Shure History

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

Shure products have been everywhere and seen it all!

Shure Milestones


The 1920's

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

Shure introduced new PSM 900 Wireless Personal Monitor System, dual driver SE425 and triple driver SE535 Sound Isolating™ Earphones.

Shure added the new KSM42 and KSM44A, delivering world-class sound reproduction.

  • 2011 

Shure previewed the Axient Wireless Management Network and PSM1000 Personal Monitor System at the Winter NAMM trade show in Anaheim.

NAMM saw Shure PGX Digital Wireless System, SRH550DJ and SRH940 Headphones, SE535 Special Edition Earphones introduced too.

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

  •  2012

Shure launched ULX-D™ Digital Wireless, and also its own line of CentraverseTM Installed Sound Microphones for the sound contracting market.

  •  2013

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

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

Shure introduced the SE846 Sound Isolating™ Earphones.and SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back Headphones.

  •  2014

Shure opens a new office in Miami.

Artists performed at GRAMMY® Awards using Shure, Imagine Dragons to Lorde to John Legend to Paul McCartney.

75th Anniversary of Model 55 Unidyne Microphone.

  • 2015

 Shure Incorporated celebrates its 90th anniversary in business.

The PG ALTA™ Microphone line is introduced.

With much anticipation, Shure unveils the MOTIV™ Digital Product Line and iOS Mobile Recording App.

The Company debuts the KSE1500 Electrostatic Earphone System and SHA900 Portable Listening Amplifier.


  • 2016

Shure Incorporated mourns the passing of its Chairman, Rose L. Shure, at the age of 95.

The Great Hall exhibit is unveiled at Shure corporate headquarters in Niles, Illinois.

KSM8 Dualdyne™ Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone is the world’s first dual-diaphragm dynamic handheld microphone.

Shure joins the Cisco® Solution Partner Program.

CEO Sandy LaMantia retires and Chief Operating Officer Chris Schyvinck is named only the fourth President and CEO in Shure history.

Industry-innovating Microflex® Advance™ Ceiling and Table Array Microphones debut.

Shure marks the 50th Anniversary of its iconic SM58® Vocal Microphone.

Crain’s Chicago Business includes Shure among “Chicago’s Most Innovative Companies’ Top 10 List.”

Based on analysis of the professional and commercial microphone market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Shure Incorporated with its “2016 North America Company of the Year Award.”