Shure SM81 Review

Like in our other reviews, the Shure brand is another trustworthy and bankable brand that makes premium quality products, explaining why several of their products are top-rated on shopping sites and in physical stores.

Their microphone is known to be of impressive build and quality, having features that make them deliver outstanding performances. This guide on the Shure SM81 review will show you everything there is to know about this top-rated microphone.

We will be looking at this microphone in terms of build quality, features, pros, cons, sound quality, and many other aspects, so continue reading this guide to find out all you need to know.

The Shure SM81 microphone is regarded as one of the transparent and neutral microphones with an electret bias. It is designed for use in the studio when working with instruments like cymbals, pianos, and guitars.

Its application and usage are not limited to these three instruments alone, but it will do well when used with several other instruments. In addition, it is considered as one of the best industry-standard microphones, which makes it the best for a wide range of instruments, and there are so many microphones available today that will not match up to the performance level of the Shure SM81 microphone.

In terms of quality, the Shure SM81 microphone will best several other microphones within its price range. It is designed to deliver quality low end, low distortion sounds, consistent highs, and great definition. However, if you want to give this microphone a perfect score, expect it to sell for at least fifty percent off its price, and it will be best if you also expect a high voltage sensitivity when working with this microphone.

This microphone remains the best choice for milking guitars, and this is because it is capable of delivering mind-blowing crispness, a shallow end, and vibrant definitive sound performance.

All of these make this microphone well envied on the market, but you need to take the positioning of this microphone very seriously if you want to get the best performance out of it. Therefore, it is recommended that you take your time in positioning this microphone, and adjusting this microphone should be done when necessary.

Finding the right balance through controlling how much you can achieve the low end you can obtain by pointing this microphone away from or towards the hole. The Shure SM81 microphone will sound bright in every application it is used.

Shure SM81 Review

Delivering natural, crisp, better, and neutral sounds is what this microphone is known for, and this makes the Shure SM81 microphone a good recommendation for acoustics. As long as you have a good idea of where to place this microphone, you will get the best sounds when used with a piano.

We cannot overemphasize how crucial its positioning is, but the Shure SM81 microphone will not sound any better if it isn’t positioned in the right place. Creating the right pressure area helps in taming lower fundamentals, making sure sound isn’t just dispersed in the room.

When used with an overhead, the Shure SM81 is irreplaceable. It delivers a comfortable high sound pressure level control when used with a cymbal, it delivers a low distortion sound performance, and delivering uncolored highs are all reasons why people are encouraged to use this microphone for overheads.

Interestingly, you do not need the matched microphone and overhead for it to deliver the results and performance you need, telling you how great the relationship between the pair is. You will also get a good sound performance when this microphone is used with a percussion instrument that doesn’t sound too deep.

This microphone will sound fine when used with triangles, bells, and small tambourines. The Shure SM81 microphone bests so many other microphones out there in terms of its build and features. You do not need to doubt that the Shure brand can make durable products that will meet up with every user’s needs, and Shure microphones will function for up to a decade if it is well used and maintained.

That is exactly the story of the Shure SM81 microphone, which has a rock-solid build and will last for a very long time. It comes with a wind foam, stands clip, and plastic case. This microphone is perfect for outdoor recordings thanks to its wind foam, but one of the downsides of this microphone is it doesn’t come with an internal shock mount.

Another low side of this microphone isn’t a handheld microphone, but the Shure SM81 microphone remains a good option for anyone hoping to achieve a good sound performance.

It is not easy to fool a sound engineer because they tell a good microphone from a bad one, and this tells you why most sound engineers are comfortable with the Shure brand of microphones. Also, suffering a distorted low end is less noticeable using the Shure SM81 microphone, making it sound richer.

It has an excellent self-noise function, but another area where this microphone is found lacking is in its area of sensitivity. It doesn’t mean the Shure SM81 isn’t sensitive, but it just means the microphone will require a higher level of amplification for it to get to other higher microphone levels.

Even when it matches the sensitivity levels of another microphone, you will still not notice when using this microphone, and this is another feature that leaves users impressed with this microphone.

Let us show you the pros and cons of the Shure SM81 microphone below;


  • It offers an extremely neutral response
  • It sounds very pure and clear
  • It provides a well-defined and rich low end
  • It is one microphone that is ideal for use in so many fields
  • It boasts of having an industry-standard quality
  • Its build is rock solid


  • So many customers find it difficult to afford this microphone
  • It isn’t a handheld microphone
  • It lacks an internal shock mount

Summary – Shure SM81 Review

So many past users of this microphone were particular and impressed with its durability. We must respect the Shure brand for making such a reliable and high-quality microphone.

It is one that you do not need to be worried about when it accidentally falls to the ground. It tells you this microphone has a rugged build that will make it last for a long while.

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