Shure SM48 Vs. Shure SM58: Which Is Better?

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Another article of comparison, but this time a comparison between two microphones that come from the same brand, is Shure and their series of the SM microphones, such as SM48 and SM58.

Both of these mics are quite well-liked, with the SM58 likely being the most well-known microphone of all time.

Both of them are extremely affordable mics, but the SM48 is roughly 50% less expensive, but which one of these microphones is a better option for you?

Well, I’m not quite sure if you are going to find the answer to that question in this article, but I’m sure that in this article you will find a detailed overview of both of those microphones, and the key differences between them, which will help you distinguish which one could be a better option for you, as well as, the key specifications and characteristics of SM48 and SM58.

Without wasting more time, I’ll start writing all the above-mentioned things, cause you know that I always keep the promises I make towards you.

Overview of Shure SM48 and Shure SM58

Shure SM48
Shure SM48

Shure SM48

Despite what the numbers might suggest, the Shure SM48 is not exactly the less expensive, younger brother of the storied SM58 model. Although they sound different and are characterized in that way frequently, these microphones are separate species.

There are instances where SM48 can prove to be more appropriate and flattering for particular voice types.

The SM48 is constructed similarly to the SM58. It is robust, consisting of a strong alloy, and has a built-in shock mount cage for further toughness.

There are only positive things to say about the build quality of this mic because it withstands extensive use both on stage and in the studio.

Its unidirectional cardioid pickup pattern has a claimed frequency response range of 55-14000Hz. Similar to SM58, but somewhat distinct from it.

The SM48’s unique sound is caused by the absence of an internal impedance matching transformer. The highs are more noticeable, the proximity effect is a little less noticeable, and the mid-range tends to sound a little different and less, shall we say, upfront.

However, this mic is quiet, which is a disadvantage of not having a transformer. Both SM58 and SM48 are extremely quiet machines. It won’t shine without a strong voice or a decent preamp with lots of boosts. However, when amplified properly, it is a very adaptable vocal mic for both spoken words and sung vocals.

Can’t categorize the SM48 as merely a more affordable substitute for the SM58 if one is on a tight budget, but anyone seeking vocal dynamic mics should give it a try! But keep in mind that it’s a $100 microphone, so don’t anticipate a lot of WOW. It occasionally simply clicks into place perfectly, and given its price, it would be worthwhile to keep it around.

Specifications and characteristics of Shure SM48:

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Microphone Type: Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 55 to 14,000 Hz
  • Output Impedance: Rated impedance is 150 Ohms (300 Ohms actual)
  • Connector: Three-pin (XLR), male

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Shure SM58

Shure SM58 it’s a legend that cuts through the noise. There’s a good possibility it was an SM58 if you’ve ever heard someone speak or sing into a live microphone, such as rock stars, pop stars, comedians, presidents, etc. For years, immortal words have been spoken through its recognizable grille.

The consistent cardioid polar pattern accurately reproduces each note since it was designed to handle voice with clarity and care. It also leaves behind background noise. The SM58 consistently produces warm, clear sound on any stage, from the club concerts to the stadium ones.

The pneumatic shock mount absorbs handling noise, keeping the sound vibration-free.

The spherical mesh grille and built in pop filter keep wind and plosives out of the mix when they try to take over. Just remember that investing in an external pop filter wouldn’t be a bad idea, especially if you planning on recording outdoors.

It has been repeatedly demonstrated through years of continuous use by performers and engineers of all skill levels that SM Microphones are up to the challenges of high-energy performance.

One of the most important features that this microphone delivers, are as follows: Excellent off-axis sound suppression and a uniform cardioid pick-up pattern for optimum gain before feedback, a brightened midrange and bass roll-off to limit the proximity impact, and the frequency response is tailored exclusively for singing, modern pneumatic shock mount system that reduces mechanical vibration and noise transmission.

Specifications and characteristics of Shure SM58:

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Microphone Type: Dynamic Microphone
  • Frequency Response: 50 to 15,000 Hz
  • Output Impedance: Rated impedance is 150 Ohms (300 Ohms actual)
  • Connector: Three-pin (XLR), male

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SM48 Vs. SM58

The SM58 and the SM48 differ significantly from one another despite appearing similar at first glance.

Frequency Range

The Shure SM58 is ideal for live use because it offers a frequency range of 50 to 15000 Hertz. In contrast, the Shure SM48 has a frequency range that is just between 55 and 14,000 Hertz.

Most people won’t likely notice the variations in frequency response between these microphones. This is particularly true in a live setting where other instruments are present in addition to audience noise, etc.

Size

These two microphones are the same size and nearly identical in appearance. The SM48 is significantly heavier at 0.82 pounds, while the SM58 weighs 0.66 pounds.

Although the difference in weight may not seem like much, singers will be able to determine right away which of the two is the most comfortable mic to handle for a two-hour performance. The SM58 is obviously superior in this sense due to its lighter weight.

Sound

Sound is the most convincing argument for choosing an SM58 over an SM48. The Shure SM58 has a renowned sound quality that has long been the foundation of live music.

The SM58 has better clarity and can cut through a dense mix, despite the SM48’s sound being equally outstanding. For microphones in general, the ability to cut through a mix is particularly desirable. And this is particularly valid for a backup vocals, intended for live use.

The SM58 is the better of the two to accomplish this work in style because you want your singer to be heard as clearly as possible at all times.

Price

The SM48 is an excellent option for individuals on a tight budget because it costs about half as much as the SM58. Price is a major consideration when buying equipment, and Shure did a fantastic job with the SM48.

At almost half the price of an SM58, you may still enjoy the dependable Shure dynamic microphone sound. Of course, quality is a function of price. If you want to save money and choose the SM48 in this situation, you will have to give up that added advantage that the SM58 offers.

Shure SM48
Shure SM48

Final Words

I’m well aware that you are expecting me to come up with a conclusion or verdict, but let me just say that you are barking up the wrong tree because I just can’t decide.

Let’s do it this way, how about you turn a blind eye to the fact that I don’t have a verdict prepared once again, and we are cool? No? We are not on the same page?!

Well, in this case, I’ll just decide to beat around the bush, and I’m going to let you come up with a verdict for yourself.

Further Reading

There is some more reading for you. Of course, if you liked what you have read so far, you can carry on.

There is an interesting blog on how to make headphones more comfortable. Also, try wearing headphones over a hoodie. Find out if it is a good idea.

There’s also a difference between the sound formats like AAC and FLAC.

Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!

 
 
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