Shure Beamforming Microphone Demonstration
What may look like a ceiling tile with a glowing LED in the corner, is in fact the new Shure MXA 910 beamforming microphone.
Beamforming microphone arrays are one of those unique items of technology where the concept has been around for a long time, but practical implementations have only become a reality in recent times.
For those of you that haven’t played with one yet, a beamforming microphone uses the combined response of multiple microphone elements to create steerable ‘beams’, which can give better performance than individual microphones in the same position. This requires a lot of on-board processing, so don’t expect a beamforming solution to cost the same as a couple of ceiling mics…
There are handful of beamforming microphones of differing types available for conferencing at the moment, and thanks to Jands Australia we had the chance to listen to a pair of newcomers – the Shure MXA 910 and MXA 310 array microphones.
These guys tick a lot of boxes for installation, to name a few:
Dante audio outputs – with a discrete channel for each lobe and an in-built automix
Power over Ethernet – a single Cat cable for power, audio and control
Flexible lobe aiming – including a mode that automatically finds a talker
Up to 10 lobe configuration presets – recallable via 3rd party control commands
So for conference rooms where aesthetics dictate that mics must be not seen but still heard, these could be just the ticket… I’d never say that a beamformer can replace a good quality gooseneck microphone per person, but the performance of these new Shure mics was impressive. I’ll be interested to hear how they perform in an install.