Shure Beta 181/S Ultra-Compact Side-Address Microphone


Ultra-Compact Side-Address Condenser Instrument Microphone with Supercardioid Polar Pattern Capsule

What we think:

Such a killer little mic, and not just for drums.  Yes these are absolutely amazing on Snare and Toms, punchy, alive, 3 dimensional and so much "bigger" than dynamics, but they also work for other places.  We've found with cleaner electric tones and even acoustic guitars, these mics can be great little alternatives over the normal fair.  But we know, you want these for the drums.

When used with a great set of overheads and a great kick mic, really anything of your choosing, the 181's on Toms and Snare bring you so much detail and control over your kit.  They have FANTASTIC off axis rejection, which is a must when you are using 6+ mics on your kit.  This really allows you to position the mics where they sound best on the drums, you don't have to worry as much about the bleed.  Being condensers, they also have so much more detail and presence over your standard Dynamic mics, even the more expensive offerings that cost nearly as much as these.  On top of that, the 181's give you a deeper dimension to your sound, there is depth that you don't get from many lesser expensive mics.

My favorite part about using the 181's on the Snare and Toms is that they give you more flexibility in the mix.  What I mean by this, when mic'ing with the 181's you are going to be able to really dial in your sound in post.  They take EQ and compression so much better than dynamics.  And because you have more detail from these, you can place them in the drum mix exactly how you want them.  

Manufacturer Description:

The Shure Beta 181 is an ultra-compact, small-diaphragm side-address condenser microphone, designed for discreet placement and control in live and studio environments. Featuring interchangeable cardioid, supercardioid, omnidirectional and bidirectional capsule options for superior versatility, the small diaphragm design provides superior audio with consistent, textbook polar responses in a form factor small enough to get close to the source in the tightest conditions..


  • Interchangeable polar pattern capsules attach to a compact preamplifier with integrated XLR connections for the ultimate in low-profile application flexibility (Each Beta 181 ships with one polar pattern capsule and one XLR preamplifier. Capsules available separately for custom flexibility.)
  • 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
  • Furnished with stand adapter, windscreen and carrying case (carrying case will securely protect up to four polar pattern capsules)

Application recommendations:

  •  BETA 181/S (supercardioid) for snare drum, acoustic instrument, close-miking applications

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