This $30 Shure SM7B DIY Alternative Sounds Almost As Good As The Real Thing
So, this title deserves some qualifiers. It doesn’t sound as good as the Shure SM7Bbut almost as well? Yeah sure, that’s pretty good, especially considering how much it costs – and assuming you already own a 3D printer. This is not a totally DIY project from scratch, but rather a modification of an existing microphone to put it in a new case. Sort of like modifying old film photography lenses with a new body to turn them into cinema lenses – they’re not really cinema lenses, but they come close.
The Shure SM7B is a staple among podcasters, vloggers, and live streamers, but at around $400, it’s not exactly a cheap microphone. In this video, Caleb Pike shows us how we can take an inexpensive Behringer microphone at $20 and a few bits and turn it into something that sounds very similar to the much more expensive microphone.
While this SM7B clone with the budget mic inside won’t fool the real mic enthusiast, it will definitely be good enough for those trying to start a podcast or livestream on a shoestring budget. It is based on the Behringer XM8500 dynamic microphone mounted inside a 3D printed enclosure with the perforated metal dome removed and replaced with one that more closely resembles that of the Shure SM7B. Caleb had to tweak the case design slightly, as the Shure’s built-in yoke isn’t that strong when 3D printed, but sound-wise it’s not bad.
The difference in sound is certainly noticeable when you hear the two microphones side-by-side completely unfiltered, but if you add a little EQ and compression to it, you could potentially make them nearly identical, depending on your voice. But if that’s too much work and you want to start with a microphone that sounds even closer to the SM7B while saving a lot of money, Caleb also walks us through the same process using the $99. Shure SM58LC – which has a virtually identical microphone capsule style to the SM7B 4x the price.
Hearing the two Shure microphones side by side, you have to listen to Caleb’s video on really good studio headphones, like BeyerDynamic DT100, Mounted NTH-100 Where Sennheiser HD25 being able to really notice a huge difference between them and a slight adjustment in the position of the microphone relative to the sound source (your mouth) can usually compensate for this slight difference. And considering what you’ll save… No one will ever notice if you don’t use them side-by-side with the real deal on the same sound source.