Shure SM58 vs Sennheiser E835 [Choose the Best]

(Last Updated On: September 15, 2022)
Shure SM58 vs Sennheiser E835

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We’re here to finally put an end to the rivalry between the Shure SM58 and the Sennheiser E835. Two highly similar dynamic microphones, both known for their use in live vocal recordings. However, since the Sennheiser E835 is the newbie in the world of live recordings, could it compete with the legendary Shure SM58? Is it possible that it’s even better than the SM58? Or is it true what they say that you should never mess with the classics? Well, we’re here to give you the answer.

The Shure SM58 and the Sennheiser E835 are two cardioid dynamic microphones designed solely for live vocal performances. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but both promise to deliver exceptional sound. So how do you know which one to go for, especially if they’re priced equally?

Even though both microphones are exceptionally great, you should consider your purchase’s purpose before making it. Do you want a warm but flat sound from your mic? Then it would be best if you went for the Shure SM58. Do you want extra warmth from your mic without having to adjust and EQ the sound yourself? Then the Sennheiser E835 would be the right choice. If you’re wondering about the differences between two highly similar dynamic cardioid microphones, we’re here to explain them to you.

ProductShure SM58Sennheiser E835
Product Image
Type of MicrophoneDynamicDynamic
Pickup PatternCardioidCardioid
Frequency Response50Hz – 15kHz40Hz – 16kHz
Output Impedance300 Ω350 Ω
Weight0.66 lbs.0.73 lbs.
ColorDark GrayBlack
Versions AvailableThe standard “LC.”The “S” version features an on/off switch.E835 version. E835S version features an on/off switch.

1. Shure SM58

This legendary microphone needs no introduction. The Shure SM58 has been leading the world of live performances for the past 56 years. It’s been used by artists, comedians, world leaders, and pop stars. And the reason the SM58 is so special is because of the clarity and warmth it offers and the rugged build it’s known for, all while being cost-effective and more affordable than high-end microphones that aren’t even half as good as the SM58.

Main Specifications

The Shure SM58 is a dynamic cardioid microphone with a frequency response of 50 Hz to 15,000 Hz, making it perfect for recording vocals. And an output Impedance of 300 ohms. It weighs 0.66 lbs. and is housed in a dark gray, enamel-painted, die-cast metal with a matte-finished and silver-colored spherical steel mesh grille. You can connect it to your speaker or source using an XLR cable. (Male)

Features

This industry standard mic features a uniform cardioid polar pattern and a frequency response specifically shaped for vocals with a boosted midrange and bass roll-off to limit the proximity impact. The SM58 also has an advanced pneumatic shock mount technology that reduces mechanical noise and vibration transmissions.

Another factor that the SM58 is known for is its “Shure quality” rugged build that highly protects it from mishandling. It also features a built-in pop filter that helps reduce popping sounds and breathing noises.

There are two versions of this mic, the SM58, and the SM58S. The only difference between the two is that the SM58S version has an on/off switch that’s lacking in the SM58 version.

The SM58 has a break-resistant stand adapter and a zippered storage bag for easy traveling.

Shure SM58 Features

Build quality

The Shure SM58 is truly built like a tank. You can drop it 57 times, and it will still work perfectly. (Please don’t drop it 57 times.) The SM58 has a steel-mesh grille and enamel-coated metal construction that help protect it in case of abuse and heavy-duty work, where it might be casually thrown around the stage or studio but still work flawlessly due to its robust build

Polar pattern

The SM58 has a cardioid polar pattern which isolates the main sound while reducing unwanted background and off-axis noise, which is exactly what you need during a live performance. 

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the SM58 is quite similar to the Sennheiser E835. It is warm, clean, and crisp. And specifically made for vocals with its frequency response of 50Hz – 15 kHz and dip in the lower frequencies (around 100 Hz) to protect the voice’s clarity when the source is too close to the microphone. It is also known for being a bit flat, which leaves room for EQing after you finish recording.

Practical Use

The SM58 is designed for vocals and live performances. It has a frequency response customized for vocals, especially with the boost in the mid ranges and dip in the lower frequencies, making it excellent for live recordings. This doesn’t mean you can’t use the mic for your podcast, Youtube channel, public speeches, etc. However, recording vocals is what it was designed to do.

Price & Value for Money

You will be getting your money’s worth and more by purchasing a brand new SM58. At only $99, you can get an industry-standard microphone that will last you a lifetime and never disappoint you during your live performances. There are far more expensive microphones with lower quality than the Shure SM58, so trust us when we say that you won’t be wasting your money getting this baby.

Pros & Cons 

Pros:

  • Warm and clear sound.
  • Affordable.
  • Amazing quality.
  • Leaves room for EQing.
  • Portable and travel-ready.

Cons:

  • Might require an extra pop filter for studio recordings.

2. Sennheiser E835

The Sennheiser E835 is another high-quality microphone designed for vocal performances. Whether you’re on stage or at home, the E835 is dedicated to giving you a very polished and clean sound. It is also priced at $99, making it one of Shure SM58’s biggest rivals.

Main Specifications

The Sennheiser E835 is another dynamic cardioid microphone tailored for vocal and stage performances, with a frequency response of 40Hz – 16 kHz (a bit wider frequency range than the SM58), making it the perfect lead vocal stage mic. It has an output Impedance of 350 ohms. It weighs 0.73 lbs. with a rugged metal housing that can also be connected to your speaker or source using an XLR-3 cable.

Features

This powerful mic is a dynamic cardioid microphone designed mainly for speech and vocals. It’s designed to handle high sound pressure levels and very well separates speech from background noise. It offers consistent sound quality when moving on and off-axis, excellent feedback rejection, and precise sound reproduction with high presence.

As for an on/off switch, you can always go for the E835S as the E835 lacks one.

Build quality

Weighing at 0.73 lbs. and housed in dark gray rugged metal. The E835 certainly doesn’t feel like a toy in the palm of your hand. Although it is durable, it might not live up to Shure SM58’s standards in terms of strength and resilience.

Sennheiser E835 Build Quality

Polar pattern

The Sennheiser E835 also has a cardioid polar pattern that captures sounds very well from the front, mildly from the sides, and ignores the back, which is ideal for musical performance. 

Sound Quality

Despite the E835’s sound quality being relatively similar to that of the Shure SM58, the E385’s boost in the upper mids may cause it to seem a touch muddy compared to the SM58. Additionally, the audio quality of the E835 might sound polished right out of the box, leaving no room for EQing like in the SM58. However, it will still deliver a clean, warm sound and work remarkably in your live vocal performances.

Practical Use

The Sennheiser E835 is and will always be a vocal mic. It’s designed to give you a solid live performance as the sound is bright, clear, and warm. It can also be used for live streaming and podcasts. However, using it to record vocals in a professional recording studio is not recommended, as it might not give you the flat response required for recording clean tracks.

Price & Value for Money

Also priced at $99, the E835 will offer you the best bang for your buck as you get a solid, durable microphone that delivers excellent crisp and clear sound. However, be prepared to get a decent but polished sound from the E835.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Affordable.
  • Delivers warm and clean sound.
  • Great for vocal performances.
  • Robust and solid design.

Cons:

  • Might sound a little muddy.
  • No on/off switch in the standard E835. You might want to purchase the E835S for that.
  • No room for EQing.

Also Read: What Is Noise Floor In Recording Studio?

Similarities & Differences

Similarities:

  • Both are dynamic cardioid microphones.
  • Both microphones are designed for live vocal performances.
  • Both will deliver clean and warm sound.
  • They are both around the same price of $99.
  • Both have a solid metal build.

Differences:

  • The Shure SM58 has a frequency range of 50Hz – 15 kHz. While the Sennheiser E835 has a wider frequency range of 40Hz – 16 kHz.
  • The Shure SM58 has an impedance of 300 ohms. The E835 has an impedance of 350 ohms.
  • Unlike the Shure SM58, the Sennheiser has a boost in the mid-range and high-end of the frequency spectrum.
  • The Shure SM58 is more durable than the Sennheiser E835.
  • The Sennheiser E835 has a more polished sound than the SM58 leaving no room for EQing.

Shure sm58 vs. Sennheiser e835 – Final Verdict

Which one should you choose?

Both microphones will do a fantastic job delivering high-quality sound in terms of live performances. The Shure SM58 will give you a warm but more flat response, while the Sennheiser E835 will provide you with lots more warmth due to the boost in the mid ranges. So it all depends on your preferences. Do you want to be able to EQ your sound after you record it? Or do you simply not care about having a flat sound and just want to sound good without dealing with the extra technicalities? Does it matter to you which microphone is more durable? Once you answer these questions, you’ll figure out which one to go for.

Shure sm58 vs. Sennheiser e835

FAQ

Are Dynamic Microphones Good for Recording Studio Vocals?

While dynamic microphones have advantages, such as not needing phantom power to work, and are more durable than condenser mics while also being cost-effective, dynamic microphones are best for live performances and loud environments. Don’t get us wrong. You can always use a dynamic mic to record your vocals in a recording studio, especially in an untreated room, as it will do a better job of not picking up all the background noise. But the sensitivity of a condenser microphone makes all the difference in recording your vocals as it will catch more sounds more clearly. This sensitivity can, of course, backfire in an untreated room, which is why it’s best to use a condenser mic in an acoustically treated room to achieve the best results possible.

What Equipment Do I Need For Recording With a Dynamic Microphone?

If you're recording with a dynamic microphone, you are most likely using a computer to record your vocals. With that setup, an audio interface is usually needed to convert microphone signals into a format your computer and software recognize. So once you acquire your audio interface, connect your microphone to the interface using your microphone's XLR cable. (After that, you'll need to check your computer's sound and input settings). Some microphones don't offer a free XLR cable when you purchase them, so you might want to buy the XLR cable separately if it's not provided for you.

Suppose you're not interested in high audio quality or don't have the budget for an audio interface. In that case, you can always buy a USB dynamic microphone that comes plug-and-play ready.

Any accessory after that is purely optional. A pop filter is an excellent purchase to avoid popping noises in your recordings.

Another accessory is a mic stand if you want the microphone to sit on your desk while you record your vocals or podcasts.

There are plenty of accessories out there, but these basics are what you need to start your recording,

Also Read: How to Record Yourself Singing?

What Are the Differences Between Dynamic and Condenser Microphones?

All microphones function the same way. They convert sound waves into audio signals. Once these sound waves hit the microphone's diaphragm, it vibrates, creating voltage or an electric current. (The sound we end up hearing.) But the way the microphone converts these sound waves depends on the type of microphone.

Microphones can be grouped into two categories: Dynamic and condenser microphones.

Dynamic microphones convert sound waves into audio signals via electromagnetic induction. They use a diaphragm, voice coil, and magnet to pick the sound waves and convert the movement of its diaphragm into electrical energy, which is then increased with the use of a transformer and eventually outputted as its mic signal.

Condenser microphones also convert sound waves into audio signals but operate on an electrostatic principle. They use two charged metal plates (a diaphragm and backplate) that hold a fixed charge between them and form a capacitor. The microphone's diaphragm vibrates as sound waves hit it, and the spacing between the back plate and the diaphragm impacts the voltage. The diaphragm's change in spacing and movement produces the electrical signal corresponding to the picked-up sound.

This is the main difference between how dynamic and condenser microphones function.

Another key difference is that dynamic microphones tend to be less sensitive, meaning they pick up less sound and background noise than condenser mics.

Additionally, dynamic microphones are generally more durable than condenser mics. There are, of course, plenty of well-built, solid condenser microphones, but if you want to hit the road with a microphone, we'd highly suggest you'd go for a dynamic one.

Another difference is that all condenser microphones require external power to function correctly. In contrast, dynamic microphones are nearly always passive, requiring no power to operate.

When it comes to frequency range, condenser microphones have an extended frequency response. They are relatively flat and able to recreate sounds more accurately than dynamic microphones with limited frequency responses, especially at the top-end of the spectrum.

Condenser microphones also have very fast and accurate transient responses due to the very thin and lightweight diaphragms they have, while dynamic microphones have slow transient responses.

Another key difference is that condenser mics can have any polar pattern, while dynamic microphones can have any polar pattern except bidirectional. (Since the diaphragm can't have both sides equally open to sound waves.)

Price-wise, you can always find dynamic microphones ranging from $10 to $1000. But they tend to have a smaller price range than condenser microphones which can reach up to $10 000.

Overall, both microphones will perform well and deliver outstanding results. But it’s essential to know the purpose of your use before breaking the bank and possibly making the wrong choice.

Conclusion

Even though both microphones are remarkable, it all goes down to personal preference. And personally, we’d go for the Shure SM58.

The SM58 didn’t get the reputation as an industry standard for nothing. It has been doing a phenomenal job for the past 56 years and will likely continue to do so. While the E835 is a worthy opponent, the Shure definitely wins this case.

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