The Shure SM7B is one of the most recognizable microphones as it has been used by many performers, professionals, and streamers over the years. It is also widely associated with high-quality performance and construction which makes the SM7B a top professional microphone choice in its price range. To further improve its already solid performance, we can partner the Shure SM7B with a matching preamp.
To find the right preamplifier for the SM7B, we must first learn more about its sonic characteristics and how well this professional microphone performs. By understanding more of the Shure SM7B strengths and limitations, we can then determine which are the matching preamps and make a list out of them. We will be planning to share with you this list later on as well.
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Sonic Performances, Characteristics and Important Specifications of Shure SM7B
The Shure SM7B is an iteration of the legendary SM7 and based on the number of accolades it has garnered, the SM7B is a definite worthy successor. This is a microphone that is suitable for vocalists, streamers, audio mixers, podcasters, etc. One of the cool features about the Shure SM7B is its inherent noise rejection which enables the mic to be used in both professional and home studio environments. With this technology, you can feel free to record or stream at home without worrying about ambient noise such as car honkings, planes flying past, and other typical ambient noises ruining your recordings or streaming.
Shure SM7B uses a Cardioid pattern to reject off-axis audio sources, allowing it to capture your vocals or sounds that are intended for your audience. The advanced electromagnetic shielding also helps to minimize unwanted noise from your monitors and other electronic types of equipment. Furthermore, mechanical noises are been removed, thanks to its air suspension shock isolation and pop filter. The sleek aesthetics and legendary status will ensure the Shure SM7B looks great in any studio and on screen. You would definitely be proud to show off this renowned mic to your VIP guests who you have invited over for recording or interview in your podcast room.
The vocals recorded sounded natural with a touch of warmth which makes it very pleasing to hear. If you already have a nice voice, the Shure SM7B would be able to make it sound a little nicer due to how clean the sound quality is. The noise rejection technology and other features to reduce unwanted ambient noises are superb, it allows you to only record and capture the vocals/sounds that you want. Streamers will be delighted to know that their voices are been delivered smoothly with a warm and natural tone which their audiences would be happy to hear.
There are three settings that you can go for and they are Flat, Bass roll-off, and Presence boost. The Flat setting will give you a more balanced frequency response and provides you with natural sound reproduction. The Bass roll-off setting will be useful to slightly reduce low frequencies generated by the intended audio source and unwanted ambient noises. The Presence boost will be useful for boosting the treble and midrange by a bit. Each of these settings has its advantages, you can experiment to see which of them best suits your work. If you are a streamer, you can check with your audiences which setting sounds the best to them.
The Shure SM7B is an incredible microphone that does a remarkable job of rejecting/reducing unwanted noises. The overall sound reproduction is smooth, natural, and clean. The warm sonic character of the SM7B is also amazing for recording musical instruments and you can use the Presence boost setting as well. At this price point, there is nothing to really complain about and it is certainly one of the finest professional microphones on the market. We have gathered enough data and information, it is time for us to share with you a list of the best preamps that you can go for and pair them with your Shure SM7B Cardioid studio microphone.
Shure SM7B Specifications
- Type: Dynamic
- Frequency Response: 50Hz-20kHz
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Impedance: 150 Ohms
- Connection: 3-pin XLR
- Weight: 765g (1.7lbs)
Best Preamps to pair with Shure SM7B
The Triton Audio FetHead is one of the best preamps to pair with your Shure SM7B. It is a very highly rated in-line microphone preamplifier and well-received by its users. The FetHead preamp is capable of cleanly boosting the signal and also providing you with a cleaner recording. It also slightly improves the midrange reproduction and makes it sound more robust which will be excellent for vocals as well. The Triton Audio FetHead is well suited to pair with a Dynamic microphone like the Shure SM7B and complements it really well. There is also an improvement in the overall sound quality.
The Cloudlifter CL-1 is another amazing preamp to match with the Shure SM7B professional microphone. It is a premium quality mic activator that can boost the audio signal cleanly and also improves the overall sound quality of the SM7B mic. The Cloudlifter CL-1 also helps to reduce noise thus providing you with a clearer and cleaner sound quality. This mic preamplifier will work well with passive dynamic microphones such as the Shure SM7B. The Cloudlifter CL-1 is one of the more popular choices based on the high positive ratings made by satisfied Shure SM7B owners.
If you prefer a tube mic preamp then the ART TubeMPSTV3 will be an exemplary choice for you. The tube microphone preamp adds more warmth to the overall audio reproduction, giving it a richer tone and fuller sound quality. You can also switch the tubes of the ART TubeMPSTV3 to fine-tune the sound quality so as to work seamlessly with your Shure SM7B microphone. For listeners who find replacing the stock tubes a bit troublesome, you can instead use the preset settings of the ART preamp which would be ideal for musical instruments such as guitars, drums, etc., or vocals.
The DBX 286s will be one of the best preamps to go with your Shure SM7B professional mic. This is a studio-grade microphone preamp/channel strip processor so you can expect high-quality performance and sound from the DBX 286s. Furthermore, it is packed with features to reduce low-frequency noise, sibilance, and high-frequency distortion. There is also an enhancer to further increase the details and definition of the highs and lows. It is an impressive preamp with plenty of control and will be a fantastic partner for the Shure SM7B microphone, not to mention, the DBX 286s can also help to improve the voice quality.
Another popular choice for Shure SM7B owners, the sE Electronics DM1 Dynamite is a terrific active in-line preamp and it is very well-received by its users. The preamp delivers very clean sound quality, thanks to its ultra-low noise floor. The overall sound quality is neutral, well-balanced and you can hardly detect any colorations which are superb for an in-line preamp at this price point. If you want clean gain for your Shure SM7B microphone and do not want to have unwanted noise interfering with your work then this pairing will be outstanding for you.
There are other preamps that you might be interested in and match them with your Shure SM7B microphone. You can check out Heritage Audio HA73 ELITE which is a 1-channel Class A mic preamplifier with up to 80dB gain. The MOTU M2 will be another magnificent choice for your Shure SM7B and it has a premium quality ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC equipped to it. The M2 is also exceptional for users who do streaming and live podcasts. The Golden Age Project Pre-73 Jr is also worth your time to check it out. It is a single-channel microphone preamplifier (70dB of Gain) and is incredible for vocals.
To Sum It Up
These are some of the best microphone preamps you can get on the market and is well-matched with your Shure SM7B professional mic. We will suggest going through the list and pick up the ones that suit your needs the most. Arrange an audition with the shortlisted preamp/s so as to find out if you like the sonic improvements and what you are hearing when paired with your Shure SM7B. You might want to go through a few more rounds of auditions, just to be sure you really like the sound quality.