Samson Q2U vs Shure SM58 are two affordable microphones suitable for beginner musicians, podcasters, and backup purposes. However, these two mics offer different kinds of advantages. Therefore, it is in your best interest to understand what they can bring into the table and determine which one that will give you the best value in the long run.
In this article, we will explain to you everything about:
- What features and accessories that are included with each mic
- The connectivity options on each mic
- The comparison of their build quality
- The performance of Samson Q2U vs Shure SM58
- Which microphone that is generally more recommended for you
Samson Q2U: In The Box
We’ll start with Samson Q2U. In essence, the company has included all the equipment pieces that you need to start your work with Samson Q2U. Inside the box, you can find the mic being accompanied by a windscreen, a tripod with the clip and extension, and even USB and XLR cables. See also: MXL 440 vs 990.
There is a very nice value in this box because not many microphones include as many accessories as Samson Q2U. And, the fact that Samson Q2U is sold at such an affordable price point makes it even more attractive.
Setup can’t be any simpler than this. If you don’t have a mixer or professional audio interface, you don’t need to worry. You can plug Samson Q2U directly to your computer’s USB port.
Deploy the tripod, attach the clip (or the extension first, if necessary), run the cable, and you are ready for action. Well, don’t forget that you may need to change your computer’s sound settings in order for the sound to register.
|Samson Q2U||Shure SM58|
|Shop now at Amazon||click here||click here|
|Product Dimensions||13 x 4 x 10 inches||10.3 x 4.9 x 3.3 inches
|Shipping Weight||1.9 pounds||1.35 pounds
Samson Q2U: Design and Features
Samson Q2U has been marketed as a podcasting microphone. However, this is not just a basic USB mic with complete accessories. One notable difference between Samson Q2U vs Shure SM58 is that Samson Q2U features two input ports, a USB port and an XLR port.
This gives you great flexibility. When you need a simple plug-and-play solution, you can just use the USB cable. When you can take advantage of a more professional setup, the XLR cable is ready to serve. The combination makes Samson Q2U suitable for a wide range of users, from podcasters to producers.
On the mic itself, you can also find a headphone jack for direct monitoring with zero latency. Near the bottom of the unit, there is a pair of volume control buttons for the headphone jack. While this is handy, you should avoid adjusting the volume in the middle of a recording because the sound of the button press may get captured. Finally, there is a power on/off switch in the middle of the mic.
The overall appearance of Samson Q2U is not bad. It is classic and simple. The housing feels fairly solid and well-built. The included clip fits the mic nicely so that it won’t wiggle around during use. The connectors, however, require some care. Be gentle when plugging or unplugging a cable. As long as the mic is not over-abused, it should be able to last for a while.
Samson Q2U: Performance
So, how is the sound quality of Samson Q2U vs Shure SM58? In general, this microphone is good enough for the likes of podcast, interview, and voice-over. The sound is warm and deep, and there is just enough high-end. A pop filter will be useful for eliminating wind noise. However, Samson Q2U is not recommended for any musical purpose.
Of course, the company has been clear about the purpose of this mic from the start. Samson Q2U is targeted at budget-oriented podcasters. It sounds pretty good right out of the box, though the use of EQ and compression will make it even better.
The polar pattern is cardioid. It picks up sound primarily from the front side. The further you go to the rear, the less sound that the mic will capture. So, Samson Q2U is best for applications where the sound is coming from a single direction.
Unfortunately, Samson Q2U lacks richness and detail. The mic is not able to capture and reproduce the subtlety of piano, guitar, and strings. When tested, the sound is rather dry and flat. Samson Q2U also suffers from some self-noise. It is not entirely detrimental for the recording, but it is there.
Shure SM58: In The Box
Now, we’ll take a look at Shure SM58. This microphone is actually available in two variants. The basic one is very simple, as it only has an XLR port on its body. Then, there is a variant with a power switch, which is useful if you need to control when to enable and disable the mic.
And, you can choose to buy the microphone with or without the cable, in a kit that includes a tripod and stand adapter, or in a bundle that provides an XLR-to-USB adapter.
Unless you buy this mic with the XLR-to-USB adapter, the only way to use Shure SM58 is with an XLR cable. In most cases, working with an XLR connection requires you to have a dedicated recording interface or a mixer board.
On the positive side, Shure SM58 is a dynamic microphone with low impedance. You don’t need to provide phantom power in order to use the mic properly. This makes Shure SM58 quite practical for working in different kinds of setup.
Shure SM58: Design and Features
A company with a reputation like Shure can release a product without any special feature, and people will still buy it. As long as the product indeed delivers the level of performance that people expect from the company’s reputation. This reasoning describes Samson Q2U vs Shure SM58 quite well.
It is a standard microphone with a conventional design. It comes in a solid die-cast metal chassis with an enamel finish. On the top, there is a metal dome grille that is equally as tough as the body. This is a simple yet effective design. People can trust the mic that it won’t break.
The grille is removable to allow easy cleaning and maintenance. Once you have removed the grille, you will find a spherical filter which is useful for reducing the harshness of plosives as well as wind noise. Shure SM58 also has a built-in shock mount for eliminating mechanical vibration.
The internal pop filter and shock mount are incredibly valuable. With other mics, you often need to buy these equipment pieces as separate accessories. But with Shure SM58, you won’t need to add any extra burden to your mind when setting up the mic.
Shure SM58 comes with a cardioid polar pattern as well. This is the most common polar pattern choice for recording and live performance. Since it picks up sound from the front, it is quite resistant against ambient noise from the sides and rear.
Shure SM58: Performance
The popularity of Shure SM58 obviously has nothing to do with the microphone’s look, as it is quite basic in that regard. Shure SM58 has become the choice of many beginners as well as professionals primarily because of the reliable performance. It is great for recording a wide range of vocal profiles because of the superior detail, clarity, and midrange warmth.
Shure SM58 has minimal feedback and handling noise. Not only that, Shure SM58 is also very consistent. Many other mics in the category are inconsistent that they are affected greatly by how they are set-up and where they are placed. Shure SM58, in contrast, can deliver more-or-less the same results no matter what. This will bring great ease to mixing and editing.
If we observe the frequency response, we can find a slope in the lower part under 100Hz. This is meant to attenuate bass. The beneficial effect is that the mic becomes significantly less prone to the proximity effect (which happens when the singer gets too close to the mic, causing low frequencies to be exaggerated).
However, the negative effect of the bass roll-off is that Shure SM58 becomes unsuitable for instruments with plenty of low-frequency sound, such as bass guitar and kick drums. If you insist to use Shure SM58 for these instruments, you will find that they sound muffled. While it is possible to increase the loudness in post-production, there is a risk of harmonic distortion if you increase the loudness too much.
It has been said before that Shure SM58 already has an internal pop filter. However, pairing the mix with another external one won’t hurt. This will reduce wind noise to a virtual non-existence. Overall, Shure SM58 is a great mic for podcasts if your equipment has an XLR port, singers, and strings.
Samson Q2U vs Shure SM58
Between these two affordable microphones, Shure SM58 is generally more recommended. It can deliver better sound quality. Although it uses an XLR port, it does not need phantom power. It is equipped with a built-in pop filter and shock mount to ensure optimum performance. If you need a USB connection, you can get the bundle that includes an XLR-to-USB adapter to get the job done.