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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 very 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, especially 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 the 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 microphone inputs rated at 19 to 300 ohms

  • Output Level (at 1,000 Hz)
    Open circuit voltage*: –78.0 dB (.13 mV)
    Power Level**: –56.0 dB
    **0 dB = 1 volt per microbar
    **0 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

  • Mounting Adapters: Two provided: suitable for mounting on stand
    with 58"-27 thread, or for mounting on boom with 516"-18 thread

  • 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 2The blast screen is added.

Stage 3A 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 Boom Microphone. Introduced in 1966 and discontinued in 1986, the SM5B continues to be popular with many broadcasters. Following his graduation from Pasadena City College and Cal State Long Beach, Doug began his professional career in radio at KMPC, from which he was hired away to become KPCC’s director of production and operations. Doug also teaches Pasadena City College’s Audio Controls course.

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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