Shure SM57 vs Sennheiser e609 Microphones Comparison

  • By: Frank Edwards
  • Date: August 20, 2022
  • Time to read: 9 min.

Yes, these two microphones, although at first glance do not look the same at all, really have a lot of similarities. Both are dynamic mics and for that reason won’t require phantom power. They are both very popular for live work and in studios, have the same frequency range, and they are at the same price range (around $100). The biggest difference between these two mics is actually their appearance. So how do you decide which one to buy? Do not worry, we will do our best to inform you and try to help with your choice between the Sennheiser e609 vs Shure SM57. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases. 

Shure SM57 Dynamic Mic

All Shure products are well known for their quality, durability and reliable structure. One of the models that made this reputation is SM57. #ad Produced at the same time as another living legend, the Shure sm58, these two giants have become indispensable equipment for every serious musician or audio engineer. (SM = Studio Mic)

This studio/live adored mic is a unidirectional dynamic mic and it is exceptional for musical instrument pickup or as a mic for singing. With its bright, clean and clear audio and carefully defined presence, this tiny monster is ideal for live performance and recording instruments and vocals. Equipped with an extremely effective cardioid pickup pattern which insulates the main sound source while rejecting background noise. When placed in the studio, it is brilliant for recording drums, guitar, and woodwinds. The Shure SM57 is definitely worldwide a number one choice of professional performers / audio engineers. We can confirm that it is ideal for miking snare drums. Many drummers, even with their expensive microphone packages, decide to buy and place this microphone on their snare drums. Be aware that, for the micing of your guitar amplifier, you will need a stand for you mic in order to point it on the right place and find that sweet spot.

SM57 Features

• Frequency response customized for drums, guitars, and vocals
• Cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main audio while reducing environment noise
• The pneumatic shock-mount system reduces handling noise
• Extremely durable under the heaviest use
• Supplied break-resistant 180° rotating adapter
• Legendary sound quality, ruggedness, and reliability

Check out my other post – 101 Ideas for Church PA Systems here

Unidirectional microphone proximity effect explained

When the sound source is less than 0.6 cm (1/4 in.) from the microphone, the microphone boosts bass frequencies (from 6 to 10 dB at around 100 Hz) creating a warmer and richer bass and better sound reproduction. This effect, called proximity effect, happens with unidirectional microphones just like the Shure SM57. Also, this low-frequency roll-off characteristic provides better control, providing the user to take full advantage of the proximity effect.

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SM57 Specifications

Type                                                              Dynamic
Frequency Response                            40 to 15,000 Hz
Polar Pattern                                            Cardioid
Sensitivity                                                  -56.0 dBV/Pa (1.6 mV) (1 Pa = 94 dB SPL)
Output Impedance                                                150Ω (310Ω actual)
Connector                                                 Three-pin audio connector (male XLR type)
Weight                                                        284 grams (10 oz)
Dimensions                                             157 mm x 32 mm


  • Proven (legendary), inexpensive Live / Studio Mic
  • All-rounder mic, great for drums
  • Perhaps the most durable mic in existence
  • Does surprisingly well with vocals in the studio
  • Blocks out background noise
  • Clean sound, records high notes very well
  • No propensity to any particular frequency over another
  • Warm, natural audio


  • No on / off switch
  • Some say it’s a bit bassy
  • Low gain

Because it is so good and, if we can say, cheap, the Shure SM57 can be found in the mic collections of basically every studio/home studio around the world. Not to mention in a large number of bands and personal (private) recording equipment. Because it’s a dynamic mic, it can withstand high sound pressure levels, so engineers can count on it not to overload, even on very loud sources.
Also, the sm57 is not just for recording instruments, it’s been the stage mic for almost every U.S. president. And finally, it’s built like a tank.

* Attention, there are Shure counterfeit products (especially Shure sm57 and sm58) being sold on the Internet and in stores. Therefore, we recommend buying from a dealer (official reseller) that buys directly from Shure.

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Sennheiser e609 for Vocals and Instruments

Sennheiser e609 is a dynamic mic and it is designed to get up very close and private along with your guitar amp. It’s based on the legendary Sennheiser MD 409 microphone. Used by a number of the most wanted (popular) musicians, studios, engineers, and producers, it’s been reputed as one of the most useful mics within the music industry.

Like every other mic that has been made to work with certain audio environments and situations, e609’s design makes it great with guitar amps when comes to sound capturing.
One of the most exciting features to the Sennheiser e609 is its ability to be simply hung over the edge of your cabinet for placement in front of the speaker. #ad This is possible and easy due to the microphone’s specific design. Yes, there’s no need for a stand. Simply wrap the cable around the handle of your guitar cab and let it hang. This makes this mic very effective for both studio and live performances. And looks cool too.

Furthermore, it will handle high SPLs without distorting. A feature that’s important once you consider that mic like this one is placed very close to the sound source. The Sennheiser e609 also features a Super-cardioid pickup polar pattern, making it great with rejecting different sound sources. This is especially useful in live performances.

Among other things, there are not many dynamic mics that are made like this one. A notable exception is, not surprisingly, other Sennheiser mics, like the classic MD 409, which, as we said at the first lines, is the e609’s older brother.

e609 Features

Designed specifically for guitar cabs
Metal body design
Rugged Advanced integrated shockmount
Supercardioid pick-up pattern
Hum compensating coil

e609 Specifications

Type                                               Dynamic
Frequency Response               40 to 15,000 Hz
Polar Pattern                              Super-cardioid
Sensitivity                                   1.5 mV / Pa 1 kHz
Output Impedance                       350 Ohms
Connector                                   Three-pin audio connector (male XLR type)
Weight                                         140 g (6,6 oz)
Dimensions                               55mm x 34mm x 134mm

*Although on some web sites you can find, in the specs of this microphone, that its frequency range is from 40hz to 18khz, actually it is from 40hz to 15khz.

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  • Captures a nice, warm, round, full bodied, clear sound
  • Easy to use
  • Compact
  • Lightweight , yet durable construction. Capable of withstanding even the worst conditions
  • Affordable


  • Design (Some people consider this to be an advantage)
  • No on / off switch

*Be aware that the Sennheiser e609, due to its design, is not the best choice for micing toms and snare drums. Also, some users complained that they could not get good results from the snare drum.

Probably it’s not the persistent as the Shure SM57 is, but if you exactly know what you want to mic, your choice should be easy. For almost the same price as a sm57, you could have a guitar amp microphone designed especially for that purpose. If you desperately want a guitar cabinet microphone just to have a good, looking cool guitar cabinets mic, this would be a great choice. If you want to mic your drums (snare, toms), sm57 should be your number one choice. If you intend to record your voice, neither one nor the other mic will be bad. Our vote goes to the side of sm57 and just because of its design. Some users who have tried both microphones claim that the Sennheiser e609 has a cleaner sound than a Shure SM57.
Anyway, it’s a matter of personal taste. You should certainly try both mics before buying so you can truly determine which one is best for you. To check the latest price on Amazon, click here


How do the e609 and SM57 differ overall?

The Shure SM57 is slightly cheaper than the Sennheiser e609, but not by much. We certainly think that the price will not exert excessive influence on your choice.

The Sennheiser e609 is twice as light as sm57 and also does not require a stand so the placement won’t be time-consuming. This can speed up the sounding/micing process.

The Sennheiser e609 can handle a higher SPL (sound pressure level) than a Shure.

The Shure SM57 is well known as an amazing microphone for snare drum while the e609 does not handle snares well.

The SM57 better handles cabinets with distortion, while the Sennheiser e609 captures clean guitars with ease.

Both are quite similar with rear noise rejecting.

Some users claim that e609 has a better bass response than the SM57. Also, that you should have to EQ out the harshness with the Shure SM57, while the Sennheiser e609 can be left flat with no EQ.
Essentially, this is not 100% true. Mic placement and recording environment is of great importance and can affect on the overall sound. You might also want to check my review of the Shure SM7B vs Rode NT1.

General Rules for Mic Use

  • Place and direct the microphone to the desired source and away from unwanted sounds.
  • Place a microphone close to a singer or instrument for extra bass response.
  • You should use only one microphone per source as the best capturing method.
  • Place microphones away from sound reflecting surfaces.
  • Avoid excessive handling to minimize mechanical noise.
  • Multiple microphones should be located at least three times as far from other microphones as from the sound origin point.

Check out my other post on 15 best products for church sound

Microphone Placement Suggestions

These setups apply to both the SM57 and e609.


One mic on each tom, 2,5 cm to 7,5 cm above the heads. Aim each mic at the center of the heads. You will achieve medium attack, balanced sound.

Snare drum

Place the snare mic 2,5 cm to 7,5 cm above the rim of the top head of the drum. Aim the mic at the center of the head. You will achieve most “snap” from drumstick impact. If you want to capture snare wires sound, place the second mic just below the rim of the bottom head. Click here to read my post about how loud drums are.

Guitar and Bass Amps

When recording guitars,place the mic 0cm to 2,5 cm from the speaker, on-axis with the speaker. The most attack, emphasized bass . 15 cm to 30 cm away from speaker, on-axis. Medium attack, full, balanced sound. 0.5 m to
1 m back from the speaker, on-axis. The softer attack, thin, reduced bass sound. On-axis with the edge of the speaker cone. Thinner reduced bass sound.

Brass and woodwind

30 cm to 1 m away, on-axis with the bell of the instrument. Bright, clear sound.

Vocals and Speech

2,5 cm to 15 cm from the vocalist’s mouth. Rich, warm sound.

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