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Hardware Review: Andrea Sound Max Stereo Array Mic

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  • Hardware Review: Andrea Sound Max Stereo Array Mic

    Superb voice solution... iffffffffff you never hibernate~!

    I recently purchased this mic bundle from Mp3car. You get exactly whats shown in the picture... a nice stereo mic with a standard pink mic connector, a usb device that says its a sound adapter (more on that later), and the driver CD. Installation was pretty straight forward. First, you install the drivers and the sound management application, then plug in your handy USB sound adapter. The drivers should be found automatically. Lastly, plug in the mic into the sound adapter. Done!

    The software package in the bundle is also very simple. The application has its own wizard, similar to the windows sound wizard, where you speak and it adjusts the mic volume based on your volume. The tasty part of the application and the main selling point IMHO is the noise filter selection. I was a bit surprised at there being only 2 real filter options, and i honestly cant tell the difference between them. Both do a really excellent job of eliminating most of the noises while traveling in a vehicle. The sound while standing still is practically the same as driving 60mph on the highway. I was able to make several hands free calls via the RR Plugin and no one could honestly tell i was using a computer mic versus a bluetooth headset. High quality stuff!

    That is... until you hibernate. Upon resume, your andrea mic comes back to life as "Device AK#####" (numbers are completely random). The mic is still functions, but none of the voice filters remain available. The ONLY way i was able to get them back was to unplug, restart the computer, then reinsert. This of course is a serious setback for anyone that puts there car PC to sleep rather than shutting down.

    One other quibble I've noticed is the sound mixer application conflicts with other mixer applications. On my intel dg45fc motherboard with "High-Definition Audio", the andrea mixer will reset my values anytime it takes focus. Not a huge problem, but it is something worth noting.

    Design isn't really a huge concern given its just a mic... but the Andrea is pretty sleek! Its practically made to sit behind the steering wheel on the steering column due to its lip placement.

    All in all, i am happy with my purchase being that the only real grief will come when i take the time to find a way to overcome hibernation issues (Relay? Devcon?). Overall, I'm giving the device 4/5 stars. Save the hibernation problem, its really the best mic I've tried since joining the hobby half a decade ago.

    Pics and sample .wav files coming soon!
    mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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  • #2
    I wonder if devcon can help with the hibernate issues.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kross View Post
      I wonder if devcon can help with the hibernate issues.
      I sure hope so. But i've been so busy with the new computer installation i havent bothered to test it yet.
      mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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      • #4
        Thanx for the review Sonic. I am also getting Andrea hopefully by next week. Will post my experience.
        Btw. I do hibernate my system all the time. isnt there any solution for it ? How about asking Andrea Support ? Did You Ask them ?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nisarg86 View Post
          Thanx for the review Sonic. I am also getting Andrea hopefully by next week. Will post my experience.
          Btw. I do hibernate my system all the time. isnt there any solution for it ? How about asking Andrea Support ? Did You Ask them ?
          i havent contacted Andrea. Guess i can shoot an email over to them now. The driver that came with the cd is dated in 2006 so i doubt they sell enough of these things that a new driver is a possibility. I think a relay which kills power to the + line in the usb cable upon taking the key out is the best solution. As long as the sound adapter is disconnected before hibernation it will resume as the andrea mic not the dreaded AK4794blah
          mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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          • #6
            Is the usb device you plug the mic in to a usb sound card? If so, maybe the problem is with that and you could just plug the mic in to the mic port in your onboard sound? Just a thought...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Norrin302 View Post
              Is the usb device you plug the mic in to a usb sound card? If so, maybe the problem is with that and you could just plug the mic in to the mic port in your onboard sound? Just a thought...
              The only way the voice filters work is if you have the usb adapter in line.
              mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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              • #8
                does it filter the retched echo as well?
                Scion CarPC

                Bluetooth Audio Gateway Tutorial

                How to speed up boot with buried features in msconfig

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                • #9
                  I'm assuming so.. i've never had a person say i had an echo on my end and never pick up echo in doing wav recording. Seriously its a great solution in my mind i just dont have the time to fiddle with its hibernation proceedures right now.
                  mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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                  • #10
                    Did you find a solution to the hibernation problem?

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                    • #11
                      nope.. still havent bothered honestly. I'm waiting for the new Mp3car usb hub with controllable power options. That may give me the chance to fix it
                      mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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                      • #12
                        Well with the help of this delicious new toy i no longer have problems with my superbeam mics hibernation. I'll have a review up of the CNX-P5USB soon!
                        mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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                        • #13
                          We used this mic in a 1955 Porche Replica over the speedometer. See post 4. More details here: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...r-install.html

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                          • #14
                            I was scared of the hibernation issues so I called up andrea audio and they've never heard of that problem also. It might be a usb port error. I used to have a soundblaster live ex external sound card which ran on my usb and it was always fine coming back from hibernation. How bad is the mic when the windows are down? and what phone are you using? I just started playing with the phonecontrol plugin for RR using my iphone 3g on my linksys BT connection. There's some lag but the worse part is that my desktop mic is giving off horrendous echo. I'm hoping this will resolve that.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wariow View Post
                              I was scared of the hibernation issues so I called up andrea audio and they've never heard of that problem also. It might be a usb port error. I used to have a soundblaster live ex external sound card which ran on my usb and it was always fine coming back from hibernation. How bad is the mic when the windows are down? and what phone are you using? I just started playing with the phonecontrol plugin for RR using my iphone 3g on my linksys BT connection. There's some lag but the worse part is that my desktop mic is giving off horrendous echo. I'm hoping this will resolve that.
                              if they're never heard about it it means they...

                              A. Didnt write there own driver
                              B. Have never bothered to test hibernation

                              because the problem is there and there for all pcs.. not specific to any usb port or manufacturer. The mic is pretty much unusable from its position in my car with the windows down. You may be able to send voice commands through but having a conversation just wont happen. In my testing i've used my blackberry storm and have no echo issues whatsoever. There's a very small amount of lag but even the best hands free devices have that.
                              mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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