The brand new Shure MV7 is loosely based on Shure’s iconic SM7B dynamic microphone and offers both … [+] USB and XLR connections.
In recent years, one dynamic microphone has gained almost legendary status in the music business as well as the world of podcasting. The Shure SM7B is a microphone with magic properties that have seen its reputation soar to iconic levels. For example, Michael Jacksonâs multi-platinum Thriller album was recorded using a Shure SM7B. And today its reputation continues with the SM7B making a weekly appearance on Spotifyâs wildly popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience. The Shure SM7B is a microphone with a reputation for a warm and intimate sound that podcasters and vocalists love even though it has a few peculiarities.
The SM7B sure sounds great but it needs a bit of skill and know-how to be able to get the best from it and help it work at its full potential. Sometimes the low gain from the SM7B can need a helping hand by using something called a âCloudlifterâ to boost its relatively low signal. It also needs to be addressed head-on and at fairly close quarters because, unlike a condenser mic, the SM7Bâs slight lack of gain means it needs a bit of knowhow to get the best from it. Finally, the SM7B isnât cheap; you can expect to pay around $399 for one. If youâre setting up a podcast with one or two guests, the cost can soon mount up if you buy one microphone for each participant.
Available in both Black and Silver finishes, the new MV7 podcasting microphone from Shure can be … [+] controlled by Shure’s MOTIV Audio software to get the best sound from the microphone without needing specialist technical knowledge.
Because podcasting and home recording have become so popular, Shure decided to build on the terrific heritage of the SM7B and produce a microphone that captures the luscious warmth of the SM7B but with the convenience of a USB interface and zero-latency monitoring. The result is the all-new Shure MV7, a dynamic microphone for the podcasting age that delivers much of the SM7Bâs character with a USB interface as well as a traditional XLR connection. An XLR connector enables the MV7 to be connected to an analog sound mixer or recording device should podcasters and musicians want to upgrade to an analog recording studio in the future.
There arenât very many XLR/USB microphones on the market. Samsung sells one and so does Samson, but the Shure MV7 is the only premium microphone I can find that offers both USB and XLR interfaces so it can be connected directly to a computer, iPad or iPhone as well as an analog mixing desk or pro digital recorder. The MV7 is also part of Appleâs MFi Certified Program enabling the microphone to be used with iOS devices. The MV7 is a home broadcasterâs dream as it can be connected to a SIP codec and be used with Skype, Microsoft Teams, Facetime or almost any audio-capable app.
The Shure MV7 has zero-latency headphone monitoring so a pair of headphones can be plugged into the rear of the microphone, enabling the user to hear their voice as well as the sound feed from the computer. The zero-latency monitoring is also great for overdubbing while listening to playback when recording at home using software packages like Audacity or Garageband. Any software that uses USB Class audio input can be used with the Shure MV7.
To make it easy to get great sound from the MV7 with the minimum of fuss, Shure developed MOTIV Audiosoftware for iOS, Android, macOS and Windows platforms. Itâs a great piece of software that controls the MV7 in Auto and Manual modes. With Auto Mode, the recording levels are dynamically adjusted, and the microphone can be set for either Near and Far modes so the user can speak into the microphone close up or back a little distance when necessary. There are even EQ settings for Warm, Medium and Bright sounds, plus compression for brightening the sound when recording at lower bitrates or for AM broadcasting.
As well as being perfect for podcasting, the Shure MV7 is also great for using with Zoom, Skype or … [+] Microsoft Teams. It will work with any software that supports USB Class audio devices.
The Shure MOTIV Audio software also features a Manual mode that can be used to adjust the microphoneâs gain and the balance between the microphoneâs output and source audio coming from a computer. All the settings can be stored as presets that can be recalled at the click of a mouse. The current audio settings are stored in the microphone thanks to an advanced DSP chip. This means that even if the MV7 is being used without the Shure MOTIV Audio software, it can still recall the settings for gain, volume, compression, limiter and all the other settings that can be set in Auto or Manual modes. Settings can also be locked into the microphone and is a great feature for broadcasters who might want to supply a remote program contributor with a microphone pre-adjusted for the audio profile the sound engineers prefer to use.
The microphone gain settings and headphone monitoring volume can also be set manually on the microphone by using touch-sensitive buttons on the body of the MV7. The levels are indicated by a series of colored LEDs, showing green for gain and orange for the volume level. Thereâs also a Mute button for the occasional coughing fit or simply when the mic needs to be turned off to speak to a colleague or guest.
Here are two screenshots of the Shure MOTIV Audio software in both Auro and Manual Modes. All the … [+] settings can be stored in presets. The Auto Mode works like a charm.
As well as having a Micro USB port for connecting the MV7 to a computer, thereâs also a traditional XLR connector and both outputs can be used at the same time. And why would anyone want to do that? Well, you could be doing a two-way podcast with a remote guest over Skype or Zoom. In this setup, the Shure MV7 could be connected to a digital recorder (such as Tascamâs excellent MK100 Mk3) using the XLR output so that a high-quality local recording can be made, bypassing the USB connection thatâs being compressed by the Zoom or Skype codec. If the remote interviewee does the same at their end and sends out the audio file, the two separate audio streams can be knitted together to produce a podcast that sounds as if it was recorded professionally in a studio.
Another great feature of the Shure MV7 is how itâs so good at stopping plosives. These are the annoying popping sounds that can sometimes be heard if someone is talking too close to a microphone. The MV7 also comes fitted with a large foam windshield and it works like a charm. Itâs very difficult to get the MV7 to misbehave. And because itâs not hypersensitive, the MV7 sounds superb even when itâs used in an untreated space. Normally, broadcasting and recording studios are acoustically treated to deaden the sound reflections and echoes, but the MV7 can make almost any space sound like itâs being used in a studio.
The Shure MV7 microphone has zero-latency headphone monitoring and touch controls for setting gain … [+] and volume levels as well as monitor mix.
If youâve ever recorded audio with a condenser microphone, youâll already know that these types of microphones are super sensitive, and they can easily pick up unwanted sounds like the distant roar of traffic, the background hum of a fridge or knocking on the microphoneâs stand. With the MV7, unwanted sounds arenât picked up so easily thanks to excellent isolation. This isolation and a unidirectional pickup pattern makes the MV7 sound as if itâs being used in a recording in a studio.
The last clever little trick the MV7 has up its sleeve is that two of them can be used on one computer when running the MOTIV Audio software. Iâve never been able to find a way of using two USB microphones on a computer at the same time. This great function is ideal if you occasionally record a podcast with a guest and donât want to splash out on an audio mixer and headphone amplifier. Itâs also a brilliant feature if you want to record a voice and an instrument using two microphones.
Verdict: The new Shure MV7 dynamic microphone is a stunning performer. There are plenty of good USB microphones on the market but the MV7 is in a different league. In addition to having a USB connector, the MV7 makes it possible to upgrade to a professional setup using an analog mixer with XLR inputs. The MOTIV Audio software is also a great way of controlling the sound from the microphone in a way that very few other USB microphones can. The softwareâs Auto mode makes recording professional-quality audio easy. Thereâs also that classic warm sound thatâs similar to the iconic SM7B. The MV7 isnât intended to be a replacement for the SM7B which is still one of Shureâs premium models. However, the SM7B does need careful handling to the best results from it. The beauty of the MV7 is it can produce superb sound without needing any special technical know-how. Finally, the zero-latency monitoring is the ideal tool for anyone recording at home or doing a two-way remote interview for a podcast or when contributing remotely to a live radio show using a SIP codec or a platform like ipDTL. The Shure MV7 is probably the most advanced podcasting USB microphone that Iâve reviewed. Itâs certainly a microphone to shout about.
The brand-new Shure MV7 microphone shares some of the features found on the iconic Shure SM7B … [+] dynamic microphone beloved by so many musicians and podcasters.
Iâve been a tech journalist for more than 35 years and I’ve written for both Mac and PC computing titles as well as spending many years writing about audio, imaging and
Iâve been a tech journalist for more than 35 years and I’ve written for both Mac and PC computing titles as well as spending many years writing about audio, imaging and digital cameras for a raft of tech publications. I enjoy all aspects of technology, especially using gadgets that make life more enjoyable, creative and productive. A large part of my time is spent hunting down and testing some of the best and most innovative technology on the market today.
Shure, Microphone, Podcast
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