If you are new to the world of podcasting, finding the best microphone can be an overwhelming and confusing task. The market for personal use microphones is completely saturated (also see, ‘Best Microphone Streaming‘).
The Rode NT1A and Shure SM7B are two very similar products that are very popular.
In this article, we will compare the two microphones in terms of their features, technical specs, and their pros and cons.
Rode NT1A Condenser Microphone
The Rode NT1A is well regarded by many as one of the top condenser microphones in its price range, offering excellent sound quality and durability that is perfect for home recording or live performances.
The microphone has a large diaphragm capacitor which helps produce a high-quality and beautiful sound.
The Rode NT1A is also packed with features that allow you to record vocals and almost anything with it. If you purchase the complete studio kit, you also get an audio interface, an SM6 shock mount, a pop filter, and an XLR cable.
One of the standout features of this microphone that you will notice as soon as you take it out of the packaging is its sleek, brushed metal housing.
Not only does this make the microphone heavier and more durable, but it also makes it feel more professional and of higher quality (also see, ‘Mic Aesthetic‘).
The frequency response of this microphone is also impressive, ranging from 20Hz to 20kHz. It also has a max SPL of 137dB which is more than adequate for vocal recordings of music or podcasts.
The average talking volume is between 60 – 75 dB so this microphone will have no issues with your podcast recording.
The Rode NT1A is also great at reducing background noise and recording a much clearer sound (also see, ‘How To Reduce Background Noise On Mic‘).
This makes it a great option for recording any type of vocals as well as some acoustic instruments if you need to.
The Rode NT1A is a condenser microphone which refers to the role of the metallic diaphragm in the recording of soundwaves.
Condenser microphones are able to capture a much wider frequency range and more detailed sound than dynamic microphones (also see, ‘Best Dynamic Microphones‘).
They are also better suited for capturing higher frequencies, making them ideal for recording vocals or acoustic instruments in a studio recording setup.
The diaphragm on this model of the condenser mic is 1” which is generous. It has a cardioid pattern which means that it is capable of picking up sound from all angles.
As we mentioned above, the max SPL of this microphone is 137dB which is very generous and when using the microphone for podcasts or other vocal recordings you are unlikely to get anywhere near this limit.
The NT1A also has a frequency response of between 20Hz and 20kHz which is a generous range.
The NT1A produces a self noise of 5dB. Microphones with a self noise level of below 10dB are considered to be extremely quiet and the Rode microphone falls firmly into this range.
The power source of this microphone is 48V phantom power. Phantom power refers to the process of delivering a direct current to a microphone that requires power to drive its internal circuitry.
The NT1A weighs 326 grams.
- Features excellent noise cancellation and background audio reduction.
- High-quality, durable materials, and construction
- Very low self noise level to help record clear sound
- Well-designed, reliable microphone
Complete Rode NT1-A Review
- Slightly heavier than other models due to the metal casing
- Requires phantom power supply
Shure SM7B – Dynamic Microphone
One of the most standout features of this microphone is the fact that it has a built-in pop shield and shock mount.
The shock mount helps to reduce noise and vibration sounds that might occur during recording.
This also reduces the amount of space that you need to use this microphone.
The Shure SM7B is one of the truest general-purpose microphones on the market. There is a reason why Podcast host Joe Rogan uses this microphone, It is great for recording voice and instrumentals, although it may struggle with low tones.
This dynamic mic produces consistent high-quality sound in a very simple way.
The SM7B is a dynamic microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern. The frequency range of this microphone is 50Hz to 20kHz and the max SPL is 180dB which is very impressive.
Because of this, the Shure SM7B is capable of producing some of the finest audio qualities of any residential-use microphone.
The matte black finish of this microphone gives it a very sleek and professional look.
The design and construction of this microphone have been well thought out and make the product very user-friendly.
There are also dip switches on the main unit that allow the user to easily switch frequency responses.
The Shure SM7B is a dynamic microphone that features a cardioid polar pattern that allows it to record sound from all sides (also see, ‘What Is Mic Polar Pattern‘).
It has a dynamic range that falls between 50Hz and 20kHz. The max SPL is an impressive 180dB.
The cartridge shock mount of this microphone features an internal air-suspension shock and vibration isolator.
There is also an integrated captive nut that allows the microphone to be easily attached to a stand or boom mount. The SM7B weighs 765 grams.
- Great for recording clear voice
- Solid design and construction
- Built-in filtering and pop shield
- Handles noise rejection well
- A reliable piece of equipment
Complete Shure SM7B Review
- For best results, an additional preamp is required
Rode NT1A Vs Shure SM7B
Both of these microphones have a lot to offer when it comes to recording audio, vocals, and podcasts.
Each microphone has its own strengths in terms of audio recording quality and features. Let’s see how they compare to one another.
The Shure SM7B definitely feels like the microphone that has been built to last longer out of the two.
The all-metal body is incredibly durable and the shock mounting system helps to protect the microphone’s internal components.
You can also adjust the microphone to any angle that you want to make recording easier.
The Rode NT1A also features an all-metal body and shock mount. The shock mount for this microphone is incredibly sturdy and the equipment is immovable once attached.
This makes it secure but you cannot choose a preferred angle for recording.
The main difference between these microphones is that the SM7B is a dynamic microphone and the Rode NT1A is a condenser type.
Finally, the NT1A is likely to capture more sound from its surroundings (such as fan noise or other ambient sounds) than the Shure SM7B.
Shure SM7B is preferred by streamers and studio recorders to prevent capturing too much noise from the room.
What are the main differences between the Rode NT1A and Shure SM7B?
The Rode NT1A is a condenser microphone known for its clarity and high sensitivity, making it ideal for studio recording, particularly vocals and acoustic instruments. The Shure SM7B, on the other hand, is a dynamic microphone that excels in broadcasting environments and is great for vocals, especially in live settings due to its excellent background noise rejection.
Which microphone is better for podcasting, the Rode NT1A or the Shure SM7B?
Both microphones can be used for podcasting, but the Shure SM7B is often preferred due to its superior ability to reject background noise, which is crucial for podcasting environments. However, the choice ultimately depends on the specific needs and setup of the podcaster.
How does the sound quality compare between the Rode NT1A and the Shure SM7B?
The Rode NT1A is known for its clear, detailed sound with a slight emphasis on the high frequencies. The Shure SM7B produces a warm, smooth sound with a flat, wide-range frequency response for exceptionally clean and natural reproduction of both music and speech.
Is the Rode NT1A or the Shure SM7B more durable?
Both microphones are well-built and durable, but the Shure SM7B, with its robust construction, is often noted for its exceptional durability.
Whats the difference between a Condenser Microphone and Dynamic Microphone
Condenser microphones, powered by electricity, are highly sensitive and ideal for capturing detailed, high-frequency sounds in controlled studio environments. Dynamic microphones, generating signal through electromagnetic induction, are robust, resistant to high sound pressure levels, and suitable for live performances and loud instruments.
Both of these microphones will provide you with high-quality sound for your vocal recordings or podcasting.
They are both durable and can withstand regular use and transportation when necessary. This makes any of them a great versatile microphone for your everyday recording needs.