2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the launch of the Shure 55 Unidyne dynamic microphone, an iconic model associated with many celebrated figures through the decades, including Billie Holliday, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and John F. Kennedy.
Introduced in 1939, the 55 Unidyne was internationally adopted as a workhorse microphone for broadcast, public address, recording, and two-way radio applications. By the 1950s it was so well known that it was marketed as “the microphone that needs no name”. And even in the 21st century, its design symbolises what many think of when they hear the word “microphone”.
To this day, the 55 Unidyne — the first directional microphone to use a single dynamic element — continues to influence dynamic microphone designs across the globe. This fact was recognised by the international Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE), who honoured Shure with the prestigious Milestone Award in January 2014, placing the company alongside previous recipients of the award such as Guglielmo Marconi, Nikola Tesla, Michael Faraday, and Benjamin Franklin.
To mark this achievement, and to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 55 Unidyne microphone, Shure is launching the 5575LE – a Limited Edition of the classic cardioid dynamic microphone with a few carefully chosen 21st-century upgrades to improve durability and sound quality. The 5575LE features the current Unidyne III cardioid element, the instantly identifiable large outer grill, vintage badging, and a zinc die-cast finish, with a silver-finish desk stand. The microphone is supplied in an aluminium flight case with a 75th anniversary logo, including a certificate of authenticity.
Available in a numbered manufacturing run of just 5575 pieces, the 5575LE pays homage to the original 55 Unidyne, packaging together vintage aesthetic and performance features for performers and collectors alike.
The Shure 5575LE Unidyne Limited Edition Microphone will be available from early 2015.