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CardioidShure SM7B

Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

The Shure SM7B is an industry standard dynamic microphone. It has been the flagship of Shure’s dynamic mic product line for years, and has a reputation for being a go-to studio mic for numerous sources, including vocals.

The mic’s moving-coil cartridge is similar to the Unidyne III design found in the SM57/SM58.

Two recessed switches on the mic body enable onboard filters that change the frequency response. The HPF or “bass rolloff” switch attenuates low frequencies below 400 Hz (approx -3dB @ 200 Hz). The “presence boost” switch raises high-mids (approx +3dB from 2k-4k Hz).

Shure SM7BThe cartridge is shock-mounted internally to reduce handling noise. A humbucking coil and other electronics shield the mic from EMI/EMF/RFI (electromagnetic interference).

The SM7B has very low sensitivty: just 1.1 mV/Pa, lower than most contemporary passive ribbon mics. This makes the mic somewhat hard to use on quiet sources, as the mic requires more clean gain than most consumer-grade preamps can deliver. For this reason, we conducted a test of 8 popular USB preamp/interface devices in 2012 to identify the ones that best support low-output mics like the SM7B. See: SM7B Audio Interface Shootout.

What are the differences between the SM7, SM7A, and SM7B?

The original SM7 was introduced in 1976.

The SM7A revision improved the humbucking coil and the design of the yoke mount. This revision was introduced in 1999.

The SM7B incorporated a larger windscreen. It was introduced in 2001.

What are the differences between the SM7B and SM5B?

Both are cardioid dynamic microphones intended for broadcast voice applications. Both are transformerless.

The SM7B and SM5B moving-coil cartridges were similar, but not identical. The SM7B incorporates a humbucking coil. Further, the SM7B incorporates the internal volume of the microphone body as part of the acoustic design of the cartridge, whereas the SM5B did not.

“[The SM7] is one of the finest mics that Shure has ever made.”
- Harvey Gerst

In an entertaining 2004 interview with TapeOp, Alex and Harvey Gerst of Indian Trail Recording Studio cite the SM7 as their go-to mic for applications as diverse as vocals and hi-hat.

The cartridge for the SM7, SM7A, and SM7B is p/n RPM106.

The Shure SM7B is also known as: SM-7, SM7, SM7A, SM-7A.

The mic was released in 2001.