If you’ve worked with audio for any amount of time, you’ve probably come in contact with the go-to microphone for just about any situation, the Shure SM58. It’s basically indestructible, and can be used in a variety of situations, from its primary use in vocals, to drums, and just about every other type of instrument you could think of.
For its price and quality, it’s a great microphone, and will get the job done easily.
If you’re willing to experiment, and spend a little more money, however, I’ve found you can get a much better bang for your buck.
One of my favorite microphone brands is Heil. They advertise, rightly so, that they build dynamic microphones with condenser characteristics. Their vocal microphones add a richness and clarity to the human voice that is noticeably absent with the SM58 if you compare them side by side.
The PR22, which is very similar in shape and size to the SM58, outdoes it by leaps and bounds in my opinion. It’s also an extremely versatile mic, and can be used for many other things besides vocals.
Another great company for all purpose microphones is Sennheiser. They have several microphones that are comparable to the SM58, but still offer better clarity and less “muddiness” in their tone.
If you’re looking for something in particular from Sennheiser for a similar price to the SM58, I’d check out their evolution 800 series.
Shure also offers some great higher end microphones, such as the Beta 87.
Many professionals replace the SM58 with the Beta 87 to gain some quality from a vocalist’s voice.
What’s your favorite microphone?