Dynamic Microphones are definitely the best microphone for sound and music reproduction. It works like a loudspeaker, but reversed. These microphones handle high volume levels from musical instruments and amplifiers and are best suited for guitar amplifiers, drums and vocals.
Furthermore, dynamic microphones do not require any external power (battery or phantom). They are also extremely durable, even moisture resistant and can stand not only high pressure, but also accidental misuse. Shure SM57’s have been around a long time, in fact you might say they are a fixture in the music business.
You see them in live performances as well as professional recording studios around the world. This unidirectional dynamic mic has set the industry standard by defining the way instruments should sound.
Most studios use more than one Shure SM57 for many different applications; guitar amplifiers, drums, snares, etc.
For the price (retails around $146), this cardioid microphone is a work horse, it isolates the main sound source and minimizes the background noise.Then there is the Shure SM58 (retails around $188), another great work horse in the music industry. The Shure SM58 does one thing really well–vocals. It is consistently the first choice of performers around the world. In fact, this unidirectional dynamic vocal microphone is designed for professional use in live performances and studio recording.
Besides the grill, the differences between the two mics is subtle, however, the Shure SM58 is designed for vocals and the Shure SM57 is designed more for instruments. And, built into the Shure SM58 is a spherical filter that minimizes the wind and breath ‘pop’ noise.
There are a few high end mics that sound better, sometimes they are even priced cheaper, but there are no other mics that have the durability of the Shure SM57 and Shure SM58. It has been said that you can drop one of these mics off of a 50ft stage and you might break the grill, but the microphone will keep on working.
For a classic looking cardioid microphone, check out the Shure 55SH II (retails at about $285.00). This style of microphone was prominent in the 50’s and 60’s, however, today the design is coupled with modern acoustic components to meet today’s performance standards.
The Shure 55SH II has a cardioid, unidirectional polar pickup patter which minimizes pickup from the rear of the mix. This allows close proximity to loudspeakers without creating feedback problems. The frequency response is tailored not only for speech and vocals, but also for instrumental music.
The shock-mounted cartridge ensures quiet operation. The rugged die cast and mechanical design allows for reliability under rigorous conditions. And the self-tensioning swivel mount of the Shure 55SHII permits tilting through 45 degrees forward and 80 degrees backward.
How about a 3-pack of Sennheiser e835 cardioid microphones for less than 1/2 price (retails at about $479.99, now available for less than $200)?. The Sennheiser e835 dynamic vocal mic utilizes a cardioid pick-up pattern that provides good signal isolation and feedback rejection, enabling higher sound levels. With metal construction and an internal shock-mount system, this mic minimizes handling noise.
Users of the Sennheiser e835 microphone say that the construction of this microphone screams quality. And, they are very pleased with the sound; “As long as you (are) between 1-4 inches from the mic you will get amazing quality sound, (and) everything outside that (all noise) will be ignored.” From an Amazon Customer.