ClearOne Ceiling Microphone Array and ClearOne Ceiling Microphone Array Dante review

ClearOne Ceiling Microphone and its successor – the ClearOne Ceiling Microphone Dante are two microphones with an unobtrusive elegant design. They both come at a reasonable price. The two mics are generally recommended for small-to-medium conference rooms, presentation rooms, or training rooms. 

For larger rooms, we consider the ClearOne beamforming ceiling microphone to be a better solution. 

But which one of the ClearOne microphones is the right solution for your needs?

At a Glance

The two microphones have quite similar designs. Both of them have a small size. 

Although they look alike, the two ClearOne microphones do not have a lot in common comparing their audio characteristics and the way of connection.

The team of ClearOne put an effort to improve both the design and the audio specifications of the newer Dante model compared to its older brother. The Dante ClearOne Ceiling Microphone looks like a reliable and valuable investment. 

The older ClearOne Ceiling Microphone does not have as good audio specifications although it can be the right solution in some specific situations. The microphone works well at a shorter range.

Connectivity

Тhe main difference between the two is the connectivity specifics. This is the most important issue to take into account when choosing between the two microphones.  

The DanteClearOne Ceiling Microphone uses the Dante protocol, as its name says. Its interface box is connected to the network using a Cat5E cable. 

Besides, this mic can use a custom up-to-7-feet-long dropdown long cable connecting the mic to the ceiling box. This is an impressive length, and it can be adjusted to be shorter or longer, so there is an optimal distance between the speaker and the microphone.

The older ClearOne Ceiling Microphone does not use Dante. Its ceiling box connects directly to a mixer using a Cat5E plug. If you need an XLR plug to connect the ceiling box to a mixer, you can use an RJ45 to XLR adapter. The good news is such an adapter is included in the most recent releases of the model.

This model can use 1-foot or 2-feet drop-down cables included in the package. That is quite shorter than the adjustable 7-feet cable of the improved Dante model. We find this short-length cable as one of the obstacles to using this mic for larger spaces. So bear in mind if the length of the cable works for your case.

What kind of devices can the microphones connect to?

The ClearOne Dante Microphone is compatible with ClearOne or other DSP mixers which use Dante. Up to 4 microphones can be daisy-chained in one Dante audio system.

The ClearOne Ceiling Microphone is optimized to work with ClearOne mixers – CONVERGE Pro, INTERACT Pro, INTERACT Pro 8i, INTERACT AT. It can also work with other DSP mixers. Still, the mic is fit to work best with the DSP mixers of the same brand.

Audio performance

Both microphones are suitable for small-to-medium conference rooms, presentation rooms, training rooms. Both microphones are built up of three cardioid microphone elements, so they have 360-degree coverage. The two microphones have shielding against RF interference. These are all the features they have in common.

The ClearOne Dante Ceiling Microphone packs better audio quality and has a larger range compared to its older brother. 

Our tests show that one of the Dante microphones covers six participants sitting on a table. The microphone is specifically made with a focus on improved speech intelligibility with a very high signal-to-noise ratio. So it is not surprising that the ClearOne Dante catches sound with superior audio quality.

Besides, the long adjustable dropdown cable offers the possibility to keep the microphone at an optimal distance away from the speaker, even in the case of a very high ceiling.

The ClearOne Ceiling Microphone is optimized to work better at a shorter range. It can cover up to 4 participants. For larger rooms, multiple microphones can be used at the same time. The ClearOne Ceiling Microphone has a relatively short dropdown cable – 1-foot and 2-foot cables included in the package. So this mic is recommended for rooms with a standard height of the ceiling.

Design

Both microphones have quite an unobtrusive minimalistic design. Both of them are available in black and white color. 

The newer model has its microphone elements bumped out, so the microphone has a more rounded shape. The Dante model also has LEDs to show if the mic is on/off or in a muted state.

Final words

We liked the ClearOne Dante Ceiling Microphone better. The main difference – connecting through the Dante protocol is only part of the reason. The audio quality is greatly improved compared to the old model. It is a microphone that is designed and made with an eye for details. An unobtrusive good-looking and an excellent audio quality microphone.

The ClearOne Ceiling Microphone has more limited opportunities regarding its audio quality. We would recommend it for its reasonable price and as a good choice for huddle spaces. 

If you are looking for a more reliable solution that is not Dante, you may take a look at the Vaddio Ceiling Microphone. Read more about this mic here.