Shure Beta 57A Review (2020)

The Beta 57A, an upgrade from the Beta 52a seems pretty similar to the legendary Shure SM57 and Beta 57 by name. But there are clear differences in performance, feel, and overall output. The Beta 57A doesn’t come with a humbucking coil but it features an output transformer.

The Beta 57A is a super-cardioid dynamic mic. It is precision-engineered by Shure to deliver a professional sound in live performance or studio recording. This mic delivers high gain right before feedback and offers maximum isolation from the surrounding sound sources and ensures maximum tone coloration off-axis.

But does it achieve what it claims, we are going to find everything about it in this in-depth review.

Sound Quality

This mic features a tight super-cardioid polar pattern with high gain straight from the feedback and presents high isolation of the central sound from the other sound sources. The Beta 57A also ensures minimum tone coloration off-axis.

Frequency response

This microphone features a bespoke response of frequency associated with different instruments. These include guitars, vocals, drums, and horns with a sound that is of studio quality.

It can manage a frequency response that ranges from 50 Hz to 16,000 Hz and is a top choice for a bass amp, guitar amp, bass, acoustic guitar, and saxophone. This mic can also serve well for congas, snare drums, floor and rack toms, lead vocals, and woodwinds.

This mic is all about brighter highs and handles low frequencies pretty well. The company claims that the mic has a very bespoke frequency response as you use it to record a range of different instruments.

If you are looking to get some more bling out of your vocals, this mic is the right option for you.

Live sound performance

There is no doubt this mic is designed to deliver a top-quality performance when it comes to a live stage performance. It’s not all out of the sleek details associated with structural details. But the mic allows you to wrap your hands comfortably around it and handles those booming lows pretty well which normally isn’t the case with other mics.

It can handle vibrations and mechanical noises pretty well with its shock mount system. Therefore, you hear your instruments more than anything else, the mic just excludes any unwanted noise from your recording. And whether you are on stage or off it, the mic continues to perform as you want it too.

Handling noise

This microphone is designed to handle noise pretty well as it comes with a pneumatic shock mounting system. This system is extremely effective in reducing noise and keeping the sound from your instrument as clear as you want it to be.

You also won’t have to deal with any vibrations either. Therefore, you can manage a pretty good input through your mic. The pneumatic system that is present in the more recent version; Beta 57A, is a lot more advanced.

Build Quality

This mic features a hardened steel grille mesh that ensures a facilitated use of any proximity effects and can resist abuse and wear. The microphone’s construction also features a neodymium magnet and guarantees maximum signal-to-noise ratio output.

The Shure 57A Beta also comes with an upgraded pneumatic shock mounted system. And is extremely effective in reducing vibration and mechanical noise.

This mic comes with a full protective grill and if you compare it with the SM57, you will notice there is no full-on grill there. Therefore, you can always get the best performance out of the Beta 57A. As you can place it closer to the instrument and the mic will handle the proximity effect pretty well.

The 57A Beta comes with a full-on grill that will keep the mic safe from any external damage and resistant to wear. But it still does a fine job in handling the proximity effect. In terms of durability, the Beta 57A outperforms the SM57. It is designed to take some toll and it is pretty difficult to dent because of its tougher construction.

Controls

The best part about this microphone is it doesn’t feature any controls on the mic’s body. And you also won’t have to handle any wires for connecting it with various systems.

It connects wirelessly and only features a light that shows the mic is in operation. Apart from that, there are no controls to alter their configurations or settings.

This microphone is best suited if you are looking to mic up any acoustic instruments. These include saxophone, acoustic guitars, guitar amps, snare drum, or brass. And you can use it either in the studio or on the stage comfortably. The simplicity of controlling and using this mic for various purposes is one of the biggest advantages this mic has to offer.

Polar Patterns

Super-cardioid

The 57A Beta is a super-cardioid microphone that is going to be a lot more effective in terms of canceling any sounds or noise from its sides, similar to the Shure Super 55.

Therefore, this mic will be a lot more effective in eradicating any feedback from the sides and you will need to set up the band in a linear formation.

The only feedback you will get from the mic will be directional. You will have to position your 57A Beta very precisely and close to the instrument or sound source.

Super cardioid mics are best for either in-studio or on-stage recordings and they work well with both vocals as well as instruments. Such microphones are pretty versatile in handling high as well as low frequencies giving you plenty of room to produce the best results from your recordings.

But if you are looking to get the best performance out of your super-cardioid mic, you will have to closely monitor its directional recording ability. Your sound source needs to be directly in line with this mic if you don’t want to record any feedback from the surroundings.

But you can place it close to your sound source and with the pneumatic mount system. The mic will cancel any mechanical noise or vibrations. Therefore, it is one of the sane choices you can make for recording acoustics or vocals without any feedback.

It has a decent-sized diaphragm that can take high sounds as well as low sounds. But with the mounting system, it won’t record all the unwanted sounds either. It is one of the huge benefits of this microphone and that is why it is a great option for recording a range of different sound sources.

Output

The 57A Beta comes with a neodynamic magnet that can boost the level of output significantly. As a result, your recording will feature a lot better signal-to-noise ratio right from the desk. And you don’t need to go for any enhancements or adjustments either. Of course, if you are looking to plug it straight into the computer you will have an interface for that.

Shure Beta 57A Pros and Cons

Pros

  • This microphone is all about a bespoke frequency response for a variety of instruments. These include vocals, horns, guitars, drums and the mic ensure high-quality studio sound.
  • This microphone comes with a uniform super-cardioid pattern. And ensures a high level of gain right ahead of the feedback. It also ensures superior rejection of any sound from the off-axis.
  • The mic features a high-quality mesh grille made of steel and ensures the durability and resilience of this device. The grills also ensure proper use of the proximity effect.
  • It also comes with a pneumatic shock mounting system that reduces aunty transmission of mechanical vibration or sounds.
  • Its frequency response ranges from 50 Hz to 16 kHz.

Cons

  • It is less sensitive to picking up low-frequency noises.
  • You have to be precise with your mic placement close to your sound source with this microphone. 

Conclusion

It is a premium quality microphone that is best for music creation at a professional level. If you are looking to enhance your acoustics and associated instruments well you need to go with this microphone. It will allow you to improve the sound of your instruments including brass, snare drum, acoustic guitar, saxophone, and guitar amps.

And if you are a vocal artist, you can conveniently use this mic for best results. This microphone is all about quality performance and ruggedness and it’s a top choice for in-studio and on-stage performance.

One of the top features of this mic is that it comes with tailored responses for different frequencies. It means the mic will provide you with presence and warmth. It will also maintain a true super-cardioid pattern throughout the total range of frequency.

Hence, you will get better gain before feedback and maximum isolation of your sound source from the other sounds on the stage. And you won’t have to deal with high tone coloration off-axis because it fends off sounds from its sides.

The mic also comes with a neodynamic magnet that can handle an effective signal-to-noise ratio as well. And if you are looking for a quality mic that can stand the test of time, this is the best option for you to consider. It is the finest mic for both in-studio and on-stage recording of vocals and acoustic instruments.

You may also be interested in our Shure SM81 review, which is a great microphone for recording a wide variety of instruments.

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!

Want a chance to enter our monthly giveaway?Sign up below!

Win anything from speakers, headphones and soundbars, no catch!