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Shure Beta 181/S Ultra-Compact Side-Address Microphone  From Shure

Ultra-Compact Side-Address Condenser Instrument Microphone with Supercardioid Polar Pattern Capsule



Retail:  $624.00

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What We Think

Such a killer little mic, and not just for drums.  Yes these are absolutely amazing on Snare and Toms, punchy, alive, 3 dimensional and so much "bigger" than dynamics, but they also work for other places.  We've found with cleaner electric tones and even acoustic guitars, these mics can be great little alternatives over the normal fair.  But we know, you want these for the drums.

When used with a great set of overheads and a great kick mic, really anything of your choosing, the 181's on Toms and Snare bring you so much detail and control over your kit.  They have FANTASTIC off axis rejection, which is a must when you are using 6+ mics on your kit.  This really allows you to position the mics where they sound best on the drums, you don't have to worry as much about the bleed.  Being condensers, they also have so much more detail and presence over your standard Dynamic mics, even the more expensive offerings that cost nearly as much as these.  On top of that, the 181's give you a deeper dimension to your sound, there is depth that you don't get from many lesser expensive mics.

My favorite part about using the 181's on the Snare and Toms is that they give you more flexibility in the mix.  What I mean by this, when mic'ing with the 181's you are going to be able to really dial in your sound in post.  They take EQ and compression so much better than dynamics.  And because you have more detail from these, you can place them in the drum mix exactly how you want them.  

Shure Beta 181 Side Address Microphone Overview

The Shure Beta 181 is an ultra-compact, small-diaphragm side-address condenser microphone that provides superior audio with consistent, textbook polar responses in a form factor small enough to get close to the source in the tightest conditions. It features interchangeable cardioid, super cardioid, omni and bidirectional capsules that make it a super versatile microphone for any recording applications. In this video, SoundPure Pro Audio Expert, Travis Hall, showcases this workhorse microphone on drums, electric guitar and acoustic guitar. If you like what you hear, check out this gear at SoundPure.com or give us a call anytime at 919.682.5552. Thanks for watching!

Manufacturer's Description from Shure

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..


  • 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/S (supercardioid) for snare drum, acoustic instrument, close-miking applications

About Manufacturer

Since 1925, musicians and music enthusiasts around the world have chosen Shure with confidence in the unparalleled sound and performance of our products. For forty years and counting, the Shure SM58 has been the most popular vocal microphone in the world, revered for its natural sound and famed durability. Our wireless microphones are synonymous with innovative technology and bulletproof reliability. And our award-winning earphones are redefining the audio experience for the most discerning listeners. But Shure stands for more than quality products. We are passionate about enabling performances that engage, energize and inspire audiences -- performances that help shape the course of history. Shure was there when Elvis stepped into Sun Studios and when JFK vowed to put a man on the moon. We've been on the world's biggest stages, from Live Earth to the Oval Office, ever since. Shure is also passionate about getting it right. We work tirelessly to develop flawless products and support them with the best customer service in the industry. In fact, in everything we do, we are committed to delivering a great audio experience -- because that's the true measure of legendary performance.


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