Shure Beta 87A
Shure Beta 87A

Shure Beta 87A : Anonymous 's user review


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To me, Shure's Beta microphones, especially the companies condensers, like this microphone I am reviewing right now, have always stood in a strange place to me. Call me a quintessential slave to marketing, but I never even thought about the Beta handheld live condensers from Shure for more than the most transient of moments, but when someone actually shoved one into my hands, it took me a bit of time for the gears in my mind to click and remember that these exist.

That sounds awful, but considering that we hear loads about the SM58 then loads about the KSM9 make all of these middle microphones a little odd to think about. At any rate:

The Shure Beta 87A is a handheld electret condenser microphone designed specifically for live vocals on a stage. The Beta 87A has a nicely chosen supercardioid pattern, so as to tighten up the pickup for "on axis" sound more than cardioid is truly capable of without causing some bizarre frequency artifacts. The 87A has a frequency response from 50Hz all the way to the 20,000 Hz that we all enjoy. It has an impressively high SPL of over 140 dB. In terms of specifications, I find that the self noise and signal to noise ratio numbers to be poor, however in live usage this should never be an issue. It is, however, important to note, because if you are looking for a microphone to use both on stage and in a studio, this is not the microphone.

In use, I have found that the Beta 87A imparts a warm tone, especially when the proximity effect is worked strategically, while the microphone retains a very pleasant sizzle. It would probably work well for loud music, but for more intimate things, there seem to be few microphones that can bridge the gap in this application between the Beta 87A and the vaunted KMS 104/105 microphones from Neumann.


The Shure Beta 87A is a fantastic live microphone that will flatter the voice in a very unique way. Give the microphone a shot before you commit, however, because there is a clearly apparent "won't work on everything" vibe the sound gives off. Make sure you listen to samples, and if possible, try them out!