Shure SM57 Vs SM58 Review – Updated 2020 – How They Compare?

Shure is a well-known brand manufacturing headphones, microphones, and an extensive range of audio equipment.

Shure SM57 and SM58 are two of the most popular microphones found on studios and stages across the world.

They are both cardioid dynamic mics designed to be rugged and moisture resistant.

Both these Shure microphones feature a solid build that you can rely on to perform night after night.

But what makes them different?

Today, we review Shure SM57 and SM58 and compare them considering the similarities and differences in terms of various aspects.  

Shure SM57 Vs SM58 Review: 
How Do They Compare?

Shure SM57 Vs SM58 Review - How Do They Compare

Shure SM57 and SM58 are both based on the same design of cartridge.

However, SM57 is mainly aimed at picking up instruments while SM58 is largely used for vocal applications.

Shure SM-57
Shure SM-57 Cardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone
Shure SM58
Shure SM58 Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone with Pneumatic Shock Mount, Spherical Mesh Grille with Built-in Pop Filter, A25D Mic Clip, Storage Bag, 3-pin XLR Connector, No Cable Included (SM58-LC)
Shure SM-57
Shure SM-57 Cardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone
Shure SM58
Shure SM58 Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone with Pneumatic Shock Mount, Spherical Mesh Grille with Built-in Pop Filter, A25D Mic Clip, Storage Bag, 3-pin XLR Connector, No Cable Included (SM58-LC)


Polar Pattern  

Both SM57 and SM58 are unidirectional mics that pick up sound with a high gain from one direction and are used in applications where the sound target is in front of the microphone.

This type of polar pattern makes these microphones excellent for recording.


The SM57 and SM58 both come with the same set of accessories to get you started.

You get a storage bag and a swivel stand adaptor with these mics so that you can begin recording as soon as you receive them.


No matter which of the two you choose, they come at similar price points.

Both the mics offer the basic version at an affordable price which is a great value for money considering the audio quality delivered.



The SM57 has a smaller grille size because it is quite suitable for instrument equipment and plosives are not a big issue.

It uses a grille assembly built into the cartridge.

On the other hand, the SM58 uses a ball grille with a pop filter to eliminate plosives as it is mainly designed for vocal applications.

The shorter distance between the diaphragm and grille in SM57 enables higher proximity effect and produces a little higher output.


While the SM57 is designed to work through a wired connection, SM58 can operate with or without a cord.

You can get additional components to use this microphone wirelessly.

This means you would need SM58 if you want to move freely during a live performance, speech, or recording.  

SM57 Vs SM58 Vocals – A Complete Guide

SM57 For Live Vocals – What You Should Know

While both these microphones are excellent dynamic vocal equipment with a wide range of features, there are some differences when it comes to using them to their optimum caliber.

Shure SM57 – Recording Studio Standard

The SM57 is designed to perform as an instrument mic and is generally suitable for precise reproduction of musical instruments like trumpets, guitars, drums, saxophones, and acoustics.

While it can be certainly used as a vocal microphone, it is great for recording instruments.

The contoured frequency response and its power to deal with high sound pressure levels deliver the best audio quality while recording high-output sources like drums and guitar amps.

Shure SM58 – The Stage Companion

Famous as a go-to live vocal microphone, Shure SM58 has a design focused on capturing quality vocals.

Its spherical filter minimizes vocal pops and wind noise while the cardioid pattern eliminates background noises.

This mic is popularly used for live performances in concerts and studios.

It is built to handle voice with clarity and boosting performance.

It is commonly used by pop stars, performers, comedians, and professionals who speak in front of a huge audience.

SM57 For Live Vocals – What You Should Know?

SM57 Vs SM58 Vocals

The Shure SM57 is a dynamic microphone which means it is highly versatile and can be used for a variety of applications.

Its dynamic cardioid design ensures it picks up the sounds which are close to it and discards unwanted external noise.

It focuses on what is in front, grabs both low and high frequencies, and hands high sound pressure levels.

This microphone also has a high gain before feedback feature that makes it suitable for stage use.

This function gives out a high volume without producing any pesky noise.

SM57 has been used for vocals all the time and its enhanced proximity effect is responsible for the application.

The proximity effect can be achieved through close positioning, making this mic great for vocal applications.

While SM57 can be used for stage or studio performance, it would require getting an extra pop filter because it does not come with an inbuilt pop filter which can reduce undesirable pop noises picked up by the mic.

Moreover, SM57 operates with a wired connection and is not mobile.

So if you are using it for live vocals, it can disturb your performance quality and experience.  

SM57 Vs SM58 For Podcasting – Which Is Better?

SM57 Vs SM58 For Podcasting – Which Is Better

Both SM57 and SM58 are versatile microphones, built to be tough and found on stages.

But which of the two is better for podcasting?

Both these mics are dynamic and pick up sounds that are near them.

Using this type of mic can help minimize the unwanted sounds making their way into the recordings.

Shure SM57 is a durable and tough microphone that suits podcasters who want to record a lot on location.

If you are traveling to events and conferences and add this mic to your audio equipment toolkit, you don’t have to worry that it will get damaged or broken.

However, it is desirable to have some pop shield on the setup to record flawless podcasts.

Shure SM58 comes with a round pop-shield style head while SM57 does not have this type of design.

If you record a podcast in a studio and can add an external pop shield, SM57 would pick up sounds just like SM58.

However, Shure SM58 would be the perfect outdoor microphone where it is impractical to get a pop shield.

Thus, if you already have a Shure SM57 or find a cheap deal, you can use it to record your podcast but remember to add a pop shield.

However, if you are buying a new one, you should go for Shure SM58 because it is perfect for recording vocals and speech.

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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