Imagine you are at a live concert event and as the excitement builds, a person approaches a microphone on stage…”tap,tap,tap…Is this on?” and the crowd goes wild in anticipation of what will happen next. Can you guess how many times that microphone has been tapped? How many more times it will be tapped? More than likely that microphone is a Shure SM58.
Created by Shure in 1966, the Shure SM58 vocal microphone has been a necessity for live sound applications all over the world even through today. On their website, Shure claims that the SM58 is the “most popular microphone in the world.” Used by almost every singer at one time or another, that is a title that has been tested and tried since 1966.
One of the main reasons that Shure is able to boast about the SM58 is the durability of the product. In my experience, the microphone can be dropped, stepped on, wires loose, and even wet and it still bounces back. Even when there are repairs that need to be made, Shure has a reputation for being reasonable in their repair costs and offer a quick turnaround time. They stand behind their product and they have made little changes to the microphone over the years. In a live sound setting, the microphone works with any voice range and can be EQ’d fairly easily with very little feedback problems. According to Shure’s own website, it is tuned to accentuate the warmth and clarity of lead and backing vocals. Even in extreme conditions, the SM58 is tailored to target the main sound source while minimizing background noise.
Another reason to use the 58 is because of its fantastic price tag. In the last ten years the price tag has stayed pretty much around $99. In addition to this, Shure has offered some recent options you can add to your purchase like an on and off switch, a USB adapter, or a cable. The quality you receive for the price tag is virtually unbeatable. On a recent Prosoundweb forum, a longtime SM58 user responded to the question, “Why do you use the Shure SM58?” He replied, ”There are something like 83 thousand bazillion of them out there and all but 3 of them still work, no one looks at a 58 and says "What mic is that, is it any good?", they don't cost much, and they say Shure on them.” If you are searching for that perfect microphone for a live sound application, you don’t have to look any further, the Shure SM58 is an industry standard.
Our authors are technicians who have had dozens of years of experience in the A/V industry. Click HERE to submit a question.