The Shure SM7B is a podcast and broadcasting heavyweight microphone. Thanks to the influence from people like Joe Rogan, the SM7B has really become the “standard” mic for podcasters.
The SM7B is also a mic heavily used by streamers, gamers, and YouTubers.
While the SM7B has a “legendary sound” that people seem to like, there’s always been an issue with the microphone that made it confusing and difficult to use for many people new to the world of Audio Production.
And that is, the SM7B requires a TON of gain (60dB minimum) in order to use it properly. And 70dB+ is even better in my opinion. The problem is that the vast majority of audio interfaces simply do not have anywhere near +60dB of usable gain. Even those that boast a large “gain range” don’t actually have that much usable gain.
So the solution for most people was to buy a Cloudlifter, or a “Cloudlifter” type device like the FetHead or Coda Stealth (these are also called ‘in-line preamps’). These devices would give the SM7B an extra +25dB of clean gain so it could be used properly with pretty much any audio interface. Of course the issue is that these devices cost $100+ and you’ll require two XLR cables, plus you’ll have to find a place to set or mount the Cloudlifter device.
BUT! There is no reason to do that any longer. Shure has created a new microphone that will give you the SAME sound as the SM7B, and includes a built-in pre-amp (like a built-in “Cloudlifter”) in a single package 🔥
And that is the new: Shure SM7dB Active Dynamic Microphone 👍
The Shure SM7dB is the microphone you should get in 2024 and beyond. Save yourself the trouble and the extra cost and get the SM7dB.
The SM7dB has the same Legendary Sound as the SM7B….because it IS an SM7B – it just has the in-line preamp built-in now.
You also have a selectable amount of gain, which you don’t get with a Cloudlifter. With the SM7dB you can choose +18dB or +28dB of gain, which will allow you to choose your own gain staging to get the sound you want.
If you would like to drive your audio interface pre-amps harder because you like the sound – go with +18dB on the SM7dB.
But, if you don’t want the pre-amps of your audio interface to color the sound as much, choose +28dB on the SM7dB for a cleaner sound.
So if you are looking to buy an SM7B for your podcast, youtube videos, streaming, or gaming…..DON’T!
Instead, buy the SM7dB and you’ll get the same sound, the same form factor (the dB is a little longer), and the same performance as an SM7B plus Cloudlifter – except all in a single, much easier to use and setup package.
Do not buy the SM7B in 2023 (or beyond)! Buy the SM7dB instead 👍
➡️BUY THE SHURE SM7dB (affiliate links)