Rode Procaster vs Shure SM7b
Gone are the days where you had to tune into the radio at just the right time to catch your favorite show; podcasts are the new way to put your thoughts, ideas, and opinions out to the world.
More and more people are jumping on the podcast bandwagon, and it is little surprise considering how popular these online shows are. But to get started, it is far much more than a lot of people imagine. You cannot merely record your podcast through your computer or cellphone mic; well, you could, but the quality would be terrible.
For a professional-sounding podcast, you need top-quality equipment that is going to deliver impeccable sound.
There are many options out there, but two of the best podcast mics out there at the moment are the Rode Procaster and the Shure SM7b. Both have their good points, but with the Shure being considerably more expensive than the Rode, is it worth splashing out for?
In this article, we will put them head to head and find out which one you should choose.
Head to Head comparison
The Rode Procaster is a broadcast-quality microphone that has been used in many famous podcasts. You would have likely heard it in some of your favorites as well as in many YouTube presentations, and it is little wonder since, for a more affordable price, this is an exceptional piece of equipment.
Rode is an Australian company with a vast range of audio experience, and as such, you are getting a well-put-together bit of kit. But much more than this, the sound quality is second to none, something that you might expect from a much more expensive mic.
The Shure SM7b is a little more costly, but it does come with some additional features (which we will look at later) and boasts a beautiful aesthetic. If you’re bothered about what your studio equipment looks like, this is a good choice. The mic is broadcast quality and delivers incredible sound quality that is difficult to rival. But which of these mics gives you the best all-around experience? Let’s find out.
While this is a high-end piece of audio equipment, it doesn’t come with such a hefty price tag as you might expect. You can pick this one up for around $230, which is exceptionally generous when you compare it to other mics in this class.
As we have mentioned, this mic has been favored by many podcasters and YouTubers. Still, moreover, it can effectively record instruments such as the guitar, making it a pretty diverse mic. It has a decent frequency range of between 75Hz and 18,000Hz and produces clear, smooth audio.
The average distance when speaking into a mic is around 2-3 inches, but the proximity effect is one of the significant problems. With this mic, you can get as close as an inch away while still retaining the same sound quality that you would have at 6 inches.
Move further back to around a foot away from the mic, and while it doesn’t pick up on quite as much sound, it is still more than adept at getting every sound you would want.
One of the most extraordinary things is that regardless of whether the sound is raw or processed, you are still getting excellent quality. Of course, there is a clear difference, but with many mics, the natural sound is not anywhere near as crisp as you would like; you have to hear it to believe it.
In terms of price, you are looking at almost double the cost of the Rode, with this one coming in at $400, although you may be able to source a good deal when there are sales on. But one of the main concerns for a mic like this is that this hefty price tag is not worth what you are getting.
Let us assure you that if you want a professional podcast mic, that is what you will get with this product.
It has been widely used in many pods and is extremely good for an in-studio recording of both vocals and a range of instruments. This one has a slightly more generous frequency range between 50Hz and 20,000Hz, but does that mean the sound quality is better? Actually, no.
Don’t get us wrong; you will get excellent sound quality from this mic; if that weren’t the case, the mic would not be a popular choice among the pros. However, when you compare this sound quality to the Rode, there is a marked difference.
At an inch away from the mic, the sound is not quite as crisp and smooth as that of the Rode; when we listened to this mic being used on YouTube, there was something of a very slight crackle when used up close. It was incredibly faint but undoubtedly present.
However, this should be a minor consideration since the Shure does have some remarkable features that put it one step ahead of the Rode Procaster.
Primarily, you will notice how well this mic rejects any sounds that do not come from directly in front of it. You can move a foot away from the mic, with background noise, and providing that you are still facing the device, it will still only pick up your voice.
Furthermore, this mic comes with various settings, including bass roll-off, flat response, and presence boost (mid-range emphasis), all with a graphic display.
If you are looking for a decent podcast mic, your options are endless, but when you look at the top choices, it isn’t difficult to see why the experts in this field so often use them. Two examples are the Rode Procaster and the Shure SM7b, but which is the better mic?
In short, both of these will give you everything you need from a podcast mic, but in our opinion, the Rode gives slightly better sound quality. The Shure provides you with many more features.
Deciding which would be best for you will largely depend on whether you want a mic that can do more or one that gives you a smoother sound.
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