Shure PGA181

Condenser Microphone with Cardioid Polar Pattern and 50Hz-20kHz Frequency Response
Shure PGA181 image 1
Shure PGA181 image 1
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Shure PGA181
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A Solid Mic for Countless Applications

Home studios take note, the Shure PGA181 side-address condenser microphone is an affordable solution for capturing a wide range of sound sources. With this microphone you'll be primed to capture the true sound of acoustic instruments, vocals, percussion, amplifiers, and more. Recording engineers at Sweetwater know that you need versatile solutions when you don't have a lot of microphones in your collection, and the PGA181 promises great-sounding performance that you can count on for any session. When you need a mic that can do it all at a great price, check out the Shure PGA181 condenser microphone

Shure PGA181 Condenser Microphone Features at a Glance:
  • Side-address condenser microphone for a variety of applications
  • Ideal for vocals, acoustic instruments, percussion, amplifiers, and more
  • Cardioid polar pattern helps capture a focused sound with a minimum of room noise
  • Versatile enough to cover most home recording applications
  • Wide-ranging frequency response
  • Requires +48V phantom power
There's a ton of value in the Shure PGA181!

Additional Media

Studio Microphone Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Microphone Type Condenser
Polar Pattern Cardioid
Frequency Response 50Hz-20kHz
Max SPL 138 dB
Output Impedance 120 ohms
Connector XLR
Weight 0.84 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number PGA181-LC

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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Well rounded. Worth the money

I stumbled across the PGA 181 while looking for a solid overhead mic to record drums. I have now owned 2 PGA 181's for a little over 7 months now, and can honestly say that this is one of the most versatile microphones I have ever used. I have used these microphones for studio vocals, studio guitar, studio drums, Live guitar, Live drums, Live piano, and even a drum-line. Pros: Cost (under $100), cardioid pattern, Side address/directional response, durability of a Shure microphone Cons: Weight (it's a bit heavy for a worn down mic stand to handle, I suggest a brand new OnStage), unique mic clip (which means if you lose're outta luck until you get a replacement), Standard frequency range means you're limited to standard response (not really a big deal, unless say you're looking for that extra 30Hz the Beta181 provides) Overview: All in all I believe this was a great investment. I currently have 2 of these, but wish I had 4. As I said they're extremely versatile for any situation. The deciding factor will probably be budget. I can promise you that for as little as these mics cost, you will be satisfied. I will also say that if you don't have any problem spending money, you should probably go with the beta version. This microphone alone has proven to me the reliance of Shure, and I will continue to purchase many of their mics in the future.
Music background: Live sound, Sound design, Semi-professional recording, Digital media expertise, Musician

Great Value!

I bought a pair and I've only been using them a few weeks, however I've been able to get some really great sounds with them. Personally I've only used them for acoustic guitars, drum overheads, and drum fill mics for capturing extra sonic mojo in large rooms. I've had a really good experience with these mics so far. Great product!
Music background: Musician / Engineer

Problem solver. On a budget

I came across this mic, quite by accident. I was looking for a pair of mics to mount in an upright piano at a church, and about the only thing that met the criteria were the Beta 181c's. But $500 a pop was too much for the budget, so Matt Kreager suggested these. I bought two, expecting them to be...well...just PG versions of the Beta 181. They were not. First, they're about 2.5 times larger. Still side address, but larger, much heavier than the Beta 181c. They did fit in the case, where I wanted them. So, in they went. They're also not anywhere near the frequency response and dynamics as the Beta 181c. Beta has a spike, a big one, at about 10k. PGA does not. It is, more or less, smoother out to 12k than the Beta. And noise is a bit higher. Now, all of this is still theoretical. In practice, there's a different story. Hidden away in the piano case, these mics are out of sight during service, and the hidden wiring does not betray their existence. Close to the harp, as they are, the self noise is not a factor, and the cardioid polar pattern helps control the acoustic anomalies of the case, and intrusion of noise from the action on the details of the music. Correct placement is crucial. These mics, like the Betas require some significant tweaking to get the right detailed, balanced sound. In any event, they will never be mistaken for an Earthworks piano bar, or a pair of Beta 181c. That said, the results are good. The cost is low. And, they're Shures, so I won't be worrying about reliablity. Or consistency unit to unit. I had my mic bag with me a few weeks ago, when I got pulled out of an audience to help the sound guy set up a band at a local venue. I handed him a PGA181 to use as a cab mic for the lead guitar. Just drape it over the cab like a 609. It performed well. It's a little heavy, so it needed a counterweight on the cable to keep it in place once the music started. I've never had a Shure mic let me down. It's the reason why Shure is my go to for unfamiliar circumstances, or acoustically hostile environments. PGA181 is now part of that arsenal. It's sound is good, and easily workable. Build quality is robust, if not bulletproof. And, if you're on a budget, it does the job, without igniting your Amex card. Highly recommeded.
Music background: Studio engineer, live sound engineer, Recordist, Producer.
See also: Condenser Mics, Shure, Shure Condenser Microphones