3 Shure SM58 Alternatives That Don’t Suck

The SM58 is a reliable microphone that’s found in most studios and stages. It’s a great mic, but sometimes, you need something a little different. 

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working various live sound and studio gigs. In that time, I’ve discovered these great alternatives to the Shure SM58 dynamic microphone.

Let’s check them out. 

The Shure SM58 along with three alternative microphones.

Quick Look: Our Favorite SM58 Alternatives

 
Our Pick
Budget Pick
Also Great
$99.00
$129.95
$25.00
$169.00
Polar Pattern:
Cardioid
Polar Pattern:
Cardioid
Polar Pattern:
Cardioid
Polar Pattern:
Supercardioid
Frequency Response:
50Hz-15kHz
Frequency Response:
40Hz-16kHz
Frequency Response:
50Hz-15kHz
Frequency Response:
50Hz-16kHz
Weight:
0.66 lbs
Weight:
0.73 lbs
Weight:
0.53 lbs
Weight:
0.61 lbs
$99.00
Polar Pattern:
Cardioid
Frequency Response:
50Hz-15kHz
Weight:
0.66 lbs
Our Pick
$129.95
Polar Pattern:
Cardioid
Frequency Response:
40Hz-16kHz
Weight:
0.73 lbs
Budget Pick
$25.00
Polar Pattern:
Cardioid
Frequency Response:
50Hz-15kHz
Weight:
0.53 lbs
Also Great
$169.00
Polar Pattern:
Supercardioid
Frequency Response:
50Hz-16kHz
Weight:
0.61 lbs
02/18/2024 06:09 am GMT

1. Sennheiser e835 — The Best SM58 Alternative

The Sennheiser e835, one of our favorite Shure SM58 alternatives.
  • Cardioid polar pattern for sound isolation
  • Narrower frequency response for improved sound clarity (40Hz-16kHz)
  • Internal shock mount for incredible SPL handling (over 150db)
  • High-quality build reduces hum and handling noise

You can pick up the Sennheiser e835 for around the same price as the Shure SM58. That said, many people consider it to be a noticeable upgrade from the 58.

For starters, the e835 has a narrower and flatter frequency response. This helps clear the muddiness of the SM58 and gives you a cleaner, even sound in any range.

The e835 also shares some build qualities of higher-end Sennheiser microphones:

  • Its internal shock mount stabilizes the mic capsule. Because of that, it can take in high volumes while reducing any handling noise.
  • The e835’s high-quality coil reduces electromagnetic interference. This means you won’t deal with any annoying hum.

It’s not just great for vocals — the Sennheiser e835 is great for just about everything. Drums, cymbals, guitars, you name it!

Best All-Around SM58 Alternative
Sennheiser e835 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone
$129.95

The e835 is a fantastic alternative to other popular handheld vocal mics. Its high-quality design reduces hum and handling noise, so you'll get crisp, clear audio every time.

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02/19/2024 12:38 am GMT

2. Behringer XM8500 — Cheap SM58 Alternative

The Behringer XM8500 handheld dynamic microphone.
  • Design inspired by the Shure SM58
  • Cardioid polar pattern for sound isolation
  • Offers similar performance at a fraction of the cost
  • Rugged build for supreme durability

Whether you need an inexpensive backup mic or just saving some cash, the Behringer XM8500 is an SM58 clone that’ll do the job nicely.

Don’t be fooled by the price. Even though it’s cheap, it’s still a great alternative to the SM58.

For one, its rugged build ensures this mic will last practically forever. Even if you drop it a few times, you won’t have to worry much about internal or external damage.

But it’s not just about durability — the Behringer XM8500 offers similar performance to the SM58 at a fraction of the price!

And with a slightly different frequency response, you’ll have a smooth-sounding microphone that works well with any instrument or vocalist.

Budget Pick
Behringer XM8500 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
$25.00

A budget-friendly dynamic microphone that works as well as top-brand mics. The XM8500 is a great replacement or backup for your existing mics.

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02/19/2024 12:41 am GMT

3. Shure Beta 58A — Also Great

The Shure Beta 58A dynamic microphone.
  • Supercardoid pickup pattern for improved sound rejection
  • Similar size, weight, and feel to SM58
  • Brightened mid range for vocals
  • Greater input sensitivity requires less gain
  • Legendary Shure durability for longevity

On the surface, the SM58 and Beta 58A are almost identical. They’re both made by Shure and have a pretty similar shape, size, weight, and feel.

So naturally, the differences are mostly on the inside. These differences boil down to three main things:

  • Polar Patterns: The Beta 58A has a supercardioid pickup pattern. This narrows its directional focus and helps it resist feedback on loud stages.
  • Frequency Response: The Beta 58A has a bass roll-off with a brightened mid range. This gives it a smooth response ideal for capturing vocals. It also helps combat proximity effect.
  • Output Level: Betas also have improved voltage gain and greater input sensitivity. So you don’t need as much amplification to get the sound you want.

On top of all that, the Beta offers the same legendary durability that Shure microphones are known for. So it’ll potentially last you a lifetime.

All in all, the Beta 58A is a great alternative to the SM58 if you want to bring out your mid range a bit.

Also Great
Shure Beta 58A Supercardioid Dynamic Microphone
$169.00

The Beta 58A. is a superb vocal microphone built to resist feedback, noise, and proximity feedback. It's great for vocalists who want to bring out their mid-to-high range.

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02/18/2024 06:13 am GMT

How We Picked These SM58 Alternatives

The Shure SM58 is a legendary microphone with two defining traits:

  • It’s an iconic handheld vocal mic
  • It’s useful for just about everything

With those things in mind, I chose these three SM58 alternatives because they basically fill the same role. 

Any one of these will be great for live singing or speaking. And if you’d like, you can even use them for podcasting and VO work.

Plus, they work well for recording lively instruments like horns, drums, or guitar cabinets.

And while there are other great dynamic mics like the Shure SM7B, many of them aren’t practical for handheld use. In many cases, they’re confined to the studio.

Which Mic Is Right For You?

None of these mics are necessarily better or worse than the other. Just different.

Keep in mind that every person is different. One mic might respond better for one vocalist than others. Same for an engineer’s ears.

Whether you pick the SM58 or any of these other alternatives, you’ll have a reliable microphone that does whatever you need.

That being said, here are my general thoughts on these mics:

  • The Sennheiser e835 and Shure Beta 58A are both great for lead vocalists who want extra clarity in their performance.
  • If you often find yourself on a loud and busy stage, then the Beta might be the best option for you. It’s specifically designed to reduce feedback and proximity effect.
  • If all you need is a cheap replacement or backup, then go with the Behringer XM8500.

Our Overall Pick: Sennheiser e835

All things considered, I think the Sennheiser e835 is the overall best SM58 alternative out there.

It’s incredibly reliable and offers a crisp, clean audio performance that’ll please many who find the SM58 too muddy.

On top of that, it’s the most comparable in terms of price and function. So if you’re looking for a 1:1 SM58 alternative, the e835 is it.

Sennheiser e835 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone
$129.95

The e835 is a fantastic alternative to other popular handheld vocal mics. Its high-quality design reduces hum and handling noise, so you'll get crisp, clear audio every time.

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We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/19/2024 12:38 am GMT

Looking for More Audio Gear? Check Out These Resources

We’ve put together additional resources to help you flesh out your home studio: