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Review: Shure SM7b Dynamic Microphone

Submitted On May 13, 2013 by Contributor:



Build Quality

Ease of Use


Overall Value

Total Score

97/ 100

Review Details

Price: $500


Awesome low cost mic for all types of applications. A real beast, with durability.


Requires a LOT of gain. If you have it available, this guy is useful.
My Review

Love these things as an all around workhorse. They sound full and seem to work when most condensers do not. I like to hear what vocalists sound through these very often, in contrast something like our brauner mics. Many of the Vocals for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” were recorded with this under $500 mic!

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About The Contributor


4 Reviews


    "While Shure’s SM7b (and its predecessor, the SM7) has, as of late, become a darling of the audio-Web-forum-self-appointed-expert set, its status is deserved – this is one surprisingly useful and versatile mic to have in any home or commercial recording studio’s bag of tricks!

    While primarily thought of as a vocal mic (excelling in particular on “loud male” rock music lead vocals – you’ll see and hear of the SM7 or SM7b as “that vocal mic” on recordings and live-in-studio performances of everybody from Michael Jackson to Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan – and voiceover/announcer applications), the SM7b is also great on some perhaps unexpected instrumental applications. When my SM7b isn’t being used to capture an upfront sounding lead vocal, it’s not put away in its case: it lives over by the drum kit, as a hi-hat spot mic. And I’ve seen the SM7/SM7b fulfilling that role in other studios, photos of mic’ed up drum kits, and the like, on too many occasions to be a coincidence.

    Unlike another “large dynamic mic often used for VO/broadcast announcer applications and as an option for rock vocals,” the RE20, the Shure SM7b doesn’t seem to work as much of a “go-to” mic for kick drum, and it’s a little odd how well it works for an unexpected application like hi-hat. But as a prime candidate for addition to the mic locker of the recordist who’s ready to move beyond a “the only ‘pro’ mics are condenser mics” mindset and expand their palette with a couple large-and-in-charge dynamics, the Shure SM7b (along with the E/V RE20 and the Sennheiser MD421 and MD441) should be at or near the top of the shopping list – its a great value, and a rock-solid workhorse that you’ll want to keep in your toolbox for life.


    "Great sound on some vocalists (usually "louder rock" vocal parts)
    Works surprisingly well on some unexpected instrument-mic'ing applications, such as hi-hat
    A great addition to your microphone kit once you've got a few nice condensers and "standard issue" dynamic mics like SM57s in your collection

    "Not the most appropriate mic choice for every application under the sun - probably not the best for live applications, and doesn't sound fantastic on every source, or every vocalist - but when it works on a given source, it works very well indeed.

    The SM7b does require a great deal of gain - make sure you have a mic preamp that can supply plenty of clean gain, or you'll end up with a weak signal, or too much background noise.




    "The mic that Michael Jackson put on the map. Yes, one of the best selling albums of all time was recorded using a Shure SM7 (the newer B version has very little difference with its predecessor). The mic is HUGE, looking somewhat like a can of Guinness beer with a fuzzy top. There is a built in swivel clip which contains the XLR out as well, that can at times, be a pain to deal with at certain angles since the mic can only adjust about 30 or 40 degrees up and down. The mic has excellent rear rejection (probably because the element is sitting half way up a cage that is hidden under the pop filter and perhaps more so the 5″ of metal casing sitting behind it) The mic has notoriously LOW output (even for a dynamic mic) and requires a nice good clean hi-gain preamp to run it effectively. (the AEA-RPQ line is a great match as are most Neve pre’s). A great, thick almost hefty sm57 sound, like the 57, you could put this mic in front of just about anything and it will get the job done. Amazing for hard rock/metal (especially any scream/growl vocals). As it has been said in the other reviews, a MUST have for any mic locker!"

    "Solidly built, great sound"

    "Low output requires good clean pre, swivel mount can get in the way sometimes."




    "A must have. This is the mic I grab when I have a screamer or loud rock. It has this funny way of just being the right mic sometimes. Of course the Michael Jackson thing but from what I understand Anthony Keidis uses it on almost every album. Brandon Boyd has used it a lot too. This is even a great mic to track without headphones just live in the control room because of the rejection. If you have a poorly treated room with lots of extra noise this is the mic to get to acheive some pro vocals. dont be afraid to try it on other sources too….You never know."

    "An insane value. Great rejection. Good for male rock."

    "May not work for a lot if things."




    "Simply a must have for any mic collection!

    Sound: I use this with great results on Male Vocals (which sound GREAT through a tube amp like the Universal Audio LA610), Guitar Cab (though some people like the SM57, I like the SM7 better as it gives me a fuller range in the low mids which I can then scoop out with EQ if necessary – sometimes its not!) and have even used it on a bass cab as well! To me its a work horse mic that is worth trying in most situations. In fact, other than acoustic guitar where I still like my condenser, I have yet to find a source this large diaphragm dynamic mic doesn’t at least sound good on – most of the time it sounds GREAT (as long as you can get the gain you need).

    Build Quality: Seems to be built like a tank!

    Ease of use: if I had one nit pick, its that the switch to change between the bass roll off & presence boost is a bit of a pain to switch. Fingers alone (at least mine) cannot do the job and I have to use a flathead screw driver. Perhaps this is a good thing as its not easy to change on accident, but I do wish it was a bit easier.

    Overall Value: I HIGHLY recommend this mic. What other high quality professional mic can be had for $349? (cheaper if you find it on sale). Truly the best $$$ I’ve spent in a while!

    p.s. here is a direct link to the mic on the Shure site to view its pattern response curve and to read more about the mic:"


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