Shure Beta 52A Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

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Product description

General Description

The Beta 52®A is a precision-engineered dynamic microphone with a tailored frequency response designed specifically for kick drums and other bass instruments. It provides superb attack and “punch,” and delivers studio quality sound even at extremely high sound pressure levels (SPL). An integrated, locking stand adapter simplifies mounting and adjustments.

Featuring a modified supercardioid pattern, the Beta 52A exhibits remarkable gain before feedback and excellent off-axis rejection. A hardened, steel mesh grille and die-cast metal construction withstands years of abuse, making it ideal for touring sound reinforcement.


  • Premier live performance microphone with Shure quality, ruggedness, and reliability
  • Modified supercardioid pick-up pattern for maximum gain before feedback and superior rejection of off-axis sound
  • Tailored frequency response specifically shaped for kick drums and bass instruments
  • Neodymium magnet for greater sensitivity and higher output
  • Advanced pneumatic shock mount system that minimizes transmission of mechanical noise and vibration
  • Dent-resistant, steel mesh grille and enamel coated die-cast metal construction resist wear and abuse
  • Studio quality performance, even at high SPL
  • Built-in stand adapter with dynamic locking system and XLR connector simplifies setup and provides greater flexibility


General Rules for Kick Drum Mic Placement

  • Make sure microphone does not touch drum head or damping inside of the drum.
  • Aim the microphone toward the desired sound source and away from unwanted sources.
  • Place closer to beater head for more attack, further away for more resonance.
  • Work close to the microphone for extra bass response.
  • Avoid excessive handling to minimize pickup of mechanical noise and vibration.

Applications and Placement

The following table lists the most common applications and placement techniques. Keep in mind that microphone technique is largely a matter of personal taste; there is no one "correct" microphone position.

Application Suggested Microphone Placement Tone Quality
Kick Drum 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 in.) away from beater head, slightly off-center from beater. Sharp attack; maximum bass sound, highest sound pressure level.
20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 in.) from beater head, on-axis with beater. Medium attack; balanced sound.
NOTE: To create a tighter sound with more “punch,” place a pillow or blanket on bottom of the drum against the beater head.
Guitar & Bass Amplifiers 2.5 cm (1 in.) from speaker, on-axis with center of speaker cone. Sharp attack; emphasized bass.
2.5 cm (1 in.) from speaker, at edge of speaker cone. Sharp attack; higher frequency sound.
60 to 90 cm (2 to 3 ft.) back from speaker, on-axis with speaker cone. Softer attack; reduced bass.

Avoiding Pickup of Unwanted Sound Sources

A supercardioid microphone has the greatest sound rejection at points 120° toward the rear of the microphone. Place the microphone so that unwanted sound sources, such as monitors and loudspeakers, are at these angles, not directly behind it. To minimize feedback and ensure optimum rejection of unwanted sound, always test microphone placement before a performance.

Recommended Loudspeaker Locations for Supercardioid Microphones

Proximity Effect

Unidirectional (cardioid) microphones progressively boost bass frequencies by 6 to 10 dB below 100 Hz when the microphone is at a distance of about 6 mm (1/4 in.) from the sound source. This phenomenon, known as proximity effect, can be used to create a warmer, more powerful sound. To prevent explosive low frequency sound during close-up use, the bass response gradually rolls off. This provides greater control and helps the user take advantage of proximity effect.

Using the Stand Adapter

The integrated stand adapter resists slipping when struck or bumped, yet permits adjustments without loosening the knob.

  1. Thread the microphone onto the stand.
  2. Before tightening the adjustment knob, adjust the stand height and position as necessary.
  3. Tighten the adjustment knob to lock the microphone in place. Do NOT use tools or over tighten.



Dynamic (moving coil)

Frequency Response

20 to 10,000 Hz

Polar Pattern


Output Impedance

EIA rated at150 Ω(45 Ωactual)


at 1kHz,open circuit voltage

-64 dBV/Pa(0.6 mV)[1]

Maximum SPL

1 kHz at 1% THD, 1 kΩ load

174  dB


Positive pressure on diaphragm produces positive voltage on pin 2 with respect to pin 3



0.605  kg(1.35  lbs)


Three-pin professional audio (XLR), male, balanced


Silver blue enamel-painted die cast metal with hardened, matte-finished steel mesh grille

[1] 1 Pa=94 dB SPL

Typical Frequency Response

Typical Polar Patterns


Furnished Accessories

5/8" to 3/8" (Euro) Threaded Adapter


Storage BagZippered Carrying Bag


Replacement Parts

Cartridge for BETA 52 and BETA 52A


Grille for BETA 52A


Plug (Connector) Assembly


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