One of the world’s best-loved microphones just got a massive upgrade that’s coming to come as welcome news to broadcasters and podcasters alike.
Considering I’ve recently put four SM7Bs into a live studio space, the SM7db will be a welcome upgrade for those who have been putting off a purchase given the typical need for extra gain in the chain. As dynamic mics go, the SM7B needs a lot of “welly” thanks to its low sensitivity. Whether you’re using something like a Cloudlifter for an extra 25db gain or another third-party preamp or maybe adding some digital gain from your console, to date, getting more from the SM7b has usually meant spending more. In my case, I’m sending 60-65dB of gain to each mic channel using an SM7B in one studio being driven by Wheatstone’s split frame LXE console.
Now, in what should be welcome news for podcasters in particular for home podcasters, Shure have added a new member to the SM7 family some 50 years on from its introduction. The new edition brings all the traditional qualities of the SM7B and adds in a Shure-designed active preamp that provides an additional 18 or 28 dB of clean gain. That means no need for a separate preamp (that said, the technology is licensed from Cloud) and less chance of picking up hiss from other preamps or sound cards. If you don’t need the gain, you don’t use it, so you’ll still get that original SM7B performance.
The selector switches are mounted on the rear of the microphone (see the image above).
Cost-wise, it is pricey, roughly equating to the cost of adding a preamp, per microphone, to your setup. That is to say with the SM7B retailing around €389, the SM7dB will cost you around €589 from Thomann, £514 from StudioSpares, €591 from Amazon, so it doesn’t come cheap.
Pricing aside, it’s a smart move from Shure and may likely see the SM7dB gain some ground with content creators with some breathing room in their wallets. I’ve not had a hands-on look at the mic itself but the short B&H review below is worth exploring for more.