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Audix i5 vs. SM57 | SURPRISE VICTOR!

Greetings friend and Welcome aboard!

Before we get into the Audix i5 vs. SM57 comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

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Audix i5 vs. SM57

Audix i5 vs. SM57

What I will bring you in this review

Today I will outline the Audix i5 and then compare it with the SM57 towards the end. 🙂

  1. Ratings/Best Price
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Video Review
  7. Who this mic benefits?
  8. What you will need?
  9. Thoughts from Stu’s Notepad
  10. Consensus/Conclusion
  11. Similarities & Differences
  12. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!

Audix i5

Audix i5

Audix i5

Ratings/Best Price

  • Amazon: 4.4/5 (Over 30 reviews) | Check eBay! | Check zZOUNDS!
  • Guitar Center: 5/5 (Over 14 reviews)
  • Musicians Friend: 4.5/5 (Over 30 reviews)
  • B&H Photo Video: 4.5/5 (limited reviews)
  • Sweetwater: 4.5/5 (Over 30 reviews)

Specifications

  • Microphone Type: Dynamic. Condenser Mic vs. Dynamic Mic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz – 16kHz
  • Output impedance: 150 ohms
  • Color: Black
  • Connector: XLR. What is XLR?
  • Weight: 0.4 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Part Number: I5

Summary

So in my research, I kept reading about how much better the i5 is than the SM57 for nearly everything. Of course there were a few people who stuck by the 57 (It is still a great mic), but I was a bit skeptical myself. After all, the57 has been around since about 1965. Then I read this review:

“I went into Guitar Center about 3 years ago to pick up a new SM57, and the salesman there went on and on about how he tried the i5 and immediately stopped using 57’s. I was skeptical, but he was extremely persistent. What finally sold me was when he said “if you buy this and don’t think it’s better than an SM57, I’ll personally buy it back from you”. I went home and went to work on finding ANY excuse to go back there and tell him what a jerk he was for wasting my time. Like I said, it’s been 3 years, and I have yet to find a situation where it doesn’t outperform the SM57.”

The mic for guitar amps and snare drums. To put it bluntly, nearly everything I’ve read says go for the i5 over the 57.

Pros

  • Good bass response on amps.
  • Crispness and clarity. Picks up all the subtle details.
  • Great mid-range and treble.
  • Sound accurate to real life.
  • Can handle high SPL (sound pressure level).
  • Durable and heavy.
  • Amazing on snares and guitar cabinets. Versatile.

Cons

  • Broke after second use. Only 1 person said this.
  • Strange sibilance. Only 1 person said this.

Video Review & Comparison!!

Who this mic benefits?

I’ve seen it endorsed for:

  • Guitar cabs
  • Banjo
  • Bass amp
  • Electric Guitar
  • Snare
  • Live vocals (wouldn’t really recommend it for studio vocal takes).
  • Percussion
  • Djembe
  • Acoustics
  • Tambourine
  • Conga
  • Horns
  • Harmonica
  • Harp
  • Piano
  • Toms
  • Soprano and Alto Sax
  • Flute

Not as good for:

  • Studio vocals

What you will need?

This baby needs a good preamp and interface or mixer. Preamp vs. Interface.

Thoughts from Stu’s Notepad

  • Could be better than the SM57 on guitar cabinets and bass.
  • Captures the Marshall DSL40C amp with ease, and especially good with the low mids and detailed highs. Does this all without sounding harshy or boomy.
  • The i5 has a higher dB output with a slight boost at 150Hz. It may pick up more overtones and need more compression.
  • It’s a good compliment to the SM57 when miking an amp especially.
  • The mic must be directly in front of your mouth for best sound.
  • One said it was actually not as good as an Sm57 for recording guitar cabinets.
  • Mogami cables are recommended with the i5.
  • Don’t put the mic too close to your amp, or you won’t get the right sound and it will become too punchy.

Consensus/Conclusion

An extremely versatile mic with a phenomenal crispness and clarity. At it’s best with snares and guitar cabinets.

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • Both are dynamic microphones that excel in many of the same situations – especially for guitar cabinets and snare drums.
  • They both cost around $100.

Differences

  • The SM57 may be better for clean and sparkly Fender sounds, while the i5 excels in Marshall style distorted sounds.
  • The i5 is said to be richer and fuller in the mid-range than the SM57.
  • The tone with snare is more mid-range heavy and dense than the Sm57. Overall people are saying it does perform better for snares as well as guitar amps and cabinets.
  • The i5 has a more forgiving proximity effect than the SM57. One of the complaints with the 57 is of mic placement; it has to be near perfect, with a lot of experimentation. The i5 has a larger target area, and thus is easier to get a good take quickly.
  • The head of the i5 is not quite as delicate as the 57. It’s not as likely to crack with the hit of an accidental flailing drumstick (not the chicken kind). 😛 So yeah it’s said to be even more durable than the SM57.
  • The frequency response of the i5 provides more clarity than the 57. The treble is also said to be crispier and smoother, while the SM57’s treble may be too much as far as sibilance. What does Sibilant mean?
  • The SM57 sounds slightly muddier and boxier than the i5.
  • The i5 is more natural sounding and less compressed than the SM57.
  • The low end of the i5 is punchier than the 57.
  • Size & Shape. Both of these mics are slightly different. Because the i5 is smaller, it’s easier to fit into tight spaces that may be otherwise cumbersome for the SM57.

Final Word

Yeah I would go with the Audix i5. The video really sold me and exposed the SM57 a little bit, especially that whole boxiness factor which you can really get a sense of. The 57 is still a great mic no doubt, but the i5 outshines it just a bit. It’s got more presence, better clarity, a better low end, and just an all around sizzle that’s hard to beat.

SEE THE AUDIX i5 FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!


Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the Audix i5 vs. SM57.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

Which of these are you more likely to go with? Are you convinced of the i5’s clarity? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..

All the best and God bless,

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Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!!

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