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The Shure Model SM5B
cardioid dynamic microphone

The Shure SM5B

The SM5B has been specifically designed to minimize boom microphone problems in television and motion pic­ture sound stage and location recording. It was pains­takingly developed to provide extremely high reproduc­tion quality and great flexibility of application. A hum-bucking coil assures low susceptibility to electrical hum and allows the SM5B to be used in extreme hum fields.

Frequency response


  • Mechanical suspension: Two-stage mechanical isolation for any boom applica­tion. Suspension elements internal to windscreen prevent wind noise generation in suspen­sion assembly; external shock assembly prevents trans­mission of boom or stand noise to microphone.

  • Integral windscreen: Very effective in outdoor locations and for fast boom swings.

  • Frequency response: Wide range, smooth and natural, specially tailored for dialog and vocal pickup with excel­lent presence, yet well-suited to scoring assignments.

  • Hum-bucking coil: Assures low susceptibility to elec­trical hum, permits use in extreme hum fields.

  • Directivity: Cardioid, symmetrical about axis and excep­tionally uniform with frequency. Minimizes sound color­ation due to off-axis pickup. Provides effective rejection of background noise and excellent reach.

  • Rugged and dependable under all operating conditions. Cartridge and isolation assembly protected by outer wind­screens and steel reinforcing rods.

Because of its unusual mechanical construction and per­formance characteristics, the SM5B may be used to ad­vantage in many applications where boom operation is not practical: for example, with an accessory desk stand for outdoor sports and other difficult remote pickups.

Polar patterns


  • Type: Dynamic

  • Frequency Response: 50 to 15,000 Hz (see Figure 1)

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid (unidirectional)—uniform with
    frequency, symmetrical about axis (see Figure 2)

  • Impedance: Microphone rating impedance is 150
    ohms (160 ohms actual) for connection to micro-
    phone inputs rated at 19 to 300 ohms

  • Output Level (at 1,000 Hz)
    Open circuit voltage equals –78.0 dB (.13 mV)¹
    Power Level equals –56.0 dB²
    ¹ zero dB = 1 volt per microbar
    ² zero dB = 1 milliwatt per 10 microbars

  • Hum Pickup (typical): 24 dB equivalent
    SPL per milliœrsted

  • Cartridge Shock Mount: Internal silicone rubber
    suspension shock and vibration isolator

  • Swivel and External Shock Assembly: Integral part
    of microphone, with rubber vibration isolator

  • Case: Dark Gray enamel with light and dark gray foam windscreens

  • Dimensions: See Figure 3

  • Net Weight: 964 grams (2 pounds, 2 ounces)

  • Packaged weight: 1.98 kilograms (4 pounds, 6 ounces)
Overall dimensions Internal connections Stage 1

The wind screen refurbishment begins.

Stage 2

The blast screen is added.

Stage 3

A side view is presented.

Stage 4

The refurbishment is complete.

Jordan Williams
Houston, Texas afternoon drive radio personality Jordan Williams collects and restores SM5B microphones, and shares these remarks with us. “I have had the opportunity to work with our chief engineer on console wiring, STL paths, transmitters, phasors, punch blocks and everything in between. I am currently studying for a degree in RF Engineering. My goal is to become SBE certified and chief engineer of a cluster, yet continue to do air work. Radio has always been a dream of mine, and I cannot imagine doing anything else.”
The Shure SM5B

Yet another fine-looking SM5B.

Doug Johnson at KPCC
KPCC’s Doug Johnson with a fine old Shure Model SM5B unidirectional microphone. Introduced in 1966 and discontinued in 1986, at one time the SM5B was popular with broadcasters. Following his gradua­tion from Pasa­dena City College and Cal State Long Beach, Doug began his profes­sional career in radio at KMPC until he was hired to become KPCC’s director of production and operations. Currently he serves as Vice President of Oper­ations and Technology for KPCC. Doug also teaches audio production at Pasadena City College.
KOST air studio

On-air host Mike Sakellarides uses an SM5B in the KOST air studio.

KBIG air studio

The KBIG (Los Angeles) air studio equipment includes an SM5B.

KBIG production studio

Earl Bullock and Maurice Mischook in the KBIG production studio.

The following six photos were obtained through the courtesy of ProStudioConnection.

The Shure SM-5B The Shure SM-5B The Shure SM-5B The Shure SM-5B The Shure SM-5B The Shure SM-5B SM5B Technical Data sheet

Download the Model SM5B Data Sheet.

SM5C Technical Data sheet

Download the Model SM5C Data Sheet.

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