Shure SM57
Shure SM57

SM57, Dynamic Microphone from Shure in the SM series.

heads on fire 11/01/2011

Shure SM57 : heads on fire's user review

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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)


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.