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CardioidShure KSM137

Cardioid Pencil Condenser Microphone

The Shure KSM137 is an end-address electret condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. Shure presents the mic as having been designed for studio use, yet rugged enough for live applications.

As a “permanently polarized” (electret) condenser, the mic requires phantom power, but can operate at levels as low as 11V (with some loss in SPL and sensitivity).

The mic has a 3-position high-pass filter:

  • 0dB/flat
  • -18dB @ 80Hz
  • -6dB @ 115Hz

A non-switched subsonic filter in the mic’s amplifier circuitry attenuates sound below 17Hz.

A second 3-way switch provides a pad for high-SPL sources. The pad options are 0dB, -15dB, -25dB.

The KSM137’s stated frequency response is 20Hz–20kHz, but the response graph shows the low-end -3dB point around 80Hz.

The electret capsule measures 3/4'' (19mm) in diameter, according to Electronic Musician. The diaphragm is made of 2.5 micron, 24 karat gold-layered Mylar. The same capsule is used in the multipattern KSM141 (which changes its polar response not by electronic means, but by selectively opening or closing acoustic vents at the rear of the capsule). We speculate that this capsule is also used in the KSM109.


I cannot recall when I enjoyed using a pencil condenser review unit this much. The KSM137 is another great product from Shure. It yields excellent reproduction with a minimum of noise and, at $1,150 for a stereo pair, it is a super deal. I may have to make this a new “go to” in my mic box.

Electronic Musician

The only sonic difference I could ascertain between the [KSM137 and KSM141] was in the resonant tone of their housings when tapped externally; in terms of cardioid sound capture, they sounded identical.

Sonically, the KSM141 is not exactly transparent, nor is it airy and open sounding. Rather, it tends toward a darker, drier presentation than other small-diaphragm condensers I am familiar with. In fact, the KSM141 made me think of a Shure SM57 on steroids — it’s a bit brighter and faster than that legendary dynamic, but it definitely has a 57 vibe.

The KSM137 ships with a foam windscreen (p/n A100WS), a mic clip (A57F), a European thread adapter, and a carrying case (A137C).

The mic is also available in stereo pairs, p/n KSM137/SL ST PAIR. The stereo pair fits two mics, two clips, and two windscreens into a single case (p/n A137SPC).

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Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
KSM137 Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (14.1 mV/Pa; 80 - 20,000 Hz)
  • Pad: -15 dB (Via Switch)
  • Pad: -25 dB (Via Switch)
  • Filter: -6 dB @ 115 Hz (Via Switch)
  • Filter: -18 dB @ 80 Hz (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Capsule diameter: 19mm
Diaphragm gauge: 2.5 microns
150 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 159 dB
Self-noise: 14.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
100g (3.53oz) 122mm (4.80'') 20mm (0.79'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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