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Shure SM48 Microphone Review

March 14, 2023

Today is the day because we are going to review the cheapest Shure microphone, but still, this Shure SM48 review will be positive.

Widely known SM series of mics by Shure have proved hundreds of times that they are the best choice for both professionals and amateurs. Today’s Shure SM48 review, without a doubt, will be more useful for amateur singers, mediocre lecturers, and abbots. Our object of review is Shure SM48, a pure classic for all members of your family (your dad loves karaoke, we know it). Traditional mic needs to be reviewed in the traditional manner so let us start with technical specifications.

Best Price on Shure SM48 Microphone

Shure SM48 is a dynamic microphone that offers a great balance between price and performance. It is an excellent choice for vocalists who are looking for a high-quality microphone that won't break the bank.

Shure SM48 Review (microphone package) Classic Package

Shure SM48 Specifications

  • Microphone Type: Dynamic (R136 Cartridge)
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: from 55Hz up to 14000Hz
  • Impedance: 150Ω (270Ω actual)
  • Output Level: -57.5 dBV/Pa (1.3 mV)
  • Connector: Three-Pin XLR (XLR Male)
  • Form Factor: Handheld
  • Housing: Durable alloy body with Steel Grill
  • Net Weight: 370 grams
  • Size: L 166mm x W 54.2mm

Shure SM48 Overall Build & Features

There is no need to describe this design in detail because everyone knows it. Classical handheld microphone with no buttons on it (if it is not SM48S, cause this version has an on/off switch). The SM48 is built to last, with a rugged alloy construction and metal grille that can withstand the rigors of touring and live performances. But we strongly recommend not to drop the microphone, so as not to bend the metal grille and prevent cartridge damage.

The higher part has an even more iconic design. Good-quality built-in pop filter that can reduce unwanted noises and standard steel grill that have proved its durability. If you are going to use this microphone in a studio environment, we recommend using an additional pop filter.

There are several versions of this mic on the market: all of them include a universal stand adapter (you can be sure that this mic will be suitable to mount almost every stand or boom arm.) and zippered pouch (cause no one likes dust on their devices).

SM48S also has a lockable On/Off switch, we’ve already mentioned it. And always bear in mind that Shure provides dozens of accessories (clips, mounts, windscreens) to brighten your experience.

Shure SM48 R136 Cartridge
R136 Cartridge inside Shure SM48

Sound Quality

The averageness of design characteristics repeats here in sound specs but we cannot say that it is too bad cause one thing you need to worry about when you buy a cheap mic is quality and there are no problems with quality when we are talking about Shure.

This model has a cardioid polar pattern, a classical feature to provide good gain, and construction also reduces feedback after mechanical impact.

The shock-mounted cartridge reduces handling noise here. Frequency response works best with vocals, but can also handle some mid frequencies and bass.

Shure SM48 speech recording (audio example)

This is the only audio recording we could find for the Shure SM48 review. We will expand audio examples in the future.

Shure SM48 Connections and Accessories

What comes in the box with Shure SM48? Classic package includes a microphone, mic holder (stand adapter), and a zippered pouch and it's all!

First of all, you will need to purchase a cable, since it does not come with a microphone package. Here we have two options depending on your needs. If we want to connect the microphone to a speaker, mixer (mostly old models with 1/4-Inch-6.3mm jack), or karaoke then our choice is XLR Female to 1/4-Inch (6.3mm) jack cable. The second way, if we want to connect Shure SM48 to a computer or laptop, we must use an XLR Female to XLR Male cable, which will be connected next to an audio interface, a mixer (mostly mixers with USB connection to a PC) or microphone to USB adapters (for example Shure X2U).

In case you want to connect a microphone to a personal computer or laptop, we recommend buying a Shure X2U microphone to a USB adapter or Shure MVi digital audio interface. These devices are not expensive and easy to use. Or you can buy any other audio interface. And don't forget, you need XLR Female to XLR Male cable to connect Shure SM48 to these devices.

Accessories for Shure SM48

As Shure SM48 is a dynamic microphone it does not require phantom power.

In case you drop the microphone and crush the metal grille, shure has a replacement part RK248G Replacement Grille. Don't forget about other accessories such as pop-filters for home and studio recording, microphone stands, microphone windscreen, and cables.

Shure SM48 vs Shure SM58 (Specifications and Differences)

Shure SM48 and Shure SM58 are two dynamic microphones that are often compared due to their similarities in appearance and price range. However, there are some notable differences between the two microphones, both in terms of their specifications and overall sound. Here is a comparison of the Shure SM48 vs Shure SM58. We also have a huge Shure SM58 microphone review with lots of audio examples so you can compare the sound of the two mics.

Specification Differences:

  1. Frequency Response: The Shure SM48 has a frequency response of 55Hz-14kHz, while the Shure SM58 has a slightly wider frequency response of 50Hz-15kHz (you can also see the difference in frequency response in the picture below).
  2. Polar Pattern: Both microphones have a cardioid polar pattern, which provides good off-axis rejection and reduces background noise and feedback.
  3. Sensitivity: The Shure SM58 is more sensitive than the SM48, with a higher output level and better signal-to-noise ratio.
  4. Impedance: SM48 and SM58 models have pretty similar impedance. Shure SM48 rating impedance is 150Ω (270Ω actual) for connection to microphone inputs rated at 19 to 300Ω, while Shure SM58 rated impedance is 150Ω (300Ω actual) for connection to microphone inputs rated low impedance.
  5. Weight: The SM48 weighs 0.73lbs (370gram), while the SM58 weighs 0.66lbs (298gram).
  6. Cartridges: Shure SM48 has an R136 cartridge / Shure SM58 has an R59 cartridge.
Shure SM48 vs Shure SM58 frequency response

Sound Difference:

The Shure SM58 is often considered the industry standard for live vocal performances due to its clear and natural sound, high output level, and excellent off-axis rejection. It has a presence peak in the midrange, which enhances the clarity and intelligibility of vocals.

The Shure SM48, on the other hand, has a smoother frequency response that is tailored to enhance the lower midrange frequencies, resulting in a warmer and fuller sound. Regarding volume level, Shure SM58 has never been a very loud microphone at all and at the same time, the Shure SM48 is quieter than the SM58. Therefore, our editorial team recommends using Shure SM48 with good preamps providing a good gain margin.

Overall, while the Shure SM48 and SM58 have some similarities in terms of their specifications and polar pattern, they have distinct differences in their sound and overall performance. The SM58 is often preferred for live vocal performances due to its clarity and high output level, while the SM48 is a great option for recording vocals or quieter performances where a warmer and fuller sound is desired.

It's very hard to tell which mic is better, but don't expect WOW effect from these microphones, as these dynamic mics are under 100$ (we don't want to say that their low cost is a bad indicator, as they have good sound quality). As a result, if you have a limited budget - Shure SM48 is your choice. In case you can go out of budget - we reccomend Shure SM58.

Final Verdict

Overall, the Shure SM48 is an excellent choice for vocals, speech recording applications, vocalists, and musicians who are looking for a good-quality microphone that won't break the bank. Its smooth frequency response, cardioid polar pattern, and wide frequency range make it a versatile microphone that can capture a wide range of vocal tones and textures. While it may not be suitable for recording other instruments and lacks high-end detail compared to some other microphones, the SM48's affordability, durability, and low handling noise make it a great value for the price.

Each person who wants to buy a mic has some reasons for it. These reasons, as a rule, do not require technical specs which are the above ones, that this microphone has. So there is no doubt that this mic will be a good choice for people who needs quality microphone for more than an acceptable price. You can also visit Shure's official page of SM48 microphone to see all specifications and information

Our editorial team hopes you enjoyed our Shure SM48 Review. Leave any questions or suggestions in the comment section and we will be happy to answer them.

  • Good sound quality
  • Amazing Price / Quality ratio. This microphone is really cheap
  • Ease of use
  • Has 2 version Shure SM48 and SM48S (SM48S comes with on/off switch button)
  • Weak Proximity Effect
  • The cardioid polar pattern of the SM48 provides excellent off-axis rejection, handling noise rejection, reducing background noise and feedback.
  • The Shure SM48 is a bit quiet mic compared to it's younger brother (Shure SM58). We recommend using Shure SM48 with reasonably good gain amplifiers.
  • Distorted sound in close proximity, it's not surprising as it's a problem of big number of microphones.
Our Score

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