Direct from Shure:
Revived exactly the same as the original, this legendary battle needle offers ultra-high skip resistance and ultra-high output. The needle of choice for many champion DJ’s worldwide. Engineered for scratch DJ’s and turntablists, the M44-7 is designed not to skip under even the most demanding circumstances.
The Shure M44-7 is undoubtedly the most popular DJ cartridge ever used. It features extreme skip resistance not found in any other cartridges on the market. The sound quality is fairly good, and the record wear is minimal.
Another advantage of the Shure M44-7 is that it is not susceptible to poor setup. A DJ can simply plug them into the venue’s house turntables, slam the weights to full-on, and enjoy great performing needles that don’t skip and track magnificently.
The Shure M44-7 also is very cost effective and available everywhere that sells DJ equipment. You can typically expect to pay under $60 dollars each for just the cartridge. Shure also offers the M44-7h, which is a M44-7 pre-mounted on a OEM Technics 1200 headshell. You can typically expect to find the pre-mounted variety for around $75.
The only disadvantage of the Shure M44-7 is the balance of the sound. When using M44-7’s be careful not to push the EQ on the Dj mixer too far. The highs can be shrill and tinny. The bass is also the loudest bass available for any cartridge on the market. This fact is another reason why these cartridges are so favored by Hip-hop and Dubstep DJ’s.
With most DJ’s switching to timecode setups, for example – Serato, Traktor, Torq, the sound quality of the needle becomes irrelevant. The sound quality comes from the DJ’s sound card. The needle simply needs to have a high output, great tracking, and durability.