Review: The Shure SM48 Dynamic Mic

Should you go for Shure’s low-cost vocal mic or pay extra for something better?

Type: Live Vocal Microphone

Price: US $49, UK £55

Mic Rating:

At A Glance: The Shure SM48 is a unidirectional dynamic microphone that has a frequency response tailored for vocals. It is intended for live use, studio recording, and broadcasting applications and it has a cardioid pattern to ensure high gain before feedback and good rejection of off-axis sound. The SM48 costs less than Shure’s hugely popular SM58 vocal microphone, however it shares many of the same attributes, making it an attractive option to singers on a budget.

High Notes: The mic has the same durable build as its sibling the SM58, with a steel mesh grille and tough chassis, and it comes with a carry pouch and stand adaptor. It is available with or without a switch and has a shock-mounted capsule that works well to reduce handling noise. The mic has an attenuated proximity effect to stop low frequencies getting too overpowering, which makes it a good choice for live spoken word applications, and its integrated pop-filter does a good job at stopping excessive plosive sounds.

Off Pitch: The SM48 is expensive in the UK when compared to prices in the USA. It also has a less responsive capsule when compared to a SM58, making it a bit harder for vocals to cut though in a dense mix.

A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The SM48 has a less forward and rich sound when compared to an SM58 that may not make it the first choice for all lead singers; however it will certainly work well for backing singers and offers a good cost saving for bands starting out. With a little EQ, the mic works well for vocalists on a budget, however with the relatively high price in Europe the cost savings when compared to a Shure SM58 or an AKG D5 make it hard to justify not spending the extra.

Manufacturer’s Website:

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  •  If you are gonna sing anything less than the TC-Helicon MP-70-75, AE-6100 is not gonna make you very happy.  SM-58 is also offered in a less expensive version known as PG-58. 49-59us w/cable. D5 is also known as a good low cost alternative but more expensive and not any better sounding.