Shure SM57 VS SM57LC

Microphone is one of the keys for better audio quality and this is why you need to shop wisely about which will be the best for the setup or application. There are plenty to choose from that some can be very similar as well such as the Shure SM57 Vs SM57LC. These popular microphones are great for recording your instrument with proper setup but for those who wonder what exactly sets the two apart, let’s see below about what they can offer.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • What are the Differences between Vocal and Instrument Microphones
  • What are Shure SM57 and SM57LC
  • How are the Design of Shure SM57 and SM57LC
  • How are the Specs of Shure SM57 and SM57LC
  • How are the Performance of Shure SM57 and SM57LC
  • How are the Sound Quality of Shure SM57 and SM57LC
  • Shure SM57 Vs SM57LC

Vocal and Instrument Microphones

We want to have better audio quality not only for recording vocals but also for recording the instrument. Just like all products, it is best to choose based on the application and there are so many good microphones to consider depending on which seems to work on the application the most. The microphone made for vocal and the microphone made for instruments are also different to those made for streaming such as Blue Yeti. If you are currently looking for a new microphone, let’s see the differences below.

It is a very common question among people or aspiring musicians whether their vocal mics can be used for recording instruments or vice versa, especially in a simple setup such as when they record cover or demo for the songs. The answer will vary actually, depending on your preference just like whether you want to use electric guitar or acoustic guitar and if you want to know whether you like it or not, there is no other way than trying it first.

However, there are also some factors to consider because specs wise they can be quite different and considering these factors can help a lot in the way you decide which microphone to go for. The first one is frequency range because many mics are tailored to emphasize a certain frequency and give it character; usually boosted slightly on the highs for clarity and intelligibility which is great for vocals and speeches while on the other hand instrument microphone tend to have a wider frequency range.

Many of them can be as low as 40Hz or 15Hz which means they should be able to capture the low E string of a bass guitar around 41Hz. It doesn’t mean that other microphones with response at 50Hz can’t do the job but probably it is not as effective as capturing the lower frequency that we want to deliver. Second, do consider the type of instrument as well because not all will sound as great with the same microphone such as electric guitar for example.

Since they have lots of mids and highs, it is probably less wise to use vocal mics which accentuates the treble since it is boosting what’s already strong and for live application this can be an issue for the people who are working on the mixing part. In addition, just like speakers, microphones are performing based on how it is made. Choosing the microphone for a certain application we will also need to consider the physical features or additional features that will be helpful in your setup.

 Shure SM57Shure SM57LC
Product Dimensions10.3 x 4.9 x 3.4 inches
10.3 x 4.9 x 3.4 inches
Shipping Weight15.1 ounces 10 ounces
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About Shure SM57 and SM57LC

Now when you are ready to shop for a new microphone, it is time to see what the market has to offer. Typically you will find lots of options to choose from based on the brand, budget, or the specific applications. To ease users choosing their ideal microphone, companies usually already stated what their microphone is made for such as HyperX SoloCast Vs Razer Seiren X that are made for streamers. If you are here then we assume that this microphone will be used for recording instruments.

There are lots of good microphones in the market and the most convenient is probably choosing based on the brand or how much you can spend. Shure is always one of the best when it comes to good microphone and this company has been known to carry lots of reliable microphones, mostly those made for vocals and speech but, they also have good instrument mics that are ideal for live applications or for home studio use. Price wise they are competitive to many other brands with the same quality.

What to notice is choosing the right microphone is differentiating which seems to work best in your application based on instrument, the type of sound you want to capture, and budget if there is a limit to spend. There are also similar options that can be confusing such as Shure SM57 and SM57LC but worry not because these are the same microphones. Back then microphones were retailed with different versions or packages so this naming is to refer to the specific kit they come with.

As the name suggest, the SM57LC means “less-cable” as opposed to the kit that comes with its cable so the microphones are actually the same and if you only worried about their difference, both Shure SM57 and SM57LC don’t come with the cable thus, you will need to have the equipment ready or buy them separately before using the mics. Any of these options are going to be ideal for instruments whether you are going to use them on stage or in the studio.

Shure SM57 and SM57LC Design

Before getting into what they can offer, let’s take a look into the unit first and since both Shure SM57 and SM57LC are the same microphone, we are going to talk about the same model as well. These microphones are very well-made just like most Shure’s mics; they are robust and made of full metal body that can sustain quite the stress. You will get a simple pouch as well to store the microphone when transported or not being used.

You will get a microphone stand too but we are unsure whether all the packages will come with the adapter and obviously you don’t get the cable here. There is some plastic at the top near the grill and as you can see, they are an end-addressed microphone and on the bottom we can find the XLR port for connectivity. The rest of the microphone is very basic and there are no built-in features as well so anything you will need to do will be related to placement, interface, and processing.

Shure SM57 and SM57LC Specs

Moving further, let’s see what the Shure SM57 and SM57LC can offer starting from the specs first and as it has been mentioned above, instrument microphones typically have a wider frequency response in which it is from 40Hz to 15kHz. They also have sensitivity from -56 dB with impedance of 150 or 310 ohms. From the specs alone we can assume that these microphones will be able to capture plenty of the low-end while not being extended on the high-end.

Shure SM57 and SM57LC Performance

Next is for the performance, since many of us may want to use these microphones for miking instruments in live application, handling noise is something important to notice. They do introduce some handling noise when moved by hand so we don’t think it is a good handheld but we love the directionality of the cardioid pattern. It is rejecting the off-axis sound pretty well so it will only capture those right in front of the mic, making it ideal for live situations where there are lots of other sounds in the space.

Shure SM57 and SM57LC Sound Quality

For the most important part, the Shure SM57 and SM57LC are the same microphone so they will sound the same as well. Our overall thought about these microphones is great because they capture the desired part of electric guitars really well and we do think it is also good for other instruments which are already naturally bright or if you don’t want it to boost the high-end. However, for acoustic guitars that we want to capture the brightness and presence, these mics are not as promising.

It is also not the best for vocals for the same reason so you may want to have different or separate mics for recording the singing. What we love the most is probably their versatility because these microphones are also good for speech so if you will be streaming or making content for Youtube for example, we can still utilize these two as well. What to note is you will need a windscreen and shock mount to minimize plosives and noise from the mount. Additionally, you have to drive the gain pretty high too since these mics are not sensitive.

Shure SM57 Vs SM57LC

Both Shure SM57 and SM57LC are good microphones for instruments and even for speech which makes them pretty convenient or versatile since we can use them for different applications. The difference between the models is just on naming since none of them come with the cable so it doesn’t matter whether you go with LC or non LC, we still get the same kit. But since they can be priced differently based on the retailers, it is good to consider the cheaper option.

- Dynamic (moving coil)
- Positive pressure on diaphragm produces positive voltage on pin 2 with respect to pin 3.
- Three-pin professional audio (XLR), male.
- Dark gray, enamel-painted, die-cast steel with a polycarbonate grille and a stainless steel screen.
 
- Dynamic (moving coil)
- Contoured frequency response is clean instrumental reproduction and rich vocal pickup
- Professional-quality reproduction for drum precussion and instrument amplifier miking
- Uniform cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main sound source while reducing background noise
 

Conclusion

These microphones are the same so you can go with any of the two. They are good for electric guitars and for speech but currently the SM57LC is more affordable even just by a few dollars and we can use it for cable or other accessories.