Having officially opened for business on April 25, 1925, Niles, IL-based Shure Incorporated spent 2005 celebrating 80 years of continuous operation. Widely known for its SM57, SM58 and Beta Series microphones, as well as wireless systems, personal monitors, DSP-based electronics, and its premium phono cartridges, the company continues to influence the course of daily life the world over with its products.
Shure began producing two-button carbon microphones in 1932. Up until the introduction of these devices, microphones had been monstrously-proportioned, expensive tools primarily used for professional broadcast and PA systems. By contrast, Shure's designs were compact, efficient and considerably lower in price.
A condenser microphone was added to the Shure line in 1933, and a crystal microphone followed in 1935. At this time, Shure also created a separate department devoted strictly to microphone engineering. Out of this department came the 1937 introduction of the first modern noise-canceling microphone, the first directional microphone with a controlled pattern, and an acceleration-measuring vibration pickup. By the end of the decade, the engineering team's work led to the development of the Unidyne, which was the first single-element, unidirectional microphone seen within the industry. Today, the Unidyne is widely perceived as a classic, having become a celebrity in its own right thanks to appearances in movies, music videos and even on a U.S. postage stamp commemorating Elvis Presley.
The following timeline illustrates some of the company's more notable highlights:
1939: Unidyne I Microphone
The Unidyne I quickly gains status immediately after its introduction as the world's most recognized microphone, which it still is today. Used by Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower.
1942-1944: T-30 Throat Microphone, HS-33 And HS-38 Headset Microphone, M-C1 Microphone For Oxygen Masks, And Battle Announce Microphone
Shure goes to war in the '40s, adopting strict military standards (MILSPEC) as the standard of reliability for all Shure mics to come. Using T-30s, bomber crews could communicate over the noise inside planes on combat missions.
1952: Model 300 Bidirectional Gradient Microphone
A favorite of television host Johnny Carson, this microphone was also used by Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson during his presidential campaigns of 1952 and 1956.
1958: THE M3D
It becomes the first phono cartridge to successfully meet the demands of stereo recording.
1959: Unidyne III Microphone
The first high-quality, unidirectional microphone that was "end fired" (i.e., activated by speaking into the end rather than the side). A forerunner of the SM57 (1965), which has been used on White House podiums by just about every president since Lyndon B. Johnson.
1964: The Shure V-15 Stereo Dynetic Phono Cartridge
It is hailed as one of the finest ever made. It features a 15-degree vertical tracking angle and a symmetrical, bi-radial elliptical stylus.
1966: SM58 Microphone
Rugged and reliable, the SM58 ("SM" originally stood for "Studio Microphone") is adopted by rock-and-roll musicians.
1968: VA300 Vocal Master Total Sound System
Vocal Master components included microphones, mixers and loudspeakers. A fixture in thousands of auditoriums, nightclubs, stadiums and churches, Andy Williams, Loretta Lynn, The Carpenters, and many other pop stars of the '60s made it their official touring system.
1989: Beta 58/57 Microphones
Beta 58 and Beta 57 mics updated the popular SM58 and SM57 by providing a higher output level and a supercardioid pattern.
1990: L-Series Wireless Microphones
The first wireless microphone systems designed and built entirely by Shure.
1996: UHF Wireless Microphone System
Shure's entry into the burgeoning UHF market featured receivers and transmitters capable of selecting 191 separate frequencies throughout the 782-806 MHz operating range. As many as 20 systems could be operated simultaneously.
1997: PSM600 Personal Stereo Monitor Systems
Designed expressly for stage use, Shure's PSM600 Personal Stereo Monitor Systems were available in both UHF wireless and hard-wired versions.
With 2,400 selectable frequencies across a 60 MHz bandwidth, UHF-R allows up to 40 preset compatible systems to be operated per band. A total of 108 systems can be put to work using multiple bands. Shure's Advanced Track Tuning Filtering Technology shifts onboard RF filtering within selected frequencies to maximize both compatibility and isolation from interference.