Why settle for one microphone when you can have 100 in a small, compact package? Stem Ceiling is an innovative microphone array designed to be mounted on the ceiling of your conferencing space. The 100 built-in microphones can be configured to create a narrow, medium, or wide beam of coverage depending on whether you need to listen in to a group conversation or a single speaker.
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This unique device has people all over the world talking, so to clear up any Ceiling-centered confusion, we’ve gathered up the most commonly asked questions to provide a helpful FAQ on what your new tech can and can’t be used for.
What makes Ceiling unique among Stem devices?
Ceiling is unique among the Stem Ecosystem family of devices for being the only device not to contain an on-board speaker. Ceiling uses a programmable array of directional microphones to create variable sized coverage areas that can focus on a full table or a single speaker, depending on the needs of the room or meeting. Ceiling can also create an isolated cone of audio pickup underneath of it that blocks all outside noise, a process we call audio fencing. We see this feature used in many classrooms because it allows the microphones to focus on only what the teacher or professor is saying within the audio fencing pickup cone.
Can Stem Ceiling be used as a standalone device?
The short answer to this question is: yes, but rarely.
Outside of some very specific use cases, Ceiling is designed to be installed in conjunction with one or more speakers, and should almost always be used with a Stem Hub. We have seen successful use of a standalone Ceiling when being used in a sterile “record only” environment. If this is not your use case, you will need to use a Stem Hub with your Ceiling as the Hub is what we refer to as the brains of the Ecosystem. The Hub acts as the Ecosystem’s DSP and has Automatic Gain Control to ensure that you are sending the best audio signal to the far-end participants.
Can I use third-party speakers with Stem Ceiling?
Absolutely! This would require connecting the amp of the third-party speakers to the terminal block on the back of Stem Hub via 3.5mm or RCA jack. With the third-party speakers tied in, the Hub ensures that the output from the speakers that is picked up by Ceiling isn’t being fed back to the remote participants to cause an echo. While other Stem devices connect through the room’s local network, the third-party speakers will need to physically be wired to the Hub.
Although users have the option for external speakers, the Shure team typically finds that using Speaker, Table, and Wall creates an easier and more user-friendly experience as these devices all have high-quality speakers that can quickly and easily network with Ceiling to create an ideal conferencing experience. The Stem Ecosystem uses software tools in tandem with its hardware to adapt each device’s settings to the room’s acoustic environment.