Finally, a concise guide to let you know whether SM57 or SM58 is better to enhance your vocals. There are plenty of guides around that compare these two models but none did it specifically for a person who sings. For this guide, everything will be geared towards the singer!
The general consensus is that the Shure 57 is an all rounder while the 58 caters more to vocals and such. The big difference is that the 58 uses a ball grille design that is more conducive to receiving vocal sounds. In addition, it has as a built in pop filter so you save some effort and cost in this aspect. In this sense, you say that the 58 is meant more for vocals.
For the 57, since it doesn’t have the ball grille, the design is more practical for folks who want to record instruments and such. The players can position the mics closer to the instruments, when compared to the distance required by the 58.
Shure 57/58 alternatives
If you are seriously into singing, neither of these mics will satisfy you. The mid range is ok but if you are singing the high songs, it will sound muddy. Shure mics are not really the best for this but it got the best brand name.
The reason why many people go for Shure is the brand name and the attractive price. However, they are 40 year old designs that can’t compete with many newer mics can achieve in terms of sound quality.
If you want alternatives, may I suggest the Audix OM6. It is a dynamic live mic that can be purchased under $200. However, it sound much better. Once you have hear the OM6, you will never want to go back to the Shure 57 or 58 again. That is how good it is.
The vocals you hear will be much cleaner and clearer, especially during a live gig. Feedback response is also better and that is an important element when you are singing on a stage.
A beautiful feature the Audix OM6 has is that the mic helps the vocal to be heard more clearly over the instruments in a live setting. Other mics might have a more blended result, which makes it more difficult to listen to your vocals.
The mic itself felt sturdy, with a solid grip. It definitely separates itself from the cheaper mics in terms o of built quality.
If you want to use the mic for recording in your home studio, the Audix OM6 can handle itself pretty well as well, even though it is not a condenser mic. The advantage is that the mic will not pick up every damm sound if your room is not sound proof.
If you only want to stick with the Shure brand, then the 58 is definitely more suitable than the 57 due to is grille ball design. However, I highly recommend that you take a look at the alternatives as you might learn that they are much better mics other that for vocal singing.