An AV Consultant's Opinion on the Benefits of Ceiling Array Microphones
Ceiling array microphone technology has introduced many unprecedented benefits to AV conferencing and presentation spaces of all sizes and configurations. Ceiling array microphones eliminate several issues caused by common meeting behavior because, regardless of whether the participants are sitting upright, leaning back, using their laptops or talking at the display, they can be heard clearly and understood. They don't have to worry about practicing proper microphone technique or altering natural body language.
In addition to clearing up space on the table, ceiling array microphones provide consistent clarity for each person in a meeting. The ability to aim array lobes at specific areas in the room provides both coverage for seated participants and freedom of movement for presenters.
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Because of these benefits and advantages, Chris Hawes, principal consultant for UK AV Consultancy Kromers Ltd., has recommended the Microflex® Advance™ MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone for several installations. A recent application involved an installation for a leading global financial advisory firm, where several MXA910s were used to update the audio infrastructure in a multi-purpose training and conference space in London.
The Business Requirement
Hawes' client needed a system that would deliver high-quality audio and highly intelligible speech throughout a triple-divisible meeting space that is used for video conferencing, presentations and training. The MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone was chosen for this application because it enables voice capture for video meetings and also can be used as the microphone that captures speech as part of a third-party voice lift system used for training and presentation purposes.
One Room Ceiling Array Microphone Application
When the room is used at full capacity, six MXA910 ceiling arrays are positioned in the room in a voice lift configuration. One MXA910 is positioned at the front of the room to capture the presenter's voice and those in the front row, and the other ceiling arrays are positioned farther back to capture questions from the meeting participants.
Multi-purpose Room Ceiling Array Microphone Application
When the room is divided into multiple training spaces, the presenter's voice is captured by MXA910s in each room. Multiple MXA910s clearly capture the presenter's voice as he or she travels throughout the different workstations. In this application, clear speech reproduction is achieved without introducing interference or feedback from the ceiling arrays in unused areas of the space.
This high-quality audio feed also enables the presenter's voice to be recorded by third-party equipment on the network. Two of the room's spaces are used for video conferencing.
How the MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone Delivers Best-in-Class Audio
The MXA910 offers eight steerable lobes that are adjustable in three dimensions and widths (narrow, medium, wide). It can be mounted directly in a tile grid ceiling or flush-mounted in a hard ceiling to capture sound from above a meeting room or presentation space. It also can be suspended from the ceiling on a standard projector mount or with wire rope.
Hawes explains that the MXA910 has opened up new options for installed sound systems in these types of applications: "I have installed several MXA910 ceiling arrays with very important clients, and they are very happy with the results. The MXA910s have saved them from the burdens of using handheld microphones and allow presenters to move around the room, converse with colleagues and gesticulate, knowing that the microphones will pick them up.
"Mounting microphones on tables is always a challenge because they can make the table feel cluttered," says Hawes. "Having the microphone installed overhead during a video conference is a great benefit for the user. The advantages of the MXA910 are massive, and we are very happy to continue recommending it."
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