Before we get into the SM58 vs. Beta 58, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
First I will review the SM58, and then compare it to the Beta 58 instead of doing each review separately since they are so similar.
What this mic is good for/not good for
What you will need
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
Similarities & Differences
Vocal comparison test
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!
Iterations of the Beta model
Before we get into the review of the SM58, it’s helpful to distinguish between some of the old Beta microphones.
The Beta 58’s origins started as a Beta 58C (chrome grille), or Beta 58M (matte grille). The 58C was discontinued in favor of the regular Beta 58. The Beta 58 eventually got discontinued, and the 58A is what we’re left with!
The difference between the original 58 and the new 58A comes down to a different cartridge. The 58A does sound a bit different, the major differences are as follows:
Shure removed the humbucking coil on the new model.
They also added an output transformer.
So essentially, we will be comparing the new Beta 58A with the SM58 today, since the older model is no longer available. 🙂
To start off, there are 4 different versions of the 58, but they come with subtle differences.
SM58-CN (Cable included).
SM58-LC (Cable not included).
SM58S (On/Off Switch included).
SM58-X2U (XLR to USB signal adapter, same as with Sm57).
The SM58 is the best on stage dynamic vocal mic you can buy. Condenser mic vs. Dynamic mic. It’s the other industry standard for live sound. Like the Sm57, it’s about as durable as it gets. Need a hammer for your next DIY project? Use the SM58. Lol. Frustrated with your drummer? Throw the SM58 at him. Need a tool for self defense after live gigs in back alleys? Get an SM58. It won’t fail! Just know that it’s primary use will be with vocals, backing vocals, etc.
Same important note as with the Sm57: Beware of counterfeits. Use extreme caution when buying, and only buy from reputable, authorized amazon sellers!
Extremely durable. Like hammer. “Don’t you know what a hammer is?!” -Hank Hill.
The industry standard for on stage vocals. There is no other option more sought after for this purpose.
Price to performance ratio through the roof.
Ball shaped grilles are very sturdy.
No feedback issues. High SPL (Sound pressure level). What is SPL?
Comes with internal shock-mount and windscreen, but you may need a stand, foam windscreen/pop filter for in studio.
Recordings are faithful to the performers vocals.
Some don’t like the power switch that comes with SM58S, saying it’s too loose, and kind of cheap.
Check out the simple video on how to hook it up to your X2U!
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
Mic is designed to be kissed. Not in that way 😛 Most people enjoy it right up against their mouth. You should get pretty intimate with it.
If you have a softer or weaker voice, the 58 will do you well.
It’s a highly directional mic, and has a noticeable but manageable proximity effect. The bass increases the closer you are.
It has a prominent frequency boost in the upper mid-range, but the top end rolls off right after that. It helps keep feedback low, but may not give off that hi-fi sound as with other mics. The top end may lack that “sparkle.”
It can be turned up louder than almost any other mic without that annoying PA squeal. Feedback is quite low as mentioned in the Pros.
You may end up taking this mic to the casket with you. It just holds up incredibly well. Someone even said it still worked after they accidentally ran it over. Wow.
Mic stand highly recommended for in studio.
It’s pretty easy to sum this baby boo up. It’s durable like a Hank Hill hammer, at it’s best live on stage. VOCALS!
Similarities & Differences
They both look very similar, but the Beta 58A has a slightly different color scheme than the SM58.
The logo and lettering is placed differently on the Beta 58A. It is aligned on the front of the mic rather than wrapping around it.
The Beta58A is said to be of a bit higher quality, with better sound and gain before feedback.
Your voice may sound more clear with the Beta58A. People are saying it just sounds better.
The Beta58A has a sweeter high end and a stronger output level. It’s a bit brighter and crisper.
The Beta58A may have more of a sizzle on the high end, but the 58 might sound smoother if not “warmer.”
The polar patterns on each is a bit different. The SM58 sports a regular cardioid pattern, while the Beta 58A has a supercardioid pattern. The difference? A regular cardioid will reject sound best from the back, while a supercardioid is more directional and less susceptible to feedback.
The Beta58A has greater sensitivity and a 4db hotter output than the Sm58.
The frequency response is a bit different. As you can see below, the 58A reaches higher and lower on both ends of the spectrum. This doesn’t necessarily make the 58A “better.” It all depends on your voice, and you may not benefit from this added response range.
The Beta 58A has a more durable grille.
The 58A is quieter overall.
The 58A is a bit more expensive.
The Beta may do better with female vocals.
Freq: 50-15K Hz
Weight: 10.5 oz
The Beta58A is an upgrade in many instances, but if you’re really letting this mic have it and yelling into it a lot, the extra sensitivity may be a detriment. Other than that, I would recommend it over the SM58.
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.