This outstanding mic faces some stiff competition -says Chris Kennedy
Type: Dynamic Microphone
Item: Shure Beta 58 A
Price: US $159, UK £142
At a Glance: The Shure Beta 58 A is a super-cardioid dynamic microphone that is designed for high-quality live vocal performances. Intended as an upgrade to Shure’s extremely popular SM 58 microphone, the Beta 58 aims to bring a new level of quality to live vocal performances.
High Notes: Like the SM 58, the Beta 58 A has a rugged chassis that should stand the test of time and can be either hand-held on stage or used with a mic stand. One notable upgrade is the move from a cardioid to a super-cardioid capsule. This gives the Beta 58 A an increased frequency response with a more pronounced high end, which helps vocals to cut through the mix without the need for additional EQ. A further improvement is the use of a stronger magnet which gives the mic a “hotter” output; this means that less gain is required from your preamp to get it to operating levels.
Off Pitch: It is no wonder that many professionals are moving from their SM to their Beta 58s as there is really very little to fault with the mic. However, because of the super-cardioid pattern, it is worth noting that sound rejection from the rear is not as good as with the SM58 (or similar cardioid mics), so stage monitors are best placed between 30 and 60 degrees off-axis.
A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Shure’s Beta 58 A is an excellent stage microphone with a frequency response that is tailored to suit vocals. It has incredibly low handling noise which will suit singers who prefer to hold their microphone on stage as opposed to placing it in a stand. It is also more than capable of producing reasonable results in your home studio for demos or YouTube videos if your budget only stretches to owning one vocal mic. The stage vocal microphone market is very crowded and the Beta 58 A faces strong competition from the likes of the Sennheiser E845, TC-Helicon’s MP-75 and the AKG D5.