 kHz sampling rate: 10 Hz-22.5 kHz
at 88.2 kHz sampling rate: 10 Hz-42 kHz
at 96 kHz sampling rate: 10 Hz-45 kHz
Digital input
AES3 standard channels L/R
Connection 1 XLR-3F socket
Digital output
AES3 standard channels L/R, C/LFE, SL, SR
Sampling rates 44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96 kHz
Bitrate 24 bits
Format professional
Connection 3 XLR-3M sockets
Communication HTTP (POST request method), JSON-compliant
Ports 80, 9050 with multicast
Connection RJ 45 socket
Firmware update via HTTP
Word clock via Input socket B (BNC)
AES3 input clock via In socket D (XLR-3F)

SPM 8000
Two-channel microphone unit utilizes Sennheiser’s renowned RF condenser technology to deliver natural and detailed sound, transparency, ruggedness and high resistance to adverse climatic conditions. The system includes two compact, cardioid RF condenser microphones, suspended in an X/Y pistol grip with basket windshield and hairy cover. A Y-cable (XLR-5 to dual XLR-3) is also included.

SPB 8000
A 19” rack-mount processing unit, capable of generating a 5.1 surround signal from the SPM 8000 microphone unit, at sampling rates of up to 96 kHz. The SPM 8000 algorithm is precisely aligned with the SPM 8000 microphones, and offers a well-structured interface with user-definable presets. A web interface provides real-time access to all surround parameters like gain of the individual channels, front and surround focus, surround delay, filters and compressor, limiter and the treble boost.

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