If you’re a serious vocalist, then you already know you can’t use just any mic. Because of this, you’re probably doing your research on your quest to find the best vocal microphone. But finding the perfect model isn’t easy, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a model that’s as versatile as this mic by Shure.
The SM7B is one of Shure’s top-sellers, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re familiar with its reputation and the way it can flawlessly handle vocals of all styles. This particular mic is designed for the vocalist, which means it’s studio recording quality, but it also works well for live performances. This is a well-rounded mic, one that will work for the amateur and the pro, and it’s available all for a price that won’t hit your wallet too hard.
Our Verdict: This is a mic that can handle both studio recording sessions and live performances like a champ. Its versatility is its biggest selling point, but it has a lot to offer in terms of quality, ease of use, and stellar sound.
If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to spend several hundreds of dollars on a new studio recording quality mic, then look no further. This model by Shure is nothing short of iconic. It’s a perfect option for vocals, but it can also handle micing instruments or use for podcasts, and broadcasting as well. Built tough, and quality through and through, this dynamic mic offers the type of performance that’s nothing short of impressive.
Overview and Features
The vocalist who needs a solid mic they can rely on when they’re training their voice and learning how to sing higher will fall in love with the crystal clear sound that this dynamic mic has to offer. Considering the price, most vocalists will be blown away by its performance, it’s versatility, and how it tends to flatter any style of vocals. Shure is a company that’s widely known in the industry for their lower-priced mics, but the fact that the price is so low doesn’t impact the quality of the mic or its impressive performance. If you don’t have much to spend and you need a mic that can do it all, this is a model that delivers.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you take the mic out of its box is how the bracket comes pre-attached. This takes all the work out of setting it up and you won’t have to deal with any complicated shock mounts. This is a directional mic, which means it works best when it’s placed directly in front of the vocalist since it rejects sound from the rear.
The mic itself has plenty of heft to it, with a bulky, yet sturdy design that indicates quality. Incredibly versatile, it features a cardioid polar pattern and a flat frequency response. This makes it perfect for recording studio setups, especially for vocals. However, it can even be used to mic up amps and instruments where off-axis sound rejection is needed in order to gain more clarity during a recording session.
The addition of the mic’s bass roll-off and the presence boost controls is just one of the reasons that this model is also commonly used in video commentary, podcasting, and broadcasting. This model simply provides a clean, rich clear tone that any vocalist would appreciate.
Cardioid Polar Pattern
The cardioid polar pattern, in combination with the mid-range boost controls and the bass roll-off, makes this mic very responsive.
Detachable Window Screen and Pop Shield
The mic also comes with a detachable windscreen and a pop shield, both of which reduce any type of plosive sounds, allowing you to use the proximity effect, for a cleaner, richer sound.
The mic has a pronounced proximity effect, which means that lower frequencies will not be picked up as readily as soon as the user positions themselves more than a few inches away on-axis or off-axis. However, position is key with any mic.
Like most dynamic mics, this model requires plenty of gain in order to get the signal near a nominal level. Using an audio interface preamp is a great solution.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Durable design
- Reasonable price
- Clean, rich sound
- Easy setup
- Can be used for vocals, instruments, and broadcasting
- Bass roll-off
- Requires plenty of gain
The SM78 Vs. The Rode NT1-A Vocal Cardioid Condenser Mic
Both mics have a reputation for offering stellar vocal quality, but the Rode NT1-A is known for delivering a warmer, extended dynamic range. Its low noise makes it a great choice for recording percussion instruments and guitars, but like this model by Shure, it really shines when used for vocals. It also comes with some great extras including a twenty-inch mic cable, a shock mount, and a studio-quality pop shield. So, which model is the best option for studio use? Most vocalists can agree that you won’t find better than this model by Shure, however, if you’re on a tight budget, then the Rode mic may be the best option. While it doesn’t hold a candle to the SM78, it’s a great, more affordable alternative, and one that you can rely on for micing up guitars, percussion instruments, and of course, vocals.
Conclusion and Rating
The SM7B is one fantastic dynamic mic. It’s incredibly versatile, although it performs best when it comes to vocals. The only real drawback is the amount of gain it requires. Fortunately, an audio interface preamp should handle this issue, but an inline preamp would be the best option. Overall, this model offers phenomenal sound, easy setup, and provides a recording quality performance. I gave this mic a rating of five out of five stars.