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Shure Super 55 Microphone Review

December 4, 2023

Today we are looking at the other Shure legend from the ‘Classic’ product line, and it is the elder brother of 55SH, so let’s start our Shure Super 55 review.

Shure 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone is a mixture of construction of the original model from the good old third decade of the twentieth century. Shure Super 55 mic is an enhanced version of 55SH with improved technical specs and at the same time, it is the heritage of a 75-year-old design that your grandparents may have seen in a live concert of Elvis Presley and which was in front of the Rolling Stones while performing their greatest hits in the record studio. God bless Shure for designing this masterpiece so five generations of musicians, broadcasters, podcasters, content creators, and their fans could enjoy this unparalleled sound.

But let’s go back to the present time and start our Shure Super 55 review, and as usual technical specs first.

Best Price on Shure Super 55 Microphone

The Shure Super 55 Microphone is a contemporary take on the classic Shure 55 Unidyne, blending iconic design with modern microphone technology.

Shure Super 55 Package Classic Package

Shure Super 55 Specifications

  • Microphone Type: Dynamic
  • Form Factor: Retro-style housing
  • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
  • Cartridge: R115S
  • Frequency Response: from 60Hz to 17000Hz
  • Output Impedance: EIA rated at 150Ω (290Ω actual)
  • Sensitivity: at 1 kHz, open circuit voltage, −53.0dBV / Pa (1 Pascal = 94dB SPL)
  • Housing: Chrome-plated die casting
  • Net Weight without cable: 656 grams (1.45lb)
  • Size (microphone without swivel mount): 100mm x 55.6mm x 77.8mm
  • Set Includes: Super 55 microphone, 5/8" to 3/8" thread adapter, zippered storage bag
Shure Super 55 Polar Pattern

Overall Build & Design

It does not make sense to speak about this design because everyone knows it, even people who have no basic knowledge of the microphone industry, but we must remind you another time that if you see it you are facing a legend. The Super 55's design pays homage to the legendary Shure 55 Unidyne, featuring striking chrome-plated housing and a unique retro appearance. The build quality is exceptional, reflecting Shure's commitment to durability. The rugged metal casing ensures longevity, making it suitable for the demands of professional use.

Shure executed the Super 55 in a blue colorway for a reason. In 1951, the 55 model came out of the assembly line with blue foam as well, thus Shure paid tribute to the past. The structure looks elegant and solid but we don’t recommend you transport and store Shure Super 55 without a case or a bag included in the set.

Shure Super 55 XLR Fix

The Shure Super 55 and 55SH Series II suffer from the same problem, namely the XLR connector, which makes it very difficult to attach the microphone to modern desktop boom arm stands (look at the photo above). You will have to choose a suitable stand-by design so that it also looks retro because with modern stands it looks ridiculous and you will have to choose a stand for the XLR connector (at the moment cables with right-angle XLR connectors are on sale in large quantities, which can solve this problem).

But unlike 55SH there is no on/off knob on the Super 55'th swivel mount so it will no accidentally turn off during a live performance and singers would be pleased with that feature, but (###ch please) anyone would be pleased to own this Adam with a trendy haircut of microphone world.

Sound Quality & Features

So we are close to one of the main sections of our Shure Super 55 review. This microphone is not only a visual statement on any stage or studio but also delivers impressive audio quality. Let's delve into the features, performance, and overall impression of the Shure Super 55 sound.

It is reasonable to compare performance characteristics with the cheaper model of the "Classic" line, 55SH. First of all, Shure Super 55 mic has a supercardioid polar pattern. It means that the deluxe model has better prevention against feedback and the source of sound should be right in front of the mic but it gives you crystal-quality sound with vintage notes.

The supercardioid pattern (compared to a regular cardioid polar pattern) enhances sound isolation, reducing feedback and unwanted ambient noise more intensely. This feature is particularly advantageous in live settings, where controlling spill and maintaining clarity are paramount. Moreover, the Super 55 incorporates an integrated shock mount to reduce handling noise, contributing to a cleaner audio signal during performances or recordings. This feature enhances its suitability for handheld use in dynamic settings.

Shure Super 55 Frequency Reposnse
Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone Frequency Response

Let's take a closer look at the frequency response of this microphone. In the range from 4kHz to 12kHz, we can observe uplifts and it's these irregularities that give warmth and color to your vocals. In general, the frequency response of this microphone is not as wide as we would like, but this is typical of most dynamic microphones. And to some extent, it's even good because you won't hear unwanted treble and bass frequencies.

According to the manufacturer Shure, the Super 55 mic model cartridge is a modified version of the Beta 58A cartridge. Both of these microphones have a slightly similar frequency response and a similar sound.

Shure Super 55 Inside (Capsule)

Also, we would like to warn you since the Shure Super 55 is produced and sold in large quantities, there are counterfeit replicas of this microphone on the market. You can distinguish them by the cartridge (the original cartridge should look like in the picture above). Therefore, buy devices from authorized sellers and large chain stores.

Here you can check out some audio samples recorded with Shure Super 55

Shure Super 55 - Male Vocal Recording (audio example)
Shure Super 55 - Female Vocal Recording (audio example)
Shure Super 55 - Multiple Vocals Recording (audio example)
Shure Super 55 - Vocal in Metal Mix (audio example #1)
Shure Super 55 - Vocal in Metal Mix (audio example #2)

Who is this microphone good for?

Although the Super 55 is primarily designed for vocal applications, its versatility extends to many other areas. It excels in spoken word, podcasting, broadcast, and even as an instrument microphone. The versatility ensures that the Super 55 can be a go-to choice for a range of audio professionals. Based on our research, the Shure Super 55 or Shure 55SH Series II is more likely to be purchased by content creators for a good picture in the frame, as the microphone grabs the viewer's attention and leaves no one indifferent.

Of course, the microphone is not suitable for recording musical instruments because of the narrow frequency response + uplifts in the range from 4kHz to 12kHz. A microphone with a wide and flat frequency response is more suitable for recording instruments. However, no one says that you cannot record instruments with this microphone, and the recordings can be perfect.

Would we recommend the Shure Super 55 to beginners? - Unfortunately, no. This microphone forces you to make compromises. For example, the XLR connector limits your choice of microphone stand and XLR cable. You will also need a basic knowledge of audio engineering to get the most out of this microphone during recording and post-production. Fortunately, you won't have these problems on stage or for live performances - there's a simpler plug-and-play principle (plug it into any stage mixer like a normal dynamic microphone, and you're done).

But again not everything is smooth even when using the microphone on stage. Compared to handheld microphones, you won't be able to easily take the microphone off the stand and hold it in your hand like the Shure SM58 or Beta 58A. Yes, the Shure Super 55 restricts you from moving around the stage and keeps you chained to the mic stand.

Accessories for Shure Super 55 and 55SH II

After doing a little research on the microphone accessories market, our editorial team has selected a few microphone stands that will perfectly match the retro style of the Super 55.

retro microphone stands

Pyle retro microphone swing stand (left in the picture) and On-Stage DS7200C adjustable desktop microphone stand (pictured right). We also recommend taking a closer look at microphone stands from Atlas Sound. They are one of the best quality microphone stands on the market and have a retro vintage style.

Shure S36 Retro vintage microphone desktop base stand

Our editorial team has unearthed a very interesting desktop microphone base. The Shure S36 is a vintage retro microphone base that is unfortunately no longer in production. Despite the fact that it was produced in the 50s and 70s, it is a perfect match for the style of modern Super 55 and 55SH II microphones. It's more of a collector's item at the moment, you can find it on ebay or reverb. The Shure S36 microphone base is not as expensive as you might think and we recommend it (there is no better table stand for the 55SH and Super 55 at the moment). You can spruce it up, repaint it and you have a small restoration project on your hands.

Shure Super 55 vs Shure 55SH Series II vs Heil the Fin

We have already compared the Shure Super 55 with the Shure 55SH and Shure SM58, you can find this comparison in our Shure 55SH Series II review. Also, we have a full review of the Shure SM58 where you can hear audio samples recorded on this microphone.

Shure Super 55 vs Heil The Fin

Now it's time to compare the Shure Super 55 with the Heil The Fin, as these microphones are in the same price range and have a similar retro vintage look. The only thing to note is that the Shure microphone sounds better and cleaner, while the Heil The Fin's sound is more saturated with low frequencies. Both mics are dynamic, with slightly similar frequency response and range, the Super 55 is supercardioid and the Heil The Fin has a cardioid polar pattern. But in terms of sound quality, the Shure Super 55 is still slightly ahead of The Fin. We believe this is due to Shure's extensive experience in manufacturing microphones.

However, we would like to point out that Heil's microphone looks more attractive on stage thanks to its LED lights (The Fin requires phantom power for LED operation). Both microphone housings are made in a retro vintage style, but with a huge difference in overall construction. Tastes differ, so we can't say which is better. Some will love the bass of the Heil The Fin, while others will prefer the clarity and warmth of the Shure.

Final Verdict on Shure Super 55

This mic demonstrates the right tactic not only in the microphone business but also in average life because as Sigmund Freud said “The only person with whom you have to compare yourself is you in the past.” And indeed Shure looks at their iconic model and makes it better every time. There is no question of whether you should buy this mic or not. The answer is obvious.

The Shure Super 55 Microphone successfully marries timeless design with contemporary performance. It not only pays homage to its legendary predecessor but stands on its own as a versatile and reliable microphone for diverse audio applications. Musicians, vocalists, and audio enthusiasts seeking a perfect blend of style and substance will find the Shure Super 55 to be a worthy addition to their collection or toolkit.

We hope you enjoyed our Shure Super 55 review. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions in the section below and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

  • Good Sound Quality
  • Pleasant Warm and Clear Vocal Reproduction
  • Supercardioid Polar Pattern
  • Iconic Retro Design
  • Eye-catching
  • Durability. Rugged die-cast casing
  • Shock-mounted Cartridge
  • Not a convenient XLR cable connector. Some boom arm stands will not fit this microphone (use classic floor stands).
  • Don't reduce "P-popping" effect so good as microphones with mesh grille.
  • Not too good for studio work because of the short frequency response. More suitable for live stage performances, vocals, podcasts, live broadcasts and for a good picture in the frame.
  • Some people notice a lack of upper frequencies in the microphone due to the narrow frequency response.
  • Heavy. This can be an advantage for some and a disadvantage for others.
Our Score

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