Shure 55SH vs SM58 – Which is better?

Shure has been in the industry for a very long time. And decades after decades of success, its products have become an industry benchmark. These products not only are superior in terms of performance but durable as well.

We are going to compare the top-quality microphones 55SH and SM58 by Shure. Both these microphones have been considered to be the industry standard of their eras and these products have been in production for many decades now.

The Shure 55SH mic comes with its maximum SPL on the lower side and its frequency curve is more focused on the vocals. Whereas, SM58 can conveniently work with different types of vocal profiles and can handle mid-range frequencies pretty well.

Sound Quality

Shure 55SH

Before the time of SM58, there was 55SH. The Shure 55SH is widely known as the Elvis mic because you can see him on several occasions using this microphone.

And if something is approved by Elvis then there is nothing much left to talk about. But we are still going to review it for your proper guidance because Elvis times have significantly changed.

The vintage looks of this microphone can alone sell hundreds of these microphones. But the reason why it has been in production for so long is its long-lasting performance.

The mic comes with its maximum SPL on the lower side and its frequency curve is more focused on the vocals. But you can use this mic to record instruments pretty effectively. You just need to understand how you can use and direct this mic to focus on the sound source.

However, the mic performs at its best when it is recording vocals. The recordings always result in excellent transparency and clarity.

You will notice this mic will automatically add a lot of warmth to your recording output and it acts very much like Shure SM58. And for that reason, you can comfortably use it inside your studio or on a stage.

The 55SH also comes with an inbuilt noise reduction shock mount. With the help of these shock mounts, your mic can reduce any ambient noise significantly.

Shure SM58

The SM58 is one of the most popular microphones you will frequently see on your television in different shows.

This mic has been immensely popular and one of the reasons behind it is its performance. For a budget microphone such as the AKG P120, it produces a very refined response one can expect from mid to high-end mics.

Furthermore, it can conveniently handle those mid-range frequencies pretty well and offer plenty of clarity with different types of vocal profiles. If you record vocals frequently you will understand the importance of midrange frequencies. Vocals are all about these levels of frequencies and this mic does a great job handling them.

If you compare it with other mics in this range, you will see it comes with a swinging edge. You will get the same results no matter when or where you plug it. This mic offers low plosives, low handling of noise, low feedback, and improved feat to achieve at this price range.

Build Quality

Shure 55SH

“Retro” is the word that perfectly defines this microphone when it comes to design and overall look. This microphone resembles the visuals of a mic that Elvis used to have for singing.

Shure also understands this fact and they call this mic the Elvis Mic. Having a retro look doesn’t mean this mic feature vintage materials. The mic features a very sturdy and tough chassis that is the perfect match for an on-stage performance.

It has a true 50s style aura associated with it. But Shure has used diecast metal to construct this dynamo and has added the good old satin chrome finish. And it has proved to be timeless. If you can just add an external pop and there you have it, your pure vintage look!

The design and the heavy metal used in the construction makes this mic a bit heavier item. So it would be a better idea to use it with a stand.

Shure SM58

Whether you are a professional or a beginner, you can conveniently use this microphone as it comes at a very affordable price.

But affordability doesn’t mean you will have to compromise on quality. When you have a close look at this mic you will see it has nothing special in it. But when you consider its performance and sound quality this mic is certainly one of the top contenders for the best mic in the audio industry.

It has been delivering a top-quality performance its users expect from it. And that’s exactly why it has been running for so many years now.

It’s just a regular handheld dynamic microphone but it has been replicated repeatedly by other brands with no success at all.

Shure has used very durable die-cast materials in the construction of this mic. The chassis of this microphone is painted with enamel. And the dome mesh is made of tough metal for additional durability.

The company has gone with a very simple yet pretty effective design with the SM58. Its body is all-black and has a chrome finish on its grill. And there is just a logo on it to give the identity of the creator of this icon of a mic.

Controls

Shure 55SH

The good thing is the classic look stops right on the surface. And when you go under the hood you will see some components featuring the latest technologies. The 55SH is a pure mix of old and modern. No wonder it has been running for so many years.

The modern components that Shure has used in the construction of this mic meet the current industry standards for top-notch performance.

The company has used its special internal capsule system. And with it, there is no need to add any external shock mount. As opposed to a shock mount, this mic comes with a swivel mount that Shure has built right into the chassis.

With this design, you can comfortably tilt the mic at a 45-degree angle forwards and up to 80-degrees angle backward. With this tilting feature, you can conveniently find the best angle according to your needs and preferences.

Besides a huge sized on/off switch, the mic doesn’t feature any other switches. It means it is a design that keeps everything simple so you can focus on the vocal delivery.

This microphone comes with a cardioid pattern and comes with a maximum SPL of 94 dB. Surely, the company has made it for vocals only.

But if you can direct it properly, you can conveniently record instruments without any ambient noise. It means the recordings will be crisp and free from any background nuisance.

Shure SM58

The SM58 features an on/off switch, but there are no other controls on it. However, you need to be cautious about which one you purchase. There are some models that come without the on/off switch. This one here features the switch.

Being a basic mic, it comes with a frequency response rate ranging from 50 Hz to 15 kHz. And this clearly shows the mic is built for vocals only and has a cardioid pattern. Hence, you can conveniently use it for stage purposes.

It also comes with an inbuilt pop filter that can reduce the noise from your breath during a performance and of course, those nasty plosives as well. Apart from that, it also comes with a pneumatic shock mount by Shure.

Other Things to Consider

Price

Shure 55SH

Though most of the value comes from the aesthetics of this mic, in terms of performance, this microphone is good. It’s just a matter of what you want to achieve with it.

But considering the overall construction of this mic, while considering durability, it’s one heck of a deal. You are not only getting the looks, but the mic also performs well, and it’s a rugged piece of equipment with an affordable price tag

Shure SM58

If you are looking for a budget microphone and want to record vocals only then the SM58 is the best option for you. Being a budget-friendly mic is one of the top features of SM58.

But it still does the basics quite well. And this is the precise reason why it has been so much popular among the masses.

Size

Shure 55SH

With all that heavy metal on it, this microphone is bound to be heavy. Of course, durable materials need to be tough and with durability, you will also have to bear weight. This mic is something you cannot hold and move around the stage while performing.

This mic is designed to be used with a stand which is the best way of handling it. The dimensions of this microphone are 7.50-inch x 2.18-inch x 3.10-inch and it weighs around 2 pounds. It’s pretty bulky for a microphone.

Shure SM58

It is one of the lightest microphones available. Hence, you can conveniently use it on stage by holding it in your hand. It only weighs around a pound and its dimensions are 38.19-inch x 4.14-inch x 9.45-inch. It is pretty normal in size and your hand won’t get tired holding it for long hours.

Pros & Cons

Shure 55SH

Pros

  • A combo of classic appearance with modern components.
  • An excellent choice for recording vocals.
  • Sturdy construction.
  • Handles ambient noise pretty well.
  • Features a self-tensioning swiveling mount.

Cons

  • Requires proper directional placement for recording instruments.
  • Not the best choice for handheld use.

Shure SM58

Pros

  • An excellent option for handheld use.
  • Lightweight by robust design.
  • No complexity in using.
  • A top choice for recording vocals.
  • Budget-friendly.

Cons

  • Cannot record instruments very well.

Conclusion

If you are looking to record vocals, both 55SH and SM58 are good options. But if you want to record instruments with less ambient noise then 55SH is the best option.

However, for handheld use, you need to consider the SM58 because of its lightweight construction.

About Shawn Shepherd

Hi, I'm the owner of the Hifi Guide and have been an audio lover enthusiast for over 16 years. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sound Engineering and I work on producing content for the Hifi Guide in my spare time. My love for audio stemmed from my Dad who was an audio technician, and now I share my knowledge here on this website!

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