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Shure KSM27 Large Single-Diaphragm Microphone
- Ultra-thin Mylar diaphragm for superior transient response.
- Grille consists of three separate mesh layers that act as an integral pop filter to reduce wind and breath noise.
- Features an extended frequency response, low self noise and exceptional low frequency reproduction.
- Switchable 15 dB pad for handling extremely high sound pressure levels (SPLs)
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Large single-diaphragm, side-address condenser microphone. Designed for studio use but rugged enough for live applications, the KSM27 has extremely low self-noise, and an extended frequency response specially tailored for vocal tracking and instrument recording.
From the Manufacturer
The Shure KSM27 is a side-address condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. Designed for studio use, but rugged enough for live applications, the KSM27 has an externally biased, 1-inch diaphragm, extremely low self-noise, and an extended frequency response specially tailored for vocal tracking and instrument recording.
- Cardioid polar pattern - the most commonly used pattern for both studio and live applications
- 1 inch, externally biased, ultra-thin, 24 Karat gold-layered, low mass, Mylar diaphragm provides superior transient response
- Class A, discrete, transformerless preamplifier for transparency, extremely fast transient response and no crossover distortion, while minimizing harmonic and intermodulation distortions
- Premium electronic components and gold-plated internal and external connectors
- Subsonic filter eliminates rumble from mechanical vibration below 17 Hz
- Switchable 15 dB pad for handling extremely high sound pressure levels (SPLs)
- 3-position switchable low-frequency filter helps reduce unwanted background noise or counteract proximity effect
- Integrated three-stage 'pop" protection grille reduces plosives and other breath noise
- Internal shock mount reduces handling and stand noise
- Extended frequency response
- Low self noise
- Exceptional low-frequency reproduction
- High output level
- High input SPL capability
- No crossover distortion
- Extremely uniform polar response
- Superior common mode rejection and suppression of radio frequency interference
- ShureLockTM Rubber Isolated Shock Mount
- Protective Velveteen Pouch
Some typical applications for the KSM27 are listed below. Microphone use, however, is a matter of personal taste. The KSM27 may be used for a variety of applications other than those listed.
- Voice -- solo, background, voice-over, broadcasting
- Acoustic instruments -- such as piano, guitar, drums, percussion, strings
- Electric instruments such as guitar and bass
- Wind instruments -- brass and woodwind
- Low frequency instruments -- such as double bass, electric bass, kick drum
- Overhead miking -- drums or percussion
- Ensembles -- choral or orchestral
- Room ambiance pick-up -- guitar amplifier or drums
Top customer reviews
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I looked at a variety of higher end mics including the $700 KSM44. I'm sure the higher priced ones are better, but I certainly couldn't tell the difference. This KSM27, is absolutely breathtaking! I used it to record male and female voices, acoustic guitar, acoustic contra bass, saxophone, clarinet, and both wood and plastic recorders.
The reproduction is spot on! Its accurate across the entire frequency spectrum, picking up the deep growl of the contra, the biting edge of the saxophone, and the smooth sweetness of the clarinet with equal accuracy.
If you haven't used a condesner mic before, there's a couple of things you should be aware of. First, you need a preamp that supplies phantom power for the mic (most do). Second, these mics are VERY sensitive. This means you can move a foot or so away from the mic and it will actually do a better job of accurately recording your voice or instrument. It also means you'll need a very quiet environment. I used a small room, draped the walls with blankets to absorb sound, and removed items like ticking clocks. But watch out for cars going by outside, or neighborhood dogs barking.
If you're starting out setting up a studio and are on a budget, this baby performs with the best mics out there at half the price! You can't go wrong! Highly recommended.
I kept some comparison files on my computer. By comparison, the Shure is more clean and balanced compared to the MXL990, but nothing about it stands out in particular. Something about it made it difficult to sound "right" to me.
The KSM27 is physically a solid mic for the money, and it's built for quality. It has more switches/features than cheaper mics. I think it's probably better suited for guitar or to add a slightly warm sound to instruments. You can hear it in the Transom Mic Shootout. It's a solid piece of craftsmanship compared to cheaper condensers now flooding the market, but not better sounding.
I was using this mic for VO, and for my voice (every mic is different) it works best when I'm doing a casual read from at least 6 to 8 inches away from the mike. Up closer than that becomes muffled. This mic seems to do very well with casual reads, but is not "in your face" enough for power reads (for that, you want the Sennheiser 416 shotgun mic mounted in studio -- an industry secret Harlan Hogan is not afraid to give out). That's with my voice, anyway. It's too warm for news-style reads. It doesn't cut through a mix well without some EQ. It does its best when you're speaking naturally and have the gain cranked. To take advantage of this, you MUST have a quiet room. No computer fans, street noise -- nothing -- or this mic will pick it up. When you boost that gain and give the mic some power, that's when it really shines. The same could probably be said for most condenser mics, but it seems to have fairly poor rejection from behind.
On the straight curve position (no low cut) the mic does produce a bit more of a bass sound, but I own a Shure SM57, and I've got to say that at $200 less (and no need for Phantom power) the tride and true SM57 or SM58 are the better buy for the mid-ranged price podcaster who has an average voice. Also, the SM57 "cuts" better -- meaning that it rips through to the forefront in front of any background music you might have going on. This is a better sound for most news-style promos, podcast reads, and the like, as well as to create a more whipsy radio-style sound (hard to explain). That might be a bit hard to understand for newbees, but you can hear the difference. You can just get closer to the SM57 if you want more oomph to your voice (although a Pop filter is a must). It's not like I'm cutting down the Shure SM27 or anything (I love Shure mics) -- I just feel the SM57 or SM58 are the better value, given that podcasts are listened to with computer speakers a lot, and offer plenty great of sound. I bet the SM58 would also do well, but I don't own one. I guess I have this opinion, because the SM57 is so much easier to deal with, and they are pretty much known to be bullet proof. You can pick up used SM57's for around $50, and they're probably gonna work great despite decades of use. They're very durable. Condensers are not. Buy a pop filter!
Something else to seriously consider are the USB podcasting mics. For the everyday podcaster, I don't feel this Shure KSM27 mic is worth the investment over other cheaper/simpler USB options. To get nice condensers to work well, you need to invest in a lot of extra equipment (as in a few thousand dollars), and more importantly, you need a well-treated room with NO noise or echos whatsoever. If you don't have that -- stay away from condensers like the KSM27. They'll just anger you. Maybe the podcaster on a budget should consider the Blue Snowflake, althought that mic seems to lack bass.
In all honesty, for podcasting, I probably would have been better off saving my money and not investing in this mic and an audio board. I have a Zoom H2 which has produces pretty darned good audio and is very portable. The difference in this unit has not been worth the $300 investment plus $100 for my mixing board. That's why I sold it. I took a loss, but I will try another mic. Gotta have fun, right?
For the money though... hmmm.... you're best off trying this one out to see if it is a good match for your situation or not.
It's essential to have a good quiet sound room or you'll hear every echo/noise and lose the capabilities of this condenser.
So, it's a decent mic. Lots of options. Not particularly noteworthy. I think I've said my piece.
UPDATE: I purchased a Studio Projects B1, which I feel is a far better mic, and it costs nearly 1/3 of the Shure KSM27. I'm really shocked at how much better the B1 sounds.