It’s a popular microphone, no doubt, and it’s a brand that you’ve probably already heard somewhere on the internet. However, does it actually live up to its hype? There’s also no denying that it’s quite pricey compared to other USB or XLR mic, so another question has to be asked: is Shure SM7B worth for its price?
In this post, we will cover the merits of using Shure SM7B for streaming. Let’s take a look at some of the SM7B features, why the streaming community gives it such praise, and answer the question if it’s a noteworthy investment. Let’s start.
Is the Shure SM7B Good for Streaming on Twitch?
As one of the most popular microphones among streamers, Shure SM7B is obviously an excellent choice for broadcasting games on Twitch.
It boasts an incredible warmth and presence that has become iconic for any listener. The Shure SM7B is a dynamic microphone designed to focus only on the speaker, with a cardioid polar pattern to eliminate unnecessary background noise. As such, it’s certainly a top-notch XLR microphone that can professionally record human voice.
Because of its popularity, many streamers–beginners and veterans alike–also opted to use Shure SM7B for streaming. It’s trusted and talked about by many people, so others chose to use it as well.
Another obvious reason is that the Shure SM7B can be used for other content creation purposes such as YouTube vlogs, commentaries, and podcasting. It’s a great microphone to use all around, so it’s certainly worth for its price if you’re the type to dabble in multiple creative projects.
Finally, the sound quality of Shure SM7B is undeniably good, which is probably the main reason it became an audio icon for streamers and podcasters.
But because it’s also quite expensive, some people think twice before buying it, which is totally understandable. You will also need to invest in other accessories that go with Shure SM7B for the best sound quality possible, including an extra audio interface, a boom stand, and an inline preamp. You can buy it with a Rode PSA1 for the boom arm and a GoXLR for audio interface to adjust settings like mic gain. Since it doesn’t have a USB connection, you will also have to get an XLR cable for it. You won’t need a shock mount for this one, though.
Therefore, for beginners, it might be better to look into other, more affordable options first before upgrading to the Shure SM7B. The more budget-friendly Shure MV7 has both USB and XLR cables as connection options, so that will save you time in setting up the microphone as well as money for buying additional accessories the SM7B needs.
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 as by thousands of other streamers on Twitch and YouTube. It has a pop filter that eliminates many backgrounds and breathing sounds, a bass roll-off, and an 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 with 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, and 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 to be used for years.
The microphone’s design is very understated; it uses an entirely black and grey color 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, quickly integrating it into professional music and speech applications. The microphone has built-in stubs at the bottom, where the user can change which frequencies the mic will accentuate. The mic can boost the mids and highs to give your extra voice presence and make it sound clearer. It can also taper off the bass if you have a deep voice, or you can keep it flat to make the frequency very consistent and natural.
3. Polar Patterns
This microphone 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 makes the speaker sound very clear, eliminating background noise. The SM7B is also a dynamic microphone, enabling 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 with quality preamps built-in that can supply enough gain to the microphone. Without enough gain, the microphone can’t pick up sufficient 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 allows you 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. Portable preamps can be attached between the microphone and the audio interface, boosting the signal’s gain. I 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, so you can change how your microphone will sound before it gets sent to your live stream.
Purchasing the new SM7B allows you to choose two different windscreens within the box. There’s a smaller and larger variant, so I recommend trying both of them to see which you prefer in your audio recordings. Windscreens are designed to prevent any popping sounds from happening 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 straightforward process. After attaching the microphone to either a boom arm or a stand, you need to connect an XLR cable from the microphone to 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. 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 and live streams, 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, then Shure SM7B is absolutely worth the money. 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 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.
For beginners, it’s usually recommended to try an affordable solution first before going for pricey albeit high-quality equipment like the Shure SM7B. However, if upgrading your streaming setup has been your plan, then Shure SM7B is worth the consideration, despite the high price point. If you’re serious into content creation and can see yourself doing it for years to come, investing in a top-quality microphone like Shure SM7B is a great decision.