How the MXA920’s Muted Coverage Areas Can Clear Up Your Audio Output

Chris Lyons | August 15, 2022 How the MXA920’s Muted Coverage Areas Can Clear Up Your Audio Output


Meeting rooms are often dynamic spaces.  People are entering and leaving; audience members may be talking among themselves.  In contemporary offices, the meeting space may be open to the rest of the work area, and the random noise of talking or general activity in adjacent areas can drift into the meeting space.  While this noise might be barely perceptible to people in the room, it can be distracting and intrusive for remote participants if it is picked up by the microphones.

Eliminating Room Noise With the MXA920 Ceiling Array’s Muted Coverage Areas

The MXA920 ceiling array microphone offers Automatic Coverage technology that makes it easy to capture talkers in defined areas.  (In a previous post, we discussed how to place coverage areas over seating areas or podiums, and the difference between Dynamic and Dedicated coverage areas.)  But the MXA920 also includes a way to insulate your outgoing audio feed from unrelated conversations in adjacent office areas:  a muted coverage area.

The IntelliMix DSP built into the MXA920 includes advanced automatic mixing that activates pickup lobes as required to capture sounds in the room.  But the IntelliMix algorithm also acts as an air traffic controller to ensure that only one lobe is activated for a particular sound source.  It basically tells all of the other pickup lobes “this sound source is already covered by Lobe #3; the rest of you don’t need to activate for it.”  IntelliMix makes sure that only the best pickup lobe is activated for each sound source, while allowing multiple lobes to activate when there are multiple talkers.

How Muted Coverage Areas Work

When a coverage area is muted, it won’t add the audio of talkers or other sounds originating in that area to the outgoing mix, and the IntelliMix algorithm will prevent other coverage areas from being activated for them too.  By placing a muted coverage area over any areas you don’t want to hear, your outgoing audio feed will be insulated from unwanted sounds from those areas.  A muted coverage area is a great way to eliminate unwanted sounds and voices from doorways, adjacent workspaces, or audience seating areas.

Creating a Muted Coverage Area
  1. Place Dynamic or Dedicated Coverage areas as needed to capture meeting participants.
  2. Place a Dynamic Coverage Area where the undesired sounds are coming from.  This might be a walkway, a lounge area, or a row of cubicles adjacent to the meeting area.
  3. Mute that coverage area in the Coverage tab of the Designer system configuration software.

That’s it.  Of course, this counts as one of the 8 total coverage areas that the MXA920 can deploy, so factor that in when planning coverage for the room.

The MXA920 lets you tailor audio coverage to not only capture the sounds you want, but also to reject the sounds you don’t want.  It’s the ideal solution for challenging meeting spaces in open plan offices where accurate control of audio pickup – and background noise suppression - is critical.

If you have questions about how to utilize the MXA920 ceiling array mic in your facility, contact a system integrator or the award-winning Applications Engineering group at Shure.


Chris Lyons

Chris Lyons

Chris Lyons is a 30-year Shure veteran who has filled a variety of different marketing and public relations roles. His specialty is making complicated audio technology easy to understand, usually with an analogy that involves cars or food. He doesn't sing or play an instrument, but he does make Shure Associates laugh once in a while.