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Sennheiser ME3: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need anything special to make this microphone work? Yes. Because this microphone is designed for use with a wireless system, has a non-standard wiring arrangement and tends not to work when plugged into most computer sound cards, it should be used with a USB sound adapter. Although we recommend using the Andrea USB adapter, it is also compatible with the Buddy 6G USB and Andrea Pure Audio USB adapters. With any of these devices, the microphone works beautifully. It can also be used with the Buddy 5G and VXI 2-way USB adapter, but with each of these it should be used with an Andrea P-100 power plug adapter (which makes the overall set-up a bit bulkier).

2. Is there an issue with the plug on the Sennheiser ME3 microphone? Potentially. The microphone as traditionally manufactured by Sennheiser has a unique plug which is designed to lock onto a belt-worn transmitter. This locking ring Sennheiser ME Plugon the plug interferes with an adequate connection when used with standard audio jacks (see upper plug on image to the right). If you purchase an ME3 from a large retailer, it will almost certainly be one of the standard ME3 microphones with the unusual plug and you may have troubles making an adequate connection with your sound card.

In the last few years, Sennheiser began manufacturing the microphone with a standard plug for speech recognition use (see lower plug on image to right). This obviates the need for a modification or adapter, but the newly manufactured microphone is being offered to dealers in only large lots (500 or more) and is more expensive to purchase. This is why the new version of the ME3 - purchased from a speech recognition microphone supplier - is somewhat more expensive. We carry only the newer version of the Sennheiser ME3, but if you have pruchased one of the older, less expesive versions elsewhere, we carry an adapter for the plug.

3. What is the difference between the ME3 purchased from a speech recognition supplier such as Speech Recognition Solutions and Emicrophones and the ME3 sold by large discount retailers? Here is a simple comparison table:

  ME3 purchased from Speech Recognition Solutions, eMicrophones or Knowbrainer

B&H, Sam Ash,
Amazon.com

Cost $155 $112-$140
Accuracy (1) Excellent Excellent
Requires Adapter (2) No Yes (not included)
Length of Cord 8 ft 5 ft
Need for External Sound Adapter Yes Yes
Warrantee 2-year Sennheiser warranty 2-Year Sennheiser Warranty


(1) All of the Sennheiser ME3 microphones share the same microphone element and housing so there is no functional difference between these two microphones.

(2) The microphone sold by large retailers such as B&H, Sam Ash, Amazon.com, etc. has the non-standard plug and will not work reliably with computer sound cards or external sound adapters without physically modifying the plug (and voiding the warrantee) or purchasing a separate adapter


The bottom line is that functionality these microphones are identical. If you purchase an ME3 from a large retailer, you should plan on purchasing an "ME3 Adapter" from us in order to assure a proper connection.

4. Can I buy the Sennheiser ME3 from the least expensive source and use it with the Speech Recognition Solutions adapter? Yes! This is actually how we got started - making an adapter which would allow you to purchase the microphone inexpensively and simply adapt the plug, rather than buying a "modified" ME3 from a dealer at a significantly higher cost. Be aware, though, that if you buy the Sennheiser ME3 from a large on-line retailer you are buying a microphone with a non-standard plug and which will not work with standard audio devices as sold.

5. What are some of the low cost options for buying a Sennheiser ME3? You can learn more about this from our Purchasing Guide, but in a nutshell, if you don't want to purchase directly from us, here are some sites we recommend (remember, you'll need an adapter if you purchase from one of these sites):

Northern Sound and Light: About $113 (with free shipping) - remember that the listed price is the MSRP - if you call or email you will be offered the dramatically lower price. Over the years we have purchased several ME3s from Northern and find them to be extremely reliable.

B&H Photo Video: $125 plus shipping. B&H is a top notch retailer which we have used many times over the years and which we highly recommend.

Amazon.com: $112 plus shipping. We have never purchased a microphone through Amazon.com so cannot attest to the speed, reliability, or support from it's microphone retailer.

6. Are there modifications to the microphone element on the Sennheiser ME3 which should be done? Both emicrophones and Knowbrainer have long sold Sennheiser ME3 microphones with a minor, easy-to-perform modification to the microphone element and have touted this as improving accuracy by reducing an "echo" effect. We have tried this modification and have never found any objective evidence of improvement in the performance of this modification. We do not, therefore, so modify the Sennheiser ME3s we sell or those that we use personally. If you are interested in performing this modification yourself, it involves nothing more than placing a small piece of scotch tape over a portion of the microphone element and this process is described in our Sennheiser ME3 Optional Modification page.

7. I live in Europe or Great Britain - how would you recommend I get a Sennheiser ME3? Frankly the cost of shipping to these locations from the US makes purchase of a microphone from us impractical. We would recommend you purchase from a local dealer. Two which we highly recommend are:

ITSpeaking
Speech Empowered Computing

We can, however, inexpensively ship an adapter for a Sennheiser ME almost anywhere in the world, so don't hesitate to order one of these should you possess an ME3 which requires an adapter. We have shipped adapters to several locations in Great Britain as well as Australia, and shipping has been under $2. Since inexpensive US Postal Service shipping will not show up as an option for international orders, please email us for requests on international orders.

8. This is an expensive microphone. Is it durable? Yes, this microphone is ruggedly manufactured and is designed to take abuse. The wires are reinforced with a strand of synthetic material to prevent breakage. The author's personal ME3 has been getting thrown in a loose pocket of a backpack which is tossed in the back of his car and moved from office to office for nearly 2 years now and it is still going strong. In addition, the microphone comes with a 2 year warrantee from Sennheiser.

9. Is there a perferred USB sound adapter to use with the Sennheiser ME3? Not all sound adapters are compatible with the ME3. We have noted the best results when using this microphone with the Andrea USB adapter. It is also compatible with the new Buddy 6G and with the Andrea Pure Audio USB adapter. It can be used with other sound adapters such as the Buddy 5G and VXI 2-way, but must be combined with the Andrea P-100 Power Plug Adapter

Other questions? Feel free to email additional questions to: jon@speechrecsolutions.com



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