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Shure SM57 Test & Reviews

The Shure SM57 microphone is a dynamic microphone that can be found almost anywhere: on stage or in the studio. Without further ado, check out our full review of the Shure SM57, a microphone recommended by sound professionals.

Shure Sm57 Test Complet

🎤 from Kevin Jung

Test Summary 👇

Shure SM57 Overview

For more than 50 years, the Shure SM57 has established itself in the music industry as an excellent pro studio vocal microphone. It is highly versatile and has established itself as a benchmark in wireless microphone design. It can record vocals, condense, mix, and pick up sounds from a variety of sound sources.

On the face of it, the Shure SM57 pro microphone has similar characteristics to condenser microphones. In fact, just like the familiar condenser and static microphones, it’s a good piece of studio equipment. So you can use it to pick up sounds in the home studio and make a variety of interesting recordings.

The directional microphone offers a unique and original voice pickup by reproducing the sound waves as they are. Thanks to its built-in amplifier, attenuator and converter, it can power and amplify dynamics. This ambient and external microphone can help you to improve your recording technique in treble or bass.

At high or low frequencies, the Shure SM57 vocal microphone minimizes handling noise. Its cardioid-biased response curve and pressure levels remain stable under phantom power. You’ve got the proof that this is a superior audio recording device.

I tested it with an analog dynamic instrument. I got good sound pressures and a satisfactory sound wave pattern. This is probably the result of a dynamic description with moving coil and high level pop filter.

Présentation du Shure SM57
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Functionalities and features

A dynamic, unidirectional microphone, it offers exceptional sound quality. But it is primarily designed for instrumental recording. With its highly effective cardioid directivity, it isolates the sound source perfectly while minimizing background noise.

In the same way as the new Shure SM58 version, the Shure SM57 offer some rather special features right from its conception. One example is the reduced size of the grid. By the way, this feature makes it much more elaborate for use with musical instruments.

Sm57 Pour Les Vocal
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This makes it the microphone of choice for recording acoustic instruments. However, avoid using it for recording cymbals. The design itself requires no external power source to operate.

Also, you can connect the SM57 microphone directly to a mixing console or other media without the need for phantom power.

The Shure SM57 is a versatile microphone for use on stage or in the recording studio. With its cardioid directivity, the microphone provides clear, crisp sound. This also allows you to use it in a wide range of applications.

Shure SM57 Achat


A beautiful voice in the studio

I especially appreciate the voice recording quality of this studio microphone for reproducing live sound pressure. But in addition to being a live microphone, it is also the ideal studio recording equipment.

This gives you the benefit of both a good lavalier microphone and a condenser microphone. The microphone on the stand offers a perfect reproduction of the electrical signal while being adapted to the conditions of taking on the outside.

Its directional and bidirectional recorder can pick up delicate sounds in stereo as well as high-pitched vibrations, just like the microphone MK4 from Sennheiser. Its magnetic field transformer in rigid capsules improves the quality of the voices picked up in gooseneck.

The Shure studio microphone will allow you to pick up vocals (spoken/sung) or as a guitar amp for bass, percussion, saxophones and more. On stage, singers, voiceover artists, and musicians will be free to play with it.

In addition, the omnidirectional picking up it offers does not require an external sound card. Buying a microphone and using an SM57 microphone is like getting a high-quality, value-for-money microphone.

Shure SM57
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Shure SM57, spectacular sound quality

Focus on the sound of the Shure SM57 stereo microphone. This handheld and omnidirectional microphone is said to return static, dynamic and electrostatic frequencies true to the original.

Moreover, for beat box performances, the sound is simply spectacular. In monitoring or in the studio, interference is almost non-existent. In any case, the amplification in front of the microphones and the magnetic wave instruments remains largely appreciable.

In short, it offers different recordings to suit the situation, it is an all-purpose recording tool. At any time, you can use the micro-USB switch to access its audio interface functions.

Shure SM57 Achat


During the last decades, it has become a reference, even a legend. Present in the majority of the groups for the sound system or in an oral goal, it is also used for the speech of the known political personalities such as the President of the United States.

From the White House to recording studios, the Shure SM57 has won over many professionals. From performance to durability, it’s been rigorously tested to guarantee its longevity.

Shure SM57est facile à tenir.
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Shure SM57 Technical Specifications

With the SM57, the distance between the grill and the diaphragm is quite small. This allows it to pick up sound vibrations much more easily and to hear an instrument from closer. The effect of proximity is therefore very pronounced, and the closer the sound source is, the stronger the bass will be.

Shure SM57 Achat


Around 5 kHz, the Shure SM57 shows a slight peak. This explains the much more open tone produced. With a frequency starting at 40 Hz, the SM57 microphone allows you to hear sounds more deeply.

It even gives it extra clarity without changing it. You can then pick up the authentic sound of your instrument. Just place it in front of your acoustic guitar’s speaker cabinet and experience it for yourself.

Caractéristiques du Shure Sm57
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By the way, the output impedance is one of the most important characteristics to take into consideration when purchasing a microphone. A low impedance microphone such as the SM57 can work directly with mixer inputs from 150 ohms to 4,000 ohms. It is therefore suitable for most tape recorders or mixers currently on the market.

The Shure SM57’s dynamic capsule and cardioid directivity allow it to perform well in any scenario. Placed in front of an instrument, it focuses on the sound in front of it, rejecting or ignoring all ambient noise.

In addition to this, Shure did not fail to place in the SM57 an anti-shock suspension to minimize vibrations and handling noise.

Shure SM57 Achat


Shure SM57: Technical specifications

In summary, here are its technical characteristics:

  • Unidirectional cardioid directivity
  • Frequency: 40 Hz à 15 kHz
  • Output impedance : 310 Ohms
  • Output level (at 1000 Hz): -56.0 dBV/PA (1.6 mV)
  • Dynamic capsule
  • Weight: 284 grams
  • Dimensions: 157 x 32 mm
  • Connector: 3-pin XLR male
  • Body:
    • Molded steel
    • Polycarbonate grill
    • Stainless steel windscreen.
    • Color : dark gray varnish.

Moreover, this little jewel of technology will be delivered with its carrying case, a microphone clamp and sometimes multiple connectors. Depending on your needs, it is possible to purchase other accessories such as pop filters, tripod, cables, plugs, microphone pole…

Shure SM57
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Very strong

As well as the Shure MV7 microphone, the Shure SM57 is a microphone that has been tested in every possible way. By the way, the manufacturer has endowed it with an extraordinary toughness. Indeed, there are some epic videos on YouTube that can testify to its durability.

Even with heavy use of the microphone, this doesn’t affect its capability and frequency response at all. In fact, the microphone remains faithful in its performance. This makes it a reference and a legend for all sound professionals.

Microphone Shure SM57 avec bonne qualité de son.
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Shure SM57 Applications and Setup

The Shure SM57 is a wired microphone. It connects directly to your soundboard. It can also be used to pick up an instrument. Likewise, it’s placed as close as possible to the source: in front of the amp, at the output of the saxophone… it is optimized for this kind of use.

Its cardioid diaphragm picks up sound focused in the front. It also reduces ambient sound coming from the back and sides. With a meticulously designed frequency response, it reproduces your source clearly and cleanly. It’s also rugged enough to stand up to heavy use.

Shure SM57 Achat


Application for the Toms

For a balanced sound and medium attack, you can place the microphone on each tom or between each pair of toms at a distance of 2.5 to 7.5 centimeters above the drumhead. Then, for double hooped toms, you can put the microphone on the inside of the drum facing up.

Application for a snare drum

For a punchy sound, the microphone can be aimed at the skin at a distance of 2.5 to 7.5 centimeters above the banding of the striking skin. For more timbre, a second microphone can be placed above the bottom ring of the skin.

Le Shure Sm57 est spéciale pour enregistrement de musique.
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Application for guitar and bass amps

For enhanced bass and maximum attack, place the microphone in the center of the speaker at 2.5 centimeters.

For a medium attack, a full and balanced sound, the microphone is placed in the center, at a distance of 15 to 30 centimeters.

Placed between 50 centimeters and one meter from the speaker (in the center), we obtain a result with reduced bass and less attacks of the sound.

The sound is then directed towards the edge of the diaphragm, resulting in a thin sound with reduced bass.

Shure SM57 Achat


Application for wind instrument

For a clear sound, place the microphone in line with the bell of the instrument. For reeds, the distance is from 2.5 to 15 centimeters. And for brass instruments, the distance is 30 centimeters to one meter. For a softer, more muffled sound, the microphone can be placed at a distance of 90 centimeters from the bell of the instrument.

Sm57 est idéal pour les vocales.
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Application with voice

For a warm, full sound, place the microphone at a distance of 2.5 to 15 centimeters from the singer’s mouth.

Note : Discover also the best studio microphone Audio-Technica AT2020 USB. This guide contains a complete test, design, application and user guide, microphone configuration, technical specifications, a verdict, review, and demo of this USB microphone.

Shure SM57 Achat


Recommendations for use

To take full advantage of the Shure SM57‘s features, it is important to follow certain rules:

  • Place the microphone away from unwanted noise
  • Point the microphone at the main sound source
  • Place the microphone next to the sound source
  • More the source is close, more the bass is present
  • Use one microphone for each sound source
  • Respect the minimum distance between the microphones
  • Use as few microphones as possible
  • Use a windscreen if the microphones are used outdoors

Also, avoid unnecessary handling to limit the collection of mechanical noise.

Une meilleure Prise en mains du microphone.
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My verdict

The Shure SM57 is a must-have recording device.It’s the best microphone for all artists, because it has succeeded in establishing itself as a professional microphone with an extremely clear and brilliant sound. By the way, its versatility is due to its great suitability for studio recording and live instrument picking up.

With its highly effective cardioid directivity, it isolates the sound perfectly. In fact, it highlights the sound and limits any background noise. This makes it an indispensable piece of equipment for amplifying stringed instruments (an acoustic guitar), percussion instruments (a drum set) and wind instruments (a saxophone). This is what makes it a really usable microphone.

Shure SM57 Achat


The Shure SM57 is a microphone that has proven itself over time. It also offers its users a very good sound. In addition, it is a very versatile and robust microphone. Its bandwidth is suitable for instrumental and vocal pickup. In view of its features, its price-performance ratio is simply unbeatable.

In fact, it can be adapted to all needs, whether you are an amateur, a beginner or an experienced musician. In the studio or on stage, you will always find a use for it.

Primarily designed for transplanting musical instruments, the special windscreens or filters from Shure will also serve you well. The use of these filters will prevent noise during recordings and increase the quality of the sound.

sm57 est polyvatent.
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Shure SM57, a reference microphone?

Overall, the Shure SM57 is a reference on the market. It stands out for its versatility and its ability to sound almost any musical instrument (except cymbals).

It’s not mainly recommended for use on voices, but the result is still amazing. This little marvel will not finish dazzling you. You will even be tempted to test it on instruments such as the piano or the violin and many other instruments.

Shure SM57 Achat
Our Global Review

Global Sound Quality

4,8 /5

Quality / Price ratio

4,6 /5

Overall Score

4,7 /5

Our opinion on the Shure SM57

With its signature sound and unbeatable building, the Shure SM57 remains a benchmark microphone. That’s why it can be found in almost every recording studio and major concert hall in the world.

Shure SM57 Achat


Shure SM57 Demo

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Shure SM57 Achat