Finding difficulties in choosing between Shure Beta 58A and Shure Beta 87A? Both are super-cardioid microphones, and each one is loved by many people for the excellence of performance and output quality. However, they are being priced quite differently from each other. More often than not, you can find Shure Beta 87A to be quite more expensive than Shure Beta 58A. Yet, before you make a hasty decision, you should be aware that these mics are actually very different from each other, and that each of them can be the best choice under different circumstances.
Dynamic Mic versus Condenser Mic
Shure Beta 58A and Shure Beta 87A sound very differently from each other. This is because they indeed use different mechanisms and technologies. Shure Beta 58A is a dynamic microphone, while Shure Beta 87A is a condenser mic. The difference causes a lot of effects, but let us just get straight to the point here. Shure Beta 58A has a shorter frequency response range, 50 Hz – 16 kHz, while Shure Beta 87A’s frequency response range is 50 Hz – 20 kHz. As you can see, the 87A is able to reach higher frequencies, so it has better treble performance and more airiness in the audio reproduction. Also, much like other condenser microphones, the 87A sounds bright and crisp. The 58A is not as bright, and is kind of warmer instead.
|Shure Beta 58A||Shure Beta 87A|
|- Type Dynamic (moving coil)||- Condenser (electret bias)|
|- 50 to 16,000 Hz||- 50 to 20,000 Hz|
|- Supercardioid, rotationally symmetrical about microphone axis, uniform with frequency||- Cardioid|
|- Open Circuit Voltage: -51.5 dBV/Pa* (2.6 mV) *1 Pa = 94 dB SPL||- Phantom Supply Requirement: 11 to 52 Vdc, positive at both pins 2 and 3, Current Drain: 1.0 to 1.2 mA|
However, you need to be careful with the 87A because it is a very sensitive mic. It is extremely sensitive to sounds, and may be more prone to feedback. So, it is not very good for live performances unless you have a professional always ready to handle the board. On the other hand, the 58A is a lot more stable and resistant to noise and feedback, yet is not as sensitive. Hence, it is a convenience for live performances, but may not be as good as the 87A for capturing the sound details in a controlled recording session.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Shure Beta 58A, as a dynamic mic, doesn’t require phantom power. Meanwhile, Shure Beta 87A, as a condenser mic, requires a phantom power between 11 to 52 V DC. Here, your other equipment plays some role in your consideration. Getting the 87A without being able to power it up is a plain mistake. Do you have what it takes to power the 87A? If you don’t, will you buy additional equipment to be able to provide the phantom power?
Each of them features a Neodymium magnet to provide a high signal-to-noise output level. Each also comes with a hardened steel mesh grille for maximum durability against wear and abuse, and an advanced pneumatic shock mount for reducing mechanical noise and vibration. Shure Beta 87A features a built-in pop filter for attenuating unwanted wind and breath sounds.
Shure Beta 58A Vs 87A
One good advice from many users is that it is best if you get both Shure Beta 58A and 87A, because they do excel for different purposes and under different conditions. However, if you can only get one of them, Shure Beta 58A is perhaps more versatile, as the mic can be used reliably for recordings as well as live performances. On the other hand, Shure Beta 87A is the way if you only use the mic for recordings.