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What is the difference between the Shure SM58 and SM57?

The Shure SM58 and SM57 are some of the most widely used microphones for both live and studio use. Most people know that the SM58 is geared towards vocal use, and the SM57 towards instrument applications, but what are the differences between them? The SM57 and SM58 microphones are based on the same cartridge design. The core difference comes down to the different grille design employed by each microphone.

Shure SM58

The SM58 was designed for vocal applications, and features a ball grille with built in pop filter to eliminate plosives. The SM57 is designed as an instrument microphone - where plosives are less of an issue - and a smaller grille size is more practical. As a result, the SM57 does not use a ball grille with pop filtering and instead uses an integral resonator/grille assembly, where the grille is actually part of the cartridge.

Shure SM57

The different grille designs mean that the diaphragm of each microphone in a different acoustical environment and position. The SM57 has a shorter distance from the top of the grille to the diaphragm compared to that of the SM58, which allows for a more pronounced proximity effect through closer mic positioning. Additionally, the different resonator/grille assembly design of the SM57 produces a slightly higher output above 5 kHz. View the Shure SM57 on our webstore. View the Shure SM58 on our webstore.