You are probably already familiar with the Shure SM57.
It has been the STANDARD microphone for recording with instruments for a long time.
Like many musicians and recording artists, I personally love how versatile this mic is. With all the love its getting, it managed to remain relevant even after long years.
But, when Sennheiser came up with new releases of other mics, it was only natural to be INTRIGUED, and it caught the attention in the industry.
The question is: should you stay with the safe and trusted Shure SM57? Or should you venture to the newer Sennheiser E906?
I know it’s difficult to choose (I feel you!) Read my thoughts on this SM75 vs E906 face-off. Let’s address all your questions and put up the final verdict.
Sennheiser E906 Overview
The Sennheiser E906 is a part of the Evolution 900 series.
This series is known for the UNCOMPROMISING sound every mic delivers. They are finely calibrated without compromising its warm, natural tone.
The nine mics in this lineup are unique in their own use, and they’re such a treat for every musician. But in this article, we’ll bring the spotlight to the E906 model.
The Sennheiser E906 is a high-quality dynamic mic that delivers a rich sound quality. It is a perfect gear for a lot of instruments!
If you’re still in doubt, the company offers superior feedback rejection that makes the E906 truly reliable.
- Weight and Dimensions: 4.9 oz, 5.5 x 3.4 x 13.4 cm
- Connector: XLR-3
- Pick-up pattern: Super-cardioid polar pattern
The E906 has a laterally-mounted capsule — a SPECIAL FEATURE meant for miking guitars very close to the signal source.
It also boasts its optimally adapted and switchable sound characteristics.
So, if you’re a guitarist, I guarantee that you’ll enjoy the Sennheiser E906! But it’s not only good in amping up guitars.
Aside from being a guitar amp, E906 is also perfect for drums, percussion, and brass. The FLAT DESIGN of this microphone makes it work well with a cramped drum set-up.
Honestly, it’s pretty difficult to get a bad tone out of the E906 because it has really bright features.
It’s unlikely you’ll get harshness that would be noticeable in your recordings.
But you might notice that the mids and bass can be lacking. It can be quite a downside for this mic, as many likes a great punch or neutrality in their music.
However, it’s nothing the ideal positioning can’t improve!
- Powerful, rich, and detailed
- Easy to Use
- 10-year warranty
- True to sound
- Picks up even the smallest sound details
- Light and compact
- Expensive compared to others
- Problems with slight static during recording
- Too bright for some
Shure SM57 Overview
The Shure SM57 rarely needs an introduction to anyone looking for a mic.
This mic has been a MAINSTAY in the music industry for decades (and for a good reason). It has seen a lot of high-quality and legendary behind-the-scenes work.
SM75 is one of the unidirectional dynamic microphones that will amp your sounds very well!
The sounds are carefully contoured to minimize background noise and isolate the sound source. It is durable, long-lasting, and just powerful.
This mic can handle almost anything, even the highest sound pressure levels you can make.
I guarantee you that there won’t be any distortion, not even on high-volume instruments like your drums and shrieking guitars.
- Weight and Dimensions: 10 oz, 26 x 12.4 x 8.6 cm
- Connector: XLR
- Pick-up pattern: Uniform-cardioid polar pattern
Shure SM57 is a household name for a reason!
This industry-standard mic can get you LOUD and CLEAR sounds. It is highly directional and gets you greatly focused sound.
The compact mic requires little to no EQ, so you will get a natural and crystal-clear recording.
The Shure SM57 also has a pneumatic shock-mount system, which is perfect for minimizing background noise. Basically, this makes your studio recording cleaner and on-point!
With the noise-cutting and excellent uniform cardioid pick-up pattern combined, you already got a decent gear.
It’s designed to be the perfect companion if you want to amp your guitars, percussions, and other instruments!
NOTE: Only buy from AUTHORIZED Shure distributors. A lot of counterfeit products are made to look and feel exactly like the original. You’ll know it’s fake once you hear the disappointing sound quality.
- Proven reliability for more than 40 years
- Quality sound reproduction
- Wide range of frequencies it can handle
- Reasonably priced
- Very warm sound
- Solid built
- Risk of buying a counterfeit product (when buying online)
- Better in recording instruments vs recording vocals
- Volume can be better
- Flimsy pouch and mic holder
Sennheiser E906 vs Shure SM57: Performance Breakdown
Evaluating each mic makes you think that both are equally good. It goes to show that both are indeed high-end microphones.
But we all have a limited budget, and we don’t really need more than one device.
So, I’m not going to stop with breaking their features down individually. It’s always best to compare them side-by-side to know which mic has the edge we’re looking for.
Let’s cut to the chase and head on to the face-off!
Build and Design – Winner: Sennheiser E906
The metal build of the E906 makes it STURDY and HEAVY-DUTY. It can withstand even the harshest users.
The SM57, on the other hand, is made of steel, which is an even better material if you ask me. Its steel-made grille might be small, but it is definitely powerful!
Compared to the E906, the SM57 is smaller but heavier.
The SM57 is rock solid. Even with heavy use, it’s unlikely to get seriously damaged. That’s why almost everyone who produces music is a big fan of this bad boy!
Aesthetic-wise, oth the E906 and the SM57 aren’t very complicated. You can only get both in black (which makes for a minimalist guitar cab mic set-up).
But, you’ll want to pick up the E906 for its switches, which gives you an easy choice between flat response, presence boost, and presence cut.
I must say this mic is more hands-on in this aspect.
Both dynamic microphones are great in terms of build and design. It still goes down to preference.
But, I’d have to give it to the E906 because of its 10-year warranty (vs the 2-year warranty of the SM57), and additional knobs.
Usage – Winner: Shure SM57
What makes the Sennheiser E906 compare with the SM57 is the features and usage you get from each microphone.
Both of these products are low-impedance, and you can use them for studio set-ups or live stages.
You won’t have to worry about losing your high frequencies even when your live stage requires long cables. All sounds will be heard well on record!
Just remember that for the best course, both microphones should be placed NEAREST to your guitar cabinets (or whatever the sound source is).
Yet, if I have to choose one, the lower sensitivity SM57 is my best companion for a CLEAN MIX.
There’s almost no unwanted noise or talking registered, as long as the mics are placed close to the guitar cabinet.
Between these two guys, I’d have to pick the SM57 for its versatility and history.
You can record almost anything on it! Even if it is better for instrument recording, it is a really good vocal mic as well.
Sound Quality – Winner: Sennheiser E906
The SM57 has a built-in grille that lets you place it closer to the sound source, which allows for a more pronounced proximity effect.
You can get a CLEAR AND WARM SOUND, especially when used on electric guitars. The frequencies are well-balanced too. Nothing will sound clouded.
However, the mids and highs can sometimes get a bit unclear and muffled, in my opinion.
Meanwhile, Sennheiser E906 is honestly really good. The sounds and vocals all SOUND FULL. The presence boost and presence cut make a real difference to the mix!
The switches might not sit as well with others as it does for me. But having this bunch of options gives it a bit of an edge.
The super-cardioid polar pick-up pattern of the Sennheiser E906 makes it better at rejecting off-axis sounds.
That said, I’d give this round to the Sennheiser E906 because it doesn’t pick up as many low, mid-frequencies as the SM57, and it mutes out unwanted noise pretty well.
Pricing – Winner: Shure SM57
The SM77 and the E906 are products with the same niche.This means that we can compare them head to head.
Aside from the microphone itself, let’s look at the other contents too. For reference, here are the items that come with the box you purchase:
- The E906 microphone
- Microphone clip
- The SM57 microphone
- Microphone clip
- Microphone cable strap
Both microphones don’t include a mic stand.
As far as pricing, it’s not a question anymore! SM57 vs Sennheiser E906? The Shure SM57 EASILY wins out.
Both products are great vocal mics for studio and live show needs. In my honest opinion, we prefer the Sennheiser E906 mics in a lot of aspects.
But, the price of the E906 is twice that of the SM57.
Unless budget is not an issue for you, the difference in pricing makes the SM57 a MORE EFFICIENT AND SENSIBLE choice for me.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m sure you’re still torn. Should you pick up a ribbon mic? Which dynamic microphone is better for guitar use?
Both mics are great at recording vocals and instruments. But between the Shure SM57 vs Sennheiser, one can have an edge against the other depending on your preference.
In the meantime, here are some questions you might want to look at.
What Is the Difference Between E609 and E906?
The E609 and the E906 are built similarly.
Both are made of metal and designed to be side-address microphones. This design makes them easier to use on your guitar.
However, only the E609, can offer you a color other than black (silver).
The E609 is more similar to the SM57 in terms of the frequency range because the E906 has a wider range. You’ll also notice that the E609 will be a bit more unique in terms of vocals.
Furthermore, the low-mids of the E609 are reduced compared to the boosted low-mids of the E906. It is a lot LESS WARM.
The E609 also won’t have the switches and filters that give the user more control.
Do I Need Phantom Power if I Have an Audio Interface?
Luckily, using the Sennheiser E906 or the SM57 is really a worry-free experience. You don’t need phantom power AT ALL.
Both mics do not need any additional driving power to do the work. The XLR connector of the SM57 and the XLR-3 port of the E906 is sufficient.
No need to worry about phantom power!
Final Verdict: Which Mic is Better?
The SM57 is a respectable mic. It’s reliable, powerful, and affordable. But taking the cost out of the equation makes it clear. The search is over.
In my opinion, the Sennheiser E906 is THE BETTER choice between the two mics.
The option of having switches completely changes the character and tone of your mix. The warm and full-bodied vocals make the extra bucks spent on these mics worth it!
I prefer the E906 because it just doesn’t disappoint!
When compared with the SM57 mic, the E906 line fully aces all high frequencies. It is also EASY TO INCORPORATE on your guitar cabs or guitar cabinet.
Read through any reviews on the product, and you’ll know that you are getting a perfect companion for your guitar cabinets.
I’m pretty sure making a choice between such great mics is difficult.
At this time today, the search for the better mic gets harder because of how close and evenly matched they can be in every bit of the way.
But, as they always say, there can only be one winner.
Choose the SM57 for its long history of great use and versatility. At HALF THE PRICE, it is definitely a good steal.
But, if you’re considering investing in the real deal, get the Sennheiser E906.
The E906 will give you a record of HI-FI vocals. It’s just completely unparalleled!
I hope this review helped you choose the better mic for your guitar cabs. There are many more great choices out there, and you are sure to find one that fits your needs!
December 28, 2022 – minor formatting updates