- We investigate the influence of orientation on the evolution of small perturbations in compressible shear layers with inflection points. By using linear analysis, we demonstrate that perturbations along the shear plane are most affected by compressibility. The influence of compressibility gradually diminishes with increasing obliqueness of the perturbations with respect to the shear plane. It is demonstrated that the effective gradient Mach number is an appropriate compressibility parameter. We establish that spanwise perturbations, orthogonal to the shear plane, are impervious to compressibility effects. Direct numerical simulations of compressible mixing layers subject to the perturbations at various obliqueness angles verify the analytical findings.