Dynamic microphones are an essential part of stage performances. The right mics will make all the difference in clarity and power of sound. Let’s take a look at these two models from Shure to see which one is the best for your needs.
Shure BETA 57A Supercardioid Dynamic Microhone with High Output Neodymium Element for Vocal/Instrument Applications
The Shure Beta 57A is a great all-around microphone for both vocalists as well as instruments like drums, horns, woodwinds, and guitars. It puts out bright high tones and solid low tones, so it’s a very versatile microphone.
It has a supercardioid polar pickup pattern that focuses on your voice or instrument and ignores noise at your sides. It also has a hardened steel grillee that lets you make good use of proximity effect to add warmth and boom to your presence without suffering feedback.
The metal grillee on the Beta 57A is more rugged than the grillee on the Shure SM57n described below. It resists denting and wear, which is important when you’re on the road.
Since it has a neodymium magnet, you’ll find that the Beta 57A has a higher output level with good signal-to-noise ratio. The capsule has a pneumatic shock mount system that cuts down handling noise to a minimum, even less than the SM57 can manage.
More features of the Shure Beta 57A Dynamic Microphone:
- Dynamic moving coil
- Frequency response 50-16,000Hz
- Impedance rated at 150 ohms
- Uses male XLR connector
- Made from enamel-painted die-cast steel
Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone Bundle with Boom Stand, XLR Cable, and Windscreen
The Shure SM57 is a classic dynamic microphone that has recorded probably most of the music you’ve ever heard. It appears on stage and in studios all over the world supporting everything from vocals to drums and guitars. It’s all-purpose utility mic that makes just about everything sound good.
The SM57 has a characteristic sound that Shure describes as a “carefully contoured presence rise.” That means it gives a boost to midrange tones. It also has a clean sound although it’s not as great at eliminating handling noise as the Shure Beta 57A described above. Some of that can be reduced by mounting it on the included boom stand and using the wind screen if it’s breezy on an outdoor stage.
On the other hand, if you want to make use of proximity effect to add boom, the protective grille lets you get very close to the mic. Its cardioid pickup pattern focuses on the vocalist or the instrument and ignores noise to the sides and rear. That makes it especially good to use for live performances. If you use it in the studio, it’s handy for recording woodwinds, drums, and strings like guitar. A studio environment lowers the amount of handling noise.
More features of the Shure SM57 Dynamic Instrument Microphone Bundle:
- Comes with boom stand, XLR cable, and wind screen
- Male XLR connector
- Impedance 150 ohms
- Frequency response 40 to 15,000Hz
- Made from enamel-painted die-cast steel and polycarbonate grille
When you want to choose between these two Shure microphones, here are the facts to consider. Both are good for vocals or recording instruments, but there are some differences that may sway you. It’s also best to try out both mics if you can before purchasing.
The SM57 has a cardioid polar pickup while the Beta 57A has a supercardioid pattern, so while the SM57 could be shared between two vocalists, the Beta 57A wouldn’t work as well. It’s a lead singer mic.
The Beta 57A has a rugged, nearly undentable grille and very low handling noise, so it may be just want you need for a vocalist on stage as long they keep it close. It also has an extended frequency response compared to the SM57. Get the Beta 57A if you want a tough and powerful stage mic for vocalists.
The SM57 may be better suited for recording instruments as this has been its most popular use over the years. Consider getting the SM57 if you plan to use your microphone primarily for guitars, woodwinds, or drums.