Home Headphone Comparisons Shure SM87A vs. Beta 87A | SUBTLE DIFFERENCE?

Shure SM87A vs. Beta 87A | SUBTLE DIFFERENCE?

by Stuart Charles Black

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  • 1/26/21. Article/link cleanup.

Howdy friend and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the Shure SM87A vs. Beta 87A, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

Today I will provide an informative comparison of these two, and then give my recommendation towards the end. 🙂

  1. Similarities & Differences
  2. Final Word

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

Similarities & Differences


  • Both are super-cardioid. 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 are designed for live vocals and are designed to cut through mixes/bands that have a lot of loud instruments on stage.
  • Both are condenser microphones that require 48v phantom power. Condenser mic vs. Dynamic mic.
  • Both have a frequency response of 50Hz – 20kHz.
  • Both have a max SPL of 140.5dB. What is SPL?
  • Both have a signal to noise ratio of 70dB.


  • Uniformity. The Beta 87A has a polar pattern that is very even at all frequencies. This translates into slightly better gain before feedback in a sound system when compared to the SM87.
  • Gain before feedback. The Beta87A has a more consistent super-cardioid polar pattern, giving it a slight edge in gain-before-feedback.
  • Color. The Beta 87A is grey, while the SM87A is satin black.
  • The Beta 87A has a self-noise of 23.5dB, while the SM87A’s is 24dB.
  • Accessories. The Beta 87A comes with a mic clip and a carrying pouch, while the SM87A comes with a Stand clamp and a microphone pouch.

Final Word

Aside from these minor differences, the microphones are very very similar and are both designed for live situations where you absolutely need to cut through a lot of loud instrumentation, amps, etc. that are pointing in many different directions.v I do think the 87A slightly edges the SM87A, but my question to you is: Does what the 87A provides sound like it would suit your own situation? If so:


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Shure SM87A vs. Beta 87A comparison.

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

Which one of these tickles YOUR pickle? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





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