Before we dive into the Shure SM7B vs. SM57 comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
Because I have discussed these mics before, I will quickly outline the similarities & differences and then point you to some separate reviews of each. 🙂
Similarities & Differences
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!
Both of these mics have a long history. The SM58 came out in 1966, just a year after the SM57. The original SM7 came out in 1976, and was perhaps most famously used by Michael Jackson on his best selling album “Thriller.” Shure SM7 vs. SM7B.
Some people say that the SM58 and Sm7B share the same capsule, or at the very least sound so similar that it’s a wash. What is a cardioid capsule? Also check out this thread on Gearslutz for a discussion on the subject.
Both benefit from a good preamp.
Both mics are based off of the Unidyne III cartridge.
The SM58 is more suited for live vocals, while the SM7B does better in studio. Home Studio Corner did a great article comparing the two in studio however. Check it out!
You will need at least 60db of gain with the SM7B. Most entry level audio interfaces don’t provide enough gain. For instance, my Scarlett 2i2 only provides between 48-50. So you with the SM7B, you will either need to purchase a preamp or use an audio interface in conjunction with the cloud lifter. I go more in depth on that in the SM7B review (link at the bottom).
The SM7B has a mid boost and a low cut filter, while the SM58 has no on board features.
The SM7B has a cleaner low end, with less rumble. It also has a smoother top end.
The SM7B is harder to store because it’s so large. It’s the type of mic that you will want to put somewhere and leave it. The Sm58 is a lot more portable.
Overall the SM7B sounds a lot clearer than the SM58, with a smoother low end. There’s simply more clarity with it. The SM58 by contrast is a little boomier in the low end.
Frequency response. The SM58’s is 50Hz – 15,000 kHz, while the SM7B’s is 50Hz – 20,000 kHz.
I will try and make this as simple as possible because I hate being confused myself!
Sounds good with the ball and standard windscreen, though a bit boomy. Clarity isn’t quite there. Here’s a video showing the difference.
Sounds a lot better without the ball (unscrewed), with a windscreen or pop-filter. Definitely holds it’s own to the SM7B in this case, but still not quite the same.
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.