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Shure SM57 Microphone Review


Durability. A dynamic range that can pick up both low and high frequencies. Portability. Practicality. Affordability. Power. All these are traits that musicians look for when shopping for a new microphone. At first glance, it may seem impossible for any one microphone to match up to this, but you don’t have to worry— that’s what the Shure SM57 is for. 

Shure is a legend in the recording world, and with good reason. Founded in 1925 as a radio parts kit manufacturer, the company soon expanded into microphones, wireless microphone systems, phonograph cartridges, systems, mixers, and even headphones and other listening systems. Shure boasts of almost a hundred years of top quality, and one of the jewels of their collection is the SM57. Read on to find out more about this powerhouse of a mic and what it can do for you.

About the Shure SM57 Microphone

Shure SM57 Microphone
Polar PatternCardioid
Frequency Response40Hz-15kHz
Sensitivity-56.00 dBV/Pa – 1.60 mV/Pa
Transducer TypeDynamic
Connectors3-pin XLR

The Shure SM 57 is a giant on the market, said by many to be the industry standard when it comes to live performances and recordings. Many musicians and studios own two or more units, as its dynamic range, cardioid pickup pattern, and top-notch sound quality allow it to record multiple instruments at multiple ranges without sacrificing clarity.

This microphone is also built to last, with a die-cast steel exterior that’s drop-resistant and will keep your unit safe in case of an accident. Its compact size allows you to travel with it easily, and you don’t have to worry about packing it in with the rest of your audio equipment.

The SM57 mic isn’t just for musicians, and performs just as well as its sibling the SM58. While the SM58 comes with a built-in pop shield, making it a first choice for podcasters on tour or doing live performances, installing a pop shield on the SM57 can land you the same results. Its design as a cardioid microphone will also help you eliminate external noise, making it the perfect companion for a live performance onstage.

The Shure 57 is designed with a contoured frequency response and presence rise, which allows your instruments to cut through the main mix and sound better. It performs well with guitar or bass amps, saxophones, trumpets, and even drums, and is used on stages and in studios all around the world.

Shure SM57 Microphone Pros

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The Shure SM 57 was designed to be the perfect companion in the studio, but it has a range of possible applications as well. While it might not be the best handheld mic, it comes with a swivel stand that allows you to position it to capture the best of your instruments or voice. 

You don’t have to worry about toning down your volume when it comes to this mic— thanks to its sensitivity of 94dBL, it can capture loud sounds easily without feedback or interference. If you’re wondering just how loud that is, that’s equivalent to a commercial truck passing just 10 meters away! The clarity of sound, durability, dynamic range, and affordable price all make this the perfect mic to have in your arsenal.

Live Master

The SM-57 is a workhorse in the studio, but what makes it stand out from other mics is just how well it performs on a live stage. The microphone’s design makes it so that sub-bass frequencies are attenuated, meaning kick drums or bass guitars won’t overwhelm more resonant sounds. In a studio setting, this means that you also won’t need to apply a high-pass filter during post-production. It’s also much easier to master recordings without creating excess distortion,.

Jack of All Trades

The Shure SM57 microphone is the ideal mic for musicians, and not least because of its affordable price and durability. Its dynamic range allows it to faithfully capture a range of different instruments without leaning too much to the high or low frequencies. The SM57 frequency makes it a favorite for acoustic guitar players, but also performs excellently with kick drums, snare drums, bass amps, brass instruments, congas, harmonicas, percussion instruments— you name it.

How to Spot a Fake SM57?

In terms of mics Shure is definitely a popular name, and the SM57’s affordability and popularity make it a particular favorite for counterfeiters. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to figure out how to tell if your SM57 is a fake or not. An original Shure SM57 weighs about 284g, while a counterfeit would be much lighter. Also pay attention to the quality of the print on the boxes and other materials, and remember that your original SM57 comes with a serial number. The quality of materials is also important, and you’ll be able to spot the counterfeit by its cheaper, thinner grille and shoddy print right away.

How to Mic a Snare Drum SM57?

No other mic performs as well as the SM57 when it comes to capturing the sound of a snare drum, and learning how to position your unit to maximize its ability is pretty important. First, position your mic around 4 inches away from the drum in order to capture the full sound. Make sure that it’s not in danger of any stick hits, as that can affect performance and sound. Your SM57 should be positioned according to preference; from the top to capture the ‘crack’, or from the bottom to capture the ‘fizz’. Finally, make sure to tune your drums beforehand to create the optimal sound for your recording or live performance.

What is the Difference Between a Shure SM57 and 58?

The SM57 and SM58 are as close as two mics can be in terms of sound quality and affordability. However, the main thing that distinguishes the two from the other are design and application. The SM58 comes with a built-in pop filter and ball grille to eliminate plosives, making it the perfect companion for podcasters or singers. The SM57, in contrast, has a smaller grille size due to its main application as an instrument mic. However, if you want to mod your SM57 for speaking or singing, all you’ll need to do is attach a pop shield for a variety of uses.

How to Use a Shure SM57 Microphone?

The Shure SM57’s dynamic range makes it the perfect mic for any number of applications. However, just like any mic, the most important thing to do to get optimum sound quality is to place your microphone carefully. Staying too close could make your sound boomy, while too far a way makes it wispy and miserable. The SM57 boosts 6 to 10 dB at 100hz, so when the sound source is less than 6mm (1/4 in), it will provide a warmer and richer bass.

The Crowning Jewel of Live Performances

The Shure SM57 is a workhorse of a mic, and was designed to sound, if not great, then at least good with almost every sound source. But what really gets the SM57 standing out from the crowd is its performance on live stage. The SM57 is known as the presidential microphone, at least as far as US presidents are concerned, and has been used for speeches from Lyndon B. Johnson up to the present.

It’s designed to be less susceptible to wind noise, and has been a mainstay for rock musicians ever since it was first produced. And if you add in the fact that it has a reputation for being virtually indestructible, you can be sure that it’s a clear favorite for touring musicians all around the world.

Why Does My SM57 Shure Mic Say Dynamic?

Your Shure SM57 is a dynamic mic, meaning it uses a diaphragm or coil rather than a backplate assembly like a condenser. In terms of sound quality, dynamic mics can handle extremely high sound levels, making them almost impossible to overload. They are also relatively unaffected by temperature or humidity, and provide excellent sound quality and performance. This makes them particularly popular for live performances and home recordings.

What People Are Saying

The Shure SM57’s affordable price, durable make, and incredible range make it one of the most popular mics on the market today. For amateur musicians and professionals alike, the SM57’s dynamic range and ability to capture faithful sound across instruments make it the perfect studio or stage partner. The more compact grille also allows you to get closer to the sound source, and coupled with the SM57’s design, make for a more faithful recording.

Where to Buy the Shure SM57 Microphone

The Shure SM57 is the industry workhorse, and with good reason. Its incredible recording capabilities and affordable price make it an indispensable part of the arsenal of any musician. Whether you work from the studio or on the stage, the SM57 is the mic that will help you bring your musical vision to your audience perfectly and without fail. Find the best deals for the Shure SM57 Microphone here.

Sound Quality


The Shure SM57 is favored by musicians everywhere for its ability to perfectly capture midrange instruments. Its audio quality, price, and durability all make it a great investment for any musician.

Total Rating

Naomi Feller

Originally from the East Coast, Naomi started singing as young as 3 years old. In her early teens Naomi made some embarrassing YouTube videos before settling on a love for Podcast editing. When she's not pouring over endless amounts of audio, she lends her expertise to us here at Shout4Music with her crystal clear and finely tuned microphone reviews.

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