Shure SM7B Setup and Review

If you are into podcasts and streaming videos, then you might have seen Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone before. It gained popularity after pop star Michael Jackson used it in one of his videos. 

Since then, it is a favorite of many celebrities and YouTubers. Even Joe Rogan, the host of “Joe Rogan Experience,” lists this microphone as his favorite and uses it on the show.

If you are also interested in the Shure SM7B microphone but don’t know about the Shure SM7B setup and specifications, then you are at the right place. A comprehensive review and guide about the Shure SM7B setup and its functionality are given in this article. 

But before discussing the Shure SM7B setup, it is utterly important to discuss the product’s features, specifications, and impression. I personally used and observed every inch of it utterly to get you through every aspect of this microphone.

First Impressions

Analyzing its specifications was a task of later; first, I took a visual inspection of this product. Because I believe that looks do matter, if a device claims to be professional in its performance, it should look like one. 

Shure SM7B Dynamic Cardioid Microphone has a sleek black design. It is a top-mounted microphone. Its texture is a mixture of gloss and matte, which strangely seemed pretty satisfying and attractive.

I noticed that the surface of the microphone is rugged; undoubtedly, it is purposely made to secure the microphone’s cartridge. The construction of this microphone overall appears premium.

On the back of the microphone, there are frequency response illustration switches. These two switches allow you to control one of the three responses at a time, i.e., bass roll-off, presence boost, and flat responses. 

Its yoke mounting stand is also pretty impressive. It allows easy slide-on and slide-off from mic stands. Yet, it has the required amount of resistance and friction that keeps the microphone fixed at the stand.

This was all about the microphone, but like any other luxury microphone, it comes as a set and has some attachments with it in the box. It comes with two windscreens of different sizes. One is a basic foam filter, while the bigger one is foam windscreen A7WS.

Although both windscreens are basically designed for reducing plosives, the larger windscreen is also specified for close-up talking. These windscreens can be installed easily by following the user guide that also comes with the box.

This is not it; it also has a pre-installed pop filter designated to eradicate any kind of fricatives. Thus, providing its users the flexibility of talking freely, without worrying about the distance from the microphone. 

This pop-filter is alone enough for precise functioning.  You will not need external filters for the Shure SM7B setup unless you want to elevate your microphone to the next level.

After the initial looks, I started inspecting its specifications from the guide. I also consulted Amazon and professional reviews and made the following table.

TypeDynamic
Model NumberSM7B
Polar PatternCardioid Polar Pattern
Connection3-pin XLR
Frequency Response50 to 20,000 Hz
Impedance150 ohms
Hardware PlatformPC
Phantom PowerNot Required
SwitchesBass Roll-Off and mid-range emphasis presence
Hum Pickup11 dB (typical, at 60 Hz, equivalent SPL/mOe)
SPL180 dB (Maximum)
Sensitivity-59 dB V/Pa (1.12 mV)at 1 kHz, open-circuit voltage, where 1 Pa=94 dB SPL
BatteryLithium-ion battery 
Dimensions (L x W x H)7.47 x 3.78 x 5.81 inches
Weight765 grams

The Three Frequency Responses 

As discussed earlier, this microphone operates on three different frequency responses. Each one is used for an entirely different purpose.

  • Flat Mode: This is the mode that most YouTubers and podcasters use. It is designed for natural audio production and recording. The only drawback that I noticed with this mode was that the proximity effect tends to hamper the low-midrange recording if the bass is heavy or the vocalist’s voice is low.
  • Bass Roll-Off Mode: This mode is ideal for getting low-frequency sounds attenuated. It can also be used to cut proximity effects and electrical effects. This mode works just like using a high-quality filter on a digital audio interface. 
  • Mid-range Emphasis (Presence Boost): This mode provides enhanced amplification for treble and mid. This mode is rather preferred for recording instrumental sounds and music.

Bass features could have been more enhanced, but overall, I was pleasantly satisfied with the given frequency responses. 

Cardioid Polar Recording Pattern

Shure SM7B possesses a single “Cardioid” recording pattern. It is a heart-shaped pattern that allows vocalists and musicians to record without worrying about placement issues.

What I observed was that, unlike condensers, the cardioid polar pattern is less sensitive to louder voices. It reduces audio distortion and tends to avoid audio clipping at its best. 

In easier words, this recording pattern focuses on the clear, targeted voice in front of it and rejects all kinds of off-axis noises and sounds. Here off-axis sound refers to the background voices and sounds. 

Studying these specifications, I realized why podcasters, streamers, and YouTubers so applaud this microphone. Thanks to this pattern, they can record their audios without any interference. 

Shock Mount

Shure SM7B microphones come with a built-in shock suspension mounting system. It eliminates all kinds of vibrations and flickering efficiently. Thus, you will not need to install an external shock mount for the Shure SM7B setup.

Shielding Technology

It has an excellent suspension and a shielding system that protects it from all kinds of electromagnetic humming and interference.

We are well aware of all the specifications of this microphone. Now let’s head forward to analyze the Shure SM7B setup.

Shure SM7B Setup

Shure SM7B is an excellent microphone and has tons of valuable specifications that make the Shure SM7B setup easier. It is a great microphone, but all you get with it are two windscreens and nothing else. There are no connectors, stands, or anything with it. 

There are some drawbacks, due to which this mic requires external products for the proper functioning and setup.

An Audio Interface 

Although Shure SM7B is a dynamic mic, there is still a point to be concerned about. It requires tons of gain, a minimum of about 60 dB, for its functioning. Getting an audio interface is your choice. But if you want ultra-quality performance and gain lifting, then opting for an audio interface becomes essential.

One of the best audio mixers that are fully compatible with Shure SM7B is ‘Cloudlifter.’ I personally equipped my microphone with it, and after some adjustments, I got amazing results. Before the audio interface, the vocals sounded good, but its addition made it better. The sound was crisp and sharp.  

Shure SM7B is already an expensive product, and an audio interface further adds to the sum. But trust me, every penny spent is worth it. 

Besides an audio interface, you can also opt for a mixer, depending upon the need of your task. Most mixers are preferred for audio-mixing and music creation. 

If you seek a mixer for the same motive, opt for ‘Yamaha MG10Xu 10 Stereo Mixer.’ It provides more control over the microphone than an audio interface. But the only drawback it has is that it is not an overall-performer or a generalist like an audio interface.

A Preamp

Shure SM7B is a low output microphone. This indicates that the audio interface is not enough to get you enough gain. Thus, for achieving so, you will need a preamp. A preamp is critical for the correct functioning of Shure SM7B. 

XLR Cable

Shure SM7B has an XLR connector type. Thus, you will also need two XLR cables to attach the Shure SM7B setup with a hardware source, i.e., a PC or laptop.

Microphone Stand

What is the point of having a microphone without a stand, right? You can get a stand of your desire. For podcasters and YouTubers, we recommend getting table-mounted stands. 

Headphones

Although getting headphones is not a critical need, if you want to give the Shure SM7B setup a professional look, add headphones to your setup list. 

For an aesthetic Shure SM7B setup, follow the below-mentioned steps.

  • Connect the microphone with the arm of the stand and position it as you desire.
  • Now connect the audio interface and a preamp with your microphone (if you have them).
  • Connect XLR cables with a hardware source, i.e., a PC or a laptop.
  • Wear your headphones, and you are all good to go.

Shure SM7B setup is pretty quick, as the company claims this microphone to be a ‘Go-n-Play’ device. 

Overview

So far, my experience with the Shure S7MB Dynamic Cardioid microphone was pleasant. I found the Shure SM7B setup pretty easy and quick. The only major problem that I can find with this microphone is that it is kind of very expensive. And the additional needs for its setup further adds to the price. Otherwise, this microphone was pretty fun to use.

 

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