We are often asked why Shure microphones have specific model number designations and what these stand for. The organizational structure of Shure model numbers is credited to our founder S.N. Shure. Mr. Shure was a very organized person. The Shure archive has an example of his daily diary, kept when he was 15 years old. Each daily entry recorded what he did in school, what homework he was assigned, and whom he played with after school. Mr. Shure loved organization.
As the Shure microphone product line expanded in the 1930s, Mr. Shure made certain that it was organized, and here is the “secret key”:
200 Series = microphones with ceramic elements
300 Series = microphones with ribbon elements
400 Series = microphones with controlled magnetic/controlled reluctance elements
500 Series = microphones with dynamic elements
600 Series = not used as Electro-Voice had model numbers in the 600’s
700 Series = microphones with crystal elements
800 Series = microphones with condenser elements
Do the above still apply today? Yes, to a certain extent they do. Here are examples:
Model 104C has a carbon element.
Model 545SD-LC has a dynamic element.
What about other current Shure microphone lines?
SM = Studio Microphone, not as in Shure Microphone
BETA = Beta, as in the product line that followed the “alpha” SM line
KSM = Kondenser Studio Microphone, as in “this sounds European”
MX = Microflex, as in small mics with flexible design to handle multiple applications
PG = Performance Gear
SV = Shure Vocal
WC = Wireless Countryman
WH = Wired Headset or Wireless Headset
WL = Wireless Lapel or Wireless Lavalier
So now you know the logic behind Shure microphone models numbers! Thanks to Michael Pettersen, Shure’s Director of Applications Engineering for providing this information.