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Shure SM86

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User Reviews

Kierkes's review

By Kierkes, 21/07/2011
The Shure SM86 is a condenser microphone in the legendary SM line of microphones. Of course, Shure's nomenclature for its microphones is a little bit irrelevant, considering the company seems to be revising microphones and putting them in different lines all the time.

This comment aside, the Shure SM86 clearly belongs in this line, with its monochromatic look, signature sound, and yes, iconic resilience to damage. That being said, it also picks up the limitations of the microphones, among them being its minimalism. There are no switches to speak of, and while the SM86 is not exactly what one would label a high end stage vocal condenser microphone, things like these are always nice to have, especially when one is dealing with microphones that are not SM58's and SM57's.

But I digress. The microphone itself possesses some very impressive stats: The frequency response of the microphone ranges from 50 Hz all the way up to 18,000 Hz. Granted, it does not go up to 20,000 Hz, but the microphone itself already, sonically speaking, provides a massive improvement over the SM58; the 86 moves the vocals to the front of the mix a lot more effectively. It also has an impressive SPL rating of 147 dB. The only disappointing statistic is the self noise, at 23 dB. Despite the fact that this will not make much of a difference live, a lot of people want a microphone to transition between live and studio. This ensures that the SM86 is not that microphone.

OVERALL OPINION

The Shure SM86 is a decent entry into the world of stage condenser microphones, but I feel as if, having used the top tier ones, there is something not quite there. However, the Shure SM86 will knock the socks off of any $100 dynamic microphone, with one exception: the Electro-Voice N/D767a. I actually owned that one, so that review is particularly in depth.

You should check the Shure SM86 out, though. At this point in the price, there are very few microphones that can be considered bad by everyone, so pick your flavor and learn to love it!
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Strongly believes that not

By kezaco, 21/06/2010
Microphone for voice

OVERALL OPINION

I made the comparison between micro-and beta 58 A I use commonly, I am a singer in a Pop Rock band and I need a good mic for my lyrics are in French. The SM86 is slightly thinner than the beta, just under medium but also careful, this microphone is very sensitive to feedback and avoid scenes of small or local recurrence. For my part, I cherish my Beta for now.
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moosers's review

By moosers, 08/11/2009
The Shure SM86 is a condenser microphone that is designed for live performances.  Most microphone that look like this are dynamic microphones which don't have as much clarity as this one does.  Having the mic within this sturdy casing makes it the perfect high quality microphone to bring on the road and for gigs as it will be able to take more of a beating than other mics for live shows, not that you should be beating it up though!  The mic also has a cardioid polar pick up pattern.

OVERALL OPINION

I've used the Shure SM86 condenser microphone a number of times for live shows and it definitely has an impressive sound quality for a microphone like this.  Pretty much any condenser mic is going to have a more detailed sound than a dynamic one, but usually you don't see a condenser microphone being used for live shows because they are simply too fragile and delicate to be brought outside of the studio.  Shure's SM86 is perfect for anyone looking for a cleaner tone and overall more detail for their vocals during live shows.  I would say that I would only recommend this to those who are touring or gigging often where it is important to have a quality microphone on your voice each and every night.  This microphone will definitely provide that for you as the sound quality is crisp and quite clean overall.  The price of the mic is more expensive than most live performance microphones are, but that is to be expected since this is an entirely different type of microphone than most live performance mics.  If you are a singer who is looking for a higher quality microphone than you are getting from your traditional dynamic mics, the Shure SM86 is absolutely worth looking into.  Shure is a company you can trust to make good microphones and the SM86 definitely falls right into place.
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GuillaumeF's review

By GuillaumeF, 16/05/2004
See previous notice for technical characteristics.

OVERALL OPINION

I use it for the female voices on stage. This microphone produces a very fine, very precise, very clear. It is therefore ideal for crystal clear female vocals. It produces relatively little feedback - subject position as always. I use SM58 for other voices, but I like less compared to the SM86 - well except for a voice Rock.

I'm very happy. In fact I now more.
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Shure SM86 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Shure
  • Model:SM86
  • Series:SM
  • Category:Small diaphragm condenser microphones
  • Added in our database on: 03/27/2004

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Other names: sm 86