Recently, Bose Professional introduced the ControlSpace EX series of products, a Dante-based conferencing lineup, which includes a full-featured, open-architecture conferencing processor and three under-table boxes.
The 4- and 8-channel under-table boxes (UTBs), each have mic/line inputs with 48V phantom power, two general purpose outputs (GPO) and one general purpose input (GPI) for microphone logic control on a Phoenix connector. 12VDC is also available to drive microphone LEDs that are not powered from phantom power (such as Clock Audio, Earthworks and others). This GPIO combination supports most popular conferencing microphones, LED rings and pushbuttons. The under-table boxes include PoE and a pair of network and power connections for daisy-chaining.
A 7-foot adapter is available to extend audio and logic connections for conferencing microphones with logic connections which terminate to RJ-45, effectively combining these separate signals into one easy to manage cable.
A third under-table box addresses BYOD (bring-your-own-device) applications. With onboard USB audio to Dante, clients can plug in laptops at the table and use their favorite software codec to make audio calls. Additionally, RJ-9 and 3.5 mm TRRS connectors can be used to interface to a mobile phone or office phone headset port.
At just 1-inch tall, and with rounded edges, each model from Bose is appealing to those customers looking to minimize the exposure of devices under a table and who wish to protect the conference participants from sharp-edged devices mounted under the table
Each endpoint ships with rotatable mounting tabs for under-table installation. Bose also offers a magnetic mounting plate for simplified installation. The optional mounting plate fastens to the underside of the table and holds the endpoint firmly. Integrated cable tie-offs allow cable bundles to be neatly secured.
The mounting plate could be provided to furniture vendors in advance for fitment and installation in their shop, while the contractor retains the box for configuration and pre-wiring; then, in the field, the under-table box is set into the mounting plate. Devices could be installed or swapped without any tools.
Subscribing Dante Streams with DSP
Bose combines their ControlSpace protocols and a third-party API into one version of each model. Once joined to the Dante network with the ControlSpace EX DSP, the under-table boxes will pair themselves by subscribing Dante streams with the DSP—a plug’n’play solution.
Each under-table box has bi-color signal LEDs and a white power LED which appear invisible until illuminated. This effect keeps a very clean, sleek, minimalistic industrial design. The LEDs can be flashed from software to identify end points.
Instead of multiple, conference-specific models, the ControlSpace EX-1280C DSP features all of the common audio conferencing connections—2-line VoIP, analog telephone, USB, and Dante – along with 12 rout-able acoustic echo cancelers, in just one model.
With 12 analog inputs, 8 analog outputs, an 8-channel digital AmpLink output (which is compatible with several Bose amplifiers), 64×64 Dante, telco, VoIP, and USB, Bose packs more audio channels—166 in total—into a 1RU conferencing processor than any other native-Dante digital signal processor.
Within the open-architecture ControlSpace Designer software, Bose includes preconfigured logic modules, EQ and gain settings for common microphone models and LED/pushbutton logic operations. In addition to the standard compliment of DSP blocks, new tools including a Conference Room Router module and a Conference Room Combiner module are added to simplify configuration of conferencing systems. The ControlSpace EX-1280C offers native support for all of today’s Dante microphones—not just certain models (like some non-Dante DSPs). An AEC tail length of 480ms—the longest in the industry—helps tame those challenging spaces. These features make deploying a quality audio conference system quick, consistent and repeatable.
Until the release of the ControlSpace EX line from Bose Professional, there was a minimal price advantage for Dante conferencing processors. The ControlSpace EX product line is an impressive competitor that offers many advantages over the popular products at a compelling price. Bose Professional’s notable Dante DSP and three under table boxes, improved Dante features and new conferencing-specific DSP modules will save time throughout the design and installation of any integrated conference room.
Marc Happes is a senior engineer and consultant with ACT Associates, LLC in Boston, MA. He earned both a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in electrical engineering from Binghamton University in New York. His concentration is in digital signal processing. Before relocating to Boston and before becoming a consultant, Marc worked as an engineer for an AV integrator where he was involved in design, implementation and commissioning of many successful projects. He is CTS-D and Dante Level II certified. Marc can be reached at email@example.com.