Zaxcom's New RX-4 Interface Converts Wireless Receivers into Standalone Devices

Well, this is cool. 

For those not in the know, Zaxcom specializes in audio products with some pretty unique features. A few that come to mind is Zacom's High Density Modulation (ZHD), which expands the available frequency channels in transmitters, fully encrypted digital audio, as well as the ability to adjust the transmitter levels remotely through ZaxNet without requiring a separate app or the need to take the body pack off the talent.

But probably one of the most hotly contested features, which they have a patent on, is the ability to simultaneously transmit wireless audio and record internally. That latter is one of their very early successful innovations (other than the Deva) and has been "borrowed" many times over by competitors and repacked in different ways to not infringe upon it.

We're big fans of the feature, and while it's unfortunate it's under patent, it's just one of those things we'll all have to wait on, similar to RED's internal RAW recording patent. 

The RX-4 is a new module interface from Zaxcom, and while it doesn't surprise us with any distinct feature-related innovations, it does do something we thoroughly enjoy: it takes an existing product and makes it better. 

Nova with slot-style receivers Credit: Zaxcom

The RX-4 works only with Zaxcom's Digital Recording wireless, specifically the MRX214 and MRX414 receivers, which are "slot-styled" receivers that slide into the back of the Nova mixer-recorder. Before the RX-4, the MRX214 and MRX414 receivers only worked with the Nova or RX-12 series rack-mounted receivers. When paired with the Nova, it made a very compact footprint as there isn't a need for extra cables for your wireless. Essentially, you slide the receiver in, set your levels, and go. The setup is especially great for bag work. 

The RX-4 changes all that, allowing the MRX214 or MRX414 receivers to be used as standalone devices similar to any TX/RX units. That's pretty cool. We always like it when companies find ways to take what we already own and make it better. This is one of them. 

Credit: Zaxcom

According to Zaxcom, the RX-4 has a brand new dual-track-tuned front-end filter with a 44 MHz tuning window. They also added an internal passive filter which increases the range without causing intermodulation or interference from nearby walkie-talkies or smartphones. Like other Zaxcom wireless, the RX-4 and MRX414 combination is a fully digital signal with encrypted audio. The MRX414 can receive audio from up to four transmitters, while the MRX214 can receive audio from two separate transmitters. 

Additionally, the RX-4 has two OLED displays to monitor up to four separate transmitters. Zaxcom has added color LEDs to indicate transmitter status and simply push buttons to navigate the menus. To scan the location for the best frequency channels, the RX-4 can scan the entire frequency range and suggest the best frequency for all four receivers automatically. 

In terms of power, the RX-4 runs off the receiver and consumes no additional power or produces extra heat. The RX-4 is available in two frequency ranges. RX-4L covers 512-614 MHz, and the RX-4H, covers 598-698 MHz. Price is set at $650.      

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