Shure Beta 181/O Omnidirectional Microphone


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Product Code: 9999-08647
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The Shure Beta 181/O Omnidirectional Microphone is an ultra-compact, small-diaphragm side-address omnidirectional condenser mic featuring tailored frequency response for wide dynamic range applications. Perfect for use in high SPL environments.

The Shure Beta 181/O Omnidirectional Microphone is designed for discreet placement in live and studio environments. Featuring omnidirectional capsule for superior versatility, the small diaphragm of the Shure Beta 181/O provides superior audio with consistent, “textbook” polar response in a form factor small enough to get close to the source in the tightest conditions. This Shure Beta 181 is a multipurpose instrument microphone and can be used on a wide variety of applications including guitars, bass and drums (overheads and snares). A total of four different capsules (Cardioid, Supercardioid, Bi-directional, Omni-directional) are available, allowing you to interchange them according to application.

Interchangable Capsule Options
The RPM181/C is a cardioid condenser capsule for the Shure Beta 181/C. The RPM181/S is a super cardioid condenser capsule for the Shure Beta 181/S. The RPM181/BI is a bi-directional condenser capsule for the Shure Beta 181/BI. The RPM181/O is a omnidirectional condenser capsule for the Shure Beta 181/O.

Applications for the Different Capsules
The cardioid capsule is best suited to overheads, piano and acoustic instruments. You can also use the cardioid capsule for M/S stereo micing (in conjunction with another microphone with a bi-directional capsule). The supercardioid capsule is best suited to snare, toms, acoustic instruments and other forms of close distance micing. The omni-directional capsule could be used for choirs, orchestras and ambient recording applications. Lastly, the Bi-directional capsule can be used for mono overheads, or for the recording of two instruments simultaneously on one channel.

Shure Beta 181/O Omnidirectional Microphone Features

  • Omnidirectional polar pattern capsule attaches to a compact preamplifier with integrated XLR connections
  • 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

Shure Beta 181/O Omnidirectional Microphone Specifications

  • Cartridge Type: Electret Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Omni-Directional
  • Frequency Response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
  • Output Impedance: 110 Ohm
  • Sensitivity (Open Circuit Voltage, @ 1 kHz, Typical): –52.0 dBV/Pa (2.5 mV)
  • Maximum SPL (1 kHz at 1% THD):
    • 2500 Ohm Load: 157.0 dB SPL
    • 1000 Ohm Load: 154.0 dB SPL
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 70.5 dB
  • Dynamic Range:
    • 2500 Ohm Load: 133.5 dB
    • 1000 Ohm Load: 130.5 dB
  • Clipping Level @ 1 kHz, 1% THD:
    • 2500 Ohm Load: 10.5 dBV
    • 1000 Ohm Load: 7.5 dBV
  • Self Noise (Equivalent SPL, A-weighted, Typical): 23.5 dB SPL-A
  • Common Mode Rejection (20 to 20,000 kH): = 55 dB
  • Polarity: Positive Pressure on Diaphragm Produces Positive voltage on pin 2 with respect to pin 3
  • Power Requirements: 11–52 V DC Phantom Power (IEC-61938) 2.4 mA, Maximum
  • Net Weight: 145 g (5.1 oz.)

Shure Beta 181/O Omnidirectional Microphone Includes

  • 1 x Shure Beta 181/O Omnidirectional Microphone
  • 1 x Shure A57F Mic Clip
  • 1 x Shure A181C Zippered Carrying Case
  • 1 x Shure A181WS Windscreen
  • 2 Year Warranty

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What We Think


For more than 80 years, Shure has continually knocked it out of the park, and the Beta181 is no exception. The interchangeable capsule design makes it an extremely flexible and versatile microphone. Each capsule exhibits a slightly different EQ response, but the mic remains clean, detailed, and smooth. Not only is it a pleasant mic to listen to, it is (as all Shure products), a tank. No worries about this mic failing, or not being able to handle the road. One of the most impressive features is the rejection, I have found one of the rarest mics in the Beta181, a condenser that can actually be used on snare drum, without worry of too much hat bleed. And the side address design, makes proper and flexible mic placement, a breeze. My experiences with this mic, have been great, and it is just another testament to why Shure remains a significant player in the pro audio world.

Ryan Ferris, Pro Audio Sales

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