Shure SM7dB Review – IGN

When it comes to finding a top-tier dynamic microphone that can handle various tasks, the Shure SM7B has always been a popular choice. This microphone has consistently impressed podcasters and music producers with its clear, warm sound quality and durable construction. The only drawback has been the need for an external preamp to boost the gain for quieter performances. However, the new SM7dB addresses this issue by incorporating an onboard preamp, transforming an already exceptional microphone into a near-perfect solution without the need for additional attachments.

Design and Features

Externally, the Shure SM7dB closely resembles the standard SM7B, with minimal differences in length and the addition of new switches on the back panel. The microphone’s visual design is as iconic as its sound quality, featuring a bold all-black color and a robust build that exudes durability. The highlight of the SM7dB’s update is the inclusion of an onboard preamp, eliminating the necessity for external preamps to maximize the microphone’s potential. With the ability to toggle between +18dB and +28dB of clean gain, the SM7dB offers enhanced versatility without compromising on performance.

If you already have a sophisticated studio setup or ample preamp options, the SM7dB’s bypass switch allows you to disable the onboard preamp when not needed. In such cases, sticking with the standard SM7B, priced $100 lower, may suffice without the additional bells and whistles of the SM7dB.

The improved high-pass and mid-boost switches on the SM7dB are now easily accessible for quick adjustments, catering to users who rely on these features for fine-tuning frequency ranges without the hassle of specialized tools.


Renowned for its versatility in broadcasting and vocal applications, the SM7B has earned a stellar reputation among podcasters and musicians alike. From popular podcast hosts to legendary artists like Dave Grohl and Michael Jackson, the SM7B remains a preferred choice for its consistent performance and exceptional sound reproduction. The SM7dB retains the classic warm and natural tone of its predecessor, with the added convenience of the built-in preamp.

With its cardioid polar pattern, the SM7dB excels in untreated room settings by minimizing background noise and focusing solely on front-facing audio input. The microphone’s detachable pop filter and included close-talk windscreen further enhance sound quality by reducing plosives and unwanted noise interference. Additionally, the shock mount system ensures minimal handling noise and vibrations, making it ideal for content creators who require mobility without compromising sound integrity.

For users interested in purchasing the Shure SM7dB, it is available on Amazon or directly from Shure for $499. Those who do not require the onboard preamp can opt for the original SM7B at a price of $399.