5 Shure SM7B Alternatives That Don’t Suck

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Three broadcast microphones that work as Shure SM7B alternatives.

The Shure SM7B is one of the most celebrated microphones ever made. It sounds incredible, but it has some issues:

  • It’s freaking expensive. As such, it’s not a viable option for many people.
  • On top of that, it’s a notoriously quiet microphone. Oftentimes, it requires extra gear to get a good sound level, creating additional clutter and driving up the cost.

USB mics like the Shure MV7 give you professional-sounding results without investing in extra gear. Other mics like the Logitech Blue Sona and Shure’s own SM7dB also solve the input gain issue.

Having worked in music and audio retail for several years, I’ve been surrounded by good microphones. These are some of my favorite SM7B alternatives that I’ve come across.

The Top 3 Best SM7B Alternatives

While there are other mics on this list, these are my top 3 choices.

Best All-Around
Also Great
Budget Pick
$249.00
$299.99
$99.00
Polar Pattern:
Cardioid
Polar Pattern:
Supercardioid
Polar Pattern:
Cardioid
Frequency Response:
50Hz-16kHz
Frequency Response:
40Hz-18kHz
Frequency Response:
20Hz-20kHz
Weight:
1.21 lbs
Weight:
1.35 lbs
Weight:
2.06 lbs
Best All-Around
$249.00
Polar Pattern:
Cardioid
Frequency Response:
50Hz-16kHz
Weight:
1.21 lbs
Also Great
$299.99
Polar Pattern:
Supercardioid
Frequency Response:
40Hz-18kHz
Weight:
1.35 lbs
Budget Pick
$99.00
Polar Pattern:
Cardioid
Frequency Response:
20Hz-20kHz
Weight:
2.06 lbs
02/18/2024 02:18 am GMT

Why Trust Me?

I’ve worked in music and audio retail for several years. On top of that, I spent a large part of my college degree working in recording studios and live sound settings. As such, I’ve been surrounded by microphones and I’m familiar with the best brands and models.

1. Shure MV7 — Best for Beginners

  • Design modeled after the Shure SM7B
  • Delivers warm, broadcast-quality vocals
  • Tight cardioid pattern resists room & background noise
  • Multiple EQ settings for sound clarity
  • USB and XLR connectivity for use with any setup

The Shure MV7 is everything you’d ever want in an SM7B alternative. It’s beginner-friendly, has a similar look and sound, and comes at almost half the cost!

Plus, it’s designed by Shure themselves as an affordable substitute.

The MV7 is especially great for beginners. You can use it straightaway as a USB microphone with no added investment:

  • No need for audio interfaces or mixers.
  • No need for preamps or signal boosters.

That said, it also has an XLR port. This means the MV7 is future-proof should you ever upgrade your studio.

In other words, you don’t have to throw it out or replace it when you upgrade your setup. You can keep using it with new audio interfaces, mixers, and other analog gear.

The MV7 sports the same overall design as the SM7B, but in a slightly smaller package. So it’ll give your voice that professional “broadcast sound” the 7B is known for.

As a dynamic mic, it rejects background noise really well. It also has a tight cardioid pickup pattern, meaning it’ll only pick up sound directly from the front.

On top of that, the MV7 offers multiple EQ settings for voice clarity and rejecting proximity effect.

Best for Beginners
Shure MV7 USB Microphone
$249.00

Shure delivers its legendary "broadcast sound" in a more compact plug-and-play USB microphone. And with an added XLR port, it can grow alongside your studio.

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02/18/2024 02:18 am GMT

Also Consider: Shure MV7X

$179.00
The Shure MV7X is literally the same mic as the MV7, but without the USB port. If you already have an XLR setup and want to save a little money, get this instead.
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02/19/2024 12:46 am GMT

2. Shure SM7dB — Premium Pick

  • Same iconic SM7B sound
  • Built-in gain boost removes need for external preamps
  • Great for older audio interfaces with low preamp gain
  • Back switches are more user-friendly

Over 20 years later, Shure released this follow-up to the original SM7B: the Shure SM7dB.

It’s essentially the exact same microphone as the SM7B. The biggest difference is that the SM7dB has a built-in gain booster.

In other words, it solves the SM7B’s biggest issue.

The SM7dB is considered an “active dynamic” microphone, meaning it doesn’t require an external preamp or signal booster. You can give it a +18dB or +25dB gain boost, which lets you record your voice loud and clear regardless of what interface you’re using.

This added gain boost makes the SM7dB much more versatile than the SM7B, but with an added $100 in cost. But if price isn’t an issue, then by all means, go for this mic.

For a deeper dive, check out our comparison between these two mics: Shure SM7B vs SM7dB.

Premium Pick
Shure SM7dB Active Dynamic Microphone
$499.00

Shure's new and improved broadcast microphone. It has the same smooth sound as the classic SM7B, but has the added benefit of a built-in preamp. Plug it directly into your audio interface without using any external signal boosters!

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02/18/2024 09:29 pm GMT

3. Logitech Blue Sona — Also Great

We consider the Logitech Blue Sona to be the best SM7B alternative today.
  • Supercardioid pattern for improved sound rejection
  • Built-in gain boost removes the need for external preamps
  • Narrower frequency range for cleaner audio (40Hz-18kHz)
  • Sleek design improves on the SM7B’s overall design

The Logitech Blue Sona is another recent newcomer on this list. Despite that, I already consider it one of the best SM7B alternatives available today.

Like the Shure SM7dB, the Sona an “active dynamic” microphone. Simply put, it doesn’t require an external booster.

That’s thanks to the Logitech’s Clear Amp technology, which automatically gives it a +25dB gain boost. So you won’t have to deal with clunky and messy setups. Just plug the mic into your audio interface, and you’re ready to go.

The Sona also has a supercardioid pickup pattern. That makes it more narrow than the SM7B’s cardioid pattern, which is better for rejecting off-axis sound.

But most importantly, the Blue Sona offers incredible sound quality while improving the SM7B’s overall design. Your voice will sound clean and sexy, and the mic will look good on camera too.

Premium Pick
Logitech Blue Sona Dynamic Microphone - Graphite
$299.99

A superb broadcast microphone that rivals other industry-standard mics in every way. Designed with podcasters, YouTubers, and streamers in mind, it's easy to use right out of the box.

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02/18/2024 03:51 am GMT

4. Rode PodMic — Budget Pick

  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Tight frequency response for vocals (20Hz-20kHz)
  • Internal pop filter for reducing plosives
  • Chunky metal construction for superb durability

If you need to elevate your audio presentation while maintaining a budget, the Rode PodMic will do the trick.

It’s small, chunky, and highly durable thanks to its metal body. So it’ll easily withstand drops and dings without taking any damage.

But more importantly, the microphone offers excellent sound quality for any voice thanks to its narrower frequency range and built-in pop filter. 

This mic is great for any podcaster, streamer, or YouTuber. Get one for yourself, or just pack your studio with a bunch of these mics so everyone can sound great.

Budget Pick
Rode PodMic Dynamic Microphone
$99.00

A broadcast-quality mic for podcasters and streamers on a budget. With an integrated pop filter, it'll deliver silky-smooth vocals every time.

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02/18/2024 02:58 am GMT

5. Rode Procaster — Best Value

The Rode Procaster microphone is another one of the best SM7B alternatives.
  • Cardioid polar pattern with comparable sound rejection
  • Frequency response tailored for lower frequencies (75Hz-18kHz)
  • Internal pop filter to reduce plosives
  • Rugged stainless steel body

If there was a broadcast mic that struck the perfect balance between affordability and performance, the Rode Procaster would be it. 

For less than half the price of the SM7B, you can get a professional broadcast-ready sound with the Procaster. And like other Rode mics, it has a built-in pop filter to help reduce plosives.

On top of all that, the Procaster has a frequency response tailored for lower voices. So if you have a husky man voice, this mic will bring it out without any distortion.

As for design, it looks like a professional broadcasting microphone. Plus, its stainless steel body is super durable and can take some abuse while protecting the internals.

Best Value
Rode Procaster Dynamic Microphone
$229.00

Based on Rode's higher-end broadcast microphones, the Procaster delivers professional-quality sound for every recording situation.

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02/18/2024 03:02 am GMT

Why Some People Might Be Disappointed By the SM7B

The Shure SM7B is a powerhouse microphone with an incredible legacy. But it was originally designed in the ‘70s for professional studios. That makes for a few problems within today’s audio landscape.

For one, it’s a notoriously quiet mic that needs a lot of gain. To use it properly, you need a signal booster or a preamp that can add extra gain without hissing at you.

Those costs add up. So what was once an already-expensive mic now becomes a whole new setup that costs hundreds more.

Naturally, that can frustrate someone who’s new to audio production for two reasons:

  1. The mic doesn’t sound that great by itself, leading to disappointment.
  2. Getting the extra booster and cables adds more upfront cost.

The average person starting a podcast or streaming on Twitch doesn’t want to deal with that. They just want a good microphone they can plug into their existing setup.

Why We Chose These SM7B Alternatives

We wanted dynamic microphones that addressed the above issues. All three mics mentioned here sound great when plugged into mixers and interfaces with decent preamps.

In other words, you’ll be fine if you have a Focusrite Scarlett or something of similar quality.

The Shure MV7 works as a USB mic without an interface. And it’ll work just fine with almost any XLR interface.

The Logitech Blue Sona and Shure SM7dB both have a built-in booster, so no additional preamps are required.

And while the Rode PodMic and Procaster would certainly benefit from something like a Cloudlifter, they’ll work fine without it.

Which Mic Is Right For You?

Choosing a new vocal mic will largely depend on what you value. Here are some general thoughts to help guide your decision:

  • Shure MV7 This is the best option for someone’s first “real” microphone. It’s great as a USB mic that can also be used with XLR setups. Plus, it sounds close enough to the SM7B for most people.
  • Shure SM7dB It’s literally an SM7B with a built-in gain booster. If price isn’t a concern and you want that versatility, get this mic.
  • Logitech Blue SonaIf you want a slightly less expensive mic that solves the SM7B’s biggest issue, get the Blue Sona.
  • Rode PodMicGet the PodMic if you want a good-quality broadcast microphone but don’t want to spend too much money.
  • Rode Procaster This mic strikes a perfect balance between price and performance. It’s one of the best values in broadcast microphones today.

Keep in mind that the average listener won’t notice any difference between these three microphones. As long as your audio is clean and doesn’t have any distracting background noise, they won’t care.

Our All-Around Favorite: Logitech Blue Sona

If I had to pick the overall best SM7B alternative, the Logitech Blue Sona would be it.

Here’s why I love it:

  • The sound quality is comparable to the SM7B’s. 
  • It has a built-in booster, so no other preamps are necessary.
  • The built-in booster also reduces clutter from your setup.
  • The supercardioid pickup pattern offers even greater sound isolation.
  • It’s a premium mic that’s a little less expensive than the SM7B and SM7dB

And while this is entirely superficial, the Blue Sona good on camera if that’s a concern for you.

Top Pick
Logitech Blue Sona Dynamic Microphone - Graphite
$299.99

A superb broadcast microphone that rivals other industry-standard mics in every way. Designed with podcasters, YouTubers, and streamers in mind, it's easy to use right out of the box.

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02/18/2024 03:51 am GMT

Need a USB Microphone Instead?

These mics aren’t for everybody, especially if you’re completely new to podcasting, YouTubing, or streaming.

For some folks, the best SM7B alternatives might actually be USB microphones.

We already mentioned Shure’s own MV7 USB microphone, which is modeled after the SM7B. You can also take a look at these other USB microphones for vocals.

Great for Beginners
Shure MV7 USB Microphone
$249.00

Shure delivers its legendary "broadcast sound" in a more compact plug-and-play USB microphone. And with an added XLR port, it can grow alongside your studio.

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We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/18/2024 02:18 am GMT