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Shure Beta 58A review

Most of you are probably familiar with the iconic SM58, but perhaps less of you are aware of the Beta 58A. The series originally came out in the 80s, before Shure decided to make some slight updates and alterations to the design around 1996.

In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the Beta 58A and what it has to offer.

About the author

I’m a producer, audio engineer, and songwriter with over 10 years of experience with a wide range of gear and recording techniques. I’ve worked with a huge variety of microphones from Shure, Electro-Voice, Neumann, and AKG, among others.

testing the Shure Beta 58A vocal microphone
Image: Higher Hz
  • dynamic
  • supercardioid
  • 50 Hz – 16 kHz range
  • XLR
  • 140.5 dB max SPL
  • 290 ohms impedance
  • 2.66 mV/Pa sensitivity

Final verdict on the Shure Beta 58A 3.9

The Shure Beta 58A offers the same durable quality and great sound quality as the original SM58. While it’s more than capable of delivering that classic Shure midrange punch, it is noticeably harsh in the upper midrange which can be fairly fatiguing after long listening periods. On the flip side, this can help vocalists and guitarists cut through in a mix.

What I like

  • Rugged.
  • Energetic-sounding.
  • Moderately-priced.

What I don’t like

  • Might be too bright for some.
Buy Shure Beta 58A at: SweetwaterAmazon

Contents

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

Polar pattern and frequency response 4.0

The Beta 58A is a supercardioid microphone, with a frequency response ranging from 50 Hz to 16 kHz. The top end has two presence peaks at 4 kHz and 10 kHz to help vocalists cut through a mix, which can be preferable in many instances. However, some find this added boost to be a bit grating.

Shure Beta 58A vocal mic closeup
Image: Higher Hz

To my ears, the microphone is fairly harsh in the upper midrange, but a little EQ is normally enough to fix this. Now, lets review the most common uses for this microphone.

Studio vocals 4.0

I’m fairly partial to a warmer vocal sound, so I don’t tend to reach for the Beta 58A much when I’m recording. I have on several occasions and have been more or less content with the results. It’s really a preference thing, some folks really love the extra presence.

Live vocals 4.0

Same goes for live vocals. A bit too bright for my taste but some folks really love the sound. It will certainly help you cut through the mix if nothing else.

Shure Beta 58A tested with mic stand
Image: Higher Hz

Guitar amps 4.5

Alternatively, I do enjoy using this mic on electrics from time to time. Especially if I’m trying to get a bit more sparkle or attack out of the track. It might not be the best in every situation but it’s a solid option.

Bass amps 2.0

Beta 58A on a bass cab? Not for me, but you’re more than welcome to give it a go.

Acoustic guitars 3.5

You can use it on acoustics if you want, but I would probably reach for a condenser or a small-diaphragm cardioid. Don’t let my personal preferences deter you though.

Drums 4.5

I’ve had a lot of success using this microphone for snare tops, bottoms, hi-hats, and as an overhead every once in a while. The presence peaks really add a lot of personality to the track, making it sound a little “crispy” if you will.

Build quality 5.0

Shure tends to focus on durability equally if not more so than sound quality. That being said, this microphone is extremely rugged and well-designed. You can basically use it as a hammer without worry.

Shure Beta 58A packaging/box
Image: Higher Hz

Compared to other microphones

While the Beta 58A might be a decent microphone, especially for live vocals, here are a few alternatives to consider.

Shure Beta 58A vs SM58

A standard SM58 is definitely more useful than the Beta 58A. The brightness of the Beta 58A really shuts it out from a lot of applications whereas a SM58 can be thrown at just about anything.

Read the full Shure SM58 review

Shure Beta 58A vs SM57

These two microphones sound pretty similar to my ears, although again, I get a lot more use out of a loose SM57 than a Beta 58A. After all, it’s industry standard.

Read the full Shure SM57 review

Shure Beta 58A vs Sennheiser e 945

The e 945 is a lot smoother, and a lot more balanced tonally than the Beta 58A is. To reiterate for the umpteenth time, the Beta 58A is enormously bright, which makes it less desirable in a large number of applications.

Who is the Shure Beta 58A best suited for?

The Beta 58A is best suited for anybody who likes using an SM58 or an SM57 but wishes that it had a bit more aggression and presence in the top end.

Buy Shure Beta 58A at: SweetwaterAmazon
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