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Highend Recording Advice

Shure SM57 Review

If there’s one mic that 99% of studios around the world own, it’s the Shure SM57.Why you ask? Quite frankly, it does everything and anything when it comes to recording and is incredibly cheap (when compared to high end condensers which can run into the thousands) and can generally be picked up for between £65-£80 (~$99 or ~ 95), check out the links below (with the flags) to find the best deal in your country.

The Shure SM57 really is the workhorse of professional studios around the world. It’s versatility and durability means that you’ll struggle to find a good studio who don’t have at least one of these knocking around the place. You can use it for vocals, mic’ing guitar cabs, drums, acoustic guitar and almost anything else you can think of. It really excels when used with loud sound sources (such as drums & guitar) and you might be surprised how many records this debuts on (literally thousands).

If you’re just starting out recording and you can only afford one mic, this is a definite contender, there aren’t many mics as well regarded and you know that you won’t ever need to “upgrade” this microphone because there’s always space for an SM57 in the mic locker.

If you’d like to support this site, please click on one of the flags below to purchase this microphone. Please note that UK users may wish to purchase from the european retailer (Thomann), we’ve used them a number of times and have had some excellent service.

Want to purchase this mic and support this site? Click on one of the flags to buy from these stores.


Q. What can I use this microphone for?
A. Almost anything (recording related). It works great as a close mic for guitar cabs or drums, but can also be used for vocals.

Q. Can I use this as a room mic (condenser)?
A. No. You could try, but it won’t do a great job.

Q. Does this mic need phantom power?
A. No. It’s a dynamic mic and does not require phantom power. Check out our Recording FAQ for a break down on common terms.

Q. Is it really worth having one of these mics?
A. Absolutely!! This mic represents tremendous value for money, it’s used on professional recordings all the time and there aren’t many mics that can do that for the small amount of money this mic costs. Seriously, don’t waste your time with lesser mics, you NEED this mic today!!

Q. What are the alternatives?
A. There isn’t a mic on the market that covers all the bases like the SM57, there are some that may come close, but they cost the same and aren’t as good. If you’re thinking it’s too expensive, save up for it. Seriously if you’re recording heavy guitars or drums, you NEED this mic.

The Shure SM57 isn’t a product that is meant to be pretty, or rely on a brand name. It’s a genuinely fantastic mic that has never been surpassed for value for money. If I could only ever have one mic, this would be the one I would choose.

Summary: The only mic everyone needs…

Reviewed by: High End Recording on  2009