Shure SM81 Instrument Condenser Microphone

Item # MICSM81LC
| Mfg # SM81LC
| UPC # 042406051194
Our Price: $349.00
Retail: $436.00 | You Save: 19%
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The Shure Model SM81 is a high-quality, unidirectional condenser microphone designed for studio recording, broadcasting, and sound reinforcement. Its wide frequency response, low noise characteristics, and low RF susceptibility have made it a standard for applications involving acoustic instruments, especially guitar, piano, and cymbals.

The SM81 is ruggedly constructed. It operates on phantom power and performs over a wide range of temperatures and humidity conditions. It is furnished with a swivel adapter, attenuator-switch lock, foam windscreen, and case for carrying and storage.

  • 0 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response
  • Flat response curve for accurate reproduction of sound sources
  • Low noise and high output clipping level
  • Low distortion over a wide range of load impedances
  • Cardioid polar pattern, uniform with frequency and symmetric about axis, providing maximum rejection and minimum coloration of off-axis sounds
  • Low RF susceptibility
  • Selectable low-frequency response: flat, 6 or 18 dB/octave rolloff
  • 0 dB/10 dB lockable attenuator switch
  • Phantom powering (DIN 45 596 voltages of 12 to 48 Vdc)
  • Rugged steel construction for durability
  • Field-usable over wide range of temperature and humidity conditions
Condenser (electret bias)

Frequency Response
20 to 20,000 Hz

Polar Pattern
Cardioid (unidirectional) response-uniform with frequency, symmetrical about axis

Output Impedance
Rated at 150 ohms (85 ohms actual)

Recommended minimum load impedance: 800 ohms (May be used with loads as low as 150 ohms with reduced clipping level)

Output Configuration and Connector
Balanced, transformer-coupled output; male XLR connector

Sensitivity (at 1,000 Hz)
Open Circuit Voltage: -45 dBV/Pascal (5.6 mV)
(1 Pascal = 94 dB SPL)

Clipping Level (at 1,000 Hz)
800 ohm Load: -4 dBV (0.63 V)
150 ohm Load: -15 dBV (0.18 V)

Total Harmonic Distortion
Less than 0.5% (131 dB SPL at 250 Hz into 800 ohm load)

Maximum SPL (at 1,000 Hz)
800 ohm load: 136 dB (attenuator at 0) 146 dB (attenuator at -10)
150 ohm load: 128 dB (attenuator at 0) 138 dB (attenuator at -10)

Hum Pickup
-3 dB equivalent SPL in a 1 mOe field (60 Hz)

Self-Noise (equivalent sound pressure levels; measured with true rms voltmeter)
16 dB typical, A-weighted
19 dB typical, weighted per DIN 45 405

Signal-to-Noise Ratio
78 dB (IEC 651)* at 94 dB SPL
*S/N ratio is difference between 94 dB SPL and product's equivalent self noise (SPL A-weighted).

Overvoltage and Reverse Polarity Protection
Max. external voltage applied to pins 2 and 3 with respect to pin 1: +52 Vdc
Reverse polarity protection: 200 mA max. (diode-clamped)

Positive pressure on diaphragm produces positive voltage on pin 2 relative to pin 3

Cartridge Capacitance
54 pF

Low Frequency Response Switch Positions
Flat; -6 dB/octave below 100 Hz; -18 dB/octave below 80 Hz

Attenuator Switch Positions (Lockable)
0 or -10 dB

Supply Voltage: 11 to 52 Vdc, positive, pins 2 and 3
Current Drain: 1.2 mA max.

Environmental Conditions
Storage: -29 degrees to 74 degrees C (-20 degrees to 165 degrees F)
Operating: -6.7 degrees to 49 degrees C (20 degrees to 120 degrees F)
Storage 0 to 95% relative humidity at room temperature (72 degrees to 80 degrees F, 22 degrees to 27 degrees C)

Steel construction with vinyl metallic paint finish and stainless steel screens

Net: 230 grams (8 oz)
Packaged: 740 grams (1 lb 10 oz)

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Product Warranty Information

Tel: (847) 600-2000; Email:; Shure Website | Warranty Info; 2 years Parts and Labor

  Product warrenty information

All instruments in our catalogs and on our shopping site carry the manufacturers' warranties against defects in parts and workmanship. Should a defect occur within the manufacturer's warranty period, contact us immediately.

We will be glad to help facilitate the repair or replacement as specified by the manufacturer. The manufacturer will determine whether the defect is covered under their warranty; we do not make that determination.

Please note: U.S.-based manufacturers WILL NOT honor warranties for items sold and shipped outside the U.S. Also, if a school, school district, or board of education purchases an instrument and resells it to an individual, the manufacturer considers the warranty to be void. Warranties are extended only to the original purchaser!

All warranties, stated or implied are held with the product manufacturer and they vary from item to item. Consult the documentation that came with your product for details in addition to the information below.
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With a history of audio innovation begun by Sidney Shure in Chicago in 1925, Shure has turned a passion for making great audio electronics into an obsession. The SM57 and SM58 are considered to be the two best-selling mics in the world. Shure also offers wireless systems and headphones.
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