Shure SM86 Cardioid Condenser Vocal Handheld Microphone

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$179
Shure SM86 Cardioid Condenser Vocal Microphone

To reduce handling noise the Shure SM86 has a three-point shock mount and it has an internal windscreen which effectively reduces wind and breath sounds.

Specifications:

  • Type: Condenser (electret bias)
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz to 18kHz
  • Proximity Effect:
  • Impedance: 150 Ohms - recommended minimum load impedance: 600 Ohms
  • Maximum SPL: 147 dB
  • Applications: Live and recorded vocals
  • Power Requirements: 11v to 52v phantom power

Pros

An often repeated statement in positive reviews of the SM86 is that it is "crisp and clear". Almost everyone who upgraded from an SM58 to the SM86 were quite impressed with how much brighter they sounded. Many also report that they are impressed with the sound they get when recording with this mic.

Cons

Some singers in loud hard rock bands report problems with bleed and feedback. Some owners who had been used to the SM58 before getting this report that it is not as rugged as the SM58.

Overall

Shure designed this mic to take on the road so if you look after it you shouldn't have problems with durability - and that claim is backed up by most customer reviews, just remember you can't throw it around like you might with the SM58. If you really like the Shure brand and want to take a step up from the SM58 then this is a good mic for you.

NB - This is still the same great vocal mic that it was when we recommended it up until August 2017, the only reason it dropped off our list of recommended live vocal mics is because there are now more highly rated options which you can see in our guide to The Best Live Vocal Mics.

Shure SM86 Frequency Response Chart:

Shure SM86 frequency response chart

Shure SM86 Polar Pattern Chart:

Shure SM86 polar pattern chart

Here is a good comparison of the Shure SM86 to the Shure SM58:

From the Best Condenser Mics Guide

With the Shure SM86, you get a handheld condenser microphone with Shure's brand of quality and reliability. It is essentially the condenser mic version of their very popular SM58 dynamic mic, designed specifically for singers to enjoy.

It has a tailored frequency response that peaks in the 2-5kHz range, which works together with its condenser capsule for improved vocal clarity. Shure also equipped the SM86 with an internal three-point shock mount and a two-stage pop filter to reduce unwanted handling, pop and wind noise.

Specifications:

  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz to 18kHz
  • Impedance: 150 Ohms
  • Max SPL: 147 dB
  • Applications: Live vocals, also for recording of vocals and acoustic instruments
  • Power Requirements: 11 to 52 volts DC

Pros

Most users who have upgraded to the SM86 from other mics report big improvements in terms of sound quality and overall clarity, and it is known to work well with a variety of singing styles, be it from male or female vocalists. As expected, the build quality is top notch, allowing for worry free use, setup and storage.

Cons

There are a few who are not particularly happy with the brighter sound of the mic, but even those who gave the Shure SM86 lower scores comment that all in all, the mic sounds great.

Overall

It's hard to go wrong with a Shure branded handheld mic, do check out the SM86 if you're looking for a reliable condenser mic.

Shure SM86 Frequency Response Chart:

Shure SM86 frequency response chart

Shure SM86 Polar Pattern Chart:

Shure SM86 polar pattern chart

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