MiniDSP Introduces UMIK-2 Omnidirectional Acoustic Measurement Microphone and UMIK-X Distributed MEMS Microphone Array

October 21 2020, 01:30
The hard-working minds at miniDSP have not stopped for the past few months. The Hong Kong company introduced two new advanced products in its Acoustic Measurement product line, including the UMIK-2, miniDSP's second-generation omnidirectional acoustic measurement microphone, offering a significant upgrade in performance and functionality compared to the popular UMIK-1. And for multichannel measurements, there's the new UMIK-X USB Multichannel microphone array, offering up to 16ch audio recording, A2B wiring, and REW integration.

The new miniDSP UMIK-2 has everything that made the first-generation UMIK-1 one of the company's best selling products, including a convenient plug-and-play USB connection and a unique calibration file for each microphone to ensure accuracy. But the UMIK-2 is also a substantial upgrade, featuring a larger 1/2-inch microphone capsule that provides lower noise and lower distortion, which is preserved by the 32-bit analog-to-digital converter built into the microphone shell. Furthermore, sample rates are selectable from 44.1 to 192 kHz for compatibility with the widest possible range of measurement and recording software. 

As a standard USB Audio Class 2 microphone, UMIK-2 is compatible with any software. But as with previous miniDSP efforts, the UMIK-2 is fully compatible with REW (Room EQ Wizard) and Dirac Live (version 3 and later). Driverless operation with macOS, Linux, Android and iOS, and a supplied ASIO driver for Windows ensure simple integration into many other measurement and recording applications.

And miniDSP once agains stretch the limits of affordable acoustic measurement equipment with the UMIK-2. Priced at US $195, this new reference measurement microphone represents an incredible value for an all in one low noise, high SPL, high bit rate microphone. Shipments are expected to start early November 2020.

A MEMS Multichannel Solution
The next product in miniDSP's Acoustic Measurement product line is a much more ambitious development. The new UMIK-X was designed as a solution for tuning large rooms or challenging acoustic environments (such as a vehicle cabin...), performing multiple measurements at multiple positions. In order to offer a more efficient and low cost way to achieve those complex, and time-consuming tasks, miniDSP leveraged the latest MEMS microphones from Knowles to create the miniDSP UMIK-X.

This is a distributed microphone array containing up to 16 Knowles MEMS microphone capsules for multichannel measurement. Four microphone devices with a low noise buffer and high performance modulator are mounted onto each UMA4 microphone module, and up to four UMA4 microphone modules can be daisy-chained with a single twisted-pair cable using Analog Devices' A2B protocol for multichannel audio transport.

With this technology, a measurement chain can be up to 40 meters long, so more than enough for a Home Theater and even worship centers and auditoriums. The UMA4 microphone modules are interfaced to the computer with the included USB-A2B interface, which provides 16 channels at 24-bit/44.1 or 48 kHz. The USB-A2B is a UAC-2 compliant interface that is also USB powered, allowing the use of any standard USB adapter in any part of the world.

Other applications for the UMIK-X include environmental monitoring and distributed soundfield measurement. The distributed omnidirectional microphones in the array allow quick measurement and analysis in applications such as room and hall equalization and distributed subwoofer tuning.

Furthermore, the UMIK-X is compatible with Room EQ Wizard's latest multi-channel measurement capability. In fact, miniDSP partnered with REW and offers the cost of a full REW Multichannel measurement software license with each UMIK-X purchase, so users receive a complete software and hardware package to start their projects.

Starting at US $550, the UMIK X solution is available in a basic package and complemented with a range of accessories. The complete measurement kit includes everything needed to get started: USB interface, Mic arrays, REW Multichannel license & adjustable 1.2m stands. The UMIK-X is now available on miniDSP's webshop.

For those visiting the miniDSP website, it is also noting that there are several new useful Application Notes, including one for using the UMIK-1 or UMIK-2 measurement microphones and REW software with an HDMI output device for home theater tuning. There's also an application note on using the new UMIK-X measurement array with the MultiSub Optimizer software, and an updated step by step guide on setting up the UMIK-1 or UMIK-2 microphones with REW.
UMIK-X System Diagram. The miniDSP UMIK-X solution supports the multichannel measurement capability of the Room EQ Wizard measurement software.
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