Shure and the MXW neXt 2 wireless solutions

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Shure and the MXW neXt 2 wireless solutions

Shure MXW neXt 2
Words by Rob Gee

The very first wireless system I ever used in a live situation was an early model Shure. That was quite some time ago, and I could not tell you the name of the system.

But I can remember the ease of use and surprising quality of transmission it delivered, which was a lifesaver as it was added onto a system we were installing hours before an event and we had no product manual to reference, nor did we have Google in our pockets in those days. Since then, I have used, sold and reviewed countless numbers of Shure wireless systems, comfortable in the knowledge that they would deliver, and do it with as little fuss as possible. That’s why, whenever I see a new Shure wireless system come across my desk, it’s inspected with confidence in the product, and intrigued in what they have brought to the party this time.

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That brings us full circle, to the next stage in Shure’s commitment to making the world a more wirelessly communicative place. Let me introduce you to the MXW neXt 2 system. This is the simple solution to tackle the issue of microphone setups for conferencing, training classes, lecture halls and office presentations. For a long time, these areas have been a nightmare of poor choices microphone setups, and always required someone to have to piece together a puzzle box of equipment that really shouldn’t be all in the one location. I’ve seen it time and time again, and am glad to say it can all be taken care of now with one simple solution. Yes, I can hear many a network technician out there breathing a collective sigh of relief as your job of trying to be the sound engineer has just been normalized into one desktop unit. You can thank Shure for that!

MXW neXt 2

The MXW neXt 2 offers a range of possibilities, with the base unit acting as a charger and receiver for two wireless devices. These are dropped in the cradles on top to charge when not in use, with fully charged transmitters offering up to 28 hours of continuous use. Yes, you can literally talk all day and not run out of juice. As is always the case with Shure wireless systems, a range of transmitters is offered here. Four different handheld options are available including both the SM58 and BETA58 capsules, as it wouldn’t be a Shure system without them. There’s a bodypack unit that can be used with both lavalier and head worn microphones and, perfect for conference room use, there’s the addition of a boundary microphone unit as well. The multi framed bays in the base unit allow for all three styles of transmitter to be docked for charging and syncing, so one base can work with whatever configuration of transmitters suits you need. Can I say, I was happily surprised to see the boundary microphone option included in this system, as that is often overlooked and yet it is a crucial element in meeting room audio capture. Good call from the team at Shure for offering that!

Let’s take a closer look at what’s on offer in the base unit, as that is how this really differs from a lot of the wireless systems many of you will be used to using. We’re not talking about a typical wireless receiver intended to be connected to a mixing console en route to a front of house system. The MXW neXt 2 is intended for a different workspace, and will find itself in an environment where perhaps a PA is not even an option, but rather network connections to recording and broadcast devices. Think about board meetings, specialty classrooms, gallery installations and other ‘out of the box’ situations that could call for the need of wireless microphones. So, the MXWAPXD2 receiver is built around the idea of integrating with a network setup. You have dual RJ45 ports for Dante systems, USB-C connections for interfacing with a computer or video conferencing setup and then, as a fallback, there are analogue audio inputs and outputs supplied on three-pin balance block connections. This may give the more musically inclined users some mild anxiety at first, but fear not. They offer a versatile solution for integration into any setup. This allows you to wire your required cables onto block adaptors to seamlessly connect the MXW neXt 2 to any audio device without the need for a host of adaptors and extension cables. I love a tidy wiring solution, especially when it’s at the heart of a wireless system. The irony of messy cabling amongst a wireless system!

Then, with this compact base unit set up, you can control all the elements of your audio with the MXW neXt Control Software that is available as a download from Shure. This software is hosted from a web server that is embedded in the base unit and talks to your computer via the Ethernet connection. Once installed, you can control a whole host of elements, with a fully audio mixer for input channels, output channels, direct channels, and an auto mixer to take care of automated functions like Gates and other onboard DSP effects. 

Shure Wireless microphone

Audio can then be routed into recording, streaming or video conferencing software of your choice, or output to a hardware speaker or mixing system. Everything can be stored with multiple setups for different configurations and spaces, making it easy to recall when moving the MXW neXt 2 from system to system.

I think it is safe to say that Shure have taken the stress out of conference room microphones. This system has been very well engineered to ensure ease of use and fast initialisation. With a growing number of situations in today’s business and educational systems that require unique audio applications, Shure have really got it together with the MXW next 2 systems. The only thing you really need to worry about is, what are your choice of transmitters going to be?

For local Shure enquiries and more, visit Jands here.