This guide will help you to set up your Shure SM7B dynamic microphone with your computer and make it sound great for your recording, podcast, or live stream. We’ll also look at the best options for microphone stands, audio interfaces, audio mixers, and cables that you need to make everything work.

Quick Answer: Attach the microphone to a stand or boom arm and position the mic 2-3″ away from your mouth. Connect the Shure SM7B to an audio interface, then connect the audio interface to your computer using XLR cables. Finally, choose your post processing and mixing settings before hitting record or live streaming.

Shure SM7B Microphone Set Up

Shure SM7B Dynamic Microphone

The Shure SM7B comes out of the box with a microphone and two windscreens.

That’s it.

On its own, the microphone doesn’t stand up well and can’t connect to your computer.

You’ll need a stand, cables, and an audio interface to connect this XLR microphone to your computer.

Shure SM7B: 

Mic Stand vs Boom Arm 

You can use a basic table stand if you’re on a low budget or want to get started quickly, but they offer very little shock isolation. You’ll notice that any bumps or taps on the table are audible in your recording.

The Shure SM7B does have some sound isolation built into it, but for the best results, we recommend using a boom arm, such as the Rode PSA1+. It gives you the greatest flexibility and offers significantly more sound absorption.

Shure SM7B Microphone Positioning

Microphone placement is paramount in getting the best results out of your setup. The Shure SM7B needs to be within a couple of inches (3-4″). You can measure this distance with your fist. If the microphone is too close, the sound is boomy and poppy. Too far away, and your equipment may pick up background noise or you may hear hissing in the playback. Lastly, positioning the microphone down and pointing up at your mouth helps reduce breathing noise.

Connect XLR Cables

Next, you’ll want an XLR cable to connect the microphone to your audio interface (or mixer).

All standard XLR cables will have a male and female jack on them. Most desktop setups require 10ft of XLR cable; if you’re in a studio, you may require 25ft.

We recommend the Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR cable or Mogami Studio Gold. They provide the highest quality of any star-quad studio cables we’ve used while still being very flexible.

Shure SM7B Windscreen

Shure RK345 Foam Windscreen For Shure SM7B
Shure A7WS Foam Windscreen For Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B comes with two foam windscreens: an RK345 and an A7WS. Both windscreens are designed to reduce wind noise and plosive sounds (hard “p” and “b” sounds) when recording with the SM7B.

The smaller Shure RK345 is recommended for using the Shure SM7B on camera. It looks really great and offers a good amount of plosive protection.

The larger Shure A7WS is noticeably larger and offers much better plosive protection. It doesn’t look on camera and can sound “muffled” in some applications.

Shure SM7B Switch Settings

Shure SM7B High Pass Filter
Shure SM7B Mid Frequency Bump

The Shure SM7B has two switches on the back of the microphone: a bass roll-off switch (high pass filter) and a presence boost switch (mid-frequency boost).

The bass roll-off switch reduces low-frequency sounds, such as rumbling or humming. It has two settings: “flat”, and “bass roll-off.” The “flat” setting allows the full frequency range of the SM7B to be recorded, while the “bass roll-off” setting reduces low frequencies.

The presence boost switch is used to boost the mid-frequency response of the SM7B. It has two settings: “flat” and “mid boost.” The “flat” setting allows the full frequency range of the SM7B to be recorded, while the “mid boost” setting boosts the mid frequencies for additional vocal clarity.

We recommend leaving both settings flat because neither option gives us the detail that we’re looking for, and we find it better to make changes after we record rather than “locking in” a setting like this on the microphone.

Experiment with these settings to find the best one for you.

Related: Dynamic vs Condenser Microphones

Connecting the Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B > XLR cable > Audio Interface > Computer

Connecting the SM7B is easy. Simply plug one side of your XLR cable into the back of the microphone and then the other side into the XLR jack of the audio interface of your choice.

A computer won’t provide enough power to the microphone, so you need an audio interface (or mixer).

Audio Interfaces & Mixers for the Shure SM7B

It’s worth investing in a high-quality next-generation audio interface. The newer interfaces resolve the issue of needing a lot of outboard gear, like the Cloudlifter CL-1, which will save you money and make everything easier to set up.

We also recommend using an interface with a physical mute button and the ability to power a high-quality set of headphones. Here are a few different models to consider, all of which provide a powerful software suite to mix in music, live stream, or game audio with the input from the microphone.

  • Best for Streaming: Elgato Wave XLR – Small, intuitive, and benefits from the extensive Elgato family of software tools.
  • Best Overall Value: Focusrite Vocaster Two – Great device for a one or two-person podcast, with inputs and outputs on the back that allows all kinds of routing.
  • Best for Group Podcasting: Rode Procaster II – Capable of operating as a standalone streaming machine, recording to multiple computers, complex routing, sound effects, and tons of built-in processing. This is the heavyweight option.

Note: If you’re using an older (but popular) audio interface like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, then we recommend pairing it with a Cloudlifter in order to properly power the Shure SM7B.

Microphone Gain Setup 

The loudest a microphone can be in a digital environment is 0dB. You will need to turn up the preamp (gain) on your audio interface (or mixer) to get an appropriate level on your computer.

If you’re recording, we recommend setting the peak level between -18dB and -12dB when you’re talking naturally. This will give you plenty of headroom, so we don’t risk distorting, clipping, or ruining our recording.

If you’re live streaming, we recommend setting the peak level between -12dB and -6dB. You want your microphone as loud as possible without risking clipping or distorting.

Processing & Mixing 

Lastly, you’ll want to play with the post-processing settings. Most people add some compression, which narrows the microphone’s dynamic range. There is a risk of over-compressing, which can distort the emotion you’re saying.

Most audio interfaces offer tons of compression and equalization options, meaning that the Shure SM7B doesn’t need to sound the same all the time. There’s a lot of work that you can do to change the sound of this microphone, depending on how you’re mixing it with things on your live stream, podcast, or whatever you’re doing.

How To Setup Shure SM7B

How To Setup Shure SM7B

Total Time: 5 minutes

Connect Audio Interface (or mixer) To Computer

Using USB cable.
You need an audio interface or mixer, your microphone input on your computer will not provide the required power for the Shure SM7b.
You may need to install drivers for your audio interface to get the best results.
We recommend using one of the following: Elgato Wave XLR, Focusrite Vocaster, or Rode Rodecaster Pro.

Configure Switches On Shure SM7B

We recommend starting with both settings “flat.”
You can use the bass roll-off switch if the SM7B sounds too “boomy.”
You can use the mid-boost switch if you want more clarity from your Shure SM7B.

Mount Shure SM7B To Microphone Stand Or Boom Arm

For best results, we recommend using the Rode PSA1+ Boom Arm.

Connect Shure SM7B To Audio Interface (or mixer)

Using XLR cable

Use Proper Mic Placement

Point the Shure SM7B At Your Mouth
Keep within 2-3 inches of your mouth.

Turn up gain on your audio interface.

Aim for -18dB to -12dB if you’re recording music or a podcast
Aim for -12dB to -6dB if you’re live streaming

Press Record

Or set up OBS for live streaming.

Shure SM7B Setup FAQ

What Do I Need To Setup My Shure SM7B?

To set up your Shure SM7B, you will need the following:
1) The Shure SM7B Microphone
2) Boom Arm For Shure SM7B (Rode PSA1+)
3) Two XLR Cables (Canare or Mogami)
4) (Optional) In-Line Preamp (Cloudlifter CL-1)
5) Audio Interface (Scarlett 2i2, Elgato Wave XLR, Focusrite Vocaster, or Rodecaster Pro 2)

How Do You Make The Shure SM7B Sound the best?

There are several ways to make the Shure SM7B sound its best. Some tips include:

1) Positioning the microphone correctly: The SM7B is a directional microphone that picks up sound best from a specific direction. For best results, position the Shure SM7B so it is pointed directly at the sound source (e.g., the person’s mouth if you’re using it for vocals). Make sure to keep the microphone within 3-4″ of your mouth.

2) Using a high-quality preamp (Elgato Wave XLR, Focusrite Vocaster, or Rodecaster Pro 2) with the SM7B can help to boost its output and improve its overall performance. If you are using an inexpensive preamp, you may benefit from an external preamp (Cloudlifter).

Does The Shure SM7B Need A Cloudlifter?

The Shure SM7B is a dynamic microphone capable of producing high-quality audio without needing a Cloudlifter or external preamplifier. However, for best results, using a Cloudlifter with the SM7B can help to boost the mic’s output and improve its overall performance.

Does The Shure SM7B Need An In-Line Preamp?

The Shure SM7B doesn’t NEED an in-line preamp, but its output is greatly improved if you use one. Using an in-line preamp can reduce the amount of noise and improve the quality of your recording.

Do You Need An XLR For The Shure SM7B?

The Shure SM7B is a dynamic XLR microphone, and you will need a high-quality XLR cable to connect this microphone to an audio interface or mixer.

How Do You Avoid Plosives For The Shure SM7B?

The Shure SM7B comes with two different windscreens. The larger windscreen combined with the proper microphone technique will eliminate all plosives from the Shure SM7B.

Does The Shure SM7B Need A Pop Filter?

The Shure SM7B comes with two different pop filters. You can choose the one that best suits your needs. You do not need to buy an external pop filter for the Shure SM7B.

Does The Shure SM7B Need A Shock Mount?

No, the Shure SM7B doesn’t need an external shock mount. The Shure SM7B has a lot of internal shock mounting built into the microphone itself. We recommend using a high-quality microphone boom arm if you require more isolation.

Is the SM7B Worth It?

The Shure SM7B is widely considered a high-quality microphone capable of producing excellent audio recordings. We find it worth the investment, particularly if you are serious about recording vocals or other instruments.

One of the key benefits of the SM7B is its versatility. It can be used for various applications, from recording vocals to instruments and even podcasting. The microphone has a built-in pop filter and bass roll-off switch, which can help to improve the clarity and intelligibility of the recorded audio. It is also rugged and durable, making it suitable for various recording environments.

Does The Shure SM7B come with an XLR cable?

The Shure SM7B does not come with an XLR cable in the box. The Shure SM7B comes with a microphone and two windscreens; that’s it. We recommend purchasing XLR cables from Canare or Mogami.

Shure SM7B Microphone Pricing: 

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Shure SM7B Microphone Topics:

  • 0:00 – Introduction 
  • 0:11 – Video Setup 
  • 0:30 – Pricing & Specs 
  • 0:45 – Shure SM7B 
  • 1:02 – Mic Stand & Boom Arm 
  • 2:40 – Audio Interfaces & Mixers 
  • 4:23 – Streaming: Elgato Wave XLR & Shure SM7B 
  • 4:55 – Best Value: Focusrite Vocaster One & Shure SM7B 
  • 5:21 – Group Podcast: Rode Procaster II & Shure SM7B 
  • 5:55 – Setup Shure SM7B 
  • 6:05 – Microphone Placement 
  • 7:45 – XLR Cable 
  • 10:23 – Gain Setup 
  • 8:55 – Foam Windscreen 
  • 9:49 – Shure SM7B Switches 
  • 10:23 – Post Processing & Mixing 
  • 14:02 – Final Thoughts