Is Shure SM58 Good for Podcasting?

by | Microphones

The Shure SM58 is arguably the most famous microphone in the world today. If you’ve ever performed on stage or before a live audience, you’ve likely used it at least once.

Why is it such a popular microphone choice? For starters, Shure built it to be virtually indestructible. The stories of what people have tried to get one to stop working range from sticking it in a microwave to dropping it from a skyscraper.

If it is tough enough to withstand that kind of abuse, you know that it will add more quality to your show.

Although some podcasters started using the SM58 because they already had the equipment, this option still works for those who want speech consistency.

What Is Needed to Use the Shure SM58 for Podcasting?

The Shure SM58 is an XLR microphone. Many podcasters route this mic into a digital recorder or use a Cloudlifter to give it the gain it needs for recording an episode.

The Zoom H5 is an excellent recorder to consider if you’re just starting your podcasting journey. It takes two XLR microphones; you can increase that number with an additional capsule.

Each microphone requires an XLR cable when using the SM58. It helps to use headphones to monitor the audio as it is captured to ensure your recordings meet your expectations. If issues arise, you can discover them in real-time instead of adding more responsibilities to the post-production process.

It does better in a loud environment while operating at a high volume. As you get closer, the lower frequencies in your voice become more prominent. You can focus on warmth or clarity to create a signature sound for your podcast.

What to Expect from the Shure SM58 Microphone

shure sm58 1

A B/W image of a man singing into a Shure SM58 microphone. Image Source.

Since the SM58 is a dynamic microphone, you’ll have more forgiveness for audio recorded outside a controlled setting. It doesn’t give you the same nuance as a condenser.

That means you can walk around to conduct interviews, record outside, or chat with someone in a noisy environment. You’ll still capture the audio. Condenser mics do better when your episodes get recorded in controlled indoor settings.

You’ll notice a brighter midrange with this Shure mic than you get with other brands. It also provides a nice roll-off on the lower end, delivering a crisp vocal that works well for podcasting.

The SM58 uses a cardioid polar pattern. That lets it reject sound from the sides and the back, allowing the focus to be on the source.

If your current setup has a bit of a hum, or you can hear that loud rumble when changing hands, the SM58 eliminates those issues.

Here is a closer look at the microphone’s specs.

Frequency Response:  50 Hz to 15 kHz
Sensitivity:  -57.5 dBV/PA at 1 kHz
Impedance:  150 Ohms
Transducer:  Dynamic
Color:  Gray
Capsule Orientation:  Top with End Address
Onboard Control Options:  None Available
Weight:  0.82 pounds (371g)


Related: SM7B vs SM58

What Is the Benefit of Using the Shure SM58?

When you record on location or with a mobile mount, handling noises can get into the audio mix with each touch of the microphone. Imagine that you need to shift positions while recording, so you move the mic to match your new position. As you move, wind and jostling noises enter the mix.

Since it delivers such a directional result, you can have confidence in the speech quality the SM58 provides.

The SM58 excludes handling noise and most plosives with ease. Its head works a lot like a built-in pop filter. It won’t catch everything, especially if you speak close to the microphone, but that could be said of any mic with a similar design.

When Does It Make Sense to Use the Shure SM58 for Podcasting?

If your podcasting style typically happens in front of a computer, it might be easier to use a USB microphone. You’ll get a high-quality result without needing to deal with the external XLR factors for your setup.

Those conducting online interviews or recording alone would also benefit from a USB mic.

When your recording habits take you to different locations, it can be helpful to have the Shure SM58 along for the ride. Its durability ensures that even a harsh or careless moment won’t disrupt your plans.

Shure provides several versions of the SM58 to meet almost any need. You can get a wired option, one that works with an XLR cable, wireless, or an XLR to USB converter. That means this microphone fits in with your current setup.

That means any podcasting setup can benefit from the Shure SM58.

Related: How to Record a Podcast With Two Mics (and a DAW)

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