Shure Wired Microphone Model Numbers…an Explanation

Davida Rochman | March 26, 2012 Shure Wired Microphone Model Numbers…an Explanation

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":

Shure Voice Communication Microphone

100 Series = microphones with carbon elements

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 450 Series II originally had a controlled magnetic element; it was replaced with a dynamic element, but the model number was kept.

Model 545SD-LC has a dynamic element.


Vintage Shure Voice Communication Microphone


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

VP = Video Production


Shure KSM353

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.

Davida Rochman

Davida Rochman

A Shure associate since 1979, Davida Rochman graduated with a degree in Speech Communications and never imagined that her first post-college job would result in a lifelong career that had her marketing microphones rather than speaking into them. Today, Davida is a Corporate Public Relations Manager, responsible for public relations activities, sponsorships, and donation programs that intersect with Shure at the corporate and industry level.