Zaxcom is expanding its wireless audio options with the ZMT4.
In an email press release, Zaxcom announced the ZMT4 transmitter, which is part of the company’s Digital Recording Wireless series. The ZMT4 combines the best of Zaxcom’s ZMT3 and ZMT3-Phantom 2 in one compact transmitter that provides 5V for Lavs and up to 48V phantom power for microphones.
For those who don’t know, Zaxcom designs and manufactures high-end production audio equipment. They offer multiple wireless transmitters and receivers, as well as audio mixers and recorders. They are one of the most important innovators in the audio industry, developing user-friendly technologies such as NeverClip, Zaxcom High Density Modulation (ZHD) and ZaxNet. They were the first to offer simultaneous audio transmission with direct recording to a microSD card. This is a feature that many competitors have “borrowed” in one form or another.
The ZMT4 is the next generation transmitter that uses less power than the ZMT3. It also has NeverClip in all modes – something the ZMT3 doesn’t. The idea of NeverClip is similar to 32-bit float recording. It doesn’t offer the same headroom, but there is plenty of room for error if the audio being recorded is louder than expected. NeverClip has an additional headroom of up to 44 dB and records a separate broadcast wave file with additional iXML data for post-processing. With the ZMT4 you get a track 136 dB dynamic range.
The ZMT4 carries many of the functions that production sound mixers expect at Zaxcom. For example, encrypted audio, internal recording on a microSD card, timecode, PowerRoll to extend battery life, ZHD modulation, which increases the number of frequency channels, and ZaxNet, with which you can adjust the transmitter settings remotely without removing them need the bodypack from talent.
The ZMT4 has a 3-pin Micro Lemo connector that can be coupled to a range of Lav, Condenser, Balanced, and Ribbon microphones. The phantom power can be selected between 12, 24, 36 or 48 V. Thanks to the 5 V support, the ZMT4 can easily be coupled with common DPA microphones. The device is powered by an NP-50 battery, which is the same battery as previous models. Users can expect a run time of around 6 hours with a Lav and 4 hours with 48V. The selectable power is 10 or 50 mW.
We like what Zaxcom has done here. They essentially combined two products into one which is good for the users. We would expect them to release a ZMT4-X that should deliver a selectable output power of up to 75 mW. What we want from Zaxcom, however, is a wireless system at indie prices. Their competitors circle with very similar features and functions at much lower prices.
It would be great if Zaxcom offered its technology in a Sennheiser G3 package. Create a wireless kit with a transmitter and a receiver whose matching bodies are paired with a Lav. Give us digital audio, simultaneous recording, timecode, MARF, and possible ZHD between $ 500 and $ 800. Possibly add or add ZaxNet, NeverClip, and ZHD as the upgrade path. Possibly make the receiver slot compatible with Nova with a module.
Heck, they could keep these features completely out of the conversation and tuck them away for their high-end models. What price-conscious shooters want is reliable audio transmission. If Zaxcom gave us that and possibly added 32-bit float to the equation, you’d have something better than RØDE Wireless GO II, Tentacle Track E, Tascam DR-100 and Zoom B2T – especially for shooters in the USA
The ZMT4 is currently available in two different frequency bands. There is a 512-608 MHz option within the US and a 578-698 MHz option is available outside the US.
The list price for the ZMT4 is $ 1,995.