Shure SM7B Picking up Background Noise? (Quick Fixes)

shure sm7b picking up background noise

Is Shure SM7B picking up background noise while recording? Well, you’re not alone in this!

The Shure SM7B may often pick up high-pitched noises, rumbling, and even detect vibrations, especially when not properly configured.

The background noises picked up by your SM7B can have different causes and sources, so this guide will help you improve the microphone’s quality.

If the Shure SM7B picks up noises from the background, lower the gain levels, check the boom arm’s stability, and point the microphone properly.

If the fault persists, reseat your mic’s XLR cable and set up “Push-to-Talk.”

There’s much more so keep reading further!

What Causes Shure SM7B Background Noise?

what causes shure sm7b background noise

Here’s why the SM7B is picking up noises from the background:

  • The gain of the microphone is too turned up.
  • A configuration fault of the Shure’s switches.
  • There’s an issue with Shure’s audio interface.
  • A fault with the XLR connection of your Shure.
  • Improper positioning of the microphone stand.

That’s it. Let’s solve the problem!

Shure SM7B Picking Up Background Noise – Working Fixes!

Reminder: If your environment is too noisy, it’s quite normal for the microphone to pick up some of the sounds.

1. Turn Down Shure’s Gain Levels

turn down shure’s gain levels

So, while turning up the Gain amplifies your voice input and makes it clearer, more background noise will be allowed through.

While the Shure SM7B doesn’t have a knob strictly for that purpose, you can adjust your “Gain” through the Mid-Range Emphasis sensitivity switch.

The sensitivity switch can be found on the underside of the microphone and requires a screwdriver or something sharp to be adjusted.

How to Adjust Shure SM7B Sensitivity?

To ensure your voice isn’t picked up too loud, set the switch to the “Mid” position and test your mic through the software on your PC.

If too much background noise is still picked up, set the switch to the “Low” position and test once again.

Also, Turn Down Your Amplifier’s Gain!

Apart from the sensitivity knob on the Shure SM7B, there should also be a Gain switch on the audio USB interface plugging with the microphone’s XLR cable.

The gain knob is typically found on the front and pushing it towards the left reduces the gain.

Notice: Setting the sensitivity switch to “High” will still cause too much noise to be picked up!

2. Position the Microphone Properly

position the microphone properly

By default, the Shure SM7B is set to cardioid polarity, allowing it to pick up sound from the front directly and minimize the strength levels of any background noise. 

So not keeping the microphone’s faceplate in front of your mouth may cause it to pick up unnecessary noises in the background.

How to Recognize Shure SM7B Faceplate?

Unlike other microphones, there’s a “SHURE” logo on the bottom plate of the microphone and the faceplate has a soft mic cover.

You can adjust the vertical positioning of the microphone by loosening the knob on the side and the horizontal position by adjusting the pivot up to the top.

Unfortunately, you can only adjust the gain and frequency response of the microphone through the built-in switches on the bottom underside, as the polarity pattern is static.

Note: If not changed, Shure SM7B uses “Cardioid”.

3. Minimize All Background Noises

minimize all background noises

So, if reducing the Gain did not seem to reduce the background noises picked up by the Shure SM7B, the next step is to try reducing the noises. 

For example, ambient room noise, traffic noise from outside, or even nearby conversations can be picked up by the Shure SM7B if the speaking area is not isolated properly.

How to Reduce Background Noises?

While the most efficient method is to prevent the background noise from being produced in the first place, you can achieve a better recording environment in the following steps:

  • Closing doors and windows to muffle noise from the outside.
  • Shut down nearby A/Cs, ventilators, or fans producing noise.
  • Switch off electronic broadcasting devices causing the noise.
Tip: Ensure the microphone is angled away from the consistent background noise!

4. Refresh the SM7B’s Audio Interface

Unless your system is fairly new and has an integrated XLR port, you will be required to use a USB audio amplifier along with the Shure SM7B.

So, a potential fault of the microphone’s XLR connection or the USB connection of the audio interface with your PC may cause a weird noise.

refresh the sm7b’s audio interface

Inspect the following connections in the audio setup of the SM7B:

  • The XLR connection connects the Shure with the interface.
  • The XLR connection on the “XLR” port of the audio interface.
  • The USB connection of the audio interface with the computer.

After ensuring that all connections are stable and secure, inspect all the cables for visual faults or potential defects.

In addition, check whether there are any obstructions in the XLR input ports of the Shure SM7B or audio interference. 

Note: A defective cable may cause audio issues or a complete blackout of the Shure SM7B!

5. Enable the “Push-to-Talk” Feature

If you are unable to reduce the amount of background noise picked up by the Shure SM7B, an excellent solution is to set up and use the “Push-to-Talk” feature.

enable the “push-to-talk” feature

So, whether you’re recording through OBS or talking on Discord, you can specify one of the keyboard’s keys to function as a “Mic” trigger button that enables the recording.

Let’s learn how to set up “Push-to-Talk” on most applications!

How to Set Up Push to Talk Universally? (Any Platform)

  1. Open the “Settings” of the streaming or social media app.
  2. Navigate to the “Audio,” “Recording” or “Microphone” tab.
  3. Find “Voice Input,” “Input Devices” or “Audio Detection.”
  4. Set the hearing mode to “Push-to-Talk” and specify a key.
  5. Save the changes and exit the app’s configuration menu.

How to Set Up Push to Talk On Discord?

  1. Launch the Discord app and access the “Settings” menu.
  2. Locate “Voice & Video” within the “App Settings” section.
  3. Next, go down to “Input Mode” and check “Push to Talk.”
  4. Then, specify the key that activates the microphone’s input.
  5. Save the changes and exit Discord’s audio configuration tab.

How to Set Up Push to Talk On OBS?

set up push to talk on obs
  1. First, open the OBS Studio on your computer or mobile device.
  2. Access your OBS Studio Settings window from the homepage.
  3. Next, select “Enable Push-to-Talk on Audio Input Capture”.
  4. Press on a relevant key you wish to set for the input’s activation.
  5. Save the changes and exit the OBS Studio’s configuration panel.
Tip: All voice-chat-enabled apps and platforms have push-to-talk settings of their own!

6. Increase SM7B’s Noise Cancellation

Apart from the standard methods for reducing background noises picked up by the Shure, you can also achieve flawless quality by upgrading some of the mic’s equipment.

Here are multiple ways to cancel out the Shure SM7B’s background noise!

increase sm7b’s noise cancellation

Use a Software-Based Noise Cancellation

There are many applications for canceling the background noises picked up by the microphone, such as Krisp, AMD’s Noise Suppression Technology, IRIS Clarity, and many more.

Simply find a pick that’s free or approachable in price and set it up on your PC!

Use an External Pop Filter

While the Shure SM7B’s widescreen does most of the job in canceling out background noises, adding a pop filter is never a bad idea.

Well, you can attach the filter’s holder anywhere on the surface of your SM7B microphone’s arm and position it close to your mouth while recording.

Set Up a Noise Cancellation Boom Arm

set up noise cancellation boom arm

Perhaps the best method to reduce the amount of background noises detected and picked up by the Shure SM7B is changing the boom arm.

While the Shure microphone exceeds in audio quality, the input can be degraded by vibrations while using the original Shure boom arm.

Note: Most noise cancellation services available for desktops require an active subscription!

Quick Recap

If the Shure SM7B is picking up background noise, reconnect the device’s XLR cable, reduce the loudness in the background, and position the mic properly.

If the fault persists, set up and use “Push-to-Talk” or upgrade some of the mic’s equipment.

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