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Shure SM7B Test & Reviews

The Shure SM7B is the world's best-known dynamic microphone. Since decades, it has been used everywhere, in radio studios as well as in recording studios.

Shure Sm7b En Studio

🎤 from Kevin Jung

Test Summary 👇

Shure SM7B Overview

The Shure SM7B is a legendary high-end dynamic microphone. It is one of Shure’s best-selling microphones. It features a cardioid directivity, bidirectional style, and directional mode to ensure perfect off-axis rejection.

To have a very good sound quality, its frequency response shows a flat diagram. Indeed, your sound wave recording equipment, acoustic and electrostatic, offers a response curve in cardio mode. The pressure levels and frequencies that its amplifier picks up, the electrical signal converter, remains stable.

This includes accurate, clean bandwidth reproduction using solid capsules and high-quality diaphragms. By the way, the Shure SM7B has a DPA bass and midrange pad for presence boosting.

When you buy a Shure SM57 microphone, you’ll enjoy both condenser and dynamic microphone characteristics. This directional stereo lapel microphone records both indoor and outdoor sounds. This boom microphone can be used both as an external microphone and as a stand microphone.

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This is a very versatile microphone. But it is used primarily for recording voice and various types of instruments. It’s the perfect choice for the following applications:

  • In a recording studio : to record instruments and voice
  • In outdoor recording
  • Film and television sound system
  • In application for broadcasting
  • For a narration (Podcast, voiceover…)

A great outdoor and studio microphone

As an ambient microphone, the stereo microphone has a good dynamic range. It reduces handling noise as much as possible to make the sound source clearer in cardioid polarization. This promises a better picking up of the sound wave and sound pressure vibrations from all possible angles.

The Shure lapel microphone is an excellent piece of studio and recording equipment in itself. In fact, using a microphone like this to capture the sounds of acoustic instruments provides the best possible reproduction of basic vocals.

And after connecting it to a mixing console, I noticed a clear improvement of the sound. Moreover, this electrostatic and magnetic improvement via phantom power supply can be observed both in high and low frequencies.

un microphone très polyvalent.
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The dynamic features of the Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B is an improved version of the earlier SM7 (introduced in 1976) and SM7A (introduced in 1999). Since its introduction in 2001, this pro studio microphone has been one of the best-selling microphones in the world.

The omnidirectional microphone is shock-proof and appeals to singers and studio recording enthusiasts alike. One of the reasons for the popularity of the microphone is that it provides a good gooseneck vocal pickup.

Connected to a mixing console, the USB microphone will improve your recording technique without delicate or bass interference. The external power supply allows you to activate its transformer and recorder to power the dynamics.

I also tested it with a dynamic and monitoring instrument to see how far it can go. The professional micro-USB type microphone can also amplify the dynamics well.

In practice, the USB cable connector/connectic it uses is very similar to the Rode NT USB. And in comparing them, I notice the lack of percussion and analog speaker faults every time.

Shure SM7B, a versatile directional microphone

One of the main reasons for its adoption is its incredible versatility thanks to its cardioid polar pattern. On top of that, the vocal microphone has a wide and flat frequency response. This micro-USB is simply perfect for a variety of recording configurations.

Many people think that to get the best sound it is somewhat mandatory to use only expensive condenser microphones such as those from Neumann and Telefunken.

Shure SM7B Achat


This microphone can easily prove them wrong. Three times cheaper than the Neumann TLM 103 microphone and 8 times cheaper than the U47, it is able to do just as well. And in some cases, it can do even better!

With low noise and perfect off-axis sound rejection, the Shure SM7B produces clear sound for studio recording. And with the addition of its bass roll off and midrange boost controls, it delivers a rich, clear tone.

The transducer’s directivity, the addition of attenuation controls and its polar pattern contribute to its good frequency responsiveness. Having its own advantages and disadvantages, it resurrects the old topic of dynamics versus capacitors. But the reality is that the Shure SM7B’s sound quality is exceptional.

pour un meilleur enregistrement
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Internal suspension and integrated pop filter

However, like many dynamic microphones, the output level of the microphone is quite low. To bring it up to a near-nominal level, the Shure requires considerable gain. I therefore recommend using a Fethead or Cloudlifter as a preamp.

The Shure SM7B is equipped with an internal suspension (also called a Shockmount) that provides more than enough absorption. It also replaces the bulky external mounts you usually see from Neumann.

Shure SM7B Achat


So even though the microphone looks huge at first, it is actually much smaller than a combo Neumann U67 pro + Suspension.

In addition, a pop filter is integrated. Combined with the microphone foam, this eliminates the need for external pop filters. Now imagine the Neumann + Shockmount + huge pop filter on top of it all. This will completely obstruct your vision and make eye contact between host and guest impossible, not to mention other limitations.

There is of course a situation where you want to remove the foam windscreen completely and use a conventional pop filter. This is exactly what you will do when you record the vocals in the studio.

Bien que le Shure SM7B prenne le meilleur d'un micro dynamique, il faut être prudent sur un point.
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The reason is that the foam muffles the high frequencies, so the microphone will not sound as bright as you would like in the mix. With the Shure SM7B, this is especially important. Because it softens the high frequencies, it doesn’t sound as bright as the condensers.

However, it has an excellent feature called “presence boost“. This compensates for its lack of brightness and gives you better results in the end. By the way, lalowcut is also present. This one has a smooth and pleasant transition. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to use it as much as the high boost.

Le Shure SM7B  est un microphone de qualité
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Sound and quality of the SM7 B

The Shure SM7B has a very rich, yet neutral and completely natural low end sound quite different from the Rode Procaster mic. In this respect it’s similar to a high quality microphone. It should be noted that the microphone has a pronounced proximity effect. Nevertheless, like any microphone, positioning is essential. Whether you use it as a vocal microphone or to pick up instruments, when properly positioned, the sound will be exceptional.

You won’t hear any of the distortion or hum of a typical consumer-grade microphone. It’s just clean, deep, balanced bass. And that’s one of the reasons why people fall in love with this microphone.

You no longer need to find a compromise between a “boomy” and a “thin” sound, by completely eliminating this commonly distorted bass.

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You’ll probably see the benefits, even if you don’t have a deep voice. But if you do, you’ll never trade it for anything else!

At the same time, it doesn’t sacrifice the quality of its entire frequency range. The midrange is equally neutral, with little or no coloration. While the top end of the spectrum is a real gem. Although there is a visible dip on the frequency response, the highs are exceptionally smooth and very transparent.

This is because the microphone has a dynamic capsule, but also due to the quality of the microphone. To my ears, it sounds better than any flatter condenser because even expensive condensers tend to have some degree of nervousness, grit or harshness. However, the Shure SM7B is just completely smooth.

Le Shure SM7B est adapté pour tous types de surface
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Focus on the frequency response of the Shure SM7B

There are of course disadvantages to a dynamic microphone. For example, it’s not as crisp as condenser microphones like the AKG C214, for example. And it doesn’t offer an extended response down to 20 kHz. But these are not really disadvantages, but rather common characteristics of all dynamics.

Nevertheless, its more or less flat response, up to 12 kHz, should be more than sufficient for all voice applications. By the way, this has more to do with the quality of the top end than how high it can go.

And of course, the transitional answer is not even closer than the condenser microphones. As a result, it will not be able to capture as much detail. But it is still quite decent for a dynamic microphone.

Shure SM7B Achat


In contrast, for applications other than studio recording, condenser microphones are often too hot. Then they pick up literally everything.

This is especially true for radio stations, as you don’t want to record every fart your guest makes. Not to mention background noise, air conditioning and all the possible reflections in the room. In fact, all of these details are unavoidable outside the studio walls.

However, that’s not the only reason the Shure SM7B is so popular. Unlike studio quality condensers, this microphone is also much easier to use. As a result, it guarantees a more consistent production and leaves less chance for you or your guest to make a mistake.

Le Shure SM7B est meilleur pour les prises de son
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Shure SM7B Features

  • Microphone type: Dynamic (moving coil)
  • Frequency response: 50 to 20,000 Hz
  • Directivity curve: Cardioid
  • Output impedance : 150 ohms
  • Sensitivity (at 1 kHz, open circuit voltage): -59 dBV/Pa (1.12 mV) with 1 Pa=94 dB SPL
  • Hum capture (typical, at 60 Hz, SPL/Moe equivalent): 11 dB
  • Polarity: Positive acoustic pressure on the diaphragm produces a positive voltage on pin 2 relative to pin 3.
  • Net weight: 0.764 kg (1.69 lb)
  • Case: Steel and dark gray painted aluminum body with dark gray foam windscreen.

Microphone setup

Although the Shure SM7B takes the best of a dynamic microphone, you have to be careful on one point. Among other things, it requires a significant clean gain (about 60 dB).

In professional studios, this won’t be a problem. However, if you are using consumer-grade mixers and preamps, make sure they have enough power. Otherwise, you may end up with noise or very low output.

To solve this problem, you can also place an additional preamplifier in the chain. For example, the Cloudlifter, but this is just to give you an idea.

Shure SM7B Achat


By the way, I’ve seen a lot of people complain that it doesn’t work with their inferior home studio equipment. However, that’s not the problem with the microphone…

Advantages and disadvantages of the Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B Advantages

  • A very natural sound
  • Clean and rich low
  • Exceptionally smooth highs
  • Low and high slope high pass filters
  • Easy to use
  • Works without external support and without pop filter
  • A good acoustic insulation
  • Less expensive than high-end condenser microphones
Un microphone polyvalent
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The disadvantages of the Shure SM7B

  • Requires a decent preamplifier

By the way, see also our guide on the Blue Baby Bottle SL microphone. This guide presents a complete test of this condenser microphone, the sound quality produced by this microphone, as well as reviews.

My verdict on the legendary Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B is a fantastic microphone.

It’s extremely versatile and we use it most often for voice recording. Overall it is suitable for everyone, even beginners.

Are you looking for an all-purpose microphone for your studio recordings? Or maybe you’re looking for an all-purpose microphone for your home studio? The Shure SM7B was designed specifically for you.

Shure SM7B Achat


You can easily connect your microphone to a sound card or any audio interface with its three-pin XLR cable. However, since the Shure SM7B requires a fairly high gain, we recommend the Cloudlifter.

Le Shure SM7B est facile à porter
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As a versatile microphone, the Shure SM7B can handle many different types of sound sources. In vocal applications, it has already proven itself. However, in order to find out the limits of the transducer, we recommend using it on a snare and bass drum. Especially since it can withstand a fairly high sound pressure level. It will also work wonders if you apply it to an acoustic guitar.

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 SM7B:

The Shure SM7B is an exceptional studio microphone that offers good micing and outstanding audio quality. It is the perfect compromise between condenser microphones and dynamic handheld microphones.

Shure SM7B Demo

Special offer from Shure 🔥

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