Both of these microphones have a lot in common, for starters they look very similar (and there’s a good reason for that).
Both are dynamic mics with a cardioid polar pattern.
Dynamic mics are the de facto microphones for live applications. As a matter of fact, the Shure SM58 is considered the ultimate vocal microphone for live use.
Dynamic microphones are quite durable and can withstand the hits and mistreatment commonly associated with tours and live work in general. This is especially true when compared to condenser or ribbon mics, which are far more fragile and prone to damage.
In essence, both the SM58 and the SM48 were designed to be used mostly as vocal microphones for live use. However, their uses can extend beyond that.
For instance, you can also use either of these mics for recordings. As a matter of fact, the SM stands for ‘studio microphone’.
The SM58 has even been used as a drum overhead mic in recordings by the band U2. Granted, this is not a conventional use for this mic, but then again, this was done by the engineers of one of the biggest bands ever, and they made it work.
Cardioid Polar Pattern
Both the SM48 and SM58 feature a cardioid polar pattern. This type of pickup pattern is fantastic for capturing the sound source directly in front of the mic while rejecting most unwanted noise from the sides and all unwanted noise from the back.
As you might expect, in a live situation there is sound coming from all directions, and the polar pattern featured in both of these mics is great for capturing exactly what is placed before them, and not much from other directions.
Cardioid mics are also referred to as unidirectional and are ideal for noise suppression and feedback reduction while capturing the source in front of them.
Built-in Pop Filter and Shock-Mounted Cartridge
Both the SM58 and SM48 microphones come with qusi-pop filters by way of the grille, which helps to filter out plosives. Although it helps, it doesn’t entirely eliminate loud plosives, especially if the singer is close to the mic.
Both mics also have a shock-mounted cartridge that reduces handling noise significantly.
SM48 vs SM58: Differences
Although they might look identical from a distance, there are some significant differences between the SM58 and the SM48. For starters, some SM48 mics have an on/off switch (SM48S).
As the pros and cons of each mic becomes more obvious, you’ll be able to better choose the right one for you.
The Shure SM58 has a frequency range of 50 to 15000 Hertz, which is great for live use. The Shure SM48, on the other hand, has a more limited frequency range that goes from 55 to 14,000 Hertz. However, according to recordinghacks.com, this upper limit is negligible.
In most cases, the differences in the frequency response between these mics will probably go unnoticed by most. This is especially true in a live context where there are other instruments involved, not to mention crowd noise, etc.
Yes. The Shure SM48 is a good microphone for the price, especially for live use on vocalists.
Is the Shure SM48 good for recording?
Although the Shure SM48 is an option for a tight-budget recording, especially for folks that are just starting out, your money will be better spent on a budget condenser microphone, which is designed specifically for recording.
Can you use a Shure SM58 for recording?
Yes, you can use an SM58 for recording, although it has some limitations in the studio. That said, this mic is especially good for capturing loud singers in a rock context as well as distorted electric guitars played through a cabinet, among other uses.
Does the SM58 need phantom power?
No. The SM58 is a dynamic microphone, so it does not need phantom power in order to function.
How do you connect a Shure SM48?
The Shure SM48, as well as the SM58, connect to mixers, interfaces, and preamps via an XLR cable.