Shure Logo.png

What's the Difference Between Automatic Coverage and Steerable Coverage?

Automatic Coverage picks up talkers in a defined area, while Steerable Coverage lets you aim pickup lobes manually. Learn which is right for your room.
May, 04 2022 |
MXA920 ceiling array mic in conference room


The MXA920 ceiling array microphone gives you the option of using Automatic CoverageTM technology or Steerable CoverageTM technology to capture audio in your meeting room.

What is Automatic Coverage Technology?

Automatic Coverage lets you place specific coverage areas in the room.  You can adjust the size and locations of these easily using Designer software.  You don’t need to aim or adjust pickup lobes to ensure that everyone will be heard.  With Dynamic coverage areas, the microphone distributes its coverage to wherever the talkers are in those areas.  Dynamic coverage is ideal for seating areas, where people may be in different seats at different times.

With Dedicated coverage areas, the microphone assigns coverage to a fixed location all the time, whether a talker is there or not.  Dedicated coverage is perfect for a podium or VIP seat that needs priority coverage at all times.

MXA920 with Dynamic coverage areas (1, 2, 3) above seating; Dedicated coverage area (4) above podium

What is Steerable Coverage Technology?

Steerable Coverage is the same method used by the MXA910, which the MXA920 replaces.  With Steerable Coverage, you can aim up to eight pickup lobes at specific parts of the room when the microphone is installed.  The width of each pickup lobe can be adjusted to be narrow (35 degrees), medium (45 degrees), or wide (55 degrees).  You also have an audio output channel for each individual lobe, in addition to an automix output.

MXA920 Steerable Coverage with 8 pickup lobes deployed

Automatic Coverage requires less effort to set up and is more adaptable to how people sit in different places at different times.  Steerable Coverage provides a fixed arrangement that does not change, and allows the audio outputs from each lobe to be assigned to different loudspeaker zones for voice lift or sound reinforcement applications.

Automatic Coverage and Steerable Coverage are useful in different types of rooms and applications, so the MXA920 gives you the option of choosing whichever style is most appropriate.

Chris Lyons
Chris Lyons is a 30-year Shure veteran who has filled a variety of different marketing and public relations roles. His specialty is making complicated audio technology easy to understand, usually with an analogy that involves cars or food. He doesn't sing or play an instrument, but he does make Shure Associates laugh once in a while.