Shure SM58 vs Shure Beta58A

Two legendary shure microphones. discover the difference.

Shure SM58Shure’s SM58 and Beta 58A are two distinguished microphones which are renowned all over the globe – the SM58 bears its name "The Reference" for a good reason. Both mics are famed for their exquisite sound quality and trustworthy performance. Looks - and in this case also names - can be deceiving; although these two microphones look almost similar, there are some notable differences. 

cardioid or super-cardioid

The polar pattern is without a doubt the most distinct difference between the SM58 and Beta 58A. The SM58 has a cardioid (apple-shaped) polar pattern, while the Beta 58A features a super-cardioid pattern. These pickup patterns describe the sensitivity to noise coming from different directions. In large part, the pattern determines how and in which situation the microphone should be used.  

 

Shure Cardioid

Shure SM58: cardioid pattern

Shure Supercardioid

Shure Beta58A: super-cardioid pattern

As shown in the pictures above, you can see that the cardioid pattern rejects most of the incoming noise at the back. Then again, a microphone with a super-cardioid polar pattern is less sensitive to sound coming from the sides. Both the SM58 and Beta 58A are the most receptive at the front, yet the super-cardioid pattern of the Beta 58A picks up more sound from all directions. This means less feedback - when monitors are placed correctly.

Shure Beta58A

Frequencies

Compared to the SM58, the Beta 58A has a wider frequency response in the high and mid range – or in other words: the SM58 is better in handing mid tones. de SM58 is beter met midtonen. When choosing between a SM58 or Beta 58A it is important to take your music genre and voice timbre into account; these affect the microphone's performance, and with it how yóu will sound.

output

The Beta 58A is equipped with a neodymium magnet and is a tad more sensitive than the SM58. Therefore, the output is 4dB higher.

handling noise

Thanks to the built-in pneumatic shock mount the Beta 58A can eliminate more handling noise than the SM58. This is necessary because the Beta 58A is more sensitive.

Grill

Both microphones feature a rigid protective grill, though the grill of the Beta 58A is hardened. 

In a nutshell

One cannot deny that the specifications of the Beta58A are mostly superior to those of the SM58, but in some cases the Beta 58A's features are not wanted. For example, if you're a singer in a heavy metal band and you shout and scream into the microphone, the extra sensitivity and details of the Beta 58A are not desirable. Instead, using a SM58 would be a much better solution. After all, it's a matter of taste and situation.