The Shure brand has become synonymous with premium sound quality, with their microphones having featured on countless recordings and stages across the globe. With Shure, you are guaranteed to find a mic that suits your needs and will serve you well for years to come. The SM58 and the SM7B have set a high standard for dynamic vocal mics, live and in the studio respectively, so does the MV7 live up to its predecessors?
At first glance, we can instantly see that the MV7 has a similar form factor to the SM7B. Compared to the rest of the MOTIV range that the MV7 is a part of, it certainly looks a lot more traditional. That’s because it’s the “little brother” of the SM7B! The MV7 isn’t supposed to replace or compete with the SM7B, it’s a simpler and more affordable option for people wanting studio-quality vocal recording. Whilst it may not have quite the same sound as its older sibling, its new features and intuitiveness make it stand out.
The MV7 and SM7B are both dynamic microphones and have the professional sound quality that you can expect from any Shure product. Where the MV7 makes it mark is how incredibly easy it is to set up and get a great sound – and its lower price. The MV7 also comes in Black and Silver finishes so you can choose one to match your setup.
This is because the MV7 offers both an analogue XLR output and direct USB recording. This means you don’t have to worry about buying a preamp or an interface to get the most out of it or record with it, plug it in with the provided cable and start recording! In addition, there are deeper parameters that you can edit with the app if you’re after something specific.
This makes the MV7 an all-round ideal option for people that:
- Don’t have a tonne of recording knowledge or equipment, want an all-in-one solution that is easy to setup and sounds amazing out of the box.
- Are purely focussed on recording professional-quality vocals and don’t want or need to invest in additional gear.
- Already have the outboard gear and want a premium vocal mic that isn’t as expensive as the SM7B.
- Want the flexibility of being able to sound amazing either close to or further away from the mic.
Sounds pretty sweet, right? If you fit the bill of someone on that list, you may be asking why the MV7 is right for you. Let’s find out.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the USB connectivity as its a huge part of what makes the MV7 special. You could say that the MV7 is like an SM7B but with USB connectivity. As fantastic as the SM7B is (its best-selling status speaks for itself), it requires at least a decent interface and potentially a preamp to get the most from it. If you don’t own an interface or want to use the Auto Level or Manual mode features, the MV7 can record via USB. The handy 3.5mm output means you plug in your favourite headphones or earphones and monitor your voice without any latency. You can also adjust the mix between your voice and audio playback with the built-in touch screen and the app.
Whilst the MV7 works brilliantly as a regular, dynamic microphone (it does share DNA with the SM7B), connecting it up to a USB port and using it with the app is the way to unlocking all of its features.
Next, we’ll take a look at the innovative Auto Level Mode, which is enabled by connecting the MV7 via USB and using the app. This mode is ideal for people wanting to quickly attain a solid tone without loads of tweaking. It’s effectively like having a “virtual engineer” that monitors your levels and dynamically adjusts them. This ensures a consistently balanced output and saves on a lot of editing time if you’re a podcaster.
As straightforward and effective Auto Level Mode is, there are still a couple of things that you can adjust with the app to achieve the best recording. You’re able to set the mic position to either “Near” or “Far”, depending on how close you like to be to the mic. The app uses handy diagrams for novices that are unsure how to get the most out of that particular setting. You can also choose from three tone settings, “Dark”, “Natural and “Bright”. “Dark” increases the low end and is suitable for voice over and broadcasting, “Bright” enhances the highs and mids, enabling your speech to have greater clarity and “Natural” uses a flat EQ.
If you’re a more experienced tweaker, have a specific sound that you’re going for or would prefer to edit the audio levels yourself, you can switch off Auto Level Mode and use Manual Mode instead. Manual Mode lets you get hands-on if you want to adjust the Mic Gain, Mic Mute, EQ, Monitor Mix, Limiter and Compressor. If you find a combination of these settings that you repeatedly use, you’re able to save them as presets for later!
If you’re recording and quickly want to adjust a key parameter, that’s what the built-in touch panel is for! With the panel, you can quickly and easily edit microphone gain, headphone volume, monitor mix. You can also mute the microphone, lock the touch panel and revert to Manual Mode from Auto Level Mode. This level of controllability from the microphone itself is huge and means you don’t need to totally rely on the app.
The innovative Voice Isolation Technology derives from the awesome combination of the MV7‘s cartridge, pick-up pattern and shock mount. All this adds up to top-notch recording quality in any setting, where the mic cleverly prevents undesirable room and background noise from getting in the way of your voice.
You may be fooled into thinking that the MV7 is directly aimed at “casual” users and that because it’s one of the best options for streamers and podcasters that it isn’t for musicians. But you’d be wrong. The MV7 is every bit the professional bit of kit that SM7B is and definitely a superb choice of musical applications too.
Using the XLR to record singing and instruments produces great results due to the MV7‘s bold dynamic character and detailed sound. The plethora of USB features aside, the MV7 can definitely be used purely as a normal, high-quality dynamic microphone.
It’s the combination of USB and analog recording that really demonstrates the MV7‘s versatility. For example, you could use the USB output during an online interview whilst simultaneously recording the XLR output into an interface or external recorder for later editing. There’s a lot of possibilities!
Without a doubt, the MV7 is a real game-changer from Shure. With an assortment of brilliant new features, ease of use, premium sound quality and attractive price, the MV7 is sure to be another Shure classic.