Shure SM48 vs SM58 – Which is Best for Vocals?

In this post today we are going to review Shure SM48 vs SM58 and help you decide which is your go-to mic for vocals.

Last update on 2019-11-10 / Affiliate links / Updated prices and images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Shure is a popular manufacturer of quality microphones and exquisite audio products. Part of its collection is the SM microphone range which is made up of rugged, industry-standard mics.

The SM48 is a dynamic vocal mic that provides a bright midrange and unmatched bass roll-off. It's popularly used to accentuate vocals and performs perfectly for spoken word, BGVs and lead vocal applications.

The SM58 is also a dynamic microphone that's commonly used for live performances. This mic is used by presidents, popstars, popes and a wide range of performers. It's relatively pricier than the SM48 but comes with more engineering perks.

The SM58 handles your voice with immense care and clarity, helping to reproduce your distinct voice accurately. In addition, this mic keeps your sound vibration-free by absorbing shakes and rattles efficiently.

Shure SM48-LC Vocal Dynamic Microphone, Cardioid
Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone - Black
Shure SM48-LC Vocal Dynamic Microphone, Cardioid
Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone - Black
393 Reviews
898 Reviews
Frequency Response
55 Hz – 14,000 Hz
50 Hz – 15,000 Hz
Filters
Comes with in-built wind and pop filter
Comes with in-built wind and pop filter
Polar Pattern
Cardioid
Cardioid
Shock Mount System Provided
Sensitivity
-57.5 dB/Pa (1.3 mV)
-54.5 dB/Pa (1.85 mV)
Rated Impedance
150Ω
150Ω
Shure SM48-LC Vocal Dynamic Microphone, Cardioid
Shure SM48-LC Vocal Dynamic Microphone, Cardioid
393 Reviews
Frequency Response
55 Hz – 14,000 Hz
Filters
Comes with in-built wind and pop filter
Polar Pattern
Cardioid
Shock Mount System Provided
Sensitivity
-57.5 dB/Pa (1.3 mV)
Rated Impedance
150Ω
Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone - Black
Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone - Black
898 Reviews
Frequency Response
50 Hz – 15,000 Hz
Filters
Comes with in-built wind and pop filter
Polar Pattern
Cardioid
Shock Mount System Provided
Sensitivity
-54.5 dB/Pa (1.85 mV)
Rated Impedance
150Ω

Last update on 2019-11-10 / Affiliate links / Updated prices and images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Shure SM48 vs SM58: Let's clear the smoke

Build and design

Shure SM48

Both the SM48 and SM58 microphones have rugged construction and durable design. The body is constructed using hard plastic and a steel mesh grille that withstands rough handling.

The Shure SM48 comes in two varieties: one with an ON/OFF switch and another without. The same case applies to the Shure SM58-LC.

Shure SM58

When comparing the Shure SM57 vs 58, you'll notice more outstanding differences. For instance, the SM57 is mainly used for instrument reproduction whereas the SM58 is best suited for vocal applications.

However, the SM58 vs SM48 have fewer, more subtle differences. The main disparity between the two mics is their cartridges. The two microphones use different cartridges that have dissimilar axis responses, frequency responses and handling characteristics.

Both mics boast of having the Shure's legendary mark of quality and ruggedness. In terms of weight, SM48 weighs 370 grams (13.1 oz) whereas SM58 weighs 298 grams (10.5 oz). The disparity here is not that significant.

Sound quality

Sound quality

Both mics have a uniform cardioid pickup pattern that effectively attenuates all background sounds while boosting your distinct voice. The frequency response for the SM48-LC is 55 Hz – 14 KHz while that of SM58-LC is 50 Hz – 15 KHz.

SM58-LC frequency response
Frequency response of Shure SM48

The SM58 features a smooth mid-range that adds more warmth and depth to your vocal range. Lows are clearly accentuated. Bass frequencies are warmer and richer when the mic is held closer to the sound source than farther away, thanks to the mic's proximity effect.

The SM48, on the other hand, features a brightened mid-range as well as a smooth bass roll-off, thanks to the mic's proximity effect. Highs also sound exquisite.

Both mics perform superbly when it comes to vocal production. The SM58 mic handles an individual's voice with such impressive clarity that it's been dubbed as one of the best Shure microphones in the market.

SM58 Frequency response
Frequency response of Shure SM58

The SM58 is also endowed with the proximity effect feature that allows it to boost bass frequencies by 10 dB max when you're standing less than 0.25 inches from the mic. This feature helps to create a richer, warmer bass.

It's easy to compare the Shure PG58 vs SM58, the nearest competitor of SM58 since both have similar vocal applications. However, the PG58 picks up sounds from the sides whereas SM58 mitigates all sounds emanating from the sides.

The SM48, on the other hand, is a dynamic mic with a unidirectional polar pattern. Just like the SM58, this microphone is designed for professional sound recording and voice-overs. It's also popularly used for broadcasting and studio recording. It's especially ideal for accentuating female vocals.

The SM48 sustains a true cardioid pattern, effectively attenuating any off-axis noise and boosting the main sound source. This mic has an internal wind and pop filter that significantly reduces wind noises and nasty breath sounds.

The SM48 has a favorable frequency response characterized by bright mid-range frequencies and a smooth bass roll-off.

Features

Both microphones come with an internal spherical filter that helps to reduce "pop" sounds when breathing. In addition, this filter eliminates wind noise, making the SM48 and SM58 mics ideal for field broadcasting.

What's in the box?

For the Shure SM48 (both with the ON/OFF switch and without), you get one mic, one A25D Swivel Adapter, and one storage bag. Same case with the SM58 dynamic mic.

The rated impedance for SM48 mic is 150 Ohms but its actual impedance is 270 Ohms. The rated impedance for SM58 is 150 Ohms (similar to the SM48) but its actual impedance is 300 Ohms.

The SM48 has a sensitivity of -57.5 dB/Pa whereas that of SM58 is -54.5 dB/Pa.

The frequency response of both Shure microphones is tailored for vocals.

Both mics have an in-built wind and pop filter, as well as a shock-mounted cartridge that reduces handling noise.

Conclusion

Let's now find out which mic between the SM48 and SM58 takes the crown. First off, both microphones have superior vocal qualities but they aren't ideal for accurate instrument reproduction.

When it comes to vocals, the SM58 comes out on top. It has a wider frequency response, meaning that it caters to a wider range of sounds. It's certainly better at accentuating female vocals compared to the SM48.

The SM48 wins when it comes to exquisite voice overs. This mic has a cardioid pickup pattern that effectively offers superior gain before feedback. In addition, its close proximity effect boosts bass frequencies, making it perfect for BGVs and voice-overs.

Both mics have a pop filter that blocks those irritating breath sounds when performing. Overall, the Shure SM48 and SM58 microphones boast of having an excellent, all-round vocal performance.

Jennifer Webster

Jws

Hi, I’m Jennifer I’m a passionate singer and an audiophile from Detroit, MI. 

I’m on a mission to help music creators to create fine music that help them position uniquely in the saturated music space.

Follow my blog for regular content :-)

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