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Shure Beta 52A review: Kick mic to end all kick mics

In this review, I’ll be testing the the Shure Beta 52A supercardioid dynamic kick drum microphone.

The Beta 52A is one of the most popular choices when it comes to recording bass and kick drums. So, let’s dive right in and see if it holds up to the hype.

Shure Beta 52A microphone closeup
Close-up look at the Shure Beta 52A microphone | Image: Higher Hz

Final verdict on the Beta 52A 5.0

For what it is, the Beta 52A is an amazing microphone. It’s often the microphone I jump for when recording drums and bass cabs, and for good reason.

The Shure Beta 52A is great at capturing the lowest of low frequencies, and its high SPL makes it capable of handling extremely loud sound sources.

Whether on stage or in the studio, the Beta 52A is one of the most reliable kick drum mics you can find.

What I like

  • Great at capturing low frequencies.
  • High SPL.
  • Durable.
  • Quite affordable.

What I don’t like

  • Specialized, not versatile.
See current price at: SweetwaterAmazon

Why you should trust me

Brandon Schock, writer at Higher Hz

I’ve worked with a diverse spectrum of microphones over the decade spent in the field of audio production and engineering, both in studio environments and on live productions.

Working with names such as Shure, AKG, Neumann, and Sennheiser, among many others, has lent me nuanced insights into the practical application of audio equipment and what value it provides users ranging from novice to seasoned professionals.


Use these jump links to navigate to the desired section of the review.

Polar pattern and frequency response

The Beta 52A has a supercardioid polar pattern and a frequency response of 20 Hz – 10 kHz, with slight boosts in the low and upper-mid ranges.

Its max SPL is 174 dB, making it perfect for capturing loud sound sources, i.e. kick drums and bass cabinets.

If you’re wanting to record jazz, this microphone might not be your best option. The Beta 52A delivers a more modern and aggressive sound that might not be suitable for softer styles of music.

However, it works for anything you’re trying to capture a good low end for.

Drums 5.0

This is exactly what the microphone was designed for! The Beta 52A is the perfect kick drum microphone, and can even be used for floor toms or snare bottoms if you really know what you’re doing.

Shure Beta 52A on a microphone stand
Beta 52A on a microphone stand | Image: Higher Hz

As far as hi-hats, snares, and overheads are concerned, however, you’re better off going with something more capable.

Guitar amps 3.5

While the Shure Beta 52A won’t usually be the ideal candidate to record a guitar amp with, it works wonders for more bass-heavy styles of music and sounds.

If you’re trying to record metal, where a baritone guitar is often at play, this microphone can definitely do the trick.

Bass amps 5.0

The Shure Beta 52A is the obvious choice when it comes to recording bass amps.

Often, you’ll want to use a second mic or DI in conjunction in order to get more shape out of your sound, but the 52A is ideal for getting those heavy lows.

Acoustic guitars 2.0

If you like a muddy acoustic guitar with not a lot of definition, maybe the Beta 52A is a good idea. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

Vocals 2.0

The Shure Beta 52A’s design doesn’t really warrant any viable applications when it comes to vocals. Obviously, feel free to experiment, but this would be an unorthodox choice.

Shure Beta 52A microphone front view
Beta 52A microphone, front view | Image: Higher Hz

The same goes for live vocals, if anything, it’s a worse idea. You might make a few enemies with the live sound tech if you force them to balance your muddy vocals with the rest of the music.

Build quality 5.0

The Shure Beta 52A is rather bulky, weighing in at around 1.33 lbs. It’s also completely made of metal.

Shure Beta 52A microphone side view
Beta 52A microphone, side view | Image: Higher Hz

This is an incredibly durable microphone which can last you at least a decade of use with proper care.

Compared to other microphones

Here are a few alternatives to consider against the Shure Beta 52A.

Beta 52A vs Audix D6

The Audix D6 is more clicky in its sound signature, and is primarily used for heavy metal. Especially for music with a lot of double pedal action on the kick, where a more defined sound is needed. For all other purposes, the Beta 52A is better.

Beta 52A vs Sennheiser e 902

The Sennheiser e 902 works great for metal and live sound applications. The Beta 52A is a bit more versatile for other genres, however, so pick whichever best suits your needs.

Beta 52A vs AKG D112 Mk2

The D112 Mk2 is more capable at capturing the lowest of low frequencies than the Beta 52A. However, the Shure is more durable. They’re both great options though.

Who is the Shure Beta 52A best suited for?

The Shure Beta 52A is perfect for anybody trying to get a solid kick drum or bass sound.

However, I wouldn’t recommend this for anybody who doesn’t yet have a collection of several other microphones to use it in conjunction with.

See current price at: SweetwaterAmazon

Recent updates

  • May 8, 2024: I’ve updated the structure to suit the latest standard and made several minor improvements to the text.
  • July 26, 2022: I published the original microphone review based on my experience using it in various recording applications.