This year's NAB marked the industry debut of the new Shure UR1M Micro-Bodypack. Offering superior wireless audio in an ultra-compact package that is about half the size of most standard bodypacks and weighing just three ounces with two AAA batteries, the UR1M is designed to be easily concealed and worn comfortably by actors, performers, musicians, and public speakers.
Operating with the premium Shure UHF-R® wireless microphone system platform using the latest version of the Shure Wireless Workbench software, the subminiature device uses the patented Shure Audio Reference Companding technology to deliver crystal clear audio and a 60-75 MHz tuning range (region dependent) — twice that of any other bodypack on the market. Tunable in 25 kHz increments and providing a sum total of up to 3,000 selectable frequencies, the UR1M additionally offers:
selectable 10mW or 50mW RF power
up to nine hours of battery life
audio level metering
a backlit LCD display
During the manufacture of each UR1M, the circuit board is specially treated to greatly enhance the sweat resistance and durability of the device, allowing it to be worn close to the skin. As easy to use and setup as any other UHF-R Series product, the miniature bodypack complements its list of functional features with a choice of TQG or Lemo-3 connectors and selectable alkaline, lithium primary, or NIMH battery curves for accurate power metering.
The UR1M was the only bodypack used during the broadcast of the 2008 Academy Awards, worn by host Jon Stewart with a Shure WL51 cardioid subminiature lavalier microphone. It also was used at the 2008 Miss America Pageant and is currently on tour with Maroon 5. The UR1M has a suggested retail price of $3,198 (UR1M/LEMO3 is $3,298) and will be available globally from authorized Shure dealers in summer 2008.
"There are certainly other miniature bodypacks out there, but the new UR1M is the first that I consider to be part of a superb sounding wireless microphone system," notes audio engineer Don Worsham, one of the first to put the device to work in the field. "In-back-to-back comparisons we made on the set at this year's Miss America pageant with a full-size pack, we found that we couldn't distinguish the difference. The miniature pack offers the same improved frequency response and dynamic range, and performs with identical signal-to-noise and low distortion characteristics. I'm still wondering how Shure managed to cram all of that into such a small space."