Understanding Headphone and Earphone Specifications

Headphone and Earphone
If you are in the market for new headphones or earphones it is important to understand the various specifications.

Whether you are listening for casual applications (home or on the go) or for professional situations like recording, mastering or monitoring, specifications like frequency range and frequency response can have an impact on your listening experience!

We’ve put together a list of the most commonly used specs to help you make the decision. You can also watch the video on the bottom of this article.

Frequency Range
This refers to the overall range that an earphone/headphone will operate in. It measures from where it starts to produce sound to the frequency at which it stops producing sound. For example: 10Hz (lowest frequency) – 25KHz (highest frequency).

Frequency Response
Indicates the overall sound of the headphone or earphone. Usually a visual demonstration is included of how the headphone or earphone responds at different frequency ranges. Perfect for identifying if a product might have more or less bass, mid or treble.

(dB SPL/mW – Decibels of sound pressure level per milliwatt)
This is a good guide for how loud a product might get when given a certain input power setting. Essentially, each device you plug into will have a different output level, with portable devices typically having the lowest levels acceptable for headphones or earphones. A plugged in device, such as a mixing console, will have ample amounts of power allowing them to drive much louder volumes.

Impedance is an electronics term which measures the amount of opposition a device has to an AC current (such as an audio signal). Impedance is important because you want to ensure that your player or source device has an output impedance that is lower (often by a factor of 8). For example if your music player has an impedance of 8Ω then you want to ensure your device has an impedance of around several times this number. In this case 64Ω would be a good rule of thumb to ensure safe operation. This should not be confused with quality, as a high ohms number does not mean it will sound better; it simply means that each headphone is suitable for a certain device or application.

All Ears are Different
Regardless of what specifications say, hearing is individual and each person will experience earphones or headphones differently based on the unique inner structure of their ear. Other factors which influences the sound are: the style of music, the type of player and the earphone sleeve.

Which Headphone / Earphone is Right for Me?
The best way to determine if a headphone or earphone is right for you is to try them for yourself. Search for an Authorised Shure Dealer with our Dealer locator:

SM58 Facts vs. Fiction— Feedback

SM58 Facts vs Fictions: Feedback

Our video series about the SM58® is designed to help our readers separate fact from fiction about this legendary microphone. In Part 1, we discussed the myth “old technology”. In Part 2, we discussed the myth that the SM58’s grille should never dent.

In part 3, we discuss the myth that the SM58 causes feedback.

When feedback strikes, the microphone usually takes the rap. But feedback isn’t all the mic’s fault. In this video, Chad Wiggins comes clean, and reveals that feedback is an acoustic conspiracy.

Next week the last post of this series: SM58 Facts vs Fiction – proximity effect

SM58 Facts vs. Fiction —Denting Grille

SM58 facts vs fiction

Last week we launched a video series about the SM58® to help our blog readers separate fact from fiction about this legendary microphone.  In Part 1, we discussed the myth “old technology”.

In Part 2, we discuss the myth that the SM58’s grille should never dent.

Like scars on a heavyweight prize fighter, a bashed and bruised grille reveals the long, hard road that an SM58 microphone has traveled.  Like a bodyguard, the grille’s job is to take a beating to protect the “VIP” – the more-delicate microphone transducer inside.  In this video, Chad Wiggins explains why a 58 keeps working long after other microphones have gone down for the count.

SM58 Facts vs. Fiction – Part 1

There is a common misconception/criticism on the market, that the SM58 is “Old Technology”, and being the most popular microphone in the world as well as the first truly handheld design – you can see where this viewpoint comes from. But is this really the case? In part 1 of a video series put together by Shure Inc – we separate Fact from Fiction.

More product information on our website:

You can also watch the SM58 Video:


Battle of the Batteries – Shure Battery technology versus conventional batteries


Not all batteries are equal and this statement extends to the Shure SB902 lithium-ion battery.

One SB902 replaces up to 2,500 alkaline disposable batteries!

The Shure SB902 features rechargeable technology which was first introduced as part of our flagship wireless system, Axient. This technology set a new standard for real-time monitoring and life cycle management of batteries and chargers!
Streamlined versions of the advanced power system are now available in many other Shure systems, including SM and Beta Digital Wireless Systems.

The custom Shure rechargeable lithium-ion battery found in Digital SM and Beta system replaces up to 2,500 alkaline batteries and delivers:

  • Up to 10,000 hours of operating time per battery
  • Up to 16 hours of continuous use
  • 3 hour charge = up to 16 hours use
  • 1 hour charge = up to 6 hours use
  • 30 minute charge = up to 3 hours use
  • 15 minute charge = up to 1.5 hours use

Second battery for free!
We’re offering a FREE spare battery with your purchase of any Shure SM and Beta Digital Wireless System.

SM and Beta Digital Wireless Systems are available from Authorised Shure Dealers in the Benelux.
Find a Shure dealer:

* Promotion is only valid in the Benelux (Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands)

* Available for systems purchased between 18th October 2014 and 21st January 2015, while stocks last.

Battle of the Batteries – infographic

Battle of the Batteries


Two Awards at What HI-FI? Awards 2014

Double award from What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi? is the world’s leading independent consumer guide for buying and owning hi-fi products. What Hi-Fi? spends countless hours testing, comparing, evaluating, and judging audio and AV products. They love what they do and each year they select the best of the best products in their annual award ceremony.

The annual awards are known as the Oscars of the hi-fi and AV industry. This is no surprise, their ratings are trusted by anyone in the market. The very best products are celebrated in a wide range of categories. Good news for us, as Shure scoops up awards in not just one, but in two categories:

Shure’s SE425 win best in-ear earphones £150-300 at the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2014
We’re delighted to see the SE425 recognised for the second year in a row.

“The finest in-ears we’ve ever head at this price.”

Find out more information on the SE425 on our websites: In Dutch | In French

Shure’s SE425 win best in-ear earphones

Shure’s SRH1540 win best home on-ear headphones £300+ at the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2014
The key here is comfort. The earpads are covered in Alcantara and are amazingly soft, the same substance can be found on Formula One car seats. The SRH1540 is a real treat for your ears, both from a comfort aspect and sonically.

“Heads up for a real treat – if you want to enjoy great sound in pampering comfort all day long, give these a go.”

Find out more information on the SRH1540 on our websites: In Dutch | In French

Shure’s SRH1540 win the best home on-ear headphones

What Hi-Fi? Awards 2014
We would like to send out a huge thanks to the What Hi-Fi? team for their love and recognition of Shure products. You can read their full review and learn more about the awards at the What Hi-Fi? website.

Personal Monitoring Clinics

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Due to delayed availability the Personal Monitoring Clinics are postponed until beginning 2015!

More information and new dates will follow as soon as possible! 

In-Ear Monitoring or Personal Monitoring Systems have been around since the 90’s and since the introduction, these systems have gained popularity among artists and bands alike.

Nowadays almost every well-known band or artist uses in-ear monitors.
With the introduction of affordable systems (like PSM200 & PSM300) the benefits of in-ear monitors are accessible for a larger audience.

However, there are still many questions or misstatements about in-ear monitoring and the benefits are not always clear.

That’s why Shure Benelux and five select partners are organising Personal Monitoring Clinics.

Personal Monitoring Clinics
Are you not using in-ear monitors or do you want to know more about monitoring systems? Come to one of the 6 Personal Monitoring Clinics!

In these clinics a Shure Product Specialist will explain all about in ear monitoring. He will cover the operation, the benefits and he will provide tips for setting up your own system.

Afterwards you can experience the benefits for yourself and with the demo setup you can create your own personal mix.

Win a PSM300 System
In addition, three lucky visitors will win a PSM300 Personal Monitor System.

Participating is easy:

  • Fill in the feedback form at the clinic
  • Like the Shure Benelux Facebook page
  • Tag yourself in one of the pictures we upload after each clinic

After the clinics we will randomly raffle the three systems among the visitors. The winners will be announced on December 15th on Facebook.

Locations & more information:

For more information about PSM300 visit our website or watch the video below:

PSM300  – (Dutch | French)
PSM300 Premium – (Dutch | French)

Introducing PSM300

PSM300 Personal Monitoring

Our newest personal monitoring solution, PSM®300, is a stereo monitoring system that brings the performance and durability of our top systems to performing artists and bands looking for a more affordable option. Available in two different variations for entry-level and more experienced users, PSM300 provides rock-solid wireless performance and features 24-bit Digital Audio Processing. PSM300 systems will be available from your favorite authorized Shure dealer (in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) mid-November.

PSM300 available at


Watch the video

Personal Monitoring Clinics
We will be demonstrating the PSM300 system and personal monitoring systems in general, at 6 locations in Belgium and the Netherlands. More information will be available soon, check our website later this week for more information (shure.be / shure.nl).

Personal Monitoring Clinic


SM and BETA Digital Wireless Systems, Receive a Second Battery for Free

SM BETA Digital Wireless

If you are in the market for a new Digital Wireless System, consider an SM or BETA Digital Wireless System from Shure.
Shure SM and BETA Digital Wireless Systems deliver excellent sound quality and wireless reliability. Systems are available in various microphone configurations, for example with the SM58: The industry leading professional microphone for everyday use, club gigs and studio projects.

In addition, when you buy an SM or BETA Digital Wireless System you will now receive a second batter for free! *

Battery promotion

Intelligent rechargeable functionality
SM and BETA Digital Wireless Systems are equipped with special lithium-ion batteries, fully charged they have an operation time of 16 hours. This battery is extremely durable and economical. One lithium-ion battery is equal to 2.500 standard alkaline disposable batteries!
Think about all those AA batteries you won’t need.  The benefit of this is twofold: batteries are costly, and you can’t monitor how much time you have left before they run out. We’ve all been in that situation where you end up having to throw out perfectly decent batteries in order to reduce the risk of a drop out during that crucial guitar solo. With advanced GLX-D power monitoring features, you’ll be able to rely on your battery charge and the unit will pay for itself in no time!

Additional advantages include being able to charge through multiple methods, including the ability to charge through any USB power source.
So, imagine this scenario; you turn up to your venue and realise you’re out of power. However, thanks to the convenience and abundance of USB, you’re able to charge your battery off a laptop or in your car. 15 minutes of charge alone will reward you with 90 minutes run time, which is more than enough to get you through the first set and then some.

Automatic frequency management
The whole concept of SM and BETA wireless systems was to bring advanced wireless features to an affordable level, without the user having to think about setup. With LINKFREQ technology, all you have to do, is switch the unit on – the transmitter and receiver will then automatically find each other. The receiver, which has frequencies and backup frequencies on each usable channel, assesses the environment and automatically puts you on the best available frequencies. If there’s ever any RF interference, the receiver will seamlessly switch frequencies to ensure that you are always on the cleanest available frequency. You’ll have peace of mind at every gig, without having to be an RF wizard.

Globally License Free
All Shure GLX-D systems operate in the 2.4GHz frequency band, meaning you can tour with your band anywhere in the world and the system will work reliably. No costly license fees required.

Visit our website for more information on SM and BETA Digital Wireless Systems:

  • SM Digital Wireless (FR | NL)
  • BETA Digital Wireless (FR | NL)

SM and BETA Digital Wireless Systems are available from authorised Shure Dealers in the Benelux.
Find a Shure dealer near you on our dealer locator:

* Promotion is only valid in the Benelux (Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands)

* Available for Systems purchased between 18th of October 2014 and 21st January 2015, while stocks last.

The Roots – Mics of the Tonight Show

Mics the RootsBy now, you’ve heard the news that Jimmy Fallon is the new host of the late-night pinnacle that is The Tonight Show. You may have even seen an episode or two, or at least caught some of Jimmy’s celebrity-tinged antics on YouTube the next day. If you haven’t seen the show yet, it’s quite a bit different from the days of Carson and Leno… Fallon’s sense of humor is second to none, and it is amazing to see what he can convince his celebrity friends to take part in.

Still one of Fallon’s biggest loves is the musical portion of the show, which is why he chose to bring along his friends from The Roots to continue as the house band on this new version of The Tonight Show. Along with The Roots came an arsenal of Shure mics and wireless systems. Perhaps you’ve even noticed a few here and there? I’m certain you’ve noticed Jimmy’s chromed-out Axient® SM58® handhelds, which he uses for musical numbers with guests.

I recently spoke with Musical Director Keith McPhee about the Shure mics on the show and their applications on the band stand. Keith not only sent along a list of mics, but also included some beautiful imagery (sans band) to illustrate what these mics are used for. Scroll down just a bit and see if you can identify the mics before you take a look at the list. Everything on the show is Shure, and I can tell you they put this stuff to the test night after night. Be sure to catch a future show to see and hear these mics in action!
Cory Lorentz – Artist Relations Manager at Shure Inc.

Questlove and Black Thought’s Mics

Mics the Roots2

1 Questlove VoxBeta 58 2 Drum RackBeta 98AMP 3 Questlove TalkbackBeta 57 4 Black Thought’s VoxKSM9HS 5 Hi HatKSM137 6 Snare Top 1Beta 181 7 Snare Top 2KSM32 8 Snare Bottom 1 Beta 181 9 Kick 1Beta 91A 10 Kick 2Beta 52

Knuckles, Captain Kirk, and Questlove’s Mics

Mics the Roots3

11 GuitarKSM32 12 Conga LowBeta 98AMP 13 BongosBeta 98AMP 14 Conga HighBeta 98AMP 15 Drum UnderheadSM81

Tuba Gooding Jr., James Poyser, Kamal Gray, and Mark Kelley’s Mics

Mics the Roots4

16 Damon VoxBeta 58 17 FluteSM58S 18 Kamal VoxBeta 58 19 SaxKSM32 20 TrumpetKSM313 21 James Vox – Beta 58 22 Mark VoxBeta 58

Complete list of Shure Microphones
Click on your preferred language for more information