Longer review of the ksm44a
Many of Shure's products have become industry/studio standards throughout the years because they just work, and work well. Their mics seem to " get the job done", without frills. Their products remind me of a 'military grade', constructed to be functional and to last . I've read somewhere that they actually do test and torture their products way beyond other manufacturers. I have no affiliation with the company. This is an honest review.
I recently purchased the KSM44a and am in the process of selling my AKG c214, which I bought on a whim. I have owned about 10 different mid-range mics..most I consider good, but over time ended up tiring of them, and selling them. I mainly used them for vocals as well as acoustic guitar. This Mic is heavy and seems built like a tank.
The best subjective way I can describe the sound of the KSM44a (in cardioid) is somewhat of a slight color. Of the 3 polar patterns, the cardioid is the hottest (+6db), and the brightest. The upper-mids are accentuated, giving the vocalist a very present 'up-front' sound; a mid-lift without any harsh high end. I have become allergic over the years to mics with any kind of harshness to them. The sound of this mic is very pleasing to my ears..more than any other mic I have owned.. Unlike many other mid-priced mics I owned (the ksm44a happens higher priced, but you can get god deals on them) that seem to try to shape the sound to be appealing; this one seems to give you back what you put into it, but in a more mid-forward and flattering way. This is not a 'WOW' mic, but more of an 'A-HA' mic…gives me back what I've imagined I am supposed to sound like, only slightly better. Put another way, although this mic can be used as a home studio mic, it seems its main purpose is as a STUDIO mic. You'll know the difference if you have used many other mics. The other polar patterns add to the functionality as they have different frequency responses (and are not as 'hot' as the cardioid mode)'.
To summarize there is NO one mic that fits everyone/everything, but this is a very, very good honest mic that seems especially well tailored for vocals. I give it 5 stars and I ain't sellin' this one. Shure really did their homework.