by Bob Malkowski | 4,6 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes

 ·  Source: Shure, Pixabay


The Shure Presidential Pair is an iconic microphone setup that’s served America’s presidents for over five decades. President Joe Biden’s inauguration heralds the return of this famous SM57 based setup.


The Presidential Pair

President Biden’s inauguration heralded the return of a familiar sight, the Shure Presidential Pair. Even if you’re not a live-sound nerd, you’ll have seen and heard it before. Based upon the ubiquitous and indestructible Shure SM57, the Presidential Pair package places two identical SM57 with windscreens on one dual mount.

Source: Shure, Pixabay

It’s an iconic setup that, importantly, has served every American president: from Lyndon B Johnson to Barack Obama. In spite of this, former President Donald Trump eschewed this iconic setup. It should be noted that in his term, the Presidential Pair made way for a single microphone on a gooseneck mount.

Undoubtedly it was a move that was as unconventional and controversial as his term in office. Indeed, many view the return of the Presidential Pair as a symbolic move “back to normality”.

Former President Trump was the first president since Lyndon B Johnson not to use the Presidential Pair

A Blue-Collar Workhorse Microphone

So why the Presidential Pair and why after all these years is the President of the USA still using a Shure SM57? Well, The President uses the SM57 for the same reasons you and I love them: durability and consistency. In this case, you need to choose a microphone that can handle extremes of temperature and humidity.


Without a doubt, condenser style microphones can be temperamental when dealing with condensation and high humidity. On the other hand, dynamic microphones like the SM57 don’t suffer the same issues!

Of course, it’s hard to deny the “blue-collar” credentials of a mic like the SM57. An American microphone (OK so it’s made in Mexico, we admit!) that’s accessible to all yet gives a world-class performance. Don’t you think that’s symbolically perfect?

With all of that said, rumours abound that at least one of the SM57s on Biden’s lectern was not as American as it seems! A thread on Reddit suggests one of the microphones had a German Schoeps capsule installed! Even so, it’s nice to see the return of this iconic American mic setup. Which do you prefer? Trump’s “mic on a stick” or the iconic pair of SM57s? Let us know in the comments!


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20 responses to “Biden Inauguration marks return of Shure Presidential Pair Microphones”

    B Belknap says:

    Prefer Trump single mic, dont need a dbl mic for a double dose of bullshit. I will expect GEARNEWS to go after every Musician who doesn’t use the new Industry standard. including Lady Gaga, Bruce springsteen, Bonjovi, who all performed with a single. Had Trump used the dbl Shure mic you would all be calling for a boycott!

    Mike says:

    Do we have even here on audio blog read about the politics. Disgusting

    Chris Lord-Alge says:

    Trump’s audio has been fantastic these last four years. Can’t make progress if we’re always looking backwards.

    JB says:

    Disappointed, no need for this type of politically charged content, love this site, will continue to use it, but this is purely political, no other reason, can’t debated that it isn’t, but please no more of this BS. It’s sad that we have come to hate a man so much that we would even criticize his mic choice, ridiculous. just an opinion though.

    Trader joe says:

    Don’t worry the mic may be made in mexico but the headset is owned and operated by China

    Not a little bi*ch says:

    Get over it crybabies. Good lord. Yall are the ones always talking about freedom of speech and cancel culture. Yet here you are whining about someone making an article. Yall are pathetic snowflakes.

    A reader says:

    This was about microphones and their use. If you’re seeing more than that, you’re missing the point of the piece. Which was about microphones. Specifically, the pair of SM57s that many Presidents have used and one recent one chose not to. No one was harmed by microphone choice.

    John Barron NoPants says:

    Cringe, guys… Maybe stick to Behringer press releases and leave the politics to Twitter.

    Go ahead, keep moderating out critics says:

    Lame. Political innuendo, content free.

    G. says:

    Why shouldn’t be information allowed about some guys mic choice – and the symbolism behind it? Are we only allowed to talk about gear used by musicicans only? Should it be forbidden for car magazines to mention the car the president is driving? Crazy folks here, crying for censorship…
    For me – big thanks for that article – the SM57 was the first thing I noticed at the presidents speech this time and four years ago. These iconic and highly symbolic thing was worth to mention.

    GeigerC says:

    There are far better sites for political shit eating. Stick to eating gear shit.

    Gorbotsky says:

    Sm58’s are now made in china. SM57’s will follow if not already.

    Simon L. says:

    There’s nothing political in the piece, just an interesting I observation of mic choices, which I had also made. But aside from that, yeah music and art are never political, sure. What a bunch of reactionary whiners on here. Grow a little bit of skin why don’t you.

    Modern6 says:

    Actually, the more important part of this announcement is that the person speaking into the microphone will be an actual patriot, a lifelong human being, has command of the English language, not a treasonous maggot, possess and uses a brain, does not lie as means to oxygenate his noddle of a brain, and his wife is actually accomplished and not a former prostitute.

    Welcome President Biden!

    Daniel says:

    Both mics are the “Collette Mk4 Stereo set in drilled-out 57 bodies.” If you’d bothered to read the Reddit thread you yourself linked in the article… sigh. Good creative writing with the imagery I guess, but garbage journalism.

      Bob Malkowski says:

      Hey Daniel, Bob here the author of the article.

      To quote the article “A thread on Reddit suggests one of the microphones had a German Schoeps capsule installed”.

      I do research these pieces thoroughly and scoured the Reddit thread at length.

      Having used the Shoeps Collette system extensively in my apprenticeship in classical recording, I can see that a Collette capsule (with the preamp body mounted remotely) could be adapted to the SM57 body.

      Until we have photographic and substantiated proof, however, none of us really know *exactly* what was used at the inauguration.

      The main aim of my article was to highlight the return of an iconic microphone setup.
      I’m happy to see in the comments others have welcomed its return too!

    moha says:

    President for life (Bidens sponsor) mister Xi uses 5 mics!

    Michael Barry says:

    I found this article because I was specifically looking for info on the presidential pair 57’s, and was really surprised to see people politicizing it in the comments.

    There’s no politics in the article except to state the fact that Trump did it differently, which honestly, is worth remarking on. I noticed it, like a lot of audio people did, and also noticed that the Biden team switched it back. It’s a legit audio story about high-profile microphone use, and it’s interesting. Jeez, people.

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