Once in a great while, a product transcends its basic function and becomes an icon – a cultural artifact. Most fade away as they are eclipsed by new technology or changing tastes, but some make such an indelible mark that their appeal never wanes. The Shure model 55SH Series II Unidyne® Microphone is one such icon; it’s the professional audio industry’s answer to the ’65 Ford Mustang or a pair of Levi’s 501 blue jeans.
It’s been 70 years since the original Unidyne – the first single-element unidirectional microphone -- debuted in 1939. Now, the model once advertised as ‘The Microphone That Needs No Name’ is getting an upgrade. Shure has taken the iconic 55SH body that has been in production since 1951, dropped in a new supercardioid motor, and added some vibrant blue color. The resulting hot rod has the same retro-cool look as the original when parked on a mic stand but with a contemporary upgrade in performance.
The new model probably doesn’t need a name either, but it has one: the Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone. The Super 55 enters the lineup sporting a high-output, vocal-friendly sound, supercardioid polar pattern, and a robust shock mount.
“Everybody loves the look of the 55SH Series II, but sound engineers increasingly find that they need additional clarity and gain-before-feedback,” said Scott Sullivan, Shure’s Senior Director of Global Product Management. “Now people don’t have to choose between style and performance – the Super 55 provides equal measures of both.”
While incorporating new technology inside, the Super 55 pays homage to the original models released decades ago.
“I think the blue foam looks super awesome,” said Chad Wiggins, Shure’s Wired Products Category Manager. “Many people have seen only black-and-white photos of our older microphones, so they didn’t know that there were colored silk screens on different model variations. The foam pop filter on the Super 55 is the same royal blue color as the silk material used on early vintage models.”
The Super 55’s unique features include:
• Modern Sound: Tailored frequency response for natural vocals and speech
• High Output: Neodymium magnet and output transformer for increased sensitivity
• Vintage Design: Iconic chrome-plated design with vibrant blue color additions
• Supercardioid Polar Pattern: High gain-before feedback and excellent off-axis rejection
• Internal Shock Mount: Minimizes handling/stage noise and ensures quiet operation
• Rugged Die-Cast Steel Casing: Reliable under rigorous conditions
The Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone is now shipping and carries a two-year limited warranty. The current 55SH Series II model will continue to be available. Both products can be purchased at select retail partners. Check www.shure.com for a complete list of Authorized Dealers.
Pricing and Availability
• Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone: $249.00 retail [$300.00 MSRP]
• 55SH Series II Iconic Unidyne Vocal Microphone: $179.00 retail [$242.00 MSRP]
For more information, visit www.shure.com.