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29 August 2008

Impressions with the UR1M

Our Shure Rep, Mike from Audio Geer, was nice enough to bring a new toy with him to our open house earlier this week, the new UR1M (info | shop). This is the first time I’ve been able to see the micro bodypack from Shure since we saw the early design models on a secluded portion of a show floor a long time ago.

I must admit my first struggle with the bodypack was opening the battery compartment. There is a little switch like piece on the bottom of the pack which must be opened to gain access to the batteries and controls. I’m sure this was designed to keep talent out of the controls, but it seemed kind of a hassel to deal with. Maybe wtih time it will be easier for me to open the flap.

The unit seemed just like the pre produciton models we saw. Nicely built and an incredibly good use of space. It will take some getting used to for users to put AAA batteries in the unit instead of the AA batteries used in it’s big brother the UR1. Even more interesting is that they go in the same direction instead of alternating as in most other units. Removing the batteries was easy which is good since it can be a pane in some other units.

I didn’t have the opportunity to fire it up and listen to the sound coming through the airwaves. I’m sure that it sounds as good as we would expect from products in this range and is comperable to the other UHF-R products in audio dynamics and compression.

The controls were easy to use and the display was easy to read, a great must on all devices and something I was worried about with the smaller unit. It was weird pushing buttons on the bottom of the unit (once the battery compartment is open) as opposed to the buttons under the display on most other units (like the UR1). The buttons were firm and did not require special tools or toothpics.

I am a fan of the threaded TA4F input connector on the UHF-R series packs. I just wish that Shure would allow us to purchase elements with the threaded connectors already installed.

All in all, I’m looking forward to using the new micro bodypack even though I will probably not ever actually wear it or experience the benefits of it that a cast member would. I guess I’m just really happy that Shure has this addition to their line.

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