Today, we would be looking at two Shure microphones- Shure PG58 Vs SM58. If you know anything about microphones, then you definitely know the company, Shure.
At the end of this review, you would have enough information to help you decide which microphone is the better option for you. However, that also means that we have to be as detailed as possible, which means the article would be pretty long.
If you do not have the time, though, then just check the next three sections. In these sections, you would find all the information you need in bite-sized portions. That way, you can easily consume them and be on your way.
Shure PG58 Vs SM58 – Comparison Overview
Contrary to what you might think, in terms of features, these two microphones are very similar. They differ in some slight features like the frequency response, the impedance, weight, and the versions available (you can see all that in the comparison table below).
However, where they truly start to differ is when you use them side by side. The PG58 has a bit more overall weight to it, even though the SM58 is the stronger of the two. Also, the noise handling of the PG58 is not impressive, at all. The SM58, on the other hand, does a very good job with noise handling.
The SM58 doesn’t completely destroy the PG58, though. In fact, the PG58 has a better and clearer mid-range than the SM58. However, that isn’t such a huge factor considered the fact that the SM58 can easily be EQ’d to fix that.
Both of these microphones are very similar. They both have several versions available, 4 for the PG58. and three for the SM58. They are both dynamic microphones, which means they both share all the benefits and negatives of dynamic microphones.
Furthermore, they both have a cardioid polar pattern. This basically means that they pick up sound best from the front, good enough from the sides, and not at all from behind. You’ll need to keep this in mind when you’re positioning these microphones.
They also have the same overall aesthetic with the same shape, color options, and even build quality.
Shure PG58 Vs SM58 – Cost To Performance Ratio
Now, this is where it gets tricky. Most times, the SM58 costs about double the PG58. Now is the PG58 half as good as the SM58? we do not think so. Therefore, we think that PG58 is a better economic deal.
However, if you’re not a beginner, you would definitely notice things like the handling noise, the extra weight, and the higher impedance of the more affordable PG58. Now is that something you want to risk to save a few bucks? The decision is up to you.
Shure PG58 Vs SM58 – Comparison Table
|Frequency Response||60 – 15,000 Hertz||50 – 15,000 Hertz|
|Impedance||300 Ohms||150 Ohms|
|Built-in On/Off Switch||Available in all versions||Available in only one version|
Shure PG58 Vs SM58 – What Scenario Is What Microphone Best Suited For?
|This microphone works very well for any kind of speaking. If you have a podcast, you’re trying to do some interviews, you do spoken word poetry, whatever it is that has to do with speaking, this microphone does it really well. |
It’s better than the Shure SM58 for speaking because of its clear and bright mid-tones. Also, when you just run a podcast, you don’t want to have to start messing around with EQ to get the microphone sounding how you want it to.
|This microphone is great for live performances. If you’re going to be singing live without a microphone stand, then you really don’t want to use the PG58 because of its handling noise. |
Any shakes or movements of the microphone will be picked up and amplified, causing a very inappropriate sound. This microphone, on the other hand, is great at noise handling and would give you much better sound, even when you shake it
|Either of these microphones will work well for use by two or more people, because of the cardioid polar pattern. ||This microphone has a built-in pop filter, so, it does slightly better at handling plosives. However, we would advise you to get an external pop-filter as even this is not that great.|
Before we go on, here’s a quick video review comparing both of these microphones. Check it out:
Shure PG58 Vs SM58 – Features Common To Both Microphones
Type – Dynamic
The first and most important thing to note about these two microphones is that they are both dynamic microphones. Now whether that is a good thing or a not so good thing, is entirely dependent on what you want to use the microphone for.
Compared to condenser microphones, dynamic microphones do not make use of phantom power. Rather, they come with coils in them that amplify whatever sound is picked up by the microphone’s diaphragm.
Now, because they do not have that external source (phantom power), the output produced by dynamic microphones are not as loud as the output produced by condenser microphones. What this means, therefore, is that if you’re going to be recording something that very quiet, then it would be better to pick up a condenser microphone.
On the other hand, if you’re going to be recording some snare drums, cymbals, or a person with big vocals, then a dynamic microphone is better for you. Generally, dynamic microphones are more preferred by most musicians, especially for live performances.
Also, the fact that dynamic microphones don’t need that external power source makes them considerably more affordable because you won’t have to spend that extra money getting phantom power. You can plug it straight into your sound system and it would work just fine.
Another thing that dynamic microphones are known for their durability. These things usually have a very solid build. Shure, in particular, is well known to build microphones that will last you for many many years even after a few, or a few hundred, drops.
If you’re still unsure about which microphone you want to get, we suggest you watch this video below. The video explains the difference between the two microphone types with a sound test for each of them.
Cardioid Polar Pattern
The second most important thing you need to know about these two microphones is that they have a cardioid polar pattern.
What is a polar pattern, you ask?
A polar pattern is basically a shape that is used to describe the areas around the microphone that it would pick up sound from. Both of these microphones have a cardioid polar pattern which refers to a heart-shaped curve. In our opinion, it’s more of an upside-down heart shape, kinda like “Ace of Spades”.
So, that means you get excellent sound from the front, good sounds from both sides, and no sounds from behind. Basically, any sound source around the 180-degree mark will be picked up by the microphone. Anything more than that will be rejected.
Like the dynamic microphone, this is only good if it’s good for your own use case. If you are trying to mic about two or three people with the same microphone, this is excellent. Even if you’re micing just one person, it gives the person some freedom and wiggle room.
However, if you’re going to be performing live with instruments and other singers alongside you on stage, you might have a slight problem. Because the microphone is more likely to pick-up those unwanted sounds from the other musicians.
It’s not all doom and gloom for live performances, though. Because this rejects sound from behind, you can easily place your monitor behind the microphone, directly in front of the singer. That way the microphone doesn’t pick-up any feedback, but the singer is able to hear themselves clearly.
If you want to visibly see the pickup pattern of a cardioid microphone, watch the quick demonstration below. It’ll help you to fully understand where you need to place your microphone for the best sound.
Both of these microphones have an excellent case design. The PG58 has a die-cast metal handle, a matte-black finish, and a hardened silver color, spherical steel mesh grille. The SM58 is very similar with a dark-gray, enamel-painted, die-cast metal with a matte finish, and also a silver-colored, spherical steel mesh grille.
The look of the cases of these microphones is not even what is most noteworthy to us. It is the durability and the sheer strength of the case that makes us marvel. Although the PG58 is an entry-level microphone, Shure did not even think twice about its durability.
Both of these microphones are built so strongly, such that, you can use them for years to come without encountering any issues.
Shure claims that both of these microphones passed through the same series of drop tests. Whether that is true, we do not know. However, what we do know, is the durability of Shure microphones.
You can either buy one by clicking here or make one yourself with the help of the DIY video below:
Many microphones, including the two we’re looking at today, make use of the standard three-pin audio connector. This connector is also referred to as XLR. There are other microphones that use different connectors including TRRS connectors, and even USB connectors.
However, most, if not all, dynamic microphones, make use of XLR connectors. And this is a great thing because if you have an old microphone you’re no longer using, you can easily use the same connector for these new microphones.
After looking at a fair number of microphones, we have noticed that most of them come with pretty standard accessories. The same can be said about these two microphones. They come with the microphone, of course, a stand clip, and a carrying pouch.
The stand clip is what allows you to connect the microphone to a microphone stand, while the carrying pouch allows you to carry the microphone, clip, and your cables, comfortably.
Shure PG58 Vs SM58 – Features Unique To Each Microphone
Alright! That’s about it in terms of similar features. In this section, we would be diving right into the different features that are only available on either of these two microphones.
Without further ado, let’s get right into it!
Features Unique To The Shure PG58
Frequency Response – 60 – 15,000 (Hertz)
Frequency response refers to the range of frequencies that your microphone can pick up. So, this microphone can only pick up sounds with the range of 60 – 15,000 Hertz.
From this, you can already tell that the wider it is, the better it is. But the frequency response of this camera is actually pretty decent. In fact, the Shure SM58 only goes 10 frequencies lower than this and looking at the price difference, that’s really good.
However, if you are trying to record sounds that have very low frequencies, you might want to check that out. But if you’re just going to be recording someone speaking or talking, then, for the most part, this frequency response should be alright.
Impedance — 300 Ohms
This is one part where this microphone really shows that it’s sub-par compared to the Shure SM58. If you don’t already know, impedance basically refers to the resistance in an AC voltage.
For the most part, you won’t be able to notice the difference between a microphone with 300 impedance, and one with 150 impedance. You will only begin to notice it when you’re using a very long cable with the wire.
Basically, when you use really long cables to wire your microphone, the higher the impedance, the more likely it is for you to start to lose some of the top-end of your sound. So, if you’re going to be using this across a very large stage, that’s something you definitely need to consider.
While the Shure SM58 is only available in three different versions, this microphone is available in four different versions. These versions all contain the same microphone with the same features. They only vary slightly in the accessories they come with.
These four versions are:
The first version includes a 15 feet XLR to ¼ inch cable, a microphone clip, a thread adapter, and a carrying pouch.
The second version includes a 15 feet XLR to XLR cable, a microphone clip, a thread adapter, and a carrying pouch.
Note the difference in the cables that come with these two devices. One is an XLR to ¼ cable, while the other is XLR to XLR. So choose either of them according to your needs.
The third version is the most basic version of the four. It only comes with a microphone clip, a thread adapter, and a carrying pouch.
The fourth and final version includes a tripod stand, an XLR to ¼ inch cable, a microphone clip, a thread adapter, and a storage bag.
One thing to note about these versions is that unlike the SM58, all of them come with an on/off switch. Whether that’s a great thing or not depends on your needs. For people who have podcasts, or any other thing that requires them to record themselves, this would be a very welcome idea. You can easily shut it off without having to reach for your sound system.
On the other hand, if you are a sound engineer, this might not be so nice. Because whoever is using the microphone might mistakenly turn it off and leave you wondering why you’re not getting any sound from the microphone.
Features Unique To The Shure SM58
Frequency Response – 50 – 15,000 (Hertz)
We’ve already talked extensively about frequency response earlier in this review. You can scroll up to find out the details.
The main thing you need to know about the frequency response of this microphone in comparison to the PG58 is that it’ll pick up a few lower frequencies. So, if you want to record sounds at really low frequencies, then this is the better mic of the two.
Impedance — 150 Ohms
Most people think that an impedance of lower than 200 Ohms is ideal for a professional microphone. Thankfully, this is under 200 Ohms. So, if you’re going to be wiring this using a ridiculously long cable, you need not worry. None of your top-end crispiness will go away.
This microphone is available in three different versions, which are:
The first version comes with just a stand adapter and a carrying pouch. It’s the most basic and affordable of the three and that’s why we believe the LC stands for “Low Cost”.
The second version comes with a 25 feet XLR Male to XLR Female Cable, a swivel adapter, and a carrying pouch.
The third and final version comes with an integrated on/off switch, a swivel adapter, and a carrying pouch.
Unlike the PG58, only the SM58S comes with an on/off switch. We really like the fact that you get to choose whether you want an on/off switch or not, being that not everyone likes them.
Shure PG58 Vs SM58 – Unique Pros
- For people who like the on/off switch, it’s good that this is available in every version of this microphone.
- It’s available in 4 different versions, which means you get a variety of options to choose from. One more than you get with the SM58.
- In terms of tone, this has a bright mid-range with a bit more presence compared to the SM58. So, you’ll need less EQ to get this sounding well in the mid-range.
- It’s more affordable.
- It’s more lightweight.
- This microphone has a bit more clarity, compared to the PG58.
- With a wider frequency range, you get more sound input with this microphone.
- The biggest advantage this has is its excellent noise handling. While holding it, the SM58 would pick up much less handling noise compared to the PG58.
Shure PG58 Vs SM58 – Unique Cons
- It has a lot of handling noise.
- The on/off switch is not for everyone and there is no version without it with this device.
- It’s slightly heavier than the SM58.
- It’s slightly more expensive.
- It’s only available in 3 versions, compared to 4 with the PG58.
- To get a bright mid-range, you need to EQ the sound of this microphone.
Shure PG58 Vs SM58 – Common Pros
|They’re both dynamic microphones||There are a lot of benefits that come with a dynamic microphone that is not lacking in these two microphones.|
First, they are significantly more affordable than condenser microphones. Apart from having to buy the microphones themselves, you also have to buy “phantom power” to get the best output out of a condenser microphone. With these, it’s as simply as plug and play.
Second, the build quality of most dynamic microphones is simply superb. They are usually super solid, very durable, and would go for many years without damaging.
They don’t produce such a loud output like condenser microphones, so they are great for sounds that are already loud on their own, like some instruments, or a person with big vocals.
|Same as the Shure PG58.|
|They’re both great sounding microphones.||After much testing, we cannot help but agree that these two are great sounding microphones. |
Yes, you might one might sound better than the other in some circumstances but for the most part, you might not be able to tell the difference, just because of how good they both are.
However, we do have to mention that this microphone, in particular, does an even more tremendous job to compete with the SM58, being that it usually costs about half the price.
|Same as the Shure PG58.|
|Good connectivity features||At this point, XLR has become synonymous with connectivity for dynamic microphones. |
You probably already have a bunch of these lying around, which is great.
|Same as the Shure PG58.|
|The cardioid polar pattern is great||Both of these microphones come with a cardioid polar pattern. For most use cases, this is a great polar pattern.|
Where it shines is in a group of singers. You can easily give one of these microphones to two or three singers and it would pick up all their voices excellently.
|Same as the Shure PG58.|
Shure PG58 Vs SM58 – Common Cons
|They can sound muddy||Now, this is one problem that is very common with many Shure microphones. |
If you’re trying to record something that’s very quiet, the sound can get quiet muddy with this microphone.
It’s even worse with this microphone, compared to the SM58, because of how much handling noise this one produces.
|Same. Although it’s not as bad because this doesn’t produce so much handling noise.|
Shure PG58 Vs SM58 – What Do People Think About It?
|People who bought this microphone were actually very surprised by its quality because of its price. |
In fact, some people said that with a little bit of EQ, they were not able to tell these two microphones apart. That speaks volumes of its quality.
|These microphones are one of the most popular microphones on the planet. So why do people love them so much?|
Well, first off, people praise the durability of this microphone, all day long. Some even claimed that one of these microphones can last you a whole career, that’s insane!
|One thing people noticed with this microphone straight out of the box is that it is slightly heavier and bigger than the SM58. |
Apart from that, people didn’t really mention any difference in terms of looks and feel. Also, while some people believe that the SM58 is more durable than the PG58, there’s no way to actually test because both of them are just so durable and would withstand almost anything.
|Another thing people like about this microphone is its sound quality, obviously. People who bought the microphone claimed that it has very clear sounds with good enough low-end and top-end. |
One thing they make mention of, though, is the lack of mid-tones with this microphone. However, looking at the fact that that can be easily EQ’d, it’s not such a big deal.
|One thing that people who bought this microphone always advise is to check out for the handling noise. |
Apparently, this microphone has so much handling noise that it can sometimes be frustrating. This is something that you definitely want to consider before getting this microphone.
|Finally, people like the fact that you get the option to either get on with an on/off switch or one without. |
This is simply because some people like the option while others do not. This is definitely a Shure way to keep all of its customers happy. If you know what we mean.
Shure PG58 Vs SM58 – What Do We Think?
Both of these microphones are actually pretty good in our opinion. However, looking at the price difference it definitely begs to ask whether the SM58 is worth that much more than the PG58.
When asked about the difference between the POG series and the SM series, Shure answered that the PG is an “entry-level series”, while the SM is a “mid-level series”. And we kind of agree with them.
The Shure SM58 has better frequency response, polar response, and does much better with handling. However, all these are factors you might not be able to tell if you’re just a beginner who’s looking for a podcast or karaoke mic.
So here’s what we think.
The SM58 is the better microphone and you should obviously get that if you have the budget. However, if you don’t the PG58 is definitely not a bad choice. In fact, it’s a better economic decision when you look at the fact that it costs about half of what the SM58 costs, but performs better than half of the SM58.