Here’s how you can set apart an okay microphone from a great microphone:
On the one hand, an okay microphone will act as a mere instrument for getting your message or act across. But it’s never really about getting one’s message across, right?
As performers, you’re expected to find a balance between staying true to your message while simultaneously catering to your audience.
How will you pique their interest if they can’t understand what you’re saying?
Enter the Sennheiser e835 and the Shure SM58. Both these microphones are great with similar and distinct specs that our team believes would better fit your needs.
Here’s more about the specifications of each microphone, and ultimately decide for yourself which one would accompany you better on stage between the Sennheiser E835 vs Shure SM58!
Sennheiser E835 Overview
Sennheiser has consistently established itself in the audio and music industry with its wide array of high-quality sound reproduction products — one of which is the Sennheiser E835.
As one of Sennheiser’s live vocal microphones, the Sennheiser E835 is a cardioid lead vocal stage microphone.
This model has been deemed articulate, powerful, able to reflect the true tone of the voice, and reproduce transparent sound in numerous online reviews left by its users.
With that said, let’s talk about the specs of the Sennheiser E835 that allow it to function as stellarly as how its users describe it.
Before we delve into its features, let’s quickly break down the numbers.
- Pickup pattern: Cardioid
- Type/Transducer principle: Dynamic
- Frequency response: 40 – 16,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 2.7 mV/Pa
- Impedance: 350 Ω
- Connector: XLR-3
- Dimensions: 48 x 180 mm
- Weight: 330 g
- Accessories: Microphone clamp, Foam windshield (anthracite), Foam windshield (blue)
With the basic specs covered, let’s dive into what the abovementioned specs mean for the Sennheiser E835’s functionality.
Low Output Impedance
So the Sennheiser E835 has an impedance of 350 Ω.
According to the general categories of microphone impedances, a microphone with an impedance of 350 Ω is considered a low impedance microphone.
The impedance of a microphone determines its resistance to the flow of alternating current such as audio signals. Low impedance means that the Sennheiser E835 can sustain great sound quality, regardless of the length of the cord.
This is another instance wherein a low rating doesn’t instantly equate to low functionality.
Cardioid Polar Pattern
Before anything else, let’s first talk about what a microphone’s pick-up pattern is.
There are three (3) microphone pick-up patterns (otherwise known as a microphone’s polar pattern). These are widely recognized and used in the sound production/reproduction industry.
The said pickup patterns are used to categorize the ability of a microphone to detect a sound from a particular direction and the said microphone’s overall sensitivity to sound.
For instance, if a microphone has an omnidirectional polar pattern, it means that it is able to detect and is sensitive to sound from all directions.
A microphone with an omnidirectional polar pattern will pick up the sound source from above, on the sides, or even below.
Now, as we’ve mentioned earlier, the Sennheiser E835 has a cardioid polar pattern. Meaning that it functions as a unidirectional microphone by detecting and being sensitive to only one (1) sound source — usually the sound source where the microphone is pointed towards.
Through this feature, the Sennheiser E835 is able to cancel out any loud vocals coming from the audience or generally any unwanted background noise.
This is especially important in live performances, wherein your sound quality might get compromised by really loud screaming voices, traffic noise, and other unexpected factors.
The Sennheiser E835 is a dynamic microphone.
Meaning that it is able to reproduce sound with high sound pressure levels (such as that of kick drums, snare drums, and guitar amps).
Because of its dynamic design can generally be used in many ways: all around the studio and even in live performances.
Having a dynamic design also supports its built-in cardioid polar pattern. This allows the Sennheiser E835 to effectively cancel out unwanted sounds in the studio or the handling noise during your live performances!
Wide Frequency Response Range
The Sennheiser E835 has a frequency response of 40 – 16,000 Hz.
Generally speaking, the frequency response of a microphone determines the range of frequencies that it can pick up or respond to. The said range of frequencies entails low to high frequencies, measured in hertz.
Simply put, the frequency response indicates how much sound a microphone can reproduce accurately.
For instance, let’s take into account the lowest frequency that the Sennheiser E835 can pick up, which is 40 Hz. This indicates that the Sennheiser can pick up low-frequency sounds that should have very deep bass tones.
A microphone’s sensitivity generally indicates its capacity to convert acoustical energy to electrical energy.
Now, we know what you’re thinking — why should a microphone with low sensitivity be appealing?
Low sensitivity does not equate to low functionality in microphones! It just means that your microphone performs better when used to detect and reproduce loud vocals and sounds, in general, while simultaneously canceling unwanted background noise.
This makes the Sennheiser E835 thrive in relatively louder environments such as live performances.
Included Pop Filter
Let’s do a little experiment, shall we? Say the following words out loud: peanut butter, dagger, keratin, badger, tracker, gadget.
Notice the prominence of the p, t, k, b, d, and g sounds? These sounds are generally recognized as plosive sounds.
Now, as much as it’s normal to hear these sounds as they are part of a lot of words, saying or singing them into a microphone can create an unpleasant and excessive popping sound.
This is exactly why pop filters are used so widely in the recording industry — a pop filter is an effective instrument in blocking out plosive sounds coming from the artist, speaker, and even the moving wind in an environment.
With that said, it’s a good thing that the Sennheiser E835 has included pop filters in its accessories.
- Cardioid pattern ensures great signal quality
- Included pop filters and internal shock mount support clearer and richer sound
- Low output impedance lets you perform consistently, regardless of cable length
- Flexible build quality — can be used in live performances and recording studios
- Great feedback rejection due to unidirectional polar pattern
- Doesn’t require phantom power
- Perfect for baritone frequencies and lower volume singing style
- Cancels out ambiance sounds
- High-end boost in frequency response may be a bit bright
Shure SM58 Overview
From initially being a radio parts and kits supplier, Shure has since established itself as one of the professional audio-electronics manufacturing industry giants.
Since its establishment in 1925, Shure has had numerous TEC awards and nominations for the quality and functionality of its products.
With that said, let’s talk about the Shure SM58!
From delivering warm and clear vocals, efficiently handling noise, uniform on and off-axis response to having a good range of frequency response, the Shure SM58 has consistently performed stellarly, as reported by its users.
But what more can this legendary ‘industry-standard’ do? Let’s get right into The Shure SM58’s specs and features!
Before getting right into the things that the Shure SM58 can do, let’s talk about the numbers and the Shure SM58’s technical aspects.
- Pickup pattern: Cardioid
- Type/Transducer principle: Dynamic
- Frequency response: 50 – 15,000 Hz
- Sensitivity 1.85 mV
- Impedance: 150 Ω (300 Ω actual)
- Connector: XLR-3
- Dimensions: 51 x 162 mm
- Weight: 298 g
- Accessories: Replacement grille, Microphone to USB adapter, Microphone windscreen, Microphone clip, Shock-mount Microphone clip, Digital audio interface
Now, what exactly do all those numbers and fancy terms mean?
Isolates Sounds And Vocals
Whether you’re using it for your live performances or to record music at your go-to recording studios, the cardioid polar pattern design of the Shure SM58 makes it unidirectional.
Meaning that it is efficient in making vocals sound clear and highlighted by background sounds from your environment.
This feature is important, especially for live performances wherein you may be on-stage with other performers or instruments producing sound.
As we’ve mentioned before, when a microphone has a low sensitivity rating, it means that the said microphone handles and reproduces loud and even screaming vocals compared to more quiet frequencies.
The Shure SM58’s 1.85 mV sensitivity rating can easily be categorized as low!
Brightens Mid-Range and Bass Roll Off
With its 50 – 15,000 Hz frequency response and internal shock mount, the Shure SM58 is much able to accurately detect, reproduce, and highlight mid-range frequencies and the bass roll-off, which is essentially the lower frequencies.
Easily Manage Handling Noise
Aside from being unidirectional, the Shure SM58 has a built-in pop filter that reduces the probability of your microphone picking up any background and plosive sound.
What’s more, this also means that the Shure SM58 has great feedback rejection.
Overall, this feature ensures that your audio quality does not easily affect your environment!
Built-in Break-resistant Mic Stand
Say your singing style involves loud screaming voices, or you’re pumped while performing or delivering your speech.
The Shure SM58’s built-in break-resistant stand adapter allows you to perform as lively as you want without worrying about easily breaking your stand adapter.
- Unidirectionality cancels out unnecessary noise
- More transparent sound with brightened mid-range and bass roll-off
- Wide frequency range allows for accurate audio quality
- No external pop filter needed
- Break-resistant microphone adapter makes its rugged design more sturdy
- Comes with a free carrying pouch
- Cancels out sound coming from other direction
Sennheiser E835 vs Shure SM58: Performance Review
Now that you’ve gotten introduced to both these microphones, it’s time to put the Sennheiser E835 and Shure SM58 to the test.
Let’s get to the showdown!
Build and Design
The Sennheiser E835 and Shure SM58 are built and designed as high-quality cardioid dynamic microphones, both with an all-metal body.
Both are also equipped with the necessary specs needed to effectively handling noise, uniform-on, and off-axis, making each dynamic microphone agile enough to be used for great quality professional vocal use or in more casual environments.
So how exactly can we see the Sennheiser E835 vs Shure SM58 showdown?
Frequency Response of Sennheiser E835
Frequency response of Shure SM58
If you were able to notice, there is a ten (10) Hertz difference between the Sennheiser E835 and Shure SM58’s frequency response range, with the former’s lower range starting from 40 Hz and the latter’s lower range starting from 50 Hz.
Similarly, the upper range threshold of the Sennheiser E835 and Shure SM58 also differ, but this time by 10,000 Hz.
This puts the Sennheiser E835 in a better position than the Shure SM58 in terms of their frequency ranges.
The sound reproduced by the Shure SM58 was a bit muddy because it doesn’t have that much EQ (frequency response).
Since both the Sennheiser E835 and Shure SM58 are dynamic microphones, neither will require you to have the needed equipment to provide your microphone phantom power.
Though despite this, an audio interface is STILL needed by both.
What’s more, both dynamic microphones are marketed to be designed for live performance.
So, how can we make Sennheiser E835 vs Shure SM58 happen?
While both dynamic microphones handle live vocal performances great, now would be the perfect time to remember that the Shure SM58 has a built-in pop filter while the Sennheiser E835 does not.
If your standards for the best sound reproduced by a microphone are grounded in little to no ambient noises, then the victor for this technical aspect is the Shure SM58.
Shure SM58 allows you more wiggle room to perform in more loud and even rowdy environments.
What’s more, though a bit superficial, the Shure SM58 comes with a carrying pouch, making it easier for you to transport it from one place to another.
As our team has repeatedly pointed out earlier, both dynamic microphones are unidirectional — meaning, both the Sennheiser E835 and Shure SM58 are capable of canceling any unwanted background and handling noises.
With that said, when it comes to the basic quality of sounds reproduced, it’s a tie between Sennheiser E835 vs Shure SM58.
Of course, what would a showdown between two dynamic microphones be if the pricing isn’t discussed, right?
Well, good news! Both dynamic microphones are in the same price range (both 99 USD).
It would give you more liberty to choose between these two microphones at the same price.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may have already appointed your very own victor and determined what suits your personal taste between the Sennheiser E835 vs Shure SM58.
So our team has gone the extra mile by answering a couple of frequently asked questions that you may also be having!
Which Type of Mic Is Best for Vocals?
You just read about them!
The best type of microphone for vocals are cardioid dynamic microphones.
This type of microphone is largely designed to isolate your vocals from the rest of the noises present in your environment — be it in a good ‘territory’ that is relatively quiet or a poor ‘territory’ wherein it’s mostly noisy.
What Equipment Do I Need for Recording With a Dynamic Microphone?
Remember how you can distinguish an okay microphone from a great microphone by how the former gets your message across while the latter acts as your loyal companion on stage?
Well, consider audio interfaces as the companion of your microphone. Although neither the Sennheiser E835 nor the Shure SM58 requires phantom power, you need audio interfaces.
Why? You still need to convert the signals coming from your microphone or instrument into a format recognized by either your computer or software.
Getting yourself an audio interface along with the microphone will come in handy.
Simply put, audio interfaces improve the quality of your sound similar to how pre-amplifiers and amplifiers do — they amplify your audio signals, specifically giving a high-end boost to your lower frequencies.
What Are the Differences Between Dynamic and Condenser Microphones?
Aside from the differences between how dynamic and condenser microphones look, the essential difference between the two is that:
- A dynamic microphone is designed to detect and reproduce loud sounds in live settings (as most are designed to give a high-end boost to low frequencies)
- Condenser microphones are designed to capture more quiet and higher frequencies.
So say, for instance, you’re looking more to record yourself playing the violin or softer sounding instruments, a condenser microphone might be a better pick for you.
Alternatives to the Sennhesier E835 and SM58
Neither of the two dynamic microphones tickles your (music) taste buds? Let’s go over a couple of great alternatives that you can check out for yourself!
1. Shure SM7B
An all-time fan-favorite of most professionals!
The Shure SM7B isn’t widely recommended for beginners. But if you’re going to use it for the long haul, THIS is a great alternative.
Its main highlight is the uniform frequency response that can cater to all kinds of recordings. May it be vocals, instruments, or some everyday ASMR / atmosphere sounds, the sound captured is CRISP and CLEAR.
Again, it’s not beginner-friendly as it is heavier and bulkier than most and the price is on the higher side. But the quality? No questions asked. It’s a GREAT investment!
BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!
If you find Shure microphones heavy on your pockets, Behringer is the next best.
Its quality can compete with that of Shure’s but the price is much more affordable. Most users say that the audio quality is very much at par with Shure.
“Why spend for one Shure when you can buy five of these for the same price AND quality?”
3. Audio-Technica ATM230PK Drum Microphone 3-Pack
This microphone is very specific to recording percussion instruments but can be useful for recording ambient and ASMR sounds too!
It has top-tier quality with a tailored frequency response and good off-axis rejection.
However, as it is designed for a drum kit, its design might not be as flexible to other instruments.
Final Verdict: Which Mic is Better?
After all of that, we believe that the final verdict between the Sennheiser E835 and Shure SM58 depends on your taste. Because, if you remember, both microphones have very similar build and rugged design (both come in a metal body).
With that said, there are basic differences that may be more aligned to your personal taste. The Shure SM58 is lighter than the E835 despite being the slightly larger one.
If we base it on the features alone, the Shure SM58 would have to be the victor between the two as it is technically slightly above the E835. But at the end of the day, the most important thing for you to remember is that your preference for the two microphones matters.
Because at the end of the day, an okay microphone merely gets your message across to your audience, while a great microphone is your loyal on-stage companion.