The Shure SM7B and the Shure SM57 are more alike than they are different. Both of these mics utilize a very similar capsule and thus produce a very similar sound. There are some small differences between the two which may be a deal breaker for some people. One thing is for certain, the SM7B is definitely the better looking mic here. But, how does the SM57 compare in sound? Let’s dive in a bit deeper here and compare these two incredible mics.
The SM7B Has More Low End
The SM7B has more low end due to the way its capsule is designed. The SM57 has a nice amount of low end as well, but the SM7B has a bigger spike at around 100hz which gives the mic a warmer sound. However, SM57 can be EQ’d in post to make it sound pretty close to the SM7B. If you’re willing to do the extra work, the SM57 can sound very close to the SM7B.
The SM7B Has A Flatter Response
The SM7B has a flatter response which is actually beneficial. There are no weird high end boosts that make the mic sound off-balanced. A lot of cheaper mics have strange EQ curves with a lot of different boosts. The SM7B has a extremely flat response with only one small bump at 100hz. The SM57 on the other hand, has a lot of boosts in the higher end around 7khz. Of course, these can be EQ’d out of the mic but this will require much more work. The SM7B sounds better and cleaner out of the box than the SM57.
The SM7B Has A Built In Pop Filter
The Shure SM7B has a built in pop filter to prevent plosives. The SM57 does not have this and you have to purchase a pop filter separately if you want to use one. We really recommend the A81WS windscreen for the SM57 and this completely transforms the mic and makes it sound even closer to the SM7B. What’s also nice about the SM7B is that it includes an additional pop filter which is even bigger. This secondary pop filter is great for when you want to get right up to the mic for a large proximity effect.
The SM7B Looks Better
It’s no question that the SM7B is just a better looking mic. You’ve seen it everywhere by now, The Joe Rogan Experience, all the way to the most famous Twitch streamers. The SM7B is just a beautiful looking mic that looks fantastic on video. It really gives you the look and sound of a professional. If your going to be using a camera and your mic is going to be shown on video, then we highly recommend checking out the SM7B. It gives you the look of a professional who is very serious about their production value. Of course, looks are subjective, but we believe that the SM7B wins this category as well.
Which Mic Should You Get
We recommend getting the SM7B if you have the money to do so. The SM7B offers a better sound without doing a lot of EQ work in post. The SM57 is a good choice if you are on a budget and if you are willing to do a lot of EQ adjustment in post. Both mics will deliver a professional grade sound but the SM7B will get you there faster. If you are on a budget, the SM57 will do just fine. Just make sure to pick up the A81WS windscreen and apply some EQ. If you decide that the SM7B if the right mic for you, then you will not regret that decision. The SM7B is one of the best mics on the market for streaming and podcasts as it has that excellent flat frequency response. Either way, you can’t go wrong as both mics will deliver an incredible sound. We hope this helps. Thanks for reading. Check out our other articles here.