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ISE 2016: Shure debuts Microflex Advance for conference audio

Microflex Advance's all-new doughnut-shaped 'toroid' pickup pattern can reject unwanted sound from overhead

ISE 2016 marks the world debut of Shure’s Microflex Advance, designed to dramatically improve the audio quality for modern conferencing applications where speech intelligibility is of utmost importance.

The system combines networked ceiling and table array microphones, audio interfaces, intelligent mixing DSP and browser-based control software to improve the sound quality experienced by employees in the workplace.

“Microflex Advance is unique because it combines the deep roots of expertise Shure has demonstrated in both the acoustic and digital signal processing domains,” says Rob Klegon (pictured, with doughnut!), associate manager, global product management at Shure. “However, in building this system we knew we had to go beyond pure technical innovation to meet the needs of today’s corporate environments. As a result, each feature of Microflex Advance is engineered to provide best-in-class performance, from the acoustics and digital signal processing, to the usability and aesthetic design.”

Modern microphone technology is essentially passive and cannot distinguish between wanted audio and unwanted noise and will reproduce everything indiscriminately, to the detriment of intelligibility.

Microflex Advance tackles these issues with Shure’s proprietary Steerable Coverage technology.

The Microflex Advance ceiling array offers an adjustable pickup pattern with eight lobes that can be defined in three dimensions, and can be flush-mounted with ceiling tiles or suspended to avoid fans or ceiling-mount projectors. The table array microphone captures up to four channels of audio from around a desk or conference table and offers an innovative, wholly new ‘toroid’ (ring-shaped) pickup pattern to reject unwanted sound from overhead, such as ceiling fan or air conditioning noise.

Signals from the array microphones are auto-mixed by the built-in Shure proprietary IntelliMix DSP. Furthermore the audio signals can be interfaced with a Dante audio network via a single standard Ethernet cable connection. Browser-based software controls connectivity and monitoring, and the system is designed to integrate with third-party audio control systems, such as those from Crestron, AMX or QSC.