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Who Needs Another Pair of Headphones?

dscn1764.JPGIt’s a legitimate question. And yet Shure decided to have a go at building a better headphone. “It’s so personal,” Shure’s Chris Lyons offers. “People are looking for subtleties of sound and comfort, and they need reliability … ” he trails off, but I’m distracted by all the people lined up at the listening station on the booth. People seem to be shopping for headphones. And XLR to USB convertors (more on that in a minute).

Shure never made headphones before, but felt qualified to try. In another twist on the theme, Shure has also returned to the ribbon microphone business, a business they had long ago left behind. “Ribbon mics used to be so fragile, that they couldn’t live outside the studio,” Lyons recalls. But now he says Shure is responding to a nascent trend: everyone wants to be in content creation. So, he says, people who have installed systems for churches, schools, corporations, and live events start asking how to capture higher quality content and distribute it. “They want it to look good—not like You Tube,” he says. “They want it to sound good because it’s representing them.”

To this same end, Shure has come up with two USB mics and more importantly the XLR to USB convertor (so any mic becomes a podcasting mic or … whatever you’re making—video? I don’t know).

The traditional side of the installation business is still there, but just as integrators had to teach themselves things like alarms and phones, some will need to know how to assist with this new craving for content creation and distribution. Everyone wants to be a broadcaster now.

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The editors of Sound & Video Contractor post live from InfoComm as the news happens. Check back several times a day for the latest industry news, reports from press conferences, and product introductions.


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