Axient Digital: A Shure Bet for Worry-Free Wireless Systems!


We’re here to talk about wireless systems today—a nerdy subject indeed, one that could occasion a glaze in the eye of the casual reader. But wireless systems are quite important to large-scale stage shows. Your favorite musical act, with all their singing and dancing, would trip over a forest of cabling if it weren’t for wireless systems.

What’s more, this technology must be mission-critical, battlefield tested; you can’t have your favorite band’s microphones dropping out—the audience would positively swoon! Indeed, audio problems can ruin the buzz for clubs, theaters, and stadiums alike.

We can’t have that. No. When it comes to wireless systems, you need a sure bet every single time. And for the surest of bets, consider Shure, with its Axient Digital line of wireless systems.

Here the pun is apt, because the wireless world is a punishing terrain. Consider the shrinking bandwidth of frequencies that we, as humble civilians, can no longer use; most of the 600 MHz band was seized by the eminent wisdom (though might call it “eminent domain”) of the FCC not too long ago. Also, keep the competition in mind—the sheer density of people fighting for wireless space; it increases all the time!

That’s why we wanted to spill a little digital ink to enumerate the many virtues of the Shure Axient Digital line, much of which is available through B&H, your friendly neighborhood SuperStore.

In standard operating modes, these digital systems can fit 17 channels into a 6 MHz TV band or 23 channels into an 8 MHz TV band. Go into High Density Mode, however, and you cram a whopping 47 channels into the same 6 MHz band (or 63 channels into an 8 MHz band). This gives you a remarkable amount of elbow room when it comes to fitting every mic and every instrument into a narrow frequency bandwidth—even in wireless situations that are unforgivingly congested.

The Axient Digital line provides two distinct sets of transmitters: the AD series, and the ADX series. Both give you an impressive amount of latency—an infinitesimal 2 ms of lag time between your noisemaking self, the ever-receptive receiver.

Both lines make use of a technology Shure has dubbed Quadversity. Quadversity allows you to combine up to four antennas on a single receiver. The net result? Extended coverage over larger terrain, with better signal strength, to boot. Quadversity allows you to pick up audio from a concrete tunnel inside a stadium, even as the receiver sits way, way over yonder.

Both series provide interference detection, secure encryption, and an impressive maximum transmitter tuning range of 184 MHz. But the ADX series takes things a step further, with models that sport a more robust battery life—often in a smaller package! At approximately 2.7 x 2.4 x 0.7", the Shure ADX1M is an excellent example of one such smaller package. This micro wireless bodypack transmitter offers a small, streamlined housing for better concealment, and gives you seven hours of run time at a clip via an SB910M rechargeable battery. At just three ounces (with a battery), you’ll barely feel its weight.

Shure ADX1M Axient Digital ADX Series Micro Wireless Bodypack Transmitter

ADX also gives you automatic interference detection, as well as remote control through Shure’s ShowLink technology. All you need to do is make sure each transmitter is hooked into a Shure ShowLink access point; this is easy enough to configure, and sound checking is simple, thanks to built-in tone generators. These tone generators sport adjustable level and frequency for sound checks and troubleshooting. With tools like the Wireless Workbench, you can map coverage throughout the area, easily diagnosing problem points throughout the space. Then, deploy tools like the AD610 ShowLink Wireless Access Point to help side-step these issues altogether, extending your operational range in the process. Metering is also on hand for other applications, such as monitoring RF for signal-to-noise, so you can make sure you always have a strong, present source of sound.

Shure AD610 ShowLink Wireless Access Point

But what about that sound? How does it… sound? With a dynamic range of more than 120 dB over XLR—and 125 dB via digital outputs such as Dante, AES3, or AES67—these systems are capable of carrying remarkably nuanced audio, doing so cleanly and clearly, so that every word can be heard, and every note can be felt.

The AD and ADX series have their own use-cases, which is why we at B&H carry as much of the Axient line as we can. Bodypack transmitters, handheld transmitters, receivers with a wide variety of peripherals, talk switches, fobs—we have it all. Consider the AXT600US Spectrum Manager, for instance, which combines a wide variety of utilitarian functions into a single rackmount space. It can scan the RF environment and show you the best frequencies, assigning them to your Axient receivers while monitoring a list of backup frequencies in case anything goes awry. That’s even more insurance against unexpected dropouts.

Shure AXT600US Spectrum Manager

Bodypack transmitters can be configured for TA4 or LEMO to suit various needs. Handheld transmitters come with a variety of Shure microphone cartridges, so if you need the sound of a BETA 87C or a KSM8 (many more, too), we have your back. Multiple charging options abound to keep your battery life topped off, including networked rack chargers, networked docking chargers, single and dual-battery chargers, eight-battery charging bays, and more. We even sell color ID Kits to help stagehands and talent visually identify (and keep track of) everyone’s individual microphone.

If you want to hear more about Shure Axient Digital systems, please don’t hesitate to stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.