What does "Beta" mean?

Date Updated: September 10, 2019 FAQ #2088
I see microphones with the word Beta attached to them. For example, the "Beta 87A" transmitter cost more than the "87A" transmitter. My question is, what does "Beta" mean and why are "Beta" products more expensive?

Beta is the SECOND letter in the Greek alphabet. The Beta 58 was/is the SECOND (improved) version of the SM58.
The term Beta evolved into an entire line of Shure products that are a step above the Shure SM line. In general, Beta mics offer better performance than similar products in the SM line, and thus, the higher price.