Shure KSM9 Condenser Microphone Review

Shure KSM9 is a professional on-stage condenser mic. This model is renowned and remains a favorite choice of many musicians. It offers a natural, open sound, with a very balanced low-end, beautifully smooth midrange and brilliant highs. Giving just enough brightness to put you in line or slightly ahead of the instruments, I find it working great for all types of voices too. As expected from professional equipment, you’ll get that superior quality and low noise levels. The unique feature of KSM9 is a switchable pattern (cardioid vs. supercardioid), which gives greater flexibility for any situation or environment.

Sound & quality

Shure KSM9 has a fantastic quality and it gives a very natural sound. Aside from singers, we’ve seen it working for acoustic artists too, for example guitar players etc. Just make sure to point it where you want to and it will do the rest. As for music genres, KSM9 works best with latin, jazz, pop music, rock and similar. For more aggressive styles like metal, technically you’ll still get a better quality vocal, but among those loud and heavy guitar riff sounds you may probably not be able to notice the difference.

In terms of frequency response, the sound of KSM9 is very well tailored, and it does sound much better than a typical ‘flat-response’ condenser. The lows are being naturally rolled off to avoid that unwanted mud and boominess. The entire midrange, which corresponds for vocal and most instrumental sounds is precise as never before. The higher range gets some gentle boost, resulting in more transparency and helping to cut through more easily. KSM9 is also amazingly crispy and I find it quite amusing. It maintains a great accuracy at higher freqs (where other mics err), and even those high-pitched harmonics sound so much natural!

ksm9It is also nice to admit the technological advancements implemented in this unit. Aside from its precious, gold layered, low mass diaphragm, KSM9 uses first class electric components for its preamplifier circuit. This helps to achieve an extremely fast transient response and make the sound more vivid.

Features

This mic has a number of features that make the overall experience even more enhancing… First of all, is a state of art suspension system for the capsule, which results in reduced handling noise.

Condenser mics are generally considered as sensitive to handling vibrations; however, in case with KSM9 the difference is tremendous. Second, nonetheless very important feature is a unique grille design that does an impressive job in reducing popping sounds. They call it a three-stage grille or simply triple grille.

Last but not least is an interchangeable polar pattern. Shure KSM9 has two modes: cardioid and supercardioid. Both patterns are standard and both can be as useful in different situations. For example, as a lead singer you will naturally lean towards a more balanced sound of cardioid. However, when the stage gets more aggressive and louder, you will need the improved rejection and gain before feedback of supercardioid. Unlike with other mics, both patterns of KSM9 work flawlessly. Thus, it is like you buy one mic but end up with two, and you can switch them whenever you want, which is quite very awesome.

Who should use it

Any artist or singer who has enough money for professional gear could use KSM9. This microphone can give a colossal improvement to your vocal and it actually deserves every dollar spent. Comparing to other Shures, it is a great step up from their Beta 87A and miles ahead of Beta 58A. They are just in completely different leagues. Therefore, if you can afford this mic, go ahead and start digging that difference.

Pros

  • Very natural, crispy, balanced sound
  • Cuts through beautifully
  • Switchable patterns
  • Low self-noise
  • Low handling noise
  • Minimum popping & breath noise

Cons

  • Guess what, you can’t afford it.

Review score
  • Excellent! - 9/10
    9/10

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