Today we're looking at Shure's update to the classic Elvis microphone, the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone.
For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at ~3:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.
If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $250.00 on Amazon
What's In the Box
Frequency Response: 60Hz - 17kHz
Polar Pattern: Super-Cardioid
Performance / Features
The build quality of this mic is superb. It has an all metal construction that feels like it can really take the abuses of stage use. There is a small plastic badge with the branding for the mic, and the foam windscreen is bright blue. The sides and rear of the microphone have no additional features, and on the bottom you'll find a 5/8" threading for a standard mic stand, and an XLR port.
The frequency response is listed as 60Hz - 17kHz. There is a cut that begins at 1kHz and ranges down to 150Hz, and then drastically drops off. At 1kHz a boost begins which remains consistent to about 2kHz where we see a gradual increase with a significant boost at 4.5kHz, peaking at 6kHz. We see a dip immediately after this followed by a peak from 8-10kHz, at which point the air is cut.
The polar pattern of this mic is super cardioid. At 90-degrees the level is almost non-existent, but what is there is mainly high mids and treble. At 180-degrees, the signal is slightly stronger, and is mainly focused in the low end.
The overall performance of this mic is exactly what you should expect out of a live vocal microphone. The cut to the low-end helps tame the proximity effect, handling noise, and plosives. The presence boost helps your voice cut through and sit on top of the mix. And the super-cardioid polar pattern helps limit bleed from instruments on stage, as well as limiting feed from the PA.
Super cardioid polar patten is very beneficial in a live environment
Does a great job with the proximity effect, handling noise, and plosives
Your voice will cut through a mix
You're gonna look really cool
Very specific use case
I was not the biggest fan of this microphone for instruments or spoken word. The tone on instruments just was not too flattering, although in a bind, I think it is passable for that application. On spoken word, I think you're better off with a flatter microphone since you'll likely be recording in a studio and have better control over your environment and ambient noise. Live singing is where I think this microphone will really shine. It will allow the sound engineer to capture your voice as clearly as possible, and set it in front of the mix, even if you don't have good microphone technique.
If you're looking for a live singing microphone with an aesthetic that screams "I'm Elvis" or "I front a Rockabilly band", then I do not think you can go wrong with this microphone. If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP.