Quick, what's the difference between these two microphones?

 All images courtesy  shure.com

All images courtesy shure.com

Exactly.

The inimitable Marco Arment released a podcast microphone review last week and his favorite pick was the Shure 87A. The same day somebody tweeted that Amazon was having a sale on the 87A but after clicking through I saw only the Shure 87C at a discounted price. Not being sure if there was a difference between the two (oh sure, one is a cardioid mic, the other a super cardioid mic!) I didn't pick one up for fear of wasting money.

This weekend, I borrowed both mics and put them into our normal podcast setup and recorded some samples to hear for myself the difference between the two mics. If you were wondering what the sound difference is between the 87A and 87C take a listen below:

Both mics were plugged into our Zoom H6 on the same input, same cable, set at the same level using the same pop filter. Clearly the 87A is a better sounding mic in this instance and the lack of noise is significant when compared to the 87C.