The precision-engineered BETA®181 is a versatile condenser instrument microphone with interchangeable polar pattern capsule options.

from $499.00

Available Options

BETA 181/C Ultra-Compact Side-Address Condenser Instrument Microphone with Cardioid Polar Pattern Capsule
BETA 181/S Ultra-Compact Side-Address Condenser Instrument Microphone with Supercardioid Polar Pattern Capsule
BETA 181/O Ultra-Compact Side-Address Condenser Instrument Microphone with Omnidirectional Polar Pattern Capsule
BETA 181/BI Ultra-Compact Side-Address Condenser Instrument Microphone with Bidirectional Polar Pattern Capsule
Beta 181/Kit Ultra-Compact Side-Address Instrument Microphone Kit comes with one (1) each Cardioid, Supercardioid, Omnidirectional and Bidirectional Polar Pattern Capsules

The Shure BETA 181 is an ultra-compact, small-diaphragm side-address condenser microphone, designed for discreet placement and control in live and studio environments. Featuring interchangeable cardioid, supercardioid, omnidirectional and bidirectional capsule options for superior versatility, the small diaphragm design provides superior audio with consistent, textbook polar responses in a form factor small enough to get close to the source in the tightest conditions.


Stereo Recording


Studio Vocals

Acoustic String Instruments


Drums / Percussion

Microphone Type


Lightweight, sensitive diaphragm. Precisely and smoothly captures sound nuances. Powered by battery or phantom power supply.

Polar Pattern


Picks up sound equally from the front and back of the microphone.


Picks up the most sound in front of the microphone and some from the sides. Less susceptible to feedback in high volume environments.


Equally sensitive to sound from all directions, but cannot be "aimed" to isolate one area.


Screens unwanted sound sources. Ideal for individual instruments in a multi-microphone setting, or single sources in noisy environments.

Frequency Response


Smooth, extended response. Tuned to accentuate specific types of instruments or voices.

Form Factor


Model Line


BETA Microphone Product Brochure (PDF)
Beta 181 Specification Sheet (PDF)
Beta 181 User Guide (PDF)
BETA181 Condenser Microphone User Guide (PDF)
  • Interchangeable polar pattern capsules attach to a compact preamplifier with integrated XLR connections for the ultimate in low-profile application flexibility (Each Beta 181 ships with one polar pattern capsule and one XLR preamplifier. Capsules available separately for custom flexibility.)
  • Precision-engineered, compact side-address design features innovative locking ring to provide secure connection between capsule and preamplifier
  • Frequency response tailored for wide dynamic range applications for use in high SPL environments
  • Furnished with stand adapter, windscreen and carrying case (carrying case will securely protect up to four polar pattern capsules)

Application recommendations: 

  • BETA 181/C (cardioid) for drum overhead, piano, acoustic instrument applications, M/S stereo technique (paired with Beta 181/BI)
  • BETA 181/S (supercardioid) for snare drum, acoustic instrument, close-miking applications
  • BETA 181/O (omnidirectional) for ambient/room, instrument ensemble applications
  • BETA 181/BI (bidirectional) for mono drum overhead, dual instrument sound source applications, Blumlein stereo technique (pair of Beta 181/BI)
Condenser (Electret)
Frequency Response
20 to 20,000 Hz
Polar Pattern
Cardioid, Supercardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional
Phantom power required?
11–52 V DC phantom power (IEC-61938) 2.4 mA, maximum

    A181C Zippered Carrying Case

    Works with Beta 181.

    from $30.00

    RPM181/C Cardioid Polar Pattern Capsule

    Cardioid Polar Pattern Capsule. Works with Beta 181.

    from $249.00

    RPM181/S Supercardioid Polar Pattern Capsule

    Supercardioid Polar Pattern Capsule. Works with Beta 181.

    from $249.00

    RPM181/PRE Replacement XLR Preamplifier

    Replacement XLR Preamplifier. Works with Beta 181.

    from $249.00

    A181WS Windscreen

    Replacement foam windscreen for use with Beta 181.

    from $12.00

    A57F Microphone Clip

    Works with Beta 181, KSM137, KSM141, SM63, SM63L, SM63LB, SM81, VP64A, VP64AL, MX412, MX418, MX412S, MX418S, MX412SE, and the MX418SE microphones and standard microphone stands.

    from $8.00

    RPM181/O Omnidirectional Polar Pattern Capsule

    Omnidirectional Polar Pattern Capsule. Works with Beta 181.

    from $249.00

    RPM181/BI Bidirectional Polar Pattern Capsule

    Bidirectional Polar Pattern Capsule. Works with Beta 181.

    from $249.00