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Shure: DuraPlex Subminiature Waterproof Microphone with IP57 Rating

Stage Directions • Tools of the Trade • April 28, 2021

The DuraPlex is Shure’s new line of subminiature (5mm) omnidirectional lavalier and headset microphones. The DuraPlex mic features a neutral, full sound quality and is designed to stand up to the toughest conditions. It’s Shure’s first mic with an IP57 certification rating, keeping dirt, dust, water, make-up, and perspiration from affecting the audio. Audio teams encounter most of these hazards working in the theater, especially those who work in outdoor theater, so an IP57 rating is a huge help in protecting the microphone from damage. DuraPlex was built with input from audio professionals and covers the very specific needs of theater applications as well as for users in Houses of Worship, television, and film. Here’s a product overview video for the DuraPlex mic:

Small, Yet Tough
Being able to hide a mic in hair, a wig, or in a costume is very important in terms of theatrical sound design. With the launch of Shure’s award-winning TwinPlex™ premium line of subminiature lavalier and headset mics, the company has come up with several innovations to reduce the size of the element, but also to produce products that stand up to the rigors of theatrical usage. Despite its small form factor, the DuraPlex offers a very good audio response. The advanced 1.6 mm Shure Plex cable, first introduced with its TwinPlex microphone, lasts longer than competing cables due to a dual redundant ground which doubles as a secondary shield. The Plex cable also offers virtually zero memory effect, won’t kink, and is fully paintable.

The IP Code rates the degree of protection against dust (first number) and water (second number). An IP57 rating classifies DuraPlex as follows:
5 (Dust) – Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it does not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment.
7 (Water) – Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water up to one meter for 30 minutes. (You will want to pair the DuraPlex up with watertight or waterproof mic transmitters or seal them to protect from damage.)

“In developing DuraPlex, we wanted to provide a simple, consistent, reliable solution, ready to tackle any environment,” commented John Born, Senior Global Product Manager at Shure. “The neutral response, easy-to-use accessories and design, combined with best-in-class cable durability and waterproof element, quickly make DuraPlex an outstanding leader at this price tier.”

Here’s a video of water and dust testing of the Shure DuraPlex lav mics:

The DuraPlex Range
The DuraPlex system currently consists of the DL4 Omnidirectional Waterproof Lavalier Microphone and the DH5 Omnidirectional Waterproof Headset Microphone. Complementing Shure’s portfolio of mid- and high-tier wireless systems, the IP57 rating and cable durability of DuraPlex offers the market an entirely new tier of audio performance and ruggedness. The MEMs (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) element yields consistent and neutral sound quality with low self-noise for vocal clarity in multiple environments. Shure does include a Presence Cap with a tailored frequency response to provide additional vocal clarity (3-4 dB boost near 10 kHz).

Shure DuraPlex DL4 lavaliers are available in four colors (Black, Tan, Cocoa, White)

DuraPlex comes complete with a range of accessories: a carrying case, snap-fit and foam windscreens, single tie clip, and a presence cap are all included. The DL4 lav mics also comes packaged with a sticky mount. The easy-to-conceal form factor and ultra-lightweight/easily mountable design allows for quick applications, costume changes, and discrete placement under wardrobe with no impact on sound quality. The DuraPlex mics are available with two connector types: TA4F and LEMO. (The TA4F SKUs come complete with a TQG locking collar.)

DuraPlex’s 1.6 mm cable is the same that is found in TwinPlex, Shure’s premium subminiature omnidirectional lavalier and headset microphones. To simulate years of intense use, the ultra-thin cable was flexed, stretched, and pulled to the absolute limit in internal tests. The cable is immune to kinks and memory effects, resulting in unmatched flex performance due to an innovative spiral construction with redundant shielding. This cable is Ideal for unpredictable, mission-critical environments like theater. DuraPlex was tested to ensure uninterrupted audio in all conditions.

The Shure DuraPlex DH5 Omnidirectional Waterproof Headset Microphone

DuraPlex DH5 Headsets come in multiple colors (Tan, Cocoa, and Black) with a sleek, brushed steel frame for quick and stable placement. DL4 Lavaliers are available in four colors (Black, Tan, Cocoa, and White). Both products are globally available.

If you are looking for a small microphone to stand up to the punishment that theater throws at products, we suggest that you look at the Shure DuraPlex microphones. Get a demonstration and see how the fit—and sound—for your theatrical application.

Further information from Shure on the DL4:

Further information from Shure on the DH5:



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