In her first live performance in seven years, the star used a Sennheiser microphone in the face of a harsh RF environment
PHOENIX, US – Media OutReach – 8 March 2023 – Rihanna delivered the second-most watched halftime show in Super Bowl history on Sunday, exceeding the average viewership of the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs football match by 5 million, according to data from Fox. The highly anticipated performance was driven by Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 wireless microphone system and a custom chrome SKM 6000 transmitter with an MD 9235 dynamic cardioid microphone capsule. The choice to go with the Sennheiser wireless system may seem like a minor detail, but the sonic integrity of the performance hung in the balance as the State Farm Arena in the greater Phoenix area is technically one of the most challenging environments for coordinating wireless frequencies.
“Phoenix is a challenging city because it is the only one that officially does not have a vacant UHF TV channel. They are all allocated for broadcast, so there is very little spectrum available for wireless mics,” says Joe Ciaudelli, Director of Spectrum & Innovation at Sennheiser, “to make matters more complicated, although it is an indoor stadium with a retractable roof, the State Farm Arena does not provide much shielding from outside RF signals, making it vulnerable to interference.” Ciaudelli is an industry veteran and international expert on spectrum and wireless system operations. He contributed the chapter on wireless microphones to the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Handbook and is a private sector adviser in the U.S. delegation to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations’ specialized agency on information and communications.