Introduced in 1973, the SM7 was meant to bring the best of Shure’s popular SM57 and SM58 microphones into a larger package intended for studio use. Initially, it was predominantly used for capturing horns and percussive instruments. However, after it was used for vocals on Michael Jackson’s iconic “Billie Jean” track in 1982, the SM7 gained a lot of popularity for capturing voice.
In 1999, Shure made a new revision, dubbed the SM7A, with an improved humbucking coil and changes in the design of the yoke mount. Later on, Shure introduced the SM7B with an additional larger windscreen in 2001. Though these changes would set the microphones apart, performance acoustically was the same.
Thanks to the chunky black aluminum enclosure and a large windscreen, the Shure SM7B is instantly recognizable. Moreover, the iconic yoke mount design makes it stand out compared to most other microphones on the market. However, aesthetics is not the only thing that makes the SM7B’s design unique. The microphone feels sturdy and rigid in hand and can take a fair amount of abuse before facing any problems. Moreover, the yoke mount allows the mic to connect to a microphone boom arm and angle it conveniently.
In the box, the SM7B comes with two windscreens with different thicknesses. Both do a great job at reducing plosives (the harsh “P” sound, for example), meaning you don’t need an external pop filter. However, the thicker one slightly dampens the high-frequency response.