Shure, the microphone company that has products in almost every recording studio, has finally released its first hybrid USB / XLR dynamic microphone, the MV7.
The MV7 is designed to be an affordable alternative to Shure’s standard SM7b dynamic broadcast microphone. If you had to go to almost any radio studio or more budget podcast studio, you’ll probably find Shure’s SM7b – but the cost of setting up an SM7b studio is too high for a podcast. The SM7b is $ 400, but you also need some recording interface to record to your computer (starting at about $ 100) and a pre-amplifier to amplify the signal. (Shure recommends Cloudlifter, which starts at $ 1
Shure’s MV7 is a lower-budget option offering a universal microphone / audio interface with a $ 249 plug-and-play experience.
The price is significantly above the competitors in its category, but the MV7 as a dynamic microphone is what makes it stand out in the now crowded space of the USB microphone. Many USB microphones have copied the success of the best-selling Blue Yeti, a large diaphragm condenser microphone. Although the condenser microphone is by no means a bad type of microphone, it is more delicate and sensitive to background noise and rumble. Condenser microphones are more suitable for very controlled environments, while dynamic microphones are more flexible in noisy environments and have more durable internal parts. There are only a few other dynamic USB microphones on the market that are modeled primarily on Shure microphones, but so far no one has been directly from Shure.
The MV7 also offers built-in equalizer and compression settings and presets controlled by the Shure MOTIV app when plugged in via USB. Although you can’t control internal settings when using the XLR output, you don’t need a Cloudlifter or phantom power to amplify the signal when you plug into another audio interface.
Shure says that the MV7 will not sound exactly like the SM7b, but offers frequency response and tonal quality of dynamic microphones in the style of broadcasting. In my brief comparison, the SM7b sounded significantly better than the MV7. The “tone” presets in the MOTIV application (dark, natural and bright) significantly change the sound of the MV7. Shure says the “dark tone” setting was designed to bring BBC-style sound to the recording, while the “bright” setting sounds more like NPR. This is a pretty great setting for live streaming, not recording, as it’s something you can do in post-production if you have the know-how.
One thing to note is that Shure still sticks to Micro USB for MV7 instead of switching to USB-C, stating that they already have cables made by Shure that are also used in their other products. such as the MV88 + and MV51, and that they do not need the higher speeds that USB-C can offer.
As Shure is a trusted brand in the microphone space, the MV7 looks like a promising option for podcasting, streaming and voice work for someone who wants to upgrade their microphone setup while maintaining the flexibility of the built-in USB interface. Moving the dynamic microphone in the style of broadcasting is worth the effort, as it has been used in radio for decades.