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Shure SM57 vs SM58: Which One Should You Get?

Shure SM57 vs. SM58 Which One Should You Get_


There could be a few reasons why you’re reading this article right now:

  • You don’t know which product performs better.
  • You don’t know how to weigh out both products.
  • You don’t know which product is worth your money.

Luckily, we’re here for you! The best way to weigh out two products is by doing a comparison battle.

But you won’t have to do that anymore because we got it here for you!

Let’s begin!

Table of Contents

What is the Shure SM57?

What is the Shure SM57-

The Shure SM57 cardioid dynamic microphone is exceptional for musical instrument pickup or vocals.

With its bright, clean sound and carefully contoured frequency response, the SM57 is ideal for live sound reinforcement and recording.

The Shure SM57 has an extremely effective cardioid pickup pattern that isolates the main sound source while minimizing noise.

  • It is excellent for recording drums, guitar, and woodwinds, whether onstage or studio performance.
  • It is said to endure the most extreme sound pressure above 150dbs, making distortion a problem far out of sight.

The SM57 is a consistent choice of professional performers for musical instruments or vocals!

But What Else?

The SM57 is a dynamic microphone specifically designed for:

  • Picking up musical instruments
  • While isolating them from unwanted sounds,

But what else does it offer?

The Shure SM 57 can pick up music, whether amplified or in an acoustic range.

It also naturally reduces background noises and features a pneumatic shock mount system to minimize those obnoxious vibrations.

The Shure SM57 has been used for decades for miking up guitar amps.

The rolled-off low end and good mid-range and high-frequency response mean it provides the guitar sound a good definition and bites to cut through well in a rock mix.

Another good thing considered by some is being tailored to studio musicians!

With the SM57’s improved range and max SPL, this mic can work beautifully for even the LOUDEST drums and other instruments.

Plus, it comes with a swivel stand adapter to connect to your mic stand or clip!

What Are The Downsides?

There are so many things to say about this mic that it’s difficult to find a flaw or a downside. However, there will be flaws depending on how you use it; as with any equipment,

But the main fallback of the SM57 is being prone to proximity effect with poor mic placement.

Many closely related Shure microphones could be a better fit for recording vocals.

Shure SM57 Overview

Shure SM57 Overview


  • Type – Dynamic (moving coil)
  • Frequency Response – 40 to 15,000 Hz
  • Polar Pattern – Cardioid
  • Output Impedance – 310 Ω
  • Sensitivity – @ 1 kHz, open-circuit voltage and 56.0 dBV/Pa [1] (1.6 mV)
  • Polarity – Positive pressure on diaphragm produces positive voltage on pin 2 with respect to pin 3
  • Net Weight – 0.284 kg (0.625 lbs)
  • Connector – Three-pin professional audio (XLR), male
  • Housing – Dark gray, enamel-painted, die-cast steel with a polycarbonate grille and a stainless steel screen.


  • Contoured frequency response
  • Pneumatic shock-mount system
  • Background noise reduction
  • Uniform Cardioid
  • Comes with a stand adapter


  • Extremely durable for heavy use on and off stage
  • Balanced frequency response of 40Hz – 15kHz
  • Clean, rich sound production with reduced background sound and other unwanted sounds
  • SPL level high enough to endure above 150dbs
  • Provides a tremendous recording experience
  • It has a superb pickup and accurate instrument reproduction


  • Prone to proximity effect with poor vocal microphone placement

What is the Shure SM58?

What is the Shure SM58-

The Shure SM58-LC Vocal Microphone features a cardioid dynamic vocal design well suited for professional vocal use in:

  1. Live performances
  2. Sound reinforcement
  3. Studio recording

The SM 58 has a built-in pop filter that minimizes wind and breath “pop” noise.

Its uniform cardioid polar pattern isolates the main sound source while keeping background noise minimal.

This microphone offers durable construction, a high-quality internal shock-mount system, and a steel mesh grille for withstanding rough handling.

With the SM58, you also get an inbuilt spherical wind designed to perform consistently both indoors and outdoors!

The inbuilt spherical wind helps when the mic is used for singing or perhaps solo voice work.

The microphone includes a microphone clip and even a zippered pouch!

What Else Does It Do?

The Shure SM58 is capable of excellent vocal reproduction and has a removable steel grille that makes cleaning and replacement easy

Why? It lets on-stage performers’ voices pop out and provides iconic live performances every time they perform on stage.

Because of the separate pop filter, it manages voice with immense care and clarity, pop filtering their unique voice and boosting their vocal performance.

While focusing on capturing quality vocals, the SM58 also has a pneumatic shock mount. But this microphone can’t reduce undesired pop noises to a minimum.

It also further removes any unwanted air sound that threatens to sabotage the recording quality.

You also get a spherical mesh grille, and a built-in pop filter is included to downplay any potential vocal imperfections that may interfere.

Two things are needed to use this cardioid dynamic mic:

  • An XLR cable because this is an XLR microphone; a USB cable connection isn’t an option
  • Recording interface, be it a voice recorder or a multi-input guitar amp

What Are The Downsides?

The Shure SM58 is still an outstanding condenser microphone, but it has a few downsides that you need to take note of.

SM58 is not built for accurate instrument reproduction. It is also not that good for studio recording solutions.

Some customers even claimed that they had issues with the switched version.

Lastly, it’s relatively expensive, which explains how the microphone delivers great quality.

Shure SM58 Overview

Shure SM58 Overview


  • Type – Dynamic mic
  • Polar Pattern – Cardioid
  • Frequency response – 50Hz-15kHz
  • Max SPL: 94dB SPL
  • Polarity – Positive pressure on the diaphragm produces positive voltage on pin 2 with respect to pin 3.
  • Actual Impedance – 150 ohms
  • Sensitivity -54.5 dBV / Pa (1.88 mV) and (at 1,000 Hz Open Circuit Voltage)
  • Color – Black
  • Weight – 0.66 lbs.
  • Connector – XLR
  • Housing – Dark gray, enamel-painted, die-cast metal; matte-finished, silver-colored, spherical steel mesh grille


  • It’s designed for outstanding vocal reproduction
  • Contains an integrated wind and pop filter
  • It has a warm and smooth sound for live performance, speech & podcasts
  • Prevents mechanical noise and vibrations
  • Supplied with break-resistant stand adapter which rotates 180 degrees
  • Legendary Shure quality, ruggedness, and reliability
  • 4 Package bundles configurations


  • Not designed for instrument reproduction
  • Has some issues with the switched version
  • Relatively expensive
  • Not so good at studio recording solutions
  • Requires a pop filter for any studio recordings.

SM57 vs. SM58: Performance Review

SM57 vs. SM58- Performance Review

Both the Shure SM57 and SM58 dynamic mics work well together, but it’s vital to know in which aspects they are similar and different.

So we give you this SM57 vs. SM58 performance quality battle!

Shure SM57 vs. SM58: Pricing

No matter which microphone you end up purchasing, both the Shure SM57 and SM58 have remarkably similar price points.

The basic version of both products retails at a budget-friendly amount of $99.00.

Both Shure microphones are based on the exact same cartridge design. It’s pretty reasonable, considering the audio quality that either microphone delivers!

Whatever kind of project you plan on doing, you’ll want to catch it in the best possible audio quality!

This round calls for a DRAW!

Shure SM57 vs. SM58: Build and Design

One primary difference between the two microphones is their build and design.

Both the two microphones have a ball grille. The SM58 has a much bigger one to better capture the roundness of a vocal performance.

It even features a built-in pop filter to minimize other unwanted sounds, whereas the SM57’s smaller grill.

The Shure SM57’s smaller grille features a resonator and grille assembly that glosses over any potential vocal imperfections that might creep their way through.

  • The grille in the SM57 is actually a part of the cartridge design itself!
  • The distinct grille designs each place the diaphragm in a different location, optimizing the acoustic range even before a second of audio is recorded.

With that said, the Shure SM58 takes a win on this round!

Shure SM57 vs. SM58: Usage

Both the SM57 and SM58 function similarly when it comes to usage. Each comes with an adjustable desktop stand that would add ease to recording wherever.

However, the Shure SM58 offers wireless systems while the SM57 does not.

  • The SM57 is meant to capture performances in the studio and low impedance recording.
  • Meanwhile, the SM58 prioritizes a more active recording experience. It is, therefore, best suited for the stage. 

The Shure SM58 takes another win on this round!

Shure SM57 vs. SM58: Sound Quality

Both the SM57 and SM58 share a similar cartridge design.

However, the SM57 was primarily manufactured to serve as a piece of audio equipment, whereas the SM58 was specifically designed to accentuate vocals.

The SM58 has a brighter mid, crisp sound and a more elaborate roll-off than the SM57.

Consider the SM57 as an anti-roll mic device, still with great frequency response. The SM57 properties boost instruments that can occasionally support some people’s voices.

By experimenting with your vocals, it’s possible to establish whether this mic suits your vocal application.

The SM58 has a more elaborate proximity effect that’s easy to achieve through close mic positioning. This feature makes it more consummate for vocals experiments.

The Shure SM58 yet again takes this W!

Shure SM57 vs. SM58: Polar Pattern

A huge consideration that everyone overlooks when it comes to microphones is the distinct polar pattern that each product carries.

A microphone’s polar pattern is an important consideration when it comes to figuring out if a microphone is the right or wrong tool for a particular situation.

The SM57, for instance, has a unidirectional polar pattern, meaning it absorbs sound coming from a single direction.

This function describes how a mic picks up sound. More specifically, it describes how sensitive the microphone is to sound waves coming in from different directions.

The SM57 and the SM58 are unidirectional microphones, which means they both create amazing quality for recordings.

This round calls for a DRAW!

Shure SM57 vs. SM58: Connectivity

The SM57 operates with a wired connection, while the SM58 can work with or without a USB cable. There may be additional accessories or components required to facilitate this capability.

Shure has a bunch of wireless systems that complement the SM58.

If you most likely move around during your recordings, such as during a speech or other live performance, the SM58 is the microphone you need.

On the other hand, the SM57’s more static design would probably only make matters difficult and disturb your thought process and performance quality.

A mic stand could be sufficient, but it will still limit your movement.

Seems like no surprise anymore but the SM58 takes one more win!

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes the SM57 Different from the SM58?

The SM57 is different from the SM58 by the range of frequency response and how it reduces background sounds and makes a clean and rich output.

Additionally, unlike the SM58, the SM57 requires a wired connection and does not have a pop filter that can isolate specific sounds during a recording.

The SM58 has a pop filter that takes out even the wind and other unwanted pop noises.

What are Dynamic Microphones?

Dynamic microphones are a type of microphone in which the sound waves cause a movable wire or coil to vibrate in a magnetic field and thus induce a current.

They are used to efficiently amp up different instruments and even vocals. Dynamic mics turn sound waves into a voltage using a magnet.

They are built like loudspeakers but work in reverse!

Is the Shure Mic Good for Recording Vocals?


Shure has a lot of mics for you to choose from, but as of now, the Shure SM58 takes on top of the charts!

Compared to the SM57, it has a higher frequency response, is wireless, and has an inbuilt spherical wind and pop filter.

Its proximity peak adds warmth and richness to your vocals too!

Can You Turn an SM58 Into an SM57?

Unfortunately, no.

The Shure SM57 and SM58 may be very similar to each other. However, there is a specific threaded portion of the metal barrel that the SM57 does not have.

This means its ball screen is not compatible with the SM58.

Final Verdict: Which Mic is Best for Me?

Final Verdict- Which Mic is Best for Me-

The winner of the Shure SM57 vs. SM58 battle is surely the SM58!

However, the SM57 still has its perks of being a piece of great audio equipment for capturing musical instruments and live sound reinforcements.

They are essentially the same microphones because they have the exact same capsule and make similarly attractive offers.

But the bottom line is, whether you prefer either of them, it still counts as an excellent decision.

Just make sure to check the price and availability information on the site you choose to purchase.

About the author


After becoming obsessed with the beats that were the soundtrack to his youth, Nick became a student of hip hop, digging for vinyl records, looking for the perfect break. Before he got his hands on an MPC sampler, he would mash these records, beats, and breaks into mixtapes and live DJ sets.