The Best Shure Microphone for Vocals

The Best Shure Microphone for Vocals

You might have noticed that one particular brand of microphone tends to be the most popular among sound engineers, and that is Shure. This shouldn’t come as any surprise, since when it comes to building extremely reliable and durable microphones, there’s hardly anyone who can beat them. So if you’re in search of the best Shure microphone for vocals, you’re off on the right start. But which one would you use?

In this article, we hand selected a few to review that will help you in your selection. Keep reading!

Top 7 Best Shure Microphone for Vocals

  1. Shure SM58-LC
  2. Shure SM7B
  3. Shure Super 55
  4. Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
  5. Shure KSM42/SG
  6. Shure KSM44A
  7. Shure KSM32

Shure Microphone for Vocals Buying Guide

A bit of history

Shure Incorporated was founded by Sydney N. Shure in 1925 in Chicago. At first, the company was selling radio parts kits for enthusiasts. In 1931, Shure started to develop their first microphone, and the same year the Model 33N was introduced. The implementation of this microphone made Shure one of the only four microphone manufacturers in the USA at the time. In 1941, Shure signed the contract with the United States Army to supply various microphones and communication equipment, the following year, Shure became an exclusive supplier of microphones, headsets, and oxygen-mask microphones.

Important features

Considering that the legendary SM57 was introduced in 1965, we are dealing with a lot of experience and heritage. So it would be a complete waste of time to question the build quality of Shure microphones.

While compiling this list, we’ve tried to balance between the iconic versatility of the sound and some of the most cutting-edge technology available on the market today.

After all, you don’t always want warm and vintage things, and sometimes you want to at least have a glimpse into the future. So we made sure that our list of the best Shure microphone for vocals gives you that opportunity.

Best Shure Microphone for Vocals Reviews

Shure SM58-LC

Shure SM58-LC

Pros
  • Durable construction
  • Ideal for live performances
  • Midrange recording emphasis
Cons
  • Not super sensitive for capturing intimate details
  • Requires external pop filter for studio recording
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

At this point, having a Shure SM58-LC is simply a must. After all, it is one of the most go-to microphones on the planet. If we needed to describe Shure SM58-LC in just 2 words, those words would be consistency and reliability. You can buy a bunch of those, and they all will have identical frequency response curve. And when it comes to reliability, Shure SM58-LC has a reputation of being nearly indestructible.

User impressions

Users agree that Shure SM58-LC is the industry-standard mic specifically for vocal use that is very affordable. This mic has a solid build quality and is therefore very durable. Users add that this microphone rather sounds okay than great and if they need something more professional and without noticeable variations during live performances, they suggest looking for something else.

What we think

Perhaps it may not produce the greatest sound in the world, but in several studios we used to work with, we’ve encountered units that were built in the early 80’s and still worked without any maintenance. As for the sound, it’s clearly not for everyone, but you cannot under any circumstances say that it sounds bad. Rather aggressive low-cut and a mid-range shelf boost make Shure SM58-LC sound very bright and present.

Bottomline

Shure SM58-LC is a great choice for someone who is looking for an extremely reliable and consistent microphone for studio recordings or live gigs. Considering that this microphone was introduced in 1966, you’d expect it to be rather pricey, but on the contrary, it remains to be one of the most budget-friendly microphones in the world.

Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B

Pros
  • Off-axis and internal noise rejection
  • Excellent vocal reproduction
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Needs a preamp to get better results
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Shure SM7B is one of the most frequently chosen microphones for podcasting. Turn on the video recording of your favorite podcast, and you are guaranteed to spot this mic. The reason for such popularity is the versatility of Shure SM7B. It has a built-in passive EQ that lets you choose between flat frequency response and an aggressive low-cut, as well as an optional mid-frequency boost. This makes Shure SM7B perfect for almost every possible voice timber.

User impressions

Users like Shure SM7B for the ability of not picking up background noises which is great as you can use this mic in an untreated room and still get results as if you were recording in a professional studio. Also, it has a great bottom end and this mic delivers the same great, full, and smooth sound as expensive variants do. This microphone has an outstanding build quality and a cage that protects the element in case of careless usage.

What we think

Shure SM7 was a primary vocal microphone on Michael Jackson’s Thriller as well as Metallica’s St. Anger. That should tell you a lot more about the quality and characteristics of this microphone than we ever could. Moreover, Shure SM7B is a direct evolution of SM7 with a slightly beefier grill and built-in electromagnetic interference reduction.

Bottomline

Shure SM7B is a great choice for someone who is looking for a very versatile microphone for podcasting and professional studio work. As with all of the Shure mic, the build quality of SM7B is simply outstanding and the sound is very consistent. Yes, it’s slightly more expensive than the previous entry on the list, but considering how much value you would add to your arsenal, the price seems about right.

Shure Super 55

Shure Super 55

Pros
  • Has a vintage look
Cons
  • Sensitive to popping
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

If you are a history buff, you may have spotted this mic in one of Frank Sinatra’s video appearances or on a recording of the most iconic Martin Luther King‘s speech. But don’t let the looks deceive you, Shure Super 55 is a very modern super-cardioid dynamic microphone encased in a vintage body for additional swagger and style.

User impressions

Users say that Shure Super 55 is all about the looks and providing detailed, crisp, and rich sound. It works equally well during live performances and when recording at the studio. This mic is customized specifically for vocals, so it’s generally not a great idea to record instruments through it. Users add that this microphone cuts off all unwanted noises well and handles feedback greatly.

What we think

You may consider this microphone a very niche product since we all know how conservative audio industry professionals could be. But the truth is, we all came here voluntarily to chase our dreams, and unfortunately for most of us, this becomes just a mundane day-to-day job. In this case, Shure Super 55 can remind you that once you’ve dreamt of being like Elvis and this makes it priceless.

Bottomline

Shure Super 55 is a great choice for someone who is looking for the convenience of modern technology in a swagger of vintage gear. Shure Super 55 shows us that if something is of good quality, it doesn’t necessarily mean it should be boring. And this is an example that many audio equipment manufacturers might want to consider. Although it’s hard to imagine that you would use Shure Super 55 on a day-to-day basis unless you are a flamboyant vocalist or a podcaster.

Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone

Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone

Pros
  • Simultaneous XLR and USB outputs
  • Superb vocal reproduction
  • Has a supporting app
  • Voice Isolation Technology
Cons
  • None that we know of
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone is a highly modernized version of an SM7B. With this microphone you will get the same versatility of sound, but with a very convenient addition of USB connectivity which makes it almost too perfect for podcasting. And clearly, Rolling Stone agrees with us since they have named MV7 the best podcast microphone in 2021. And that surely should count for something, shouldn’t it?

User impressions

Users are quite impressed with Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone as it’s versatile and provides you with outstanding sound quality. It has the excellent built quality and sturdy metal construction. Users like how this mic focuses on and captures your voice and the supportive app makes it incredibly easy to equalize and process it right at the moment.

What we think

The best thing about Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone is that it also has a conventional XLR port. And we believe that greatly expands the usability of this microphone. Arguably, this could be one of the best microphones for field recordings since you never know what you will encounter and in this particular situation, you want to remain as mobile as possible. And what could be more travel-friendly than just a laptop and a mic?

Bottomline

Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone is a great choice for someone who is looking for a perfect podcasting microphone or just a very convenient microphone in general. This mic comes with the ShurePlus MOTIV desktop app, which lets you customize the sound any way you like with an extensive library of DSP effects. And surprisingly enough, it costs even less than SM7B despite the fact that this is the same microphone but with additional functionality.

Shure KSM42/SG

Shure KSM42/SG

Pros
  • Very transparent sound
Cons
  • Requires 48V phantom power
See price @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Shure KSM42/SG is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with a built-in preamplifier. Its frequency response is very close to being linear and the preamp is extremely transparent and clean. Which makes Shure KSM42/SG one of the most accurate microphones on the market. Moreover, it comes with a lot of accessories including 2 separate pop filters, while external and the other one is built-in. And it comes with its own case which is always a plus.

User impressions

Users agree that Shure KSM42/SG is a great vocal mic that has a fixed low-frequency rolloff and highs are sweet and subtle. This mic has clarity, a flat EQ response, a wide sweet spot, and a minimized proximity effect that makes the recording job an easy one.

What we think

If you are a seasoned audio industry participant, chances are you already own a few condenser mics. In that case, Shure KSM42/SG would be a very useful addition to your collection since it provides almost unrivaled transparency and clarity. And if you are a beginner, you might as well invest in Shure KSM42/SG from the start since this microphone will provide you with great versatility which is very crucial in the early stages of your career.

Bottomline

Shure KSM42/SG is a great choice for someone who is looking for a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with an extremely transparent and clean sound. At first glance, you may think that this mic is on the more expensive side of things, but to think of it, you actually get more than you are paying for. The extra clarity means that you can add any kind of coloration in post-production, which greatly expands the versatility of this mic.

Shure KSM44A

Shure KSM44A

Pros
  • Has aluminum case
  • Extended frequency response
Cons
  • Requires 48V phantom power
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Shure KSM44A is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone that shares a built-in preamplifier with the previous KSM42/SG which means that it offers the same clarity of sound, but this time, it gives you full frequency range response and 127 dB of dynamic range to capture the most nuanced and detailed sounds. And like its sibling, this one also comes with a case of its own.

User impressions

Users say that Shure KSM44A has a great crisp, clear sound and good high-frequency response. Having a great built quality and aluminum case makes it very durable and prolongs its lifespan. Users note that this mic isn’t only great for vocals but for recording instruments too. It also has a low self-noise floor and works well with colored preamps.

What we think

Of course, Shure KSM44A is a perfect microphone for vocals, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. But it would be extremely unwise not to utilize its full frequency range response. There are very few microphones that could capture sub-frequencies up to 20 Hz. And even fewer would give you an opportunity to record sounds as high as 20 kHz. One can argue that it wouldn’t be very beneficial, but we believe that the more options you have, the less you are inclined not to succeed, and that is especially true for the music industry.

Bottomline

Shure KSM44A is a great choice for someone who is looking for a condenser mic with full frequency response. There’s a chance that price might discourage you, but considering that this mic gives you an opportunity to record anything with unprecedented precision, this is a very good investment. And since it comes with its aluminum case, which as the mic itself, was literally built to withstand a nuclear blast, you would have absolutely no problem maintaining it.

Shure KSM32

Shure KSM32

Pros
  • Controlled and accurate polar response
  • Smooth and extended frequency response
Cons
  • Requires 48V phantom power
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Shure KSM32 is very similar to the other microphones from the KSM series which is kind of expected since they all share the same parts. But yet each and every microphone of this series has something unique to offer. Shure KSM32 offers the same clarity of sound and full frequency response, but where it stands out is how it handles transients. This microphone is a ballistic weapon designed to capture very sharp and fast sounds.

User impressions

Users like Shure KSM32 for its versatility and the fact that it performs equally well at the studio and live gigs. This mic has a bright and clear tone that is tilted towards high frequencies. Users note that this mic won’t open up with some of the preamps and it can sound small and boxy, but with hi-fi preamps, it will work the best.

What we think

At the first glance, Shure KSM32 wouldn’t give you much benefit unless you constantly deal with aggressive rap vocals. But if you dig a little bit deeper, you’ll see that this mic offers you the same versatility as the other entries on this list, but at a lower price. And as for sharp transients, it’s much easier to remove something than to add something that isn’t there.

Bottomline

Shure KSM32 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a large-diaphragm condenser mic that handles transients supersonically. And if you consider that it also offers a full frequency response and transparency, for a reduced price compared to its siblings, it truly is a bargain.

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