We all know how important it is to invest in a good-quality microphone when you’re recording a podcast.
Of all the brands available, Shure has gained popularity over the years, creating excellent microphones that deliver the best quality sound possible.
Two of Shure’s standout microphones are the SM48 and the SM58.
Both of these are ideal for recording vocals, which is perfect for podcasting, and they come with various other features that place them amongst the best sound recording equipment you’ll ever find.
But what is the difference between these two microphones? And which is the better choice for your podcasting needs?
We decided to face them off against each other in an SM48 VS. SM58 battle to answer these questions! We’ll look at each of their features and their designs.
We’ll also examine why each microphone is so good for vocal recording while removing any confusing technical jargon along the way.
So, if you’ve been wondering whether the Shure SM48 or the Shure SM58 is the right choice, keep reading, and you’ll soon have a definitive answer.
Table of Contents
Before we dive into each microphone’s features, let’s take a moment to look at the overall design.
The Shure SM48 and Shure SM58 are practically identical in appearance, with the only physical difference being an additional indented ring around the SM48’s body.
Both microphones are built from enamel-coated metal, which ensures extreme durability.
This means they’ll be able to withstand the occasional bump in the studio and make them much less susceptible to damage when out on the road.
The condenser capsule situated within the microphone’s head is well protected by a steel mesh grille, enhancing the durability of both the SM48 and SM58 even further.
It’s also worth noting that both microphones are dynamic mics, which aren’t only renowned for their durability but also don’t require any additional power to function.
You don’t have to worry about keeping a stash of batteries close at hand or recharging. Instead, you can plug your microphone into your audio interface, and you’re ready!
Polar Pickup Pattern
The Shure SM48 and the SM58 operate with a cardioid polar pickup pattern. This is ideal when you’re recording vocals, as the microphone will only concentrate on the sound coming from a 180º arc directly in front of it.
Doing this eliminates any ambient noise from appearing on your recording. This capability makes each microphone ideal for studio and outdoor recording.
One thing you’ll need to remember, however, is that if you’re planning on mic-sharing for an interview, you’ll both need to be sitting within the same 180º arc in front of the microphone.
They are equally matched in terms of which is better in this respect.
Since both the SM48 and SM58 use the same cardioid polar pickup pattern, there’s no real contest between them, and both will focus on vocals while blocking out background noise.
The wider a microphone’s frequency response is, the greater the number of frequencies it’s able to pick up.
It is imperative when looking for a microphone for vocals, as different vocal tones hit different frequencies. You’ll want every voice you record to sound as natural as possible.
This is another area where both shine through at the top of their class. There is a little difference between the two here, though.
The SM48 has a frequency response range of 55Hz-14kHz, while the SM58 measures 50Hz-15kHz.
There isn’t a lot in it, and the SM48 is still more capable of producing mid and low-range sounds and smooth bass.
However, if you’re looking for those warm, conversational tones that will give an accurate, natural voice replication, then the SM58 comes out as the winner.
The extended frequency range of the SM58 also means it sounds a little brighter in the treble regions, so it’s beneficial for a podcast host with naturally lower vocal tones.
One of the standout features both the Shure SM48 and SM58 offer is a built-in pop filter. This is super useful for many reasons, the foremost being that it reduces the risk of plosive sounds appearing on your recording.
This means that those words that require harsh pronunciation (letters such as d, p, k, and t) will sound smooth and less abrasive on your finished audio.
A pop filter also helps to prevent any breath sounds from appearing on your recording, so it’s ideal if you’re trying to build some suspense with moments of complete silence.
This built-in pop filter is also so useful because it saves you some money! Unlike most other microphones, you won’t need to worry about investing in external accessories to keep plosives off your recording.
However, it is worth noting that the built-in pop filter’s performance on the SM58 is superior to that on the SM48 when used outdoors, as wind noise proved to be an issue.
If you decide that the SM48 is the best microphone for you, it would be worth investing in an external pop filter if you plan on recording outdoors.
The impedance of your microphone is an essential factor as it measures the AV voltage resistance and, ultimately, controls the audio signal’s flow. If the impedance level is too low, you’ll have distorted sound.
The Shure SM48 and SM58 microphones are tied here as the winner, as each has an impedance of 150ohms.
This means that, regardless of how long the cable is between your microphone and your audio interface or speaker, the audio signal will continue to be strong, and your sound will be continually high-quality.
The Shure SM48 and the Shure SM58 have a standard 3-pin XLR connection point. This helps ensure that a secure connection is always established, and it’s much harder to accidentally tug out of place than a modern USB port.
The connection point is also conveniently located directly on the bottom of the microphone. This helps to keep the cable out of the way when it’s in use.
So, whether you’re mounting the microphone into a stand or going handheld, you’ll always feel as though you’ve got unrestricted movement.
Again, there isn’t a real winner between the two here. Both microphones feature the same connection port, and both as equally as effective.
There is a difference between the Shure SM48 and SM58 regarding pricing. The SM48 is cheaper, so it would be a better option for anybody with a limited budget.
It’s also a good choice if you’re new to podcasting or sound recording and want a good but inexpensive microphone to find your feet.
Why is the SM58 more expensive than the SM48, though? Generally speaking, the sound quality is a little better, and the built-in pop filter’s performance seems to work more effectively than the SM48’s.
The Shure SM58 also has a broader frequency response range than the SM48, so, as we’ve explained earlier, it can transform a more comprehensive range of voice types into natural-sounding tones.
This makes it a better choice for podcasts with an interview or panel show format.
Shure is a trusted name in the world of microphones, and the SM48 and SM58 are two of their most popular models.
The SM48 is a lower-priced option for a quality dynamic microphone.
Both microphones are built to last and offer excellent sound quality, so user reviews are positive. According to users, the SM58 is a bit more responsive than the SM48, but both are well-built and offer excellent sound quality.
Customers advise getting the SM48 if you’re on a budget, as it does a decent job canceling background noise.
And while the Shure SM58 is believed to be the industry standard, many people reported that the SM48 performs just as well.
The bottom line is – whether you choose the SM48 or the SM58, you can be confident that you’re getting a quality product from a trusted brand.
Picking an overall winner between the SM48 and the SM58 isn’t an easy task as both are relatively evenly matched in features and specifications.
To determine which is best, we need to look at what you need your microphone to achieve for you and your podcast format.
If you’re the host of a solo podcast, then the SM48 would be the better option.
This is because it has a slightly narrower frequency range than the SM58, and since you won’t be interviewing other people, you don’t need to worry as much about converting different vocal tones.
Comparatively, the SM58 would be a better choice of microphone for co-hosted or interview podcasts. Again, this is due to the broader frequency range.
Think about your available budget, too. The SM48 is generally around half the price of the SM58, which makes it a better choice for someone looking for an inexpensive option.
Whichever microphone you choose, one thing is for sure – you’ll be blown away by the quality of your recordings. You’ll probably wonder how you ever managed without a Shure microphone before!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which speaker can be connected to Shure SM48?
If you’re looking for a speaker you can plug your Shure SM48 or Shure SM58 into, you’re in luck – there are hundreds of options. Peavey, Bose, JBL, and Electrovoice are just a few of the many brands that offer speakers that will work with your Shure mic.
Will phantom power damage a Shure SM58?
When using a dynamic microphone with a balanced impedance output, there is no risk of damage from phantom power.
Does the SM48 come with a cable?
No, it doesn’t come with a cable. You will have to purchase the mic cable separately.