Shure Incorporated is an American audio products corporation. It was founded by Sidney N. Shure in Chicago, Illinois in 1925 as a supplier of radio parts kits. The company became a consumer and professional audio-electronics manufacturer of microphones, wireless microphone systems, phonograph cartridges, discussion systems, mixers, and digital signal processing. The company also imports listening products, including headphones, high-end earbuds, and personal monitor systems.
Shure is a brand that’s been around for a long time and has made some pretty cool stuff for music.
Did you know that Shure made the first dynamic microphone? It was called the Unidyne and was released in 1949. Since then, they’ve made some of the most iconic microphones in the industry.
In this article, I’ll tell you all about the history of Shure and what they’ve done for the music industry.
The Evolution of Shure
- Shure was founded in 1925 by Sidney N. Shure and Samuel J. Hoffman as a supplier of radio parts kits.
- The company began producing its own products, starting with the Model 33N microphone.
- Shure’s first condenser microphone, the Model 40D, was introduced in 1932.
- The company’s microphones were recognized as a standard in the industry and widely used in recording studios and on radio broadcasts.
Design and Innovation: Shure’s Force in the Industry
- Shure continued to produce new microphone models, including the iconic SM7B, which is still widely used today.
- The company also began producing instrument pickups, such as the SM57 and SM58, which are ideal for capturing the sound of guitars and drums.
- Shure’s design and engineering force also produced a range of other products, including cables, felt pads, and even a screw-on pencil sharpener.
From Chicago to the World: Shure’s Global Influence
- Shure’s headquarters are located in Chicago, Illinois, where the company began.
- The company has expanded its reach to become a global brand, with approximately 30% of its sales coming from outside of the United States.
- Shure’s products are used by musicians and sound engineers all over the world, making it a great example of American manufacturing excellence.
Shure’s Impact on Music: Products
Shure began producing microphones in 1939 and quickly positioned itself as a force to be reckoned with in the industry. In 1951, the company introduced the Unidyne series, which featured the first dynamic microphone with a single moving coil and a unidirectional pickup pattern. This technical innovation allowed for excellent rejection of noise from the sides and rear of the microphone, making it the go-to choice for performers and recording artists around the world. The Unidyne series was widely recognized as an iconic product and is still used today in its updated versions.
The SM7B: A Standard in Recording and Broadcasting
The SM7B is a dynamic microphone that has been a popular choice for recording studios and radio stations since its introduction in 1973. The microphone’s sensitivity and excellent rejection of noise make it an essential tool for recording vocals, guitar amps, and drums. The SM7B was famously used by Michael Jackson to record his hit album Thriller, and it has since been featured in numerous hit songs and podcasts. The SM7B is also known for its ability to handle high sound pressure levels, making it a great choice for live performances.
The Beta Series: High-End Wireless Systems
Shure’s Beta series of wireless systems was introduced in 1999 and has since become a go-to choice for performers who demand high-quality audio and reliable performance. The Beta series includes a range of products, from the Beta 58A handheld microphone to the Beta 91A boundary microphone. These systems use advanced technology to deliver excellent sound quality and rejection of unwanted noise. The Beta series has been awarded numerous accolades, including the TEC Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement in Wireless Technology.
The SE Series: Personal Earphones for Every Need
Shure’s SE series of earphones was introduced in 2006 and has since become a popular choice for music lovers who demand high-quality audio in a small package. The SE series includes a range of products, from the SE112 to the SE846, each designed to meet the specific needs of the listener. The SE series features both wired and wireless options, and the earphones are designed to deliver excellent sound quality and noise isolation. The SE846, for example, is widely recognized as one of the best earphones on the market, featuring four balanced armature drivers and a low-pass filter for exceptional sound quality.
The KSM Series: High-End Condenser Microphones
Shure’s KSM series of condenser microphones was introduced in 2005 and has since become a popular choice for recording studios and live performances. The KSM series includes a range of products, from the KSM32 to the KSM353, each designed to meet the specific needs of the user. The KSM series features advanced materials and technical innovations to deliver excellent sound quality and sensitivity. The KSM44, for example, is widely recognized as one of the best condenser microphones on the market, featuring a dual-diaphragm design and a switchable polar pattern for maximum flexibility.
The Super 55: A Deluxe Version of an Iconic Microphone
The Super 55 is a deluxe version of Shure’s iconic Model 55 microphone, which was first introduced in 1939. The Super 55 features a vintage design and advanced tecnology to deliver excellent sound quality and rejection of unwanted noise. The microphone is often referred to as the “Elvis microphone” because it was famously used by the King of Rock and Roll. The Super 55 is widely recognized as a high-end microphone and has been featured in numerous magazines and blogs.
The Military and Specialized Systems: Meeting Unique Needs
Shure has a long history of producing specialized systems for the military and other unique needs. The company began producing microphones for the military during World War II and has since expanded its offerings to include specialized systems for law enforcement, aviation, and other industries. These systems are designed to meet the specific needs of the user and often feature advanced tecnology and materials. The PSM 1000, for example, is a wireless personal monitoring system that is used by musicians and performers around the world.
Shure’s Award-Winning Legacy
Shure has been recognized for its excellence in the music industry with numerous awards and accolades. Here are some of the most notable ones:
- In February 2021, Shure was published in the “Connect” magazine for its new MV7 professional microphone, which offers the benefits of both USB and XLR connections.
- Michael Balderston from TV Technology wrote in November 2020 that Shure’s Axient Digital wireless microphone system is “one of the most reliable and advanced wireless systems available today.”
- Jennifer Muntean from Sound & Video Contractor gave details in October 2020 about Shure’s partnership with JBL Professional to deploy the Sonic Renovation at the Warner Theatre in Pennsylvania, which included the use of Eventide’s H9000 processors.
- Shure’s wireless microphones were used during Kenny Chesney’s “Songs for the Saints” tour in 2019, which was mixed by Robert Scovill using a combination of Shure and Avid technologies.
- Riedel Networks partnered with Shure in 2018 to provide carrier solutions for motorsports events, including the Formula One races.
- Shure has won multiple TEC Awards, including the Outstanding Technical Achievement in Wireless Technology category in 2017 for its Axient Digital wireless system.
Shure’s Commitment to Excellence
Shure’s award-winning legacy is a testament to its commitment to excellence in the music industry. The company’s dedication to innovation, testing, and design has resulted in products that are trusted by professionals around the world.
Shure’s commitment to excellence also extends to its workplace culture. The company offers job search resources, career development programs, and internships to help employees grow and succeed. Shure also provides competitive salary and compensation packages to attract and retain top talent.
In addition, Shure values the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The company actively seeks out and hires individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to foster a culture of creativity and innovation.
Overall, Shure’s award-winning legacy is a reflection of its dedication to providing the best possible products and workplace environment for its employees.
The Role of Innovation in Shure’s Development
Starting in the 1920s, Shure was already focused on building products that met the needs of people in the audio industry. The company’s first product was a single-button microphone called the Model 33N, which was commonly used in phonograph speaker systems. Over the years, Shure continued to innovate and produce new products that were designed to meet the needs of people in the audio industry. Some of the key innovations that the company produced during this time include:
- The Unidyne microphone, which was the first microphone to use a single diaphragm to produce a balanced sound
- The SM7 microphone, which was designed to produce a solid sound that was perfect for recording vocals
- The Beta 58A microphone, which was aimed at the live performance market and produced a super-cardioid polar pattern that helped to reduce outside noise
Shure’s Continued Innovation in the Modern Era
Today, Shure continues to be known for its innovative products and technologies. The company’s research and development team is constantly working to create new products that meet the needs of people in the audio industry. Some of the key innovations that Shure has produced in recent years include:
- The KSM8 microphone, which uses a dual-diaphragm design to produce a more natural sound
- The Axient Digital wireless microphone system, which uses advanced technologies to ensure that the sound quality is always top-notch
- The MV88+ Video Kit, which is designed to help people produce high-quality audio for their videos
The Benefits of Shure’s Innovation
Shure’s commitment to innovation has had a number of benefits for people in the audio industry. Some of the key benefits of the company’s innovative products and technologies include:
- Improved sound quality: Shure’s innovative products are designed to produce high-quality sound that is free from distortion and other issues.
- Greater flexibility: Shure’s products are designed to be used in a wide range of settings, from small recording studios to large concert venues.
- Increased efficiency: Shure’s products are designed to be easy to use and to help people work more efficiently.
- Enhanced creativity: Shure’s products are designed to inspire creativity and help people produce great sounds.
Testing: How Shure Ensures Legendary Quality
Shure’s microphones are known for their accuracy and perfect sound quality. But how does the company ensure that every product that hits the market meets the high standard that Shure has set for itself? The answer lies in their rigorous testing process, which includes the use of an anechoic chamber.
An anechoic chamber is a room that is soundproofed and designed to block out all outside noise and interference. Shure’s anechoic chamber is located in their headquarters in Niles, Illinois, and is used to test all of their microphones before they are released to the public.
Comprehensive Tests for Extreme Durability
Shure’s microphones are designed to be used in a variety of settings, from recording studios to live performances. To ensure that their products can survive even the most extreme conditions, Shure puts their microphones through a series of tests.
One of the tests involves dropping the microphone from a height of four feet onto a hard floor. Another test involves exposing the microphone to extreme temperatures and humidity. Shure also tests their microphones for durability by subjecting them to multiple spills and even a fizzy bath.
Wireless Microphones: Ensuring Resilience
Shure’s wireless microphones are also put through a series of tests to ensure that they can survive the rigors of touring. The company’s Motiv digital microphone line includes a wireless option that is tested for resilience in the face of RF interference.
Shure’s wireless microphones are also tested for their ability to pick up audio tones accurately and without any white noise. The company’s wireless microphones are designed to work seamlessly with iOS devices and include a USB port for easy connectivity.
Celebrating Results and Learning from Flukes
Shure’s testing process is comprehensive and meant to ensure that every product that hits the market is of the highest quality. However, the company also knows that sometimes things don’t go as planned. When a microphone doesn’t perform as expected, Shure’s engineers take the time to learn from the results and make improvements for future products.
Shure’s testing process is a testament to the company’s commitment to quality and innovation. By ensuring that every product that hits the market is thoroughly tested and meets the high standards that Shure has set for itself, the company has become a legendary name in the world of audio.
The Design and Identity of Shure
Shure is known for its iconic microphone designs that have been used by musicians and professionals for decades. The company has a rich history of designing microphones that not only sound good but also look good on stage. Here are some examples of Shure’s most iconic microphone designs:
- The Shure SM7B: This microphone is a favorite of musicians and podcasters alike. It has a sleek design and a rich, warm sound that is perfect for vocals and spoken word.
- The Shure SM58: This microphone is probably the most recognizable microphone in the world. It has a classic design and a sound that is perfect for live performances.
- The Shure Beta 52A: This microphone is designed for bass instruments and has a sleek, modern design that looks great on stage.
The Meaning Behind Shure’s Design
Shure’s microphone designs are more than just pretty pieces of gear. They are critical to the company’s identity and the sound of the music that they help to produce. Here are some of the key design elements that connect Shure’s microphones to the world of music:
- Natural Energy: Shure’s microphone designs are meant to capture the natural energy of the music being played. They are designed to remove any barriers between the musician and the audience.
- Steel and Stone: Shure’s microphone designs are often made of steel and stone, which gives them a sense of durability and strength. This is a nod to the company’s past and its commitment to quality.
- The Right Sound: Shure understands that the sound of a microphone is critical to the success of a musical performance. That’s why the company pays close attention to the differences between its products and how they connect with the music being played.
Shure’s Design and Service to the Music Community
Shure’s commitment to design and innovation goes beyond just creating great microphones. The company also understands the importance of service to the music community. Here are some examples of how Shure has helped musicians and music lovers over the years:
- The Breakthrough Tour: Shure launched the Breakthrough Tour in February of 2019. The tour was meant to help up-and-coming musicians get their start in the music industry.
- Worship Communities: Shure understands the importance of music in worship communities. That’s why the company has designed audio systems specifically for churches and worship campuses.
- Living Room Sessions: Shure has also launched a series of Living Room Sessions, which are intimate performances by musicians in their own homes. This concept helps to connect musicians with their fans in a unique way.
The Global Influence of Shure
Shure has been an influential figure in the music industry for over a century. Their audio products have been able to deliver powerful and entirely satisfying sound to people all over the world. Shure’s microphones have been used by some of the most famous musicians in history, including Elvis Presley, Queen, and Willie Nelson. These artists have played on some of the world’s greatest stages, and their voices have been heard by millions of people thanks to Shure’s products.
Shure’s Political Influence
Shure’s influence goes beyond just the music industry. Their microphones have been contracted for political speeches and performances, including those by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Queen of England. Shure’s endorsement by political figures and their ability to capture voices with clarity and power have made them an important part of political history.
Shure’s legacy goes beyond just their audio products. The company has helped curate exhibits and displays that portray the history of music and the impact that Shure has had on the industry. They have also been closely involved in the health and well-being of their employees, keeping spending under review and signing plans to ensure that their workers are well taken care of. Shure’s legacy is one of innovation, emotional performances, and a commitment to excellence that continues to live on today.
The Unveiling of the Shure Legacy Center
On Wednesday, Shure unveiled the Shure Legacy Center, a video tour of the company’s history and impact on the music industry. The emotional week-long event showcased the leading figures in the industry who have used Shure products and the impact that they have had on music. The center features photos, speeches, and performances from some of the most influential musicians of the past half-century, all of whom have been sewn into the fabric of Shure’s legacy.
Shure went from a Chicago based production company to a globally recognized brand, and some of the products that have made them a household name in the music industry.
Phew, that was a lot of information to take in! But now you know everything you need to know about this brand and their contribution to the music industry.
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.
Check me out on Youtube where I try out all of this gear:Subscribe