In this article, we’ll explain how to connect and set up the Elgato Wave XLR audio interface and Shure SM7B dynamic microphone. We’ll cover mic position, gain settings, and whether or not you need a Coudlifter inline preamp with this setup.

Quick Answer: Position the Shure SM7B correctly, connect it to the Elgato Wave XLR, and set the gain so that you’re peaking between -18 dB and -12 dB. An inline preamp like the Cloudlifter is unnecessary.

How To Set Up The Elgato Wave XLR & Shure SM7B

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to setting up your Elgato Wave XLR and Shure SM7B. We’ll cover some of these points in more detail later in the article.

Time needed: 2 minutes.

  1. Position the Shure SM7B
    A fist away and off-axis to your mouth.
  2. Connect the SM7B to the Elgato Wave XLR
    SM7B > XLR cable > Elgato Wave XLR.
  3. Set the gain
    Tap the large rotary button on the Elgato interface until the mic symbol illuminates. Increase the gain, as you talk, until the meter in your software peaks between -18 dB and -12 dB.

This guide is purely about setting up the Elgato Wave XLR and Shure SM7B microphone. We’ll cover setting up the Wave XLR with a computer in a future article.

Shure SM7B Microphone Placement

The position of the SM7B relative to your mouth is a huge factor in how well it will perform. Here are a few things to consider in getting the best possible sound from the SM7B.

  • Distance
    The SM7B should be raised up near to your face and positioned around a fist’s width away from your mouth. If the mic is too far away, you’ll need to add more gain, making the SM7B more sensitive to background noise.
  • Angle
    By positioning the SM7B off-axis (at an angle to your mouth), it is less affected by the air entering and leaving your mouth as you speak and breathe. The ideal situation is to have your mic on a boom stand off to the side.

See our linked guide to discover which boom arm is best for the Shure SM7B.

Elgato Wave XLR Phatom Power

Pressing and holding the large button on the Elgato Wave’s interface will turn on phantom power. You’ll know phantom power is on thanks to a small light next to the “48V” symbol.

The Shure SM7B doesn’t need phantom power, so there is no need to activate this feature. It shouldn’t hurt the SM7B if you forget it’s turned on, but the best practice would be to turn it off.

Elgato Wave XLR & Shure SM7B Preamp/Gain Settings

The Shure SM7B is notoriously quiet, so you will need to add more gain than you would for a microphone with a stronger output signal.

Your goal in setting the gain is to have your audio peaking between -18 dB and -12 dB on the meter in your audio software when you speak at a natural volume. This leaves you a buffer of 12 dB before your audio will clip and distort.

We found that a gain setting of around 60% gave us the required level for our setup and our test subject’s voice.

Do You Need A Cloudlifter With The Elgato Wave XLR & Shure SM7B?

We think the Elgato Wave XLR works perfectly with Shure SM7B without a Cloudlifter, as we only had to set the gain to 60% to reach our desired level.

Our threshold for using an inline preamp like the Cloudlifter CL-1 is 75%. The preamp in your interface or mixer will get progressively noisier the harder you push it. Beyond 75%, you’ll start hearing hiss and hum sounds.

We believe that the Elgato Wave XLR was designed with the Shure SM7B in mind due to its 75 dB preamp, ensuring customers don’t need to buy another device to use the Wave XLR with this popular dynamic mic.

Elgato Wave XLR & Shure SM7B Pricing & Specs

Elgato Wave XLR & Shure SM7B | Setup & Demo Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:28 – Pricing & Specs
  • 1:04 – Equipment Setup
  • 1:25 – Microphone Placement
  • 2:52 – Connect Shure SM7B to Elgato Wave XLR
  • 3:29 – Preamp Setup
  • 4:02 – Phantom Power (48v)
  • 4:19 – Preamp Setup Cont…
  • 5:45 – Cloudlifter?
  • 7:07 – Final Thoughts