Shure History

From a humble start as a radio parts wholesaler in 1925 Shure has grown to become a global leader in audio electronic.

Shure products have been everywhere and seen it all!

Shure Milestones


The 1920's

Sidney N. Shure
Sidney N. Shure

  • 1925
Shure Radio Company is founded on April 25 by Sidney N. Shure as a one-man company selling radio component kits before factory-built radio sets were marketed. Within three years Shure would grow to more than 75 employees.
  • 1929
The Great Depression grips the United States. The market for radio component kits declines when factory-built radios are launched. In addition to selling radio components, Shure becomes the exclusive distributor for a small microphone manufacturer.

The 1930's

Shure Classic Mics Medley

  • 1932

Shure becomes one of only four U.S. microphone manufacturers with the introduction of the Model 33N Two-Button Carbon Microphone. It is the first lightweight, high-performance product in a market dominated by large, costly devices.

  • 1936

Following the introduction of the company’s first condenser microphone 40D and its first crystal microphone, Model 70. Shure receives the first patent for a stylish and practical suspension support system for microphones. 

Shure Unidyne Classic Advertisement Shot

  • 1939

The Model 55 Unidyne is the first single-element unidirectional microphone. Its performance qualities and distinctive design ultimately make it “the most recognised microphone in the world.”

Historic figures like Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King use the microphone to proclaim their messages, and the 55 Unidyne becomes an integral accessory for performers like Groucho Marx and Elvis Presley.

To this day its unmistakable, iconic form symbolises the spirit of a whole generation.

The 1940's

The first Shure Factory

  • 1941 – 1944

Shure secures contracts to supply microphones for United States armed forces in World War II, reinforcing its reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality, robust products. The company adopts strict military standards (MILSPEC) as its quality control system for all Shure microphones. These standards have been used to test Shure products ever since.

  • 1948

Shure introduces the first phonograph cartridge capable of playing both long-playing (LP) and 78 rpm (revolutions per minute) records. Shure becomes the largest manufacturer of phonograph cartridges in the U.S.

The 1950's

Shure Vagabond

Shure introduces a variety of products over this decade. The Unidyne 55S is a smaller version of the renowned “Elvis Mic”, the Unidyne 55.

The first Shure ribbon microphone, Model 300, is launched, as well as several phonograph cartridges (M12, M3D).

The first wireless microphone system for performers, called the Vagabond, is also introduced. Powered by two hearing aid batteries, the system could transmit within a “performance circle” of approximately 700 square feet.


The 1960's

Shure V15

  • 1964

The V-15 Stereo Dynetic Cartridge is hailed as “one of the finest phonograph cartridges ever made.” It features a 15-degree vertical tracking angle and a symmetrical, bi-radial elliptical stylus.

  • 1965

The SM57 Dynamic Microphone is rugged and reliable with a clean, natural sound. It continues to be the U.S. President’s lectern microphone today, as it has been for every President since Lyndon B. Johnson.

  • 1966

The Shure SM58 (“SM” for “Studio Microphone”) is adopted by rock-and-roll musicians like The Who and The Rolling Stones, who find it offers the right combination of reliability and excellent sound quality. It quickly becomes the standard for live performance vocals. The SM58 remains the most popular vocal microphone in the world today.

SM58 the best selling vocal microphone worldwide

  • 1967

Eddie Kramer uses three Shure M67 mixers to capture the now legendary performances at Woodstock.

The 1970's

  • 1976

The SM11 is launched and is the world’s smallest dynamic lavalier microphone.


Shure SM81

  • 1978

The SM81 is the first condenser microphone to combine studio quality sound reproduction with the ruggedness and reliability needed for live performance.

The 1980's

Shure Beta 57 Instrument Microphone

  • 1982 – 1984

Michael Jackson’s vocals on “Thriller”, best-selling album of all time, are recorded with a Shure SM7.

Shure opens a manufacturing facility in Wheeling, a Chicago suburb, and in two Mexican locations, Agua Prieta and Juarez. The FP31 Mixer, easily attachable to a Betacam, the Automatic Microphone System (AMS) for installations, and the SM91 boundary microphone are introduced. Institutions like NASA, the Pentagon and major radio stations use the Shure ST6000 Teleconferencing System.

Shure Beta 58 Vocal Microphone

  • 1989

Beta 58 and Beta 57 Microphones, with their supercardioid polar pattern and high output level, provide unprecedented gain before feedback on concert stages.

The 1990's

  • 1990

Shure enters the wireless microphone market with the L Series. Within a decade, Shure dominates the wireless product category worldwide.

  • 1991

The European Headquarters is opened in Heilbronn, Germany. Shure Europe GmbH provides sales, service, and support to Shure Distribution Centres in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

  • 1995

Sidney N. Shure dies at the age of 93. Rose L. Shure is elected Chairman of the Board of Directors.

  • 1996

Shure markets its first digital signal processing (DSP) product, the DFR11EQ Digital Feedback Reducer.

  • 1999

Shure Asia Limited is opened in Hong Kong to serve Distribution Centres and distributors throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim.

The KSM32 Studio Microphone becomes Jay Leno’s desk microphone at The Tonight Show.


The 21st Century

Shure Grammy Award

  • 2002

Shure establishes Shure Distribution GmbH, a subsidiary of Shure Europe GmbH, to handle direct sales with Shure dealers in Germany.

  • 2003

Shure acquires its long-time United Kingdom Distribution Center, HW International, which is renamed Shure Distribution UK.

Shure US moves into new corporate headquarters in Niles, Illinois.

Shure is awarded the 2003 Technical GRAMMY by the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences®, which is presented by the Recording Academy to individuals and/or companies that have made outstanding contributions of technical significance to the recording industry. 

  • 2005

Shure opens two new facilities in China: a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Suzhou, and a sales and marketing office in Shanghai.

  • 2006

A new innovation in Personal Listening is achieved with the triple-driver E500 Sound Isolating Earphones.

Shure introduces KSM9, the first premium handheld condenser microphone to feature switchable cardioid and supercardioid polar pattterns, and bring studio quality sound to live performance.

To address the needs of the most demanding, large-scale wireless applications, Shure introduces UHF-R Wireless Systems.

The Shure Facilities in Niles

  • 2007

In a follow-up to the award-winning E Series, the SE Sound Isolating Earphones are introduced. With new sound signatures, styles, modularity, and improved ergonomics. Shure also releases the Music Phone Adapter (MPA), a sleek accessory that converts the new earphones into a stereo headset for mobile phones.

  • 2008

The 55 Unidyne, introduced in 1939, is inducted into the TECnology Hall of Fame. The Foundation for Excellence in Audio established Hall of Fame to honour and recognise audio products and innovations that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of audio technology.

Shure microphones are mounted to the lectern as Barack Obama, president of the United States, speaks to hundreds of thousands in Chicago’s Grant Park on election night.

Shure SRH840 Professional Headphones

  • 2009

Shure acquires studio microphone manufacturer Crowley & Tripp and launches two premium ribbon microphones, KSM313 and KSM353.

The Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone now offers the iconic design of the 55 Unidyne updated with a supercardioid cartridge and vibrant blue color.

PG42USB and PG27USB Microphones are launched. Both microphones are complete solutions for all PC & MAC recording enthusiasts and guarantee “plug and play” with Shure quality.

Shure adds a new product category to its extensive portfolio: the SRH Headphone series marks Shure’s entry into the headphone market.

  •  2010

Shure previewed two new Sound Isolating™ Earphones at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES): the new dual driver SE425 and triple driver SE535.

Shure’s new PSM® 900 Wireless Personal Monitor System was introduced at the Winter NAMM trade show in Anaheim, California.

Shure announced the introduction of the latest addition to our line of Beta microphones, the side-address supercardioid Beta 27.

Shure celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Company’s founding.

Shure formed a new subsidiary in the Netherlands

Shure added to its line of KSM Microphones— the new KSM42 and KSM44A, delivering world-class sound reproduction from exquisite electro-acoustical design and technology.

Shure released the SRH240m+ Headset with Remote + Microphone, which was the first headphone headset in the Company’s line of professional quality audio accessories for smartphones and portable music players.

  • 2011

On February 1, Shure completed the acquisition of Informationsteknik, one of the world’s leading suppliers of conferencing and audio/visual systems and equipment.

Shure previewed the Axient® (below) wireless management network at the Winter NAMM trade show in Anaheim, California, which detects interference and can automatically change frequencies.

Axient Image for History Page

Also at the NAMM show, Shure introduced the PGX Digital Wireless System, SRH550DJ and SRH940 Headphones, SE215 Earphones, and previewed the PSM®1000 Personal Monitor System.

New products for media production were unveiled at NAB, including VP89 and VP82 Shotgun Microphones, VP68 Omnidirectional Wireless Capsule, and UHF-R® Portable Components UR3 and UR5.

Shure unveiled a new office and Regional Distribution Center in Eppingen, Germany.

For the fourth time, Shure was named one of “Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” by the National Association for Business Resources (NABR).

Shure’s EMC laboratory (RF chamber) was accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program.

Shure Co-hosted a Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® Event, “Behind The Glass with Phil Ramone” at Shure Headquarters.

Shure introduced an innovative new shock mount for its KSM353 ribbon microphone that uses advanced materials and design to deliver excellent isolation with a refreshing dose of style.

  • 2012

Shure launched ULX-D™ Digital Wireless, offering uncompromising 24-bit audio clarity and extremely efficient RF performance with single, dual, and quad channel receivers for any size professional sound reinforcement application.

For the second straight year, Shure was the only company at NAMM to introduce new products in each of the following categories: wired microphones, wireless microphone systems, and monitoring. Shure received seven prestigious awards at NAMM: the Beta 181 and PGX-Digital received TEC Awards; the KSM42 and PSM 1000 received Readers Choice Awards from Pro Sound Web; and the PSM 1000 was named Product of the Year at the Music & Sound Awards.

Iconic artists used Shure products throughout the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast, including Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, Coldplay, The Beach Boys, Taylor Swift, and Sir Paul McCartney.

Shure co-hosted our third GRAMMY Soundtable “Behind the Glass” event with the Chicago Chapter of The Recording Academy. Legendary recording engineer and producer Al Schmitt was the guest.

In April, Shure celebrated 87 years in business with the premiere of “Shure: People, Products, and Passion,” a new film that highlights our Associates, our unique culture, and our legendary products.

For the first time, more than 60 Associates participated in the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Chicago in May.

For the fifth time, Shure was named one of “Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies To Work For” by the National Association for Business Resources (NABR).

New Axient wireless microphones were widely used by a galaxy of headline stars at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Shure launched its line of Centraverse™ Installed Sound Microphones, an economical complement to its existing Microflex® series for the sound contracting market.

Winning for the second consecutive year, Shure has been awarded the distinction of being named one of the country’s 2012 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ by the National Association for Business Resources (NABR).

The S.N. Shure Theater in the Corporate Headquarters was presented the Interior Architecture Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.

Associates in the Netherlands moved to a new office in Culemborg in October.

  • 2013

Shure began distributing Danish Interpretation Systems (DIS) conferencing and discussion systems.

Shure garnered several awards at the annual NAMM trade show in Anaheim, California, including TEC Award (for Axient), ProSound Network Best of Show (for GLX-D), Musical Merchandise Review’s Dealers’ Choice Award (for the SM58®), and Readers’ Choice Awards (for the PSM 1000, KSM9HS, and Axient).

GLX-D Systems, new groundbreaking wireless products, were introduced.

Axient was the preferred wireless system for the half-time show at Super Bowl XLVII.

VP83 and VP83F LensHopper™ Camera-Mount Condenser Microphones began shipping. VP83F LensHopper™ Camera-Mount Condenser Microphone won the Best of NAB award at the show.

Broadcast headsets (BRH31M, BRH440M, and BRH441M) began shipping.

The SCM820 Digital IntelliMix® Automatic Mixer marked Shure’s latest product in the mixer category.

BLX Wireless Microphone Systems began shipping.

Shure introduced the SE846 Sound Isolating™ Earphones.

With intelligent rechargeable transmitters and comprehensive remote control software, Microflex™ Wireless is available for board rooms and conferencing environments.

Shure introduced the SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back Headphones.

Winning for the third consecutive year, Shure is named one of the country’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ by the National Association for Business Resources (NABR).

  • 2014

Shure opens a new office in Miami, expanding the Company’s global presence and broadening reach throughout the Americas.

GLXD6 is launched. Shure’s first wireless receiver in guitar pedal format, delivering continuous interference monitoring in a standard pedal board.

For the third consecutive year, all of the artists and bands who performed using in-ear monitors during the GRAMMY® Awards used the Shure PSM®1000 Personal Monitor System—From Imagine Dragons to Lorde to John Legend to Paul McCartney.

2014 marks the 75th Anniversary of the market launch of the legendary Unidyne Microphone, effectively kicking off 2014 as “The Year of the Unidyne.”

The Model 55 Unidyne Microphone received the IEEE Milestone Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.  

Legendary Shure Mics

Beta 58A

Video: SM58 Vocal Microphone

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Video: SM58 Vocal Microphone