Both mics add a sort of “thickness” and warmth to your voice. They are known to “accentuate” if you will, as opposed to being flat and neutral.
Application. Both of these mics are extremely versatile. The SM7B is at it’s best in voice-over situations, vocals, and recording instrumentation. I would say it’s main draw is in vocals. You wouldn’t believe how many famous people use(d) and love this thing, from Michael Jackson to Radiohead, it’s a worthy piece indeed. The C214 is the same way, but it’s main draw is in hip-hop vocals, R&B, acoustic guitar, and drum overheads. I would say these mics compliment each-other phenomenally well. They both do well in a lot of the same instances.
Requirements. The C214 needs 48v phantom power via mixer or audio interface to function. What does an audio interface do? The SM7B does not require phantom power to function, but it does require a decent preamp. Preamp vs. Interface. That or you could opt for the Cloudlifter + Audio Interface route. No worries, you will learn all about that in my review of the SM7B!
Switches. The SM7B has a bass roll off switch and mid-range emphasis switch, while the C214 has a -20dB pad and a low cut filter.
Noise. Condenser microphones like the C214 typically pick up a lot of noise, whether this be ambient, room, or background noise. They pick up everything! They are very sensitive, and benefit greatly from Acoustic Sound Treatment. By contrast, a dynamic mic like the SM7B is designed to reject background noise. It’s a lot more forgiving of your less than ideal studio environment. You may not need any room treatment, but it never hurts!!
Sound. Because the C214 is a condenser microphone and is very sensitive, it will articulate your voice better and it’s sound is more detailed overall. The challenge is to treat your room properly enough to deter all those weird bathroom sounds and what not. Lol. The SM7B rejects room noise almost completely, but the trade off is that your sound won’t be as detailed.
Shield. The SM7B comes with 2 separate windscreens. The C214 doesn’t come with pop-filters or windscreens, but generally you are going to want to invest in a pop-filter for this microphone.
Aesthetic/Stand. These mics look radically different from each-other. The stand generally used with the SM7B is a boom arm, while the C214 is typically fitted with a desk stand, or standard mic stand.
Check out the video comparison!
Regular sound comparison!
Interested in learning everything you need to know about these bad boys?
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the AKG C214 vs. Shure SM7B.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
Which of these suits your needs more? Do you require a mic that blocks out unwanted noise like the SM7B, or would you rather have a condenser microphone that picks up more detail? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.