Before we get into the Shure SM58 vs. SM58S, grab a snack (or a tic tac), sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
Today I will provide a quick comparison of these two, and then give a recommendation towards the end! 🙂
Similarities & Differences
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
Similarities & Differences
Polar pattern. Both are supercardioid. What is a Cardioid capsule? This basically means that both have a smaller, more restrictive area that you can effectively sing into. The advantage is that it rejects sound from the sides better, but the downside is that you have to be pretty much directly in front of it to get the clearest frequency.
Both have internal shock-mounts.
Presence. The Shure Beta 87A has more output and a bit more presence in the upper mid-range going into the treble. This is because of it’s pattern presence boost. Just keep in mind the peak does roll off pretty quickly. Also remember that if the singer in question has a softer voice, or tends to sing further away from the mic, the 87A may not work quite as well.
Frequency response. Further, the Beta 58 has a frequency response of 50Hz – 16kHz, while the Beta 87A has a 50Hz – 20kHz frequency response. So the 87A as mentioned has a bit more sparkle in the treble regions, and sounds brighter and more airy overall. The Beta 58 is warmer by contrast. Warmer simply means more relaxed, more lush, etc.
Sensitivity. The 87A is more prone to feedback than the Beta 58. This means it’s not quite as good in a live setting. The Beta 58 does do well live, and does better at rejecting feedback. It’s not quite as sensitive though, and you may miss out on some clarity. So basically, if you’re on stage in a very loud setting, the 87A will not work well and you should avoid it. The Beta 58 would be your go to in that situation, as you can scream into it more effectively. Heh. That said, the 87A is more of a studio mic, as it will provide more detail, clarity, presence and an overall more intimate sound signature.
Space. All that said, if you have plenty of space on stage, and a good PA, you could get away with using an 87A as it will sound better. Just make sure that if you’re crammed or tight, use a Beta 58.
In a nutshell:
Live work, loud voices, screaming, loud stage, don’t need phantom power, etc. = Beta 58.
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.