Our first roundup of smart meeting mic solutions entails flat-out fight for meeting room ceiling space and the important technology and patents behind them all. In recent years manufacturers Shure, ClearOne (and to a related degree biamp and QSC) have been in heated litigation over their super smart “beamforming” ceiling mic designs. In the process, each has developed some great new products.
The beamforming technology behind the fight allows these microphone systems to keep track sounds in a space without the need for a microphone to be placed immediately in front of the speaker. One mic or a series of mics in larger spaces can be mounted on the ceiling and use these patented technologies to track and focus on the conversation as it moves around the room—and cancel out other unwanted sounds.
Many systems work out-of-the-box or can be easily configured to work with Zoom Rooms, Microsoft Skype for Business, WebEx or Google Hangouts in addition to VoIP. At the time of this post there are some great options currently available, plus others that are available for pre-order – and some that are still deep in the thick of litigation. Look to our iSpace Environments technology team to identify the best solution(s) for your space. Here are a few options:
Our iSpace technology team tested the most recent release of the Shure MXA910 mics at Infocomm and was impressed. Available in white, aluminum or black finish, currently available MXA910’s can be mounted in a number of ways (pole, cable, hard mount). The new MXA910W-A flush mount design pops the mic right into 24″ grid configurations and is currently available for pre-order.
Shure’s “steerable coverage” technology (like beamtracking) and onboard signal processing result in consistent sound regardless of the participant’s location/movement. The mics can also be enabled with LED indicator lights that can synchronize with mic mute status – and Shure Network Audio Encryption for increased security.
The biamp Parle TCM-X has similar beamforming technologies in a rounder package. These, too, sounded great at InfoComm. The mics work with biamp’s Tesira system which can extend the connectivity of the mics to VoIP in addition to soft codec like Skype, WebEx or Google Hangouts. Available in white or black.
The technologies behind ClearOne’s Beamforming Mic Array 2 (left) and BMA CT (right – which can be installed in drop ceiling configurations) are at the heart of this fight for market space. They feature echo and noise cancellation, adaptive steering for room coverage, and can be daisy chained for larger spaces.
This video from ClearOne gives a little more detail on how Beamforming technology works:
Shure’s November 5, 2019 Q&A Regarding MXA910 Availability
History of the Beamforming Dispute on Commercial Integrator
Notice of Original Lawsuit Filed by ClearOne