Shure Axient Wireless System Now Shipping

April 16, 2012

NAB (Booth #C1610), LAS VEGAS (April 16, 2012)—Shure Incorporated is now shipping the Axient™ Wireless Management Network, which can automatically change frequencies to avoid interference and produce high-quality audio despite the unknown variables of demanding television, broadcast and performance environments. Axient employs several breakthrough technologies – some offered for the first time in a wireless microphone system – that work together to deliver interference-free audio in today’s hostile RF spectrum environment.

“With new unlicensed devices soon to be using the TV band white spaces, volatile spectrum is a fact of life for professional wireless users,” said Sandy LaMantia, President and CEO of Shure Incorporated. “Audio professionals face increasing pressure to deliver an interference-free performance or broadcast, even though conditions are more unpredictable than ever before. The Axient system was designed to adapt and perform flawlessly, regardless of what interference sources appear and disappear without warning.”

Erik Vaveris, Category Director for Wireless Products at Shure, added, “Axient delivers a game-changing set of tools for dealing with the challenges faced by wireless microphone users in critical, high-profile applications. Of course, for the most demanding customers, Axient also has to be at the pinnacle of RF and audio performance.” Axient delivers an exceptionally refined, beautifully tailored sound with detailed transient response and ultra-low noise. Featuring a dramatic minimization of intermodulation distortion and an exceedingly robust receiver design, Axient was created to provide rock solid operation in the congested, high-noise spectrum found at major broadcast events and theatrical centers. 

Axient delivers great sound and gives engineers new capabilities to adapt to poor or rapidly changing conditions during an event: the ability to change frequencies mid-event, the ability to adjust transmitter settings in real time, and the ability to transmit full-fidelity audio on redundant frequencies for added security.

“Axient defines a new standard for control and confidence in applications with zero tolerance for failure,” said Vaveris. “This is the first wireless microphone system that can detect interference and avoid it automatically.”

The Axient system’s agility in difficult RF conditions is driven by four key features: 

• Interference Detection and Avoidance detects RF interference and enables the system to move to a clear and compatible frequency in milliseconds.

• For critical microphones where even the briefest gap in audio is unacceptable, Frequency Diversity mode transmits full-bandwidth audio on two separate frequencies.  If one frequency is disrupted by interference, the audio from the second frequency is automatically used.

• ShowLink™ remote control enables the operator to make real-time remote adjustments of transmitter settings (such as audio gain, RF output power, and RF mute) while the microphone is live, without interrupting a broadcast.  Control coverage extends throughout the entire performance area and can be extended to include “backstage” tech areas.

• The Axient Spectrum Manager scans the spectrum constantly, and monitors, ranks, and deploys backup frequencies automatically.  This ensures that the system uses only the cleanest frequencies during a broadcast.

While the technical processes are complex, the transmitters, receivers, access points, and the spectrum manager operate together seamlessly.  “We spent an extensive amount of time with lead users throughout the development of Axient.  We needed to ensure that the functionality of the Axient system would fit the workflow and expectations of our customers,” continued Vaveris.  “It is exciting that that Axient can be completely configured with a few button presses through the Spectrum Manager's setup wizard.  On the other hand, we also provided the ability for users to tailor the behavior of the system to their specific needs.”

For ample, reliable power, Axient transmitters rely on high performance Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries and smart chargers. Axient batteries provide up to nine hours of run time with zero memory effect, and remaining battery life – accurate to within 15 minutes – is displayed on the transmitter, on the receiver, and in the Wireless Workbench® software. The Rack Mount Charging Station offers touring-ready battery storage and charging for up to eight bodypack or handheld batteries, and is fully networked for remote monitoring.

Axient takes advantage of Wireless Workbench® 6, a completely new software interface that enables users to monitor and control the entire system. The software uses scan data, an internal TV channel database, and advanced compatibility algorithms to create a list of clean, viable frequencies for any number of primary and backup channels in a system.

The Axient Wireless Management Network is now available through designated Shure Axient dealers.  For more information, visit Shure at NAB 2012 booth C1610, or visit www.axient.net.