Log inCreate account

Shure SM58 Microphone Review

March 16, 2023

A well-known line of Shure mics “SM” is a good example of standard professional microphones with acceptable prices. Today we review Shure SM58, it is a vocal microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. This model is based on a 565SD microphone and it widens the overall model concept in many ways. Nowadays this microphone is so popular that any bar, nightclub, hall – any place with a scene probably has one, so this microphone became a legend, which makes this microphone one of the best-selling in the world. And of course, this Shure SM58 review deserves your attention.

Shure SM58 produced for fifty years (from 1966 to the present day) and they released the fiftieth-anniversary model of this mic - Shure SM58-50A here you can check our review. Shure did not stop there, they release more variations of this model – with cable or without, with build in on/off switch, with XLR to USB adapter. These variations widen this model's purposes even more, making it more versatile so every person will be able to enjoy this experience. So technical specifications first, as usual.

Best Price on Shure SM58 Microphone

Shure SM58 is a dynamic microphone that has been a staple in the music industry for over 50 years. Known for its durability, reliability, and excellent sound quality.

Shure SM58 Review (microphone package) Classic Package

Shure SM58 Specifications

  • Microphone Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Cartridge: R59
  • Frequency Response: from 50Hz up to 15000Hz
  • Impedance: Rated Impedance is 150Ω (300Ω actual) for connection to microphone inputs rated low impedance
  • Sensitivity (at 1,000 Hz open circuit voltage): -54.5dBV/Pa (1.85 mV)
  • Connector: 3-pin XLR
  • Form Factor: Handheld
  • Housing: Dark gray, enamel-painted, die-cast metal; matte-finished, silver-colored, spherical steel mesh grille
  • Size: L 162mm x W 51mm
  • Net weight: 298 grams

Overall Build and Features

So, the next section in our Shure SM58 review is the overall build and features. The overall design of this model is pure classic, this stick with pop filter is iconic since 1960 and nothing really changed the game. This enamel panel and steel mesh grille will be popular even in fifty years. The ball grille is always a good decision for that type of model because it defends the cartridge, it doesn’t allow you to get too close and it filters the sound from unwanted noises. The construction is rather durable, but less than 565SD for example because of plastic parts. Don’t forget that the storage bag is included and there won’t be any problems with transporting it.

Shure SM58 microphone

This microphone model is available in four different variations (Shure SM58-LC without cable / Shure SM58-CN with XLR cable / Shure SM58S with On/Off switch / Shure SM58-X2U with XLR to USB signal adapter), which is quite good, and allows you to purchase exactly what you need, also it’s an opportunity to save some money. If we talk about the extended version of 58 then it is time to say some words about the switch and other special features. Speaking about switch - it is average looking for this type of Shure mic. Magnetic and silent, that’s all. A special adjustable clip is included in every set so it will be simple to find a good stand for it. Let's take a closer look at the package bundle with XLR to USB signal adapter.

Sound Quality

The sound characteristics of this mic are really good, but if you want to sound like a pro – connect this mic to a mixer with good characteristics, an audio interface, or use the X2u bundle version, which will provide a quality recording. All technical features of this mic impose us to use it for vocal & speech. Cardioid polar pattern eliminates unwanted noises and does it pretty well with the help of a pop filter. But if you have willing to use it with instruments it will do well too but it will be better for you to buy some VST EQ software or analog EQ after the microphone signal. There is another innovative feature in this model. The pneumatic shock-mount system cuts down handling noise, so you can forget about unpredictable noises from external mechanical impacts.

Shure R59 Cartridge
R59 Cartridge inside Shure SM58

The Shure R59 Cartridge is responsible for the sound quality (pictured above). If the microphone breaks down, you can replace the cartridge, it is sold separately and is quite easy to find in online stores. And of course, in our Shure SM58 review, we can't get by without recorded audio examples for which the R59 cartridge is responsible.

Here are some Shure SM58 recorded audio samples:

Shure SM58 - Acoustic Guitar recording (audio example)
Shure SM58 - Electric Guitar recording (audio example)
Shure SM58 - Female Vocal recording (audio example) #1 - Clear
Shure SM58 - Female Vocal recording (audio example) #2 - Clear
Shure SM58 - Harpmonica recording (audio example) - First Sonus Harp Booster Then Shure SM58
Shure SM58 - Male Vocal recording (audio example) #1 - Clear
Shure SM58 - Male Vocal recording (audio example) #2 - Clear
Shure SM58 - Saxophone recording (audio example)
Shure SM58 - Speech recording (audio example)
Shure SM58 - Trumpet recording (audio example)
Shure SM58 vs Shure BETA 58A (First SM58 Then BETA 58A First Clear Vocal then with Reverb)

Shure SM58-X2U Overview

In this Shure SM58 review, we would like to include the Shure SM58-X2U version, as it definitely deserves your attention and it would be a very profitable purchase. Shure X2u is a device that replaces the audio interface for sound recording. Buying a microphone in this configuration will save money because there is no need to purchase an audio interface, as X2u contains all the features for high-quality recording. X2u is smaller than the microphone SM58 and it’s easy to place it together in a zipped pouch, so it gives you the advantage to take devices wherever you go and it’s easy to use – just plug and play. Also, Shure X2u is sold separately from microphones which allows you to use it with any other.

All Shure X2u Features:

  • Plug and Play to any USB port of our computer, (compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, and Mac OS X 10.1 or later).
  • The built-in signal preamp allows you to control microphone gain.
  • Zero latency monitoring of real-time audio playback.
  • 1/8 Headphone jack with volume control on the front panel for sound monitoring.
  • The recording sample rate is 16bit / 48kHz (better than CD Quality).
  • Provides +48V phantom power which allows you to connect any studio condenser microphone.
  • LED input signal level indication & LED USB connection indicator.
Best Price on Shure SM58+X2U Bundle

Shure SM58 is a dynamic microphone that has been a staple in the music industry for over 50 years. Known for its durability, reliability, and excellent sound quality.

Shure SM58-X2U Shure SM58-X2U Package

How to Distinguish Counterfeit Shure SM58

This mic is really popular all over the world which is why it is easy to get confused and buy counterfeit especially when you are not in the US. Here are some tips that will help you to distinguish fake Shure SM58.

Shure SM58 Counterfeit (Fake)
On the Left is the original microphone / On the Right - Fake Shure SM58

There is no SM58SK version of this mic.

  1. Under the pop filters curve, there is an aluminum part, not plastic.
  2. There is no sticker with the word ‘caution’ on a capsule in the original version.
  3. On a fake microphone, the protective grid and XLR connector contacts don’t contain silver. Because of this, they are susceptible to faster oxidation.
  4. Inconsistency in sound quality and performance. Fake microphone buzzing at low frequencies; capsule does not hold high dynamic loads, which cause distorting sound; the sound is transmitted from the body to the capsule.
  5. The transformer and wires are not fixed properly inside of mic housing.
  6. The price of counterfeit microphones is lower by 20% - 40%.
  7. Every mechanical impact influence sound on fake models.

Always be careful buying microphones, especially if you do it on untrusted sites and marketplaces.

Shure SM58 vs Sennheiser e845

The Shure SM58 and Sennheiser e845 are both popular dynamic microphones in the same price range designed for live vocal performances. While they share some similarities, there are notable differences between the two. Here are the key differences between the Shure SM58 and the Sennheiser e845:

  1. Polar Pattern: the SM58 features a cardioid polar pattern, which provides excellent off-axis rejection and reduces background noise and feedback. Sennheiser e845 also has a cardioid (supercardioid) polar pattern, offering similar off-axis rejection and reducing background noise.
  2. Frequency Response: shure SM58 has a frequency response of 50Hz-15kHz, with a presence peak in the midrange for enhanced vocal clarity. The e845 has a slightly wider frequency response of 40Hz-16kHz, capturing a broader range of frequencies.
  3. Sensitivity: shure SM58 has a sensitivity rating of -54.5dBV/Pa, which is relatively standard for dynamic microphones. Sennheiser e845 has a higher sensitivity rating of -40dBV/Pa, making it more sensitive and capable of capturing quieter vocals.
  4. Impedance: the SM58 has an impedance of 150 ohms. The e845 has an impedance of 350 ohms, which is higher compared to the SM58.
  5. Sound Characteristics: shure SM58 is known for its warm, clear, and natural sound with a slight emphasis on the midrange frequencies, providing vocal intelligibility and presence. Sennheiser e845 has a more detailed and extended high-frequency response, resulting in a brighter and more open sound compared to the SM58.
  6. Build Quality: the SM58 is renowned for its durability, with a rugged construction that can withstand rough handling and live performances. The e845 is also well-built and sturdy, designed to withstand the demands of live performances. + Both microphones have a built-in shock-mount system for handling noise rejection. Shure SM58 and Sennheiser e845 also have versions with an on/off switch button and a version without this button.
  7. Price: the basic versions of these microphones have the same package (zipped pouch and microphone holder). And both microphones in the base version cost about $100. But the Shure SM58 has more other diverse versions.
Shure SM58 vs Sennheiser e845 Frequency Response

Ultimately, the choice between the Shure SM58 and the Sennheiser e845 depends on personal preference, desired sound characteristics, and budget. Both microphones are reliable and widely used in the industry, offering excellent performance for live vocal applications. Try out both microphones and compare their sound to determine which one best suits your needs.

In our opinion, the Sennheiser e845 sounds slightly better due to the more comprehensive frequency response, but at the same time, the Shure SM58 sounds just as good and is also available in more varied package bundles. In case of a microphone failure, it will be easier to find replacement parts for Shure SM58 as it is a more common microphone (interchangeable grilles and cartridges are available in large quantities in stores).

FAQ about Shure SM58 microphone

Here we'll answer the most frequently asked questions about the Shure SM58 microphone model.

Shure SM58 vs Shure SM57 vs Shure SM48 (are there any differences between them?)

We have already compared the Shure SM58 and Shure SM48, we see no reason to repeat what has already been said, so you can read the full comparison of these two microphones in the Shure SM48 review by the link.

Shure SM58 and Shure SM57 are fairly similar microphones in terms of their technical parameters. They have the same cartridge and slightly the same frequency response. The difference between these microphones lies in the protective grille. The Shure SM57 is mainly used for recording musical instruments in the studio and on stage. The flat grille allows you to place the microphone close to the musical instrument, which is quite convenient when recording.

But no one will stop you from using the Shure SM58 in the same way for recording musical instruments and the recording results will be very good, as well as using the Shure SM57 for recording vocals (we often saw music bands using the Shure SM57 on stage for a vocalist). The differences between these microphones are not significant.

How to connect Shure SM58 to the speaker, mixer, karaoke, DSLR camera, smartphone, PC, or laptop?

We want to note right away that Shure SM58 in the basic version comes without an XLR cable. You will need to purchase an XLR cable separately. But what kind of XLR cable you should buy? - let's figure it out in the paragraph below.

At the time of writing the Shure SM58 review, we considered all possible methods of connecting this microphone to various devices.

In case you need to connect the microphone to a karaoke, speaker, or mixer (old mixers or mixers with hybrid connector - XLR/Jack) - your choice is XLR Female to 1/4-Inch (6.3mm) jack cable. We highly recommend taking attention to your device's input before purchasing this cable. It should have a 1/4-Inch (6.3mm) jack input.

In case you want to connect Shure SM58 to a smartphone (some smartphones still have a 3.5mm headphone/mic hybrid input) or to a DSLR camera's mic input, you can use the XLR female to 3.5mm jack cable. This type of cable is hard to find so you can use XLR Female to 1/4-Inch (6.3mm) jack cable + 1/4 6.3mm to 3.5mm adapter (such kind of adapter is very easy to find in any online store). But we highly recommend not to connect this microphone to smartphones or DSLR video cameras via a 3.5mm jack as you may encounter some difficulties, the sound quality may be very poor or there will be no audio signal at all. Therefore, use specialized microphones for smartphones or DSLR video cameras, of which there is a wide variety from many well-known manufacturers.

In case we want to connect the microphone to a PC or laptop, use an external audio interface (such as the Shure X2U or our loved Focusrite audio interfaces). The connection chain is very simple: the microphone is connected to the audio interface via XLR female to XLR male cable and then the audio interface is connected to the computer via USB cable or thunderbolt. Don't try to connect the Shure SM58 to the 3.5mm microphone jack of your PC motherboard or laptop, the audio level will be very low, so use an audio interface to connect dynamic or condenser microphones to your computer. The audio interface perfectly amplifies the microphone signal, digitizes analog audio, and allows you to directly monitor the audio signal from your microphone.

Do I need phantom power for the Shure SM58 microphone?

No phantom power is required for the Shure SM58 as it is a dynamic microphone. Dynamic microphones, unlike condenser microphones, do not require phantom power. Also, you can not worry that your microphone capsule will fail if you apply phantom power to it since the phantom power currents are very low. At the moment there are no dynamic microphones that would fail after applying phantom power.

A very long time ago, only ribbon microphones could fail after applying phantom power, and at the moment modern ribbon microphones do not have such a problem.

Final Verdict

Overall, the Shure SM58 is an excellent microphone with great sound quality, durability, and versatility at an affordable price. Its high output level, rugged construction, and cardioid polar pattern make it a reliable choice for live performances, while its clear and natural sound makes it suitable for studio recording, broadcasting, and podcasting. While it may have some limitations in terms of frequency response and sensitivity compared to condenser microphones, the SM58 remains a trusted and widely-used microphone in the music industry.

Shure SM58 is one of the cheapest models in the SM line and still, it is a good choice even if you are professional (and we know many examples of famous bands and on-stage performers using this model). The mixture of traditions and innovations again demonstrated that one approach will not nullify another but complement it.

The price of this model does not mean that it will have bad sound, it means that Shure can provide a good classic with its firm quality and still not get greedy, so let us say another time “Good guys, Shure, keep on your pious price policy and thank you from the community”.

We hope you enjoyed our Shure SM58 review. Leave any questions or suggestions in the comment section and we'll be happy to answer each of them.

  • Good sound quality
  • Perfect Price / Quality ratio
  • Ease of use
  • Durable overall build and construction
  • Shure SM58 microphone is one of the best dynamic microphones under $100
  • Shure SM58 has variable package bundles
  • The cardioid polar pattern of the SM58 provides excellent off-axis rejection, reducing background noise and feedback, internal shock mount rejects handling noise
  • We recommend purchasing an additional pop filter in case you want to use Shure SM58 for studio recording
Our Score

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *