At the 2016 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, Shure unveiled the KSM8 Dualdyne Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone. A groundbreaking feat of engineering design, the KSM8 is an original dual-diaphragm dynamic handheld microphone design, combining an active diaphragm with a second passive one to generate an inverted airflow system that helps shaping a perfect cardioid polar pattern. This patented combination in the Dualdyne capsule removes the proximity effect, improves off-axis rejection, and generates a flatter response, providing a more versatile microphone which is easy to work it, for both performers and audio engineers.
The KSM8 extends the company’s wired microphone line — which includes numerous products of significance and enduring legacy — such as the Unidyne 55 and the SM58 microphone. While the dual-diaphragm approach has been tried by other microphone manufacturers in the past, Shure believes its original design will endure the market test and will be able to conquer a respected market position, side by side with other respected brand classics.
This is not a small engineering feat and, as audioXpress could hear first-hand from the company’s engineers, it actually took several years of work to find the right materials and tune the development to actually deliver on the concept. The result, as they described and they could confirm with actual user-tests, creates a dynamic microphone which delivers unmatched vocal reproduction and virtually eliminates the need for EQ and processing.
“In order to make the Dualdyne concept a reality, we had to reinvent the way we make dynamic microphones,” explains John Born, Shure Product Manager. “We knew the only way to bring the concept to life, was to set all pre-existing parts and template designs aside, and start from scratch. Since then, we’ve put over seven years of engineering and development into creating something we knew the industry needed, but had never seen. As a result, the introduction of the KSM8 brings an entirely new dynamic microphone element to the world.”
Designed for live sound performances where vocal clarity and sound quality are absolutely critical, the KSM8 not only meets the most discerning quality and reliability standards, it also has the versatility to adapt to changing environments without impacting performance. Additionally, its pneumatic shock mount offers exceptional rejection of handling noise without any loss of low frequency response.
According to Shure’s engineers, the KSM8 will revolutionize dynamic microphones in the live sound industry by providing sound engineers with a dynamic microphone that has virtually no proximity effect, a mastery of off-axis rejection and an output accuracy that requires none of the presence peaks or roll-offs that are typical of other dynamic microphones.
“The off-axis rejection is pretty amazing,” says Michael Abbott, Broadcast Mixer with The Voice and Shark Tank. “Low frequency is very smooth and I definitely noticed nice proximity control, which our host Carson (Daly) definitely requires. High frequency response is noticeably more enhanced. It’s an exceptionally well designed microphone by Shure.”
Meticulously crafted for exceptional vocal reproduction and sound-reinforcement control for live performance in professional venues, Shure are says the KSM8 features “the purest cardioid polar pattern” that the company has developed to-date, providing the most consistent on-axis performance regardless of the performer’s microphone technique.
“Being part of the dynamic microphone resurgence has been extremely exciting for me, because our customers were always asking us what’s next in dynamic microphones,” says Scott Sullivan, Senior Director of Global Product Management at Shure. “When it comes to microphone technology and development, Shure has, what I consider to be, the “secret formula.” In my opinion, no other company, through our exceptional engineering department, could have achieved what we did with the KSM8."
As is the case with all Shure products, durability is present in every aspect of the KSM8. A dent-resistant, hardened carbon-steel grille design lined with hydrophobic woven fabric provides exceptional plosive and wind protection, while offering virtually waterproof protection. The aluminum handle — which is available in a brushed nickel or black finish — completes the KSM8’s clean and sophisticated design aesthetic.
The KSM8 is also available as a handheld transmitter option for use with Axient, UHF-R, ULX-D, and QLX-D wireless systems, and as a wireless capsule for use with other Shure wireless systems. Additionally, new KSM8 transmitters are now offered in a brushed nickel finish on ULX-D and UHF-R wireless systems.
The retail price for the KSM8 starts at $499.