Sony Electronics has entered the competitive (and sometimes contentious) beamforming microphone category with the U.S. launch of its new Sony beamforming1 microphone, the MAS-A100, an IP-based, Dante-enabled , PoE ceiling microphone pitched at enterprises to enable flexible and creative “hands-free” lectures and presentations.
Designed for a range of meeting, lecture and presentation environments, the ceiling-mount microphone provides clear audio for both speech reinforcement and recording with a unique combination of beamforming technology and what Sony calls the Intelligent Feedback Reducer function.
The microphone has a dual-channel output for simultaneous recording that captures the speaker and student’s/participants’ voices. Together with the support for Dante and Power Over Ethernet (PoE) for easy installation, the MAS-A100 is designed to significantly improve the audio experience in education and corporate organizations.
In a press release issued today, Sony explained the new product as follows:
Sony Beamforming Microphone: Hands-free presentation with speech reinforcement
The MAS-A100 achieves hands-free speech reinforcement without requiring hand-held or body-worn microphones and subsequent batteries or device management. This is enabled by a unique combination of beamforming technology and an original feature called Intelligent Feedback Reducer, which can extract speech sound while suppressing unwanted feedback with Sony high-performance digital signal processing. After capturing voice, the microphone’s Automatic Gain Control function automatically adjusts the output volume to be consistent regardless of the presenter’s location, making lectures and presentations easier to hear.
Wide-area recording with clear low-noise sound quality
The beamforming microphone has dual-channel output that enables simultaneous speech reinforcement and recording. It covers a wide range and can record not only the speaker’s voice, but also the students and participants. The microphone also has auto-noise reduction capabilities to minimize background sound from air conditioners and projectors, which makes it ideal for lecture capture and meeting recording.
Simple installation and management
The microphone can be easily integrated into existing A/V setups and used with a wide range of products thanks to support of Dante®, the digital audio-over-IP networking standard. The model also supports PoE, enabling installation and power management with a single network cable. The unique Automatic Calibration function automatically optimizes the parameters of the audio processing for speech reinforcement by generating and capturing the test signal during the installation process. Sony’s free-of-charge Microphone Array System Manager software (MASM-1) can help centralize configuration and management of multiple microphones in various rooms via an IP connection.
“Lectures, speeches, and corporate meetings can contain priceless wisdom. Yet, recording them has too often been mired by unintuitive, ineffective recording technology,” said Theresa Alesso, Pro division president, Sony Electronics. “At Sony, we work in close cooperation with our customers and partners to address the real-life challenges they face every day. With the MAS-A100, we’re offering our customers a powerful yet cost-effective solution that completely transforms the style of lecture and presentation. With its advanced speech reinforcement and clear audio recording features, we’re setting a new benchmark for what organizations can expect from microphones.”
The Sony beamforming microphone is expected to be available in spring 2020.
Recap of key features:
- Feedback prevention for speech reinforcement – enabled by a unique combination of Sony Beamforming technology and Intelligent Feedback Reducer
- Noise Reduction
- Automatic Gain Control
- Automatic Calibration function
- Compatibility with Dante/PoE
- Free “Microphone Array System Manager” software (MASM-1)
1: Beamforming is a signal processing technique used in sensor arrays for directional signal transmission or reception.