Shure microphones have a wonderful reputation in the recording industry as some of the best, most reliable, and most affordable mics around.
Shure started as a one-man radio company back in 1925, and by the early 1930s were one of only a handful of microphone manufacturers in the United States. Very interestingly, by the next decade, Shure was one of the leading suppliers of mics and headphones to the U.S. Army and Navy during World War II.
In 1951, they introduced the Unidyne 55 — the vocal mic of choice for Elvis Presley, Billie Holiday, and Frank Sinatra. By 1965, Shure had developed the famed SM57 dynamic microphone, seen on presidential podiums, and on live stages and in studios around the world.
They had another hit in 1973 with the SM7 vocal/broadcast mic — an instant classic in radio and TV stations then, and the top choice for podcast studios and live streamers today. It achieved mythical status after Bruce Swedien recorded most of Michael Jackson’s vocals with it on Thriller.
Shure microphones are a permanent fixture in studios and on stage. For decades, the company has offered industry-leading quality at prices anyone can afford.
The 6 Best Shure Microphones for Your Home Studio
It wouldn’t be a complete mic locker without a good selection of Shures at your disposal. Most, if not all, of these mics are probably familiar; we’ve chosen a mixed group for a variety of possible applications.
1. Shure SM57 (Most Versatile & Budget Friendly)
If you don’t own any other Shure microphone, you should at least have a pair of 57s. These things are not only inexpensive, but they sound great and they’ll last a lifetime.
SM57s are probably one of the most versatile cardioid dynamic mics around, though they’re best known for recording guitar amps and parts of the drum kit — usually snare. Of course, you can point these at just about anything and get a workable recording at worst, so there’s no sense in not having a couple of these.
2. Shure Beta 52A (Best Kick/Bass Dynamic Mic)
The Beta 52 is a supercardioid dynamic Shure microphone designed for kick drum and bass. It captures low-end down to 20 Hz, and caps the top-end out at 10 kHz. As is the case with all Shure microphones, the 52 is durable enough for live sound and hi-fi enough for the studio. This purpose-specific mic may not be the most versatile for the average home studio, but it’s worth knowing about.
3. Shure SM7B (Best Vocal/Broadcast Dynamic Mic)
The SM7B is universally recognized as an industry-standard broadcast mic, found in radio stations, podcast studios, live streaming rigs, voiceover booths, and in any situation that calls for high-quality vocal capture. It’s incredible for sung vocals as well, favored by contemporary pop artist Charlie Puth and the legend Michael Jackson. The SM7B also makes a great mic for aggressive styles like metal and rap.
- SEE ALSO: Shure SM7B Review
4. Shure SM81 (Best Small Diaphragm Condenser)
Shure’s SM81 is an industry favorite on acoustic guitar. This small diaphragm cardioid condenser is easy to point and shoot with fantastic results. The three-position HPF lets you roll off low-end if necessary, and the -10 dB pad is there for louder sources. The SM81 is stellar on acoustic strings like violin and banjo, and even makes a pretty good drum overhead.
5. Shure KSM44A (Best High-End Condenser Mic)
Every home studio needs a nice large diaphragm condenser. Shure’s KSM44A fills that role as a high-quality, multi-pattern mic. And while the price can be considered “high-end” by Shure standards, compared to the rest of the mic industry, it’s still very affordable in cost-to-quality terms. Polar patterns include cardioid, omni, and figure 8.
6. Shure SM58 (Best Live Vocal Dynamic Mic)
You’ve seen this Shure microphone you’ve ever been to a concert, watched a concert on YouTube, watched anyone address a live audience, been to a karaoke bar — you get the picture. This is without a doubt the most-used dynamic microphone for on-stage vocals. These things are among the most consistent and reliable mics out there; the 58 is basically just a 57 with a built-in metal pop filter. Just get one!
- SEE ALSO: Sennheiser e835 vs. Shure SM58