If you’re in the market for a high-quality dynamic microphone, you’ve likely come across the Shure SM7B and the Electro-Voice RE20. Both are popular choices for broadcasting, podcasting, and voiceover work. But which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll compare the Shure SM7B and the Electro-Voice RE20 to help you make an informed decision.

The Shure SM7B has been a mainstay in the broadcasting world for decades. It’s known for its warm, smooth sound and its ability to reject background noise. The SM7B has a frequency response of 50Hz to 20kHz and a cardioid polar pattern. It also features a switchable bass roll-off and mid-range boost, which can be useful for tailoring the microphone’s sound to your voice or instrument.

The Electro-Voice RE20 is another highly-regarded dynamic microphone that’s often used for broadcasting and podcasting. It has a frequency response of 45Hz to 18kHz and a cardioid polar pattern. The RE20 is known for its natural, transparent sound and its ability to handle high sound pressure levels without distortion. It also features a built-in pop filter and shock mount, which can help reduce plosives and handling noise.

Overview of Re20 and SM7B

If you are looking for a high-quality dynamic microphone for broadcasting, podcasting, or voice-over work, you have likely come across the Electro-Voice RE20 and the Shure SM7B. Both of these microphones are highly regarded within the industry and are often compared to each other. In this section, we will provide an overview of these two microphones, so you can decide which one is right for you.

Electro-Voice RE20

The Electro-Voice RE20 is a dynamic microphone that has been around for over 50 years. It is a popular choice for broadcast and voice-over work, as it has a smooth and natural sound that is well-suited for spoken word. The RE20 has a cardioid polar pattern, which means that it primarily picks up sound from the front and rejects sound from the rear. This makes it ideal for use in noisy environments, as it can help to minimize background noise.

One of the standout features of the RE20 is its internal shock mount, which helps to reduce handling noise. It also has a bass roll-off switch, which can be useful for reducing low-frequency rumble and proximity effect. Overall, the RE20 is a versatile and reliable microphone that can deliver excellent results in a variety of settings.

Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B is another popular choice for broadcasting, podcasting, and voice-over work. It is a dynamic microphone that has a smooth and warm sound that is well-suited for spoken word. The SM7B has a cardioid polar pattern, which means that it primarily picks up sound from the front and rejects sound from the rear.

One of the standout features of the SM7B is its ability to handle high sound pressure levels (SPLs). This makes it ideal for use in loud environments, such as when recording live music or capturing the sound of a drum kit. The SM7B also has a bass roll-off switch and a mid-range boost switch, which can be useful for tailoring the microphone’s response to different recording situations.

Overall, both the RE20 and the SM7B are excellent microphones that are well-suited for broadcasting, podcasting, and voice-over work. They both have a smooth and natural sound that is highly regarded within the industry. The choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your recording setup.

Design Features

Both the RE20 and SM7B have unique design features that set them apart from each other. When it comes to design, it’s important to consider factors such as color, weight, build quality, dimension, and steel case.

The RE20 features a sleek black exterior that gives it a professional look. Its weight is well-balanced and feels solid in your hand. The build quality of the RE20 is top-notch, with a steel case that provides durability and protection. The dimension of the RE20 is 8.5 x 2.2 x 2.2 inches, making it a compact and easy-to-handle microphone.

On the other hand, the SM7B features a classic silver and black exterior that gives it a retro look. The SM7B is slightly heavier than the RE20, but it still feels comfortable to hold. The build quality of the SM7B is also impressive, with a rugged steel case that can withstand heavy use. The dimension of the SM7B is 7.4 x 3.5 x 7.4 inches, making it a bit larger than the RE20.

Both microphones are designed to be versatile and durable, making them suitable for a variety of applications. The RE20 is particularly well-suited for recording low-end instruments like bass guitar or kick drum, while the SM7B is known for its iconic broadcast sound and versatility.

In terms of design, both microphones are excellent choices. The RE20 has a sleek and professional look, while the SM7B has a classic and timeless design. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your personal preferences and the specific needs of your recording setup.

Technical Specifications

When it comes to comparing the Shure SM7B and the Electro-Voice RE20, it’s important to consider their technical specifications to determine which microphone is best suited for your needs.

Frequency Response

The frequency response of a microphone refers to the range of frequencies that it can accurately capture. Both the SM7B and the RE20 have a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz, which is considered standard for most microphones.

Cardioid Polar Pattern

The cardioid polar pattern of a microphone refers to the directionality of its pickup. Both the SM7B and the RE20 have a cardioid polar pattern, which means they are most sensitive to sound coming from the front of the microphone, while also picking up some sound from the sides and rejecting sound from the rear.

Sensitivity

The sensitivity of a microphone refers to how well it can pick up sound. The SM7B has a sensitivity of -59 dBV/Pa, while the RE20 has a sensitivity of -56 dBV/Pa. While the SM7B is slightly more sensitive, the difference is negligible in most cases.

Impedance

The impedance of a microphone refers to the resistance of its electrical circuit. The SM7B has an impedance of 150 ohms, while the RE20 has an impedance of 150 ohms as well. This means that both microphones can be used with most audio interfaces without any issues.

Output Transformer

The output transformer of a microphone refers to the component that helps to match the microphone’s output to the impedance of the device it’s connected to. The SM7B has an internal output transformer, while the RE20 does not have an output transformer. This can affect the sound of the microphone, but in practice, the difference is not noticeable in most situations.

Overall, both the Shure SM7B and the Electro-Voice RE20 are high-quality microphones with similar technical specifications. Which one is best for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

Performance Evaluation

When it comes to performance evaluation, both the RE20 and SM7B excel in different areas. The RE20 provides more clarity, making it a popular choice for recording voice, speech, and vocals. It is also a great option for rap and other genres that require a strong presence boost. The frequency response on the low end is especially impressive, making it an ideal choice for recording bass guitar or kick drum.

On the other hand, the SM7B is a versatile microphone that can be used for a variety of purposes. It has a warm and flattering sound that works well on most everything, from vocals to instruments. It is also a popular option for broadcasting and podcasting due to its iconic broadcast sound.

When it comes to sound quality, both microphones are top-notch. The RE20 offers more vocal clarity, while the SM7B has a warm and flattering sound. If you’re looking for a microphone that can handle a variety of recording situations, the SM7B is a great choice. However, if you need a microphone that can provide more clarity for vocals and speech, the RE20 is the way to go.

In terms of performance, both microphones are excellent choices for streaming, broadcasting, and podcasting. They both offer high-quality sound and are versatile enough to handle a variety of recording situations. The SM7B is a popular choice for podcasting due to its iconic broadcast sound, while the RE20 is a great option for recording vocals and speech.

Overall, both the RE20 and SM7B are excellent microphones that offer high-quality sound and versatility. Which microphone you choose will depend on your specific recording needs.

Special Features

Both the RE20 and the SM7B have a range of special features that make them stand out from other microphones on the market. Here are some of the key features that you should consider when deciding between the two:

Flat Response

Both the RE20 and the SM7B have a relatively flat frequency response, which means that they are designed to capture sound as accurately as possible. This makes them ideal for recording vocals, as well as a range of other instruments and sounds.

Pop Filter and Windscreen

Both microphones come with a built-in pop filter and windscreen, which helps to reduce unwanted noise and distortion caused by plosives and wind. This means that you can record vocals and other sounds without worrying about unwanted noise or distortion.

Proximity Effect

Both the RE20 and the SM7B have a proximity effect, which means that the bass response of the microphone increases when the sound source is close to the microphone. This can be useful for recording vocals and other sounds where you want to emphasize the low end.

Variable-D Technology

The RE20 uses Variable-D technology, which helps to reduce proximity effect and other unwanted noise. This makes it an ideal choice for recording vocals and other sounds where you want to capture a clear, accurate sound.

Hum-Bucking Coil

The SM7B has a hum-bucking coil, which helps to reduce interference and noise caused by electrical equipment. This means that you can record vocals and other sounds without worrying about unwanted noise or interference.

Dynamic Cartridge

Both microphones use a dynamic cartridge, which means that they are designed to handle high sound pressure levels without distortion. This makes them ideal for recording loud sounds, such as drums and electric guitars.

Switches

The SM7B has a range of switches that allow you to adjust the microphone’s response to different recording situations. For example, you can switch on the bass roll-off filter to reduce low-frequency noise, or switch on the high-pass filter to reduce unwanted noise in the high-frequency range.

Overall, both the RE20 and the SM7B have a range of special features that make them ideal for recording vocals and a range of other sounds. When deciding between the two, consider your specific recording needs and which features are most important to you.

Price Comparison

When it comes to choosing between the Electro-Voice RE20 and the Shure SM7B, price is a significant factor to consider. Both microphones are professional-grade and come with a relatively high price tag. However, there are some differences in their pricing that may sway your decision.

The Shure SM7B is generally more expensive than the Electro-Voice RE20. At the time of writing, the Shure SM7B costs around $399, while the Electro-Voice RE20 is priced at around $449. However, it’s worth noting that prices may vary depending on where you purchase the microphones from.

While the price difference between the two microphones may not seem significant, it’s important to consider your budget and what you’re willing to spend. If you’re on a tight budget, the Electro-Voice RE20 may be a better option for you. However, if you’re willing to spend a bit more for a higher-end microphone, the Shure SM7B may be the way to go.

It’s also worth noting that both microphones are built to last and offer excellent value for money. While the Shure SM7B may be more expensive, it comes with a range of features that make it a popular choice for professionals in the broadcasting and recording industries.

In summary, while price is an important factor to consider when choosing between the Electro-Voice RE20 and the Shure SM7B, it’s not the only factor. You should also consider the features, sound quality, and overall performance of each microphone before making your final decision.

Mounting and Setup

When it comes to mounting and setup, both the RE20 and SM7B offer a variety of options to suit your needs.

The RE20 comes with a yoke mount that allows you to easily attach the microphone to a stand or boom arm. The yoke mount provides a secure and stable base for the microphone, which is important for preventing unwanted vibrations and noise. Additionally, the RE20 features an internal shock-mount system that further reduces vibrations and handling noise.

On the other hand, the SM7B does not come with a yoke mount, but it does include a standard shock-mount that attaches to a mic stand. The shock-mount is effective at reducing vibrations and handling noise, but it may not be as stable as a yoke mount. If you prefer a yoke mount for your SM7B, you can purchase one separately.

In terms of setup, both microphones require an XLR cable to connect to your audio interface or mixer. It’s important to use a high-quality cable to ensure the best possible signal transfer and minimize interference.

When positioning your microphone, it’s recommended to place it about 6-12 inches away from your mouth to achieve optimal sound quality. You can use a pop filter or windscreen to reduce plosives and wind noise.

Overall, both the RE20 and SM7B offer flexible mounting and setup options to suit your needs. Whether you prefer a yoke mount or a shock-mount, both microphones are capable of delivering excellent sound quality with the right setup.

Additional Equipment

When using the RE20 or SM7B, there are a few additional pieces of equipment that can help you get the most out of your microphone.

Preamp

A preamp is a device that amplifies the signal from your microphone before it reaches your audio interface. While some audio interfaces have built-in preamps, they may not provide enough gain for dynamic microphones like the RE20 and SM7B. A dedicated preamp can provide more power to your microphone, resulting in a stronger and cleaner signal.

Audio Interface

An audio interface is a device that connects your microphone to your computer and converts the analog signal from your microphone into a digital signal that can be recorded or processed by your computer. When choosing an audio interface, make sure it has enough gain to power your microphone and that it has a low noise floor to ensure a clean recording.

Shock Mount

A shock mount is a device that suspends your microphone in a cradle, reducing the amount of noise that is transmitted through the microphone stand. This can be especially useful if you are recording in a noisy environment or if you are using a boom arm to position your microphone.

Cloudlifter

A Cloudlifter is a device that provides additional gain to your microphone before it reaches your audio interface. It is especially useful for low-output dynamic microphones like the RE20 and SM7B, as it can provide up to 25dB of clean gain without adding any noise or distortion.

Overall, when using the RE20 or SM7B, it is important to have the right equipment to get the best possible sound. A dedicated preamp, high-quality audio interface, shock mount, and Cloudlifter can all help you achieve professional-quality recordings with these iconic broadcast microphones.

Application in Different Fields

Both the RE20 and the SM7B have proven to be versatile mics that can be used in various fields. Here are some examples of where they excel:

Radio

Both the RE20 and SM7B are industry-standard mics in radio broadcasting. They are known for their ability to capture clear and crisp audio, making them ideal for spoken word applications. The RE20 has a slightly warmer sound, while the SM7B has a more neutral sound with a slight boost around 5 kHz.

Live Streaming

The SM7B is a popular choice for live streaming due to its ability to reject background noise and its built-in pop filter. It is also a dynamic mic, which means it does not require phantom power to operate. However, it is worth noting that the SM7B has a low output level, so you may need to use a preamp or a mixer with a good amount of gain to get a decent signal.

Vocals

Both the RE20 and SM7B are great choices for vocals. The RE20 has a slightly warmer sound that can add some character to vocals, while the SM7B has a more neutral sound that works well with a variety of voices. The SM7B also has a built-in high-pass filter and presence boost switch, which can help tailor the sound to your liking.

Guitar Amps

The SM7B is a popular choice for miking guitar amps, particularly for heavier genres like metal. It can handle high sound pressure levels without distorting, and its tight polar pattern helps reject unwanted noise. The RE20 can also work well for miking guitar amps, but its slightly warmer sound may not be ideal for all genres.

Drums

Both the RE20 and SM7B can be used for miking drums, particularly kick drums. They both have a tight polar pattern that helps isolate the sound source and reject unwanted noise. The RE20 has a slightly warmer sound that can add some character to the kick drum, while the SM7B has a more neutral sound that can work well with a variety of drum types.

Bass Guitar

The RE20 is a popular choice for miking bass guitar amps due to its ability to handle low frequencies without distorting. The SM7B can also work well for miking bass guitar, but it may require some EQ to get the desired sound.

Spoken Word

Both the RE20 and SM7B are excellent choices for spoken word applications like podcasts and voiceovers. They both have a tight polar pattern that helps isolate the sound source and reject unwanted noise. The RE20 has a slightly warmer sound that can add some character to the voice, while the SM7B has a more neutral sound that works well with a variety of voices.

In summary, both the RE20 and SM7B are versatile mics that can be used in various fields. The RE20 has a slightly warmer sound, while the SM7B has a more neutral sound with a slight boost around 5 kHz. They both have a tight polar pattern that helps isolate the sound source and reject unwanted noise, making them ideal for spoken word applications. The SM7B is also a popular choice for live streaming due to its ability to reject background noise and its built-in pop filter.

Comparison of Differences

When comparing the Electro-Voice RE20 and the Shure SM7B, there are several differences to consider. Here are some of the key differences between the two microphones:

Design

The Electro-Voice RE20 features a Variable-D design, which helps to maintain a consistent sound quality even when the user is moving around in front of the microphone. The Variable-D design also helps to reduce proximity effect, which is a bass boost that occurs when the microphone is placed close to the sound source. The Shure SM7B, on the other hand, features a cardioid polar pattern, which means that it is more directional and picks up sound primarily from the front of the microphone.

Frequency Response

The frequency response of the two microphones is also different. The Electro-Voice RE20 has a frequency response of 45Hz to 18kHz, while the Shure SM7B has a frequency response of 50Hz to 20kHz. The RE20 has a slightly more pronounced low-end response, which can be useful for recording bass-heavy instruments like kick drums or bass guitars. The SM7B, on the other hand, has a slightly more extended high-end response, which can help to capture more detail in vocals.

Sensitivity

The sensitivity of the two microphones is also different. The Electro-Voice RE20 has a sensitivity of -56dBV/Pa, while the Shure SM7B has a sensitivity of -59dBV/Pa. This means that the SM7B requires slightly more gain to achieve the same level of volume as the RE20. However, the SM7B also has a higher maximum SPL (sound pressure level) handling, which means that it can handle louder sound sources without distorting.

Pop Filter

The Shure SM7B comes with an integrated pop filter, which helps to reduce plosives (popping sounds) when recording vocals. The Electro-Voice RE20 does not come with an integrated pop filter, but one can be easily added using an external pop filter or windscreen.

Overall, both the Electro-Voice RE20 and the Shure SM7B are excellent microphones with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. The choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the user.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, both the Electro-Voice RE20 and the Shure SM7B are high-end, versatile microphones that are well-suited for a variety of recording situations.

The RE20 has a cardioid polar pattern that helps to minimize background noise and a low cut filter that allows for more precise control over the sound. It is a dynamic microphone that is often used for studio recording, but it is also a popular choice for speeches and other live events.

The SM7B, on the other hand, is a dynamic microphone that is known for its versatility. It has a cardioid polar pattern that helps to minimize background noise and a switchable bass roll-off that allows for more precise control over the sound. It is often used for studio recording, but it is also a popular choice for podcasting and broadcasting.

When it comes to testing, both microphones have been praised by professionals for their sound quality and versatility. The SM7B is known for its warm, smooth sound that works well for vocals, guitars, and drums. The RE20, on the other hand, has a more neutral sound that is ideal for broadcast and voiceover work.

In terms of connectivity, both microphones require an XLR cable to connect to a preamp or audio interface. The SM7B requires a bit more gain than the RE20, but both microphones are relatively easy to set up and use.

Overall, both the Electro-Voice RE20 and the Shure SM7B are excellent microphones that are well worth the investment. While they are both expensive, they offer high-quality sound and versatility that make them a great choice for any recording situation.