Hi friend and Welcome!
You might be surprised to find out what the best dynamic microphone for vocals is, or maybe not. You may have already had this bad boy in mind. Before we get into the nitty gritty, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this article
- The SM7B
- Dynamic vs. Condenser
- Final Word and link to official review
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!
The SM7B may not immediately come to mind when you think of “best mics.” In the beginning, none of my research on microphones in general ever pointed to this one. It’s odd when I look back on it. I have to ask myself “Why?” The only Shure mics I had ever heard of were the SM57 and 58. Shure SM57 vs. SM58.
Those are solid mics in their own right, but they may not warrant the title of “the best.” The best is typically reserved for that piece of equipment that sets a standard for everything that comes after it. A gold standard if you will. A benchmark. The SM7B is definitely all of that and more.
The only reason I found out about it is through a friend. We were discussing condenser microphones one day, and since he had a lot more experience with hip-hop vocal recordings, I was picking his brain. I rattled off a laundry list of cheap condensers and asked his opinion on each. He said some were crappy, and others were decent, but it’s what he said next that got me thinking.
“In all honesty, a dynamic mic is actually better for recording vocals because it’s more articulate and blocks out the majority of background noise, giving you a better overall take. If I were you I would go with the SM7B and call it a day.”
Being that I never just buy things without doing my own research, I looked up the SM7B online. Sure enough, it got glowing reviews pretty much everywhere.
The Shure SM7B
As it turned out, everyone from Michael Jackson to your Grandma used one. Lol. No really, Michael used one on “Thriller”, and “Bad”, as well as “Off the Wall.” The only thing is, he used the original SM7, which in actuality isn’t much different than the SM7B. Shure SM7 vs. SM7B. A lot of other famous people have used it (more on that in my official Shure SM7B dynamic microphone review), and it really makes you wonder why it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Most really serious mics cost well into the thousands. Of course the Neumann U87 comes to mind here, but a lot of people will tell you that the Shure sounds better.
The thing about the SM7B is that it is a serious mic – perhaps the most serious, which is really saying a lot when you consider how many microphones are in existence. The heaps of praise that it receives are all warranted, but just be aware that you will need at least 60dB of gain for this baby to truly shine. It’s been harped on ad nausea in all of my research, and my official review will outline everything you need to get started should you go that route.
To sum it up without making this post into a review, here are the highlights of the SM7B.
- Extremely versatile. Actually considered a voice-over mic above all, its secret weapon is being able to handle vocals with ease. It also does well with many different types of instruments.
- Quiet. A lot of folks don’t have the time or funds right away to treat their room. The SM7B really blocks out a lot of unwanted ambient room noise, without needing Acoustic Sound Treatment.
- No need for a preamp? It never hurts to invest in a good preamp (Preamp vs. Interface), but in the case of the SM7B, you won’t need one per se.
- Clear as crystal. “Do I make myself clear Mister Bender?” “Crystaal.” Lol Breakfast Club anyone? Its sound is articulate yet warm.
- Easy EQ. Nah not Eazy-E. But for real, you’ll be able to EQ with ease with this puppy. Not only that, but a lot of people are saying it doesn’t even need much EQ. The sound is just that good.
What you will need?
- Quickly: Audio Interface + Cloudlifter + XLR cables + Mic. What does an audio interface do? That’s it! You may opt to invest in some studio monitors, and I do recommend them, but it’s up to you. What are studio monitors?
The great news is that you can save a lot of money going the way of the almighty cloudlifter (Should be a review in itself on this site soon). So many good things have been said about it, and basically what it does is provides you with 25 extra dB of clean gain. So in the case of the interface I have (The Scarlett 2i2), it only has 46 dB. Add 25 and you get enough gain to power the SM7B with ease. 🙂 Check out my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 review!
Dynamic vs. Condenser
One of the main things to consider overall is the type of mic that you will be getting. In my Condenser mic vs. Dynamic mic article, I outlined some differences between both. In general, dynamics will articulate sound a little better but may not be as accurate, while condensers kind of “smooth over” the sound, integrating it into your mix better. A big exception of course is the SM7B, which is really accurate but still remains warm and inviting, like Grandma’s famous Apple Pie (or in my case, Baklava because I’m Greek hehe).
Gold Standard. Benchmark. Tried and true. Battle tested. Durable. Reliable. The solution. All of these phrases and more describe the SM7B. Not convinced? Want to learn more?
CHECK OUT MY SHURE SM7B DYNAMIC MICROPHONE REVIEW!!
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve come away with some valuable information in my best dynamic microphone for vocals article.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Let me know down below or Contact me! I would love to hear from you..
All the best and God bless,
Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!
Nice post Stu! Twenty five years ago, at a recording studio, I received the advice to invest in Shure microphones. I followed that advice, and have never been sorry. It’s nice to see some thinks don’t change, at least in no time soon. My first Shure only cost me $50, yet it beat $200 mics of other brands for excellence in every scenario. I trust Shure mics for all my recording needs.
Thanks for dropping by! Which Shure mic do you have? And yeah, you really can’t go wrong with mics like the SM57 and 58, as well as the SM7B.
My 15 year old niece wants to record herself singing and playing acoustic guitar. What would be a good entry level mic for that? I’m looking at blue snowball and samson meteor. Would rather not go as high as the blue yeti.
I may go with the Shure SM58 or Audio Technica AT2020. Both at around $100. If deciding between the Meteor and Snowball, the Meteor has better sound quality but sits in an awkward position on a desk. You have to hunch over. The good thing about it is that it will mount on a mic stand. The Snowball is more for voice-over type stuff.
So in order:
Hope that helps!! If you have any other questions let me know..
This is the mic I’ve used for all my recording and it’s SUPER solid.
I have it hooked up to my desktop through a Presonus Audiobox USB. I have a Bluetube amp but haven’t really messed around with it enough to know how it would benefit the sound.
I know you can add distortion or extra warmth but I still need some more time and since the SM7B sounds so good already, I don’t even think it’s really necessary to add the extra gear!
How are you liking it with the Audiobox? Do you find that it has enough gain?