Do you need a Cloudlifter with your Shure SM7B and GoXLR audio interface setup? We’ll answer this question and explain the typical reasons for using an inline preamp like the Cloudlifter.

Quick Answer: We don’t think you need to use a Cloudlifter with the Shure SM7B and GoXLR, as there is enough gain available without one. The GoXLR’s preamp does introduce a little bit of noise, but other sounds in your stream will mask this.

When Do You Need To Use A Cloudlifter (Inline Preamp)?

There are typically 2 reasons you might want to use an inline preamp like the Cloudlifter with a quiet microphone, such as the Shure SM7B.

  1. Your audio interface doesn’t supply enough gain
    In some cases, audio interfaces don’t have a mic preamp powerful enough to provide sufficient gain for a quiet mic like the SM7B. The GoXLR offers 70 dB of gain, so you won’t need a Coudlifter for that reason.
  2. Your audio interface’s preamp generates too much noise
    When you push a preamp, you’ll start to hear noise in the audio. The preamp built into the GoXLR may supply enough gain for the SM7B, but is it too noisy for you?

Related: Best XLR Cable For Microphones

SM7B & GoXLR Cloudlifter Test & Results

We recorded the Shure SM7B through the GoXLR with and without the Cloudlifter to see if there was any noticeable difference in noise. 

We turned off the noise gate and compressor and set a flat EQ profile. The only GoXLR mic settings we changed were phantom power when using the Cloudlifter and adjusting the gain to get a “good” level for each setup.

  • Without Cloudlifter: 60 dB
  • With Cloudlifter: 30 dB

The Cloudlifter halves the amount of gain required to get a good level from the SM7B, and there is a little less noise. Skip to the comparison segment in the accompanying video to judge the results for yourself.

Do You Need A Cloudlifter To Reduce Noise With SM7B & GoXLR?

It really comes down to how big of a difference you think the Cloudlifter makes and how quiet you need your setup to be.

We think that if you’re streaming and have other sounds or game noise in the background, you can safely forget about the Cloudlifter. All the other sounds will mask the small amount of noise coming from the preamp. You won’t get perfect silence, even with an inline preamp, so we recommend saving your money for something else.

Cloudlifter, SM7B & GoXLR Pricing & Specs

Do you need a Cloudlifter with SM7B & GoXLR Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:11 – Pricing & Specs
  • 0:23 – Why Cloudlifter?
  • 0:32 – Enough Gain?
  • 0:55 – Preamp Noise
  • 1:25 – No Cloudlifter SM7B
  • 2:16 – With Cloudlifter SM7B
  • 3:18 – Comparison
  • 3:52 – Summary
  • 4:41 – Final Thoughts