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Product History

Sanken Microphone Co., Ltd. is known as a professional microphone manufacturer which has the longest history in Japan. The company was established in 1925, and started to create microphones for really professional use. In 1933, Rihei Takeuchi, a founder of the company obtained his first patent for the antiagglomeration of carbon particles in carbon microphones. Sanken Microphone Co., Ltd.
In 1935, Sanken developed a globe-shaped dynamic microphone for film recording use. Globe shaped microphone

In 1939, NHK(Japan Broadcasting Cooperation) asked to make miniature dynamic microphone, and Sanken successfully developed a stand microphone for announcers. This was the actual first step of producing professional microphone. 1947, Sanken introduced the Model MCM-1, which was the dynamic microphone with an aluminum diaphragm, and MS-1 with polystylol diaphragm in 1948. It was used at radio stations and became a standard in Japan’s broadcasting industry.


In 1956, MS-5 was introduced. It was a pencil shaped microphone with 20mm polystylol diaphragm. The frequency response extends from 50Hz to 10kHz with a sensitivity of -72dB. This microphone became one of the standard model for interview, press conference purpose for a long time in Japan’s broadcast industry.

In 1964, Sanken developed the ML-1 moving coil type microphone, and it was used at Tokyo Olympic game.
  In 1968-1969, Sanken and NHK developed the CUS-101 a miniature sized cardioid condenser microphone which uses 2.4 micron thick polyester diaphragm. The small size has made this a popular microphone in Japan TV broadcasting stations.  This model is continued as CUS-101B now.  
  In 1975, An M-S type microphone, CMS-2 was developed. Its diameter is 43mm and its length is 176mm. Such miniaturization is feasible due to Sanken’s original “push-pull” capsule design. Due to this design, sensitivity is increased by 6dB over a non push-pull microphones. Sanken started looking for a metal diaphragm because of anticipated stability against temperature changes and humidity. Titanium is light, strong, corrosion free and immune to change in temperature  
In 1982, Sanken introduced the CU-41, cardioid two way condenser microphone. And it was very well received by professional recording engineers in the world. CU-41
In 1991, Sanken introduced world’s first and smallest lavalier microphone, COS-11. It has quite unique rectangular diaphragm. This diaphragm is mounted vertically, and achieves 4mm microphone diameter.

In 2007, Sanken intoduced COS-11x with a feature of Water-resistance and a new color of White.
Sanken also introduced several “shot gun” microphones.
In 1994 CSS-5 unique 3 mode selectable shot-gun was launched and it has mono, normal stereo and wide stereo modes. Mono shot-gun CS-3e was introduced in 1997, and the same year CMS-10 is designed for HDTV camcorder and introduced as stereo and mono selectable microphone.
In 1998, very unique water proof contact mic, called “Ice Mic” was introduced for ice skating program at Nagano Olympic games. Ice mics were set in the skating rink. In 1999, very special contact mic, called “Insect Mic” (MO-64) was introduced. It can pick up sound of ants’ footsteps or heart beat of snail. ICE MIC
In 2002, CUB-01 very small cardioid boundary mic was introduced. Sanken also introduced very short, only181mm length, shot-gun CS-1 in 2003.
And quite unique double X-Y condenser microphone CUW-180 was introduced in 2003, which has two condenser cardioid microphones in one body, and two mics can be rotated freely up to 180 degree with 15 degree detent.
In 2004, Sanken introduced 100kHz microphone, CO-100K for SA-CD and DVD-A recording engineers. It is the world’s first 100kHz microphone for professional recording. CO-100K
For surround recording, CUW-180 surround system was introduced. Quite unique 180 degree angle adjustable two cardioid X-Y condenser mics in one body. You can set two CUW-180 to make surround microphone. This system can also have one CS-1 as “hard centre” mic of this system. CUW-180 + CS-1
2ch dual omni-capsule lavalier microphone COS-22 was launched in 2004. This is designed not only for TV application but also for stereo recording specially shoot "ambience" air in the nature. It can be used also as noise cancel microphone. COS-22
In 2006 , WMS-5 A Double M-S technique 5.0 surround microphone was introduced.
It is so small (234.9mm length) and light (235g), and it has 5 surround outputs. It make a sensation among many surround sound recordists. WMS-5
In 2009, Sanken  introduced the COS-11D, a new version of the popular lavalier which overcomes digital transmitter RFI (radio frequency interference).
In 2009, Sanken  introduced the the new CU-44X MkII phantom-powered dual capsule microphone, successor to the industrywide acclaimed CU-44X.
In 2010, SANKEN introduced the new shotgun microphone CS-2 which has a long reach with rich and natural tone.

In 2011, SANKEN developed the Headworn microphone of COS-11D series.
Headworn microphone