With close to 90 years of audio innovation, Shure is one of the oldest and most respected companies in the industry. Founding by S. N. Shure in 1925 as a supplier of radio parts and kits, the Chicago-based company grew quickly from a single-man operation to a company with over 75 employees before the combination of the Great Depression and availability of factory-built radios forced a rethinking of their direction. In 1931, Shure hired a young engineer named Ralph Glover and began development of their own microphones, debuting the Model 33N carbon mic in 1932 and following with their first condenser mic, the Model 40D, the following year. The development and release of the Model 55, the first single-element unidirectional mic, in 1939 was a watershed event for the company. The Model 55, popularly thought of as the "Elvis Mic," rapidly became one of the most recognizable mics in the world, and has retained popularity over the years, with the 55SH still in production today.
Broadening their range of mics due to the need for various military applications during WWII and branching out into phono cartridges, including the first cartridge able to play both 78 rpm and the new 33-1/3 rpm long-playing records, Shure continued to grow and innovate over the next several decades. The development of the SM57 and SM58 in the mid-'60s sealed their reputation. Ironically, though "SM" stood for "Studio Microphone", the 57 and 58 rapidly became, respectively, the most popular live instrument and vocal mics in the world, a position they still hold today. Shure continues to innovate today, with advanced analog and digital wireless systems, headphones, in-ear monitors and, of course, microphones that keep pace with the needs of musicians, audio engineers and listeners around the world.