Focus on the Shure SM7B, the star of the radio and podcast microphone

It has been present in most radio studios for decades, Michael Jackson recorded the album Thriller with it. And today podcast recorders and streamers are fans of it despite its price (about 400 $). The Shure SM7 has been around since 1976, and versions 7A (1999) and 7B (2001) have only slightly changed the already excellent and successful formula.

What are the reasons for such a success?

There are a lot of them and we have found a few. But first of all, there is the “reference” effect which means that today many broadcasters/podcasters don’t really ask themselves any more questions and naturally go for this microphone.

One of the major advantages of this microphone is its design: black aluminum and a simple, simple shape. Not even a connector spoils the aesthetics, the latter is attached to the microphone mount, which is a very ingenious placement to get rid of the annoyances that can be caused by a somewhat temperamental XLR cable.

This one-piece aluminum design also has the advantage of being resistant to interference (thanks to the Faraday cage principle). So there’s no risk even if a cell phone is nearby.

The Shure SM7B is very practical in the studio because it is easily adjustable, making it more than comfortable for the presenter. A built-in clip makes it easy to adjust from right to left and up and down without having to touch a screw or the microphone stem.

But beyond these purely practical details, let’s talk about the main thing: the sound quality! The raw sound of the SM7B is particularly realistic but also rather warm, which is particularly suitable for podcasts and radio shows. This microphone produces a sound with quite a bit of bass, which is rather bleak while remaining detailed. With a frequency response of 50Hz to 20kHz – which is quite impressive for a dynamic microphone – the SM7B picks up almost the entire human audible spectrum. Even the lowest voices will have no problem with this microphone.

Behind the microphone, there are two switches that can be particularly useful. The first one allows you to filter out unwanted noise, the second one allows you to add presence to your voice. Beware, this is perhaps its only flaw (and yet…), the output level of this microphone is particularly low, so you need to be able to add a lot of gains.

But if your budget allows it, don’t hesitate to invest in the world reference of radio and podcast microphones!

Technical specifications

  • Microphone Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz-20kHz
  • Output Impedance: 150 ohms
  • Low Cut Filter: Bass Roll off
  • Color: Black
  • Connector: XLR
  • Weight: 1.69 lbs.
  • Included Accessories: Windscreen
  • Manufacturer Part Num ber: SM7B
  • Microphone dimensions: Ø 63.5 mm – L 190 mm; articulated clamp: 96 mm – 117 mm
  • Weight : 765 g
  • Price : 399 $