What Is The Best Budget Mic For Streaming And Podcasting?

Buy The SM57 Here

Buy The Windscreen Here

When it comes to budget mics, there is such a large selection these days. But, we think we’ve finally found the cream of the crop here with this one. At such a reasonable price, we’re kind of confused why this mic and windscreen combination isn’t recommended more on audio forums. The best budget mic for streaming and podcasting is the SM57 with a A81WS windscreen. Okay, we know what you might be thinking. A SM57? Isn’t that an instrument mic? Yes, at its core, it was primary designed to be an instrument mic but it’s built for so much more than that. This mic is extremely flat sounding and it just sounds incredible when you add the custom windscreen to it. The A81WS windscreen is really doing all of the work here and it seriously turns this mic into quite the performer.

It’s One Of The Cheapest Streaming Mics Out There

The SM57 is only priced at $99. And, the windscreen is an additional $30. At $130 you have one seriously sick microphone which is crazy to think about. This thing sounds really good on the voice and with the windscreen on, you aren’t getting any plosives at all. This combination is one of the better ones we’ve seen and it’s at such an affordable price.

It Sounds Very Similar To An SM7B

During our testing, we concluded that the SM7B and the SM57 sound almost identical. We had some fellow engineers listen to a blind test and the results were split between which mic was which. Even engineers are having a difficult time discerning between these two mics. They sound that similar. The A81WS windscreen creates a distance between the front of the SM57 and the capsule and it sort of emulates the sound of the SM7B, which is a $400 mic. And, don’t just take our word for it, listen to the video above and draw some of your own conclusions! Sounds pretty dang similar right?

It Requires Less Gain So No CloudLifter Needed

The SM57 has a much higher output than the SM7B. This means that less noise will be introduced onto your recordings. This also means that you won’t need a Cloudlifter to boost the signal to an audible level. The SM57 has a very hot output considering the fact that it’s a dynamic mic. So not only is this mic $300 cheaper than the SM7B, you also don’t need a Cloudlifter to raise the signal. Pretty awesome right? We’d say so and we still keep this mic around ’till this day. It’s a very solid mic to have and it rejects noise very well just as you’d expect.

Is This The Right Mic For You

Is this the right mic for you? We believe that this is one of the best mics around for podcasting under the $400 mark. The fact that it competes with the SM7B means you shouldn’t feel the need to upgrade any time soon. The only reason some may not call it their “forever” mic is because it doesn’t have the greatest look to it. Some people may find the mic ugly but we’re all about functionality, not how good something looks. In my eyes, the only reason to upgrade to the SM7B is for the look factor, which some people really care about. But, personally, we only care if the mic sounds good and it’s robust. This thing sounds great and it’s a tank that will last you a lifetime. Fun fact, the U.S presidents use this mic which is pretty cool! We hope you found the mic you are looking for. Thanks for sticking around. Cheers and have a lovely day. Buy the Shure SM57 here. And, check out our other news stories here.

Thomas Shelby – Editor/Audio Engineer