The Shure SM7B is one of the most sought-after microphones for serious content creators. Shroud uses it for his Twitch stream, Joe Rogan uses it for YouTube podcasts, and it often used by those who voice commentaries. It boasts an incredible warmth and presence that has become iconic for any listener.
Let’s take a look at some of the SM7B features and why the streaming community gives it such praise.
Shure SM7B Features and Overview
The Shure SM7B is a cardioid dynamic microphone. The mic is used by many of the top streamers as well by thousands of other streamers on Twitch and YouTube. It has a pop filter that eliminated many backgrounds and breathing sounds, a bass roll-off, and improved rejection of electromagnetic humming. It uses yoke mounting with a captive stand that gives you full control of how it is positioned in front of you. Some of the features include the following:
- Design and build quality
- EQ Frequencies
- 2 Windscreens
The Shure SM7B is a high-quality microphone that is used by streamers, podcasters, YouTubers, and more. There are several features that help it stand out, and I will cover each more in-depth in this post.
These features include the following:
1. Design and Build Quality
The SM7B has an all-metal construction; it’s substantial and well built; it’s pretty heavy, so if you’re planning to attach it to a boom arm, I would recommend something that can accommodate a heavier microphone. Shure has designed this Microphone to be purchased once and to be used for years. The Microphone’s design is very understated; it’s using an entirely black and grey colour scheme. Its design will fit in many different environments, whether in a live stream, podcast, recording studio, and more. You will find that viewers in live streams can immediately identify this microphone!
2. EQ Options
Shure’s SM7B has a smooth and wide-range frequency response, making it quickly integrated into professional music and speech applications. The Microphone itself has built-in stubs at the bottom, where the user can change which frequencies the Microphone will accentuate. The Microphone can boost the Mids and Highs to give your voice extra presence and make it sound clearer, it can also taper off the bass if you have a deep, or you can keep it flat to make the frequency very consistent and natural.
3. Polar Patterns
This Microphone only has a cardioid pickup pattern. A cardioid pickup pattern aims to take in sound from the front of the Microphone – and avoids any sounds behind it. This allows the Speaker to sound very clear, and it eliminates background noise. The SM7B is also a dynamic microphone, which will enable it to suppress the noise behind it even further. Make sure to talk directly into the top of the SM7B, if you’re planning on using it.
4. Power Requirements
This Microphone requires a lot of gain that most affordable audio interfaces can’t produce. Suppose you want to get the maximum out of the SM7B. In that case, it requires either a powerful Preamplifier or an Audio Interface that has quality preamps built-in that can supply enough gain to the Microphone. Without enough gain, the Microphone can’t pick up enough detail from your voice to produce that iconic warm presence sound it adds.
Shure SM7B Accessories
Here are a few of the best accessories for the Shure SM7B:
1. Boom Arm
The SM7B is quite a heavy microphone, so it needs a Boom Arm to support it. I would recommend looking at the Rode PSA1 to support heavier microphones such as the SM7B, Blue Yeti, and more. Alternatively, the Blue Compass is an excellent arm designed to support bulky microphones from Blue – as well as the SM7B. It also has a built-in cable management system to hide your XLR cable.
2. Audio Interfaces
Budget audio interfaces, such as Behringer interfaces, typically won’t have quality preamplifiers within them. As a result, you might have to invest in a better audio interface such as the GoXLR, GoXLR Mini, or a Focusrite 2i2.
These products use Midas preamplifiers that produce 70db of gain and satiate what the SM7B needs to deliver the best sound possible. The GoXLR additionally gives you the ability to change EQ preferences, and you’ll have the option of muting the Microphone which the SM7B doesn’t have a button or switch for.
Alternatively, you can purchase a preamplifier as a standalone. There are portable preamps that can be attached between the Microphone and the Audio Interface, which will boost the signal’s gain. I would recommend purchasing a Cloudlifter or a Triton Audio Fethed; these two preamps produce an extra 27db of gain while having low noise interference within the signal. There are also larger preamps with different controls for EQ built into them, so you can change how your Microphone will sound before it gets sent to your Livestream.
Purchasing the SM7B new gives you a choice of two different windscreens within the box. There’s a smaller and larger variant, I would try both of them to see which you prefer in your audio recordings. Windscreens are designed to prevent any popping sounds that may happen when you talk into the Microphone. There are also 3rd party windscreens for the SM7B, but it’s worthwhile trying the provided windscreens as they have been created specifically for the SM7B.
5. Recording Software
To manage this microphone for your voice, I recommend using a program called Audacity. This allows the SM7B to be directly recorded on your PC and you can finetune the EQ settings, change effects and record audio for any voice-overs or commentaries.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Set Up the Shure SM7B?
Setting up a Shure SM7B is a straight-forward process. After attaching the Microphone to either a boom arm or a stand, you need to connect an XLR cable from the Microphone into your audio interface. Once that’s done, connect the audio interface to the computer, typically with a USB cable provided with the interface.
Is the Shure SM7B Worth the Price?
The SM7B produces some of the best audio quality on the market, it’s got an incredible build construction, and will be viable for any content creation for years to come. I believe this microphone is worth the $400 price tag, however it’s important to consider if you can take full advantage of it. If you’re a content creator looking to produce Video Content, as well as livestreams, you’ll get a very satisfying experience from using this microphone.
Is the Shure SM7B Worth the Money?
If you’re chasing excellent audio quality for your podcasts, commentaries and other vocal applications. However, for live streaming, you can achieve similar quality audio with cheaper microphone alternatives such as the Elgato Wave 1 & 3. Despite that, the Shure SM7B has a unique sound signature, that is distinct from any other microphone on the market, and it has always been associated with quality production. If you have the disposable income to spend, try it out!
Is the Shure SM7B Good for Podcasts?
The SM7B is fantastic for podcasts. It is used by some of the most popular podcasts on the internet, such as Joe Rogan’s podcast, Impaulsive & H3H3. It’s designed to give a very warm and pleasant listening experience and has delivered that for years on end.