Shure SM57
Shure SM57

Dynamic Microphone belonging to the SM57 model

User Reviews: 4.5166 Average price: $99

All user reviews for the Shure SM57

Average Score: 4.5 ( 4.5/5 based on 166 reviews )
  97 reviews 58 %
  53 reviews 32 %
  11 reviews 7 %
  2 reviews 1 %
  1 user review 1 %
Target: Beginners Value For Money: Excellent
mitchgeist 11/13/2012

mitchgeist's review "SHURE SM57 is a must have"

The SM57 is a dynamic microphone with a cardioid, directional pattern. Dynamic mics sound different than condenser mics, which are better for capturing hi and low frequencies. A dynamic mic like the SM57 does not need phantom power, which makes it more adaptable to mixers and recorders that don't have this feature. It records what it points to and rejects stuff from the side and from behind it. That makes it great for drums and good for the stage. It can also take very loud sounds without breaking up. Many drummers use it on the kick and snare drum because the sm57 can handle it, without a pad, where a condenser mic's sound would break up with distortion. Because of the tight directional pattern, it rejects bleed from other drums better than other mics.

OVERALL OPINION

There are some drawbacks to consider about the SM57. While it does not need phantom power, it does need a lot of gain at the preamp when recording softer sounds. That can bring in more noise from the preamp (the Mic itself is generally quiet). The SM57, as mentioned before, does not capture the very low or very high frequencies as well as condensers. You can use EQ to bring up these frequencies if you need to and for vocals and guitar I recommend that if its the only mic you own. If you use it outdoors on gigs make sure to bring along a windscreen.
JeffTadashi 07/02/2012

JeffTadashi's review "Universal legend"

5
The Shure SM57 is a modern classic microphone, and it is used more prominently in the studio that any other singular microphone. It is a legendary, but simple dynamic microphone, with a frequency response from 40 Hz to 15,000 Hz, cardioid pattern, 150 ohms rated impedance, and the basic 3-pin XLR connector on the base. It is unidirectional in nature, with a very small sound entrance and windscreen. It doesn’t have a particularly flat frequency response, but it sounds very musical, and it can be used in a variety of applications, including guitar amps, vocals, drums, wind instruments, stringed instruments, acoustic guitars, room ambience, and more.

What’s great about the Shure SM57 is that it is used almost universally, and it is one of the cheapest microphones you can buy. It is still a quality product from a quality microphone manufacturer (in Shure), and that makes it perfect for so many budgets and applications. However, there are many fake Shure SM57’s floating around, particularly on eBay, and if you are not careful, you will end up with a Chinese-made fake that looks just like the real mic, but sounds thin and tinny. In fact, I owned a fake SM57 for a few months, and I didn’t realize it was fake until I started testing it against another SM57: I knew the mic was sounding bad, but I assumed it was my other equipment, bad mic placement, or phase issues, because I just assumed the mic was real and it fine working condition. Do make sure you do not fall into the same trap, and buy from reputable sellers.


OVERALL OPINION

Overall, the Shure SM57 is a great mic that belongs in every studio, simply because it is so universally used. Even if you have better microphones that work better for specific situations, it’s still a good idea to keep these around, because they are always useful and every musician is familiar with them.
severinsteel 06/29/2012

severinsteel's review "A must have microphone!"

4
Dynamic cardioid microphone.

Well, this microphone needs no introduction. Chances are, most every recording studio has one and every recording studio should. The SM57 is a studio staple for guitar cabs and snare drums. It has a mid heavy but pleasing sound and handles high SPL's very well. It also has a tendency to cut through the mix and just sound good. Aside from its sonics, the SM57 is bullet proof. The joke is that you can hammer a nail with one and then use it on a session. It's a great microphone to learn on as well since it is very straightforward. No finicky polar pattern switches or anything like that.

OVERALL OPINION

Overall, I don't really have anything bad to say about this microphone. It does the job well. A lot of times, if none of your hi end stuff won't work on a track, a 57 will fit in nicely. Sure, the SM57 doesn't sound anything like a U87, but it has it's place. I'm willing to bet it is the most used microphone of all time. These days, they are made in Mexico so I don't know if the quality, but I currently have 4 of them, and they all sound good. Do yourself a favor and buy one!
stompboxjon 05/21/2012

stompboxjon's review "yes im shure..."

5
Shure SM 57 is one of the best mics on the market that are actually affordable and wont cost you an arm and a leg. Plus most all music stores even local stores (not big chain stores) carry this line of mics from Shure. The Shure SM 57 will take care of all of your needs and its one of the best all around mics you will find. Just try it on some drums, and you will be surprised by how good it actually is and for the price what more could you ask for.


OVERALL OPINION

Overall, there are a lot of mics on the market some good and some bad. But we are all on a budget and want the best we can get for our money. For the price range of this mic you wont find a better mic that cost around the same amount of money. That is the reason it is so popular, some of the more commercial studio’s still use the Shure SM 57 even though they have enough money to go with whatever mics they want. You can also use the SM 57 for live use and watch how good it sounds. The frequency response on it is second to none (for the price range). Not to mention the Shure SM 57 will last you for every! Unless you do something really horrible to it and intentionally try to break it. It can take all of the bangs from moving it around from place to place especially if you don’t have a covor or protection to put it in when traveling. This thing has been dropped numerous times and keeps working like a charm. I really love the Shure SM 57, you cant go wrong with anything from Shure, they are a company that has been around for a long time.
johnrae 05/13/2012

johnrae's review "An all time classic at a great price!"

4
The Shure SM57 is a directional cardiod dynamic microphone. It is an all around microphone, and every studio you ever visit will have one, if not twelve of these. It has been a studio staple since it's introduction. It's been used by US presidents to deliver speeches for nearly thirty years. This microphone is applicable to everything from live sound, to miking drums, to screaming vocals. The '57 can take a lot of punishment, but I would recommend it for the studio, due to it's short, grill design, which is perfect for studio use. It may not sound as good as a Condenser mic, but it's far more useful, and cheaper. Many classic recordings have been made with these. It's a dependable microphone, with a classic sound at a great price.

OVERALL OPINION

The greatest thing about this mic is it's versatility. You can use it for almost anything, with an acceptable sound. It has a good frequency response, and getting close gives it a small boost in the low end that can be used to your advantage in many situations. I love the way this mic sounds, as it is incredibly dependable and usable in practically any situation you can imagine. If you have the cash, pick up one of these, or 4. These are an industry staple for a reason, and the backbone of many great albums. These can take a lot of sonic punishment, but still inflect a quiet acoustic performance in a smaller setting. The consistency in sound is astonishing. These mics are a PERFECT first mic. The only drawback is that it does not operate on phantom power, and you must crank your preamp, which in cheaper equipment could result in some hum. However, this mic is worth every penny, and you'll always want to have one around.
AlanForPresident 05/08/2012

AlanForPresident's review "this mic is ready to go"

4
I actually purchased the Shure SM 57 mic from a local music store called KB Music a few years back. I just wanted a good quality mic that I could used with no stand or pop filter at home just to record a few light demo vocals and save them for when I was at the real studio. The shure SM 57 did just that without any problems. I probably could have got a lot better quality with it if It was stationary on a stand and had a pop filter on it. I haven’t had any “live” experiences with this mic yet and probably wont. I just did a few some demos and even played some piano chords while recording my vocals at the same time. Of course with just one mic it didn’t sound great taking in the vocals and piano but I could definitely create something and record it into cool edit pro and shoot it to my ipod so I could listen to it and see how it would sound before I invest money into real studio time.


OVERALL OPINION

One thing I love the most about the mic is how accurate it was with my voice. I did no eq to the vocals at all and the low end was pretty warm and hi’s weren’t over the top. Everything seemed to be pretty neat and clean. I have even recorder my friend who is a singer on it and it picked her high pitches up great. And keep in mind I had no stand and no pop filter on it. So it was great with just pretty raw sound. The price point of it is what makes it so great to me, to be able to invest that little money and get that quality cant be beat. But Shure’s mics are always good , I think I purchased it off the name brand alone. If it would have cost 50 dollars more I probably still would have got it over some other name brands.
crankyrayhanky 04/20/2012

crankyrayhanky's review "Super Magnificent 57"

5
This is a dynamic microphone; utilization includes live and studio settings.

OVERALL OPINION

The famous Shure 57...there is a serious love/hate on this microphone. I've been on both sides of the pendulum, so here's my experiences...
It seems that every major guitar tone in the studio and live applications use the 57. World famous mic that one has to have...and even better, it's actually affordable! After decades of using dozens of other mics, I decided to buy (2) of these mics.
First impression was awful! couldn't get a decent sound in my home recording setup...I'm not sure if my ears were used to condensers & ribbons, but this mic presented a 0/10 for me. Back into the case they went; I assumed they could be useful for live band or drum tom mics or whatever so I kept them. As time went on, every gig I played- from crappy bars to 1200 seat theater, the 57 was put right up on my amp grille. I returned to my studio to try the mics again.
This time I had quality preamps. Instead of lo/mid level pieces, i actually had a Universal Audio 6176 to plug into...with proper placement, I realized that the 57 did indeed have that familiar magic sound- a desired hi pass to eliminate the rumble, a lo pass to avoid the piercing highs, and a mid frequency that loved guitars. I was suddenly hooked! Finding the sweet spot was a chore- I don't have a separate engineer and a control booth; I have 1 large room and work the mic with my headphones blasting, searching endlessly for the sweet spot. Dead center is a horrible sound- unfortunately most live engineers stick it right there on a gig-YUCK. Right where the center meets the cone is a good spot to shoot for- too much cone is too warm, too much center is to bright, but somewhere in between lies the SPOT. Once the spot is located, I grab another 57 and put it right next to it in perfect parallel. Both mics right up as close to the grill as possible. Molting these 2 mics together yields a perfect rock/metal tone for guitarists.

Time went on and I needed to sell of my 6176...bought another, then needed to sell that too, lol. I'm now using an inexpensive GAP73 & an 11R for my mic pres- humble and inexpensive, yet more than serviceable preamps. I realized that the 57 still sounds great, but huge attention to placement is the key. It can easily turn to crap mud or piercing highs, but find the sweet spot and it is golden.

Overall- great bang for your buck! Getting a pro-proven piece of gear for under $100 is extraordinary. I didn't go much into it, but these mics can sound killer on snare top (awesome application!), snare bottom, toms, vocals, you name it, it will do the job....and it will take a beating! I love that these are so cost effective, I can leave them setup for recording and just leave them there day after day. i wouldn't dare do that with an expensive ribbon or condenser, but with the 57, I'm like set it and forget it. Once I find my sound, it stays there for months!
MatrixClaw 03/31/2012

MatrixClaw's review "The "Standard" for a Reason!"

5
Microphone Type: Dynamic
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Frequency Response: 40Hz-15kHz
Impedance: 150 ohms
Includes clip, XLR cable tie and bag.

OVERALL OPINION

I've used nearly all the studio go-to mics for guitar cabs, and I keep coming back to the SM57. The e609 sounds great for lower gain, but lacks aggressiveness for higher gain applications, the 57 does it all. The Sennheiser MD421 is a great cab mic, but is also 4 times the price - And at that price, it's certainly not $300 better. The Royer ribbons sound AMAZING, but not something I'd use as a standalone sound - Pair it with a 57 and you're golden.

These mics are the most popular dynamic mics on the planet for a reason, they can literally do anything, and sound great doing it! Guitar cabs, toms, snare, vocals - If you can put a mic in front of it, it'll probably sound pretty good with this one. It might not excel as well as other mics at certain applications, but where you'd normally use a dynamic mic, in order to find something "better" you're looking at spending MUCH more money. The 57 works amazingly well with nearly any preamp you pair it with, thus you can make great tracks on a cheap $100 interface, and in a $1 million recording studio with it.

The SM57 is a workhorse in the studio and live. Every musician should own at least one.
heads on fire 11/01/2011

heads on fire's review "Buy one."

4
Dynamic Microphone
Frequency Response - 40 to 15,000 Hz
Polar Pattern - Unidirectional (cardioid), rotationally symmetrical about microphone axis, uniform with frequency.
Sensitivity (at 1,000 Hz) Open Circuit Voltage: -56.0 dBV/Pa* (1.6 mV)
*(1 Pa = 94 dB SPL)
Impedance - Rated impedance is 150 ohms (310 ohms actual) for connection to microphone inputs rated low impedance
Polarity - Positive pressure on diaphragm produces positive voltage on pin 2 with respect to pin 3
Connector - Three-pin professional audio connector (male XLR type)
Case - Dark gray, enamel-painted, die-cast steel with a polycarbonate grille and a stainless steel screen
Net Weight (without cable) - 284 grams (10 oz)

OVERALL OPINION

This is a good mic. It does the job, sounds decent on most applications, but excels on electric guitars and snare drums. It can be decent on toms, or even kick, and some vocalists, particularly male vocalists, can sound incredible on one. Every studio on this planet has one of these mics. It's not the best mic - I can always think of a better microphone for certain applications, but this will always get the job done, and they are easy to find for very cheap. Also, they are extremely durable, and even moddable - some engineers have found a way to take the transformer out of the circuit to get the microphone to sound more like the high-dollar SM7. I've worked clubs where the singer chucked an SM57 as hard as they could at a brick wall, and the mic still worked just fine.

Bottom line - get one or two just to have, they can always find a use in a live or studio application. An Audix I5 or Heil PR30 might be a better mic, and works for similar applications, but everyone has one of these, so everyone knows what to expect of them and how to EQ them to taste. Even though there are better mics, I'd still recommend an SM57 to any musician or engineer.
Grosbourrin 10/26/2011

Grosbourrin's review " SM57, a safe bet"

5
We no longer need to describe the  SM57, a worldwide bestseller that every studio has at least one copy.

OVERALL OPINION

The SM57 microphone is extremely versatile and robust, able to withstand very high sound pressures and adapted to any type of take (guitar, bass, snare, vocals etc ...)

As effective in the studio or live, you can buy this microphone with your eyes closed!