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 was designed to be an affordable alternative to Shure’s standard radio broadcasting dynamic microphone, the SM7b. If you were to walk into almost any radio studio or a higher-budget podcast studio, you will most likely find Shure’s SM7b — but the cost to get the SM7b studio ready is too high for a podcaster starting out. The SM7b is $400, but you also need some kind of recording interface to record into your computer (starting at around $100) and a pre-amplifier to boost the signal. (Shure recommends the Cloudlifter, which starts at $150.)
Shure’s MV7 is a lower-budget option, offering an all-in-one microphone / audio interface with a plug-and-play experience at $249.
The price is significantly above the competitors in its category, but the MV7 being a dynamic microphone is what makes it stick out in the now-crowded USB microphone space. Many USB microphones have copied the success of the best-selling Blue Yeti, a large diaphragm condenser mic. Though a condenser microphone is by no means a bad type of microphone, it is more delicate and sensitive to background noises and rumbles. Condenser microphones are more suited for very controlled environments, whereas dynamic microphones are more flexible in noisy environments and have more durable internal parts. There are only a few other dynamic USB microphones available in the market, which are mostly modeled after Shure’s mics, but none were from Shure directly until now.
The MV7 also offers built-in EQ and compression settings and presets controlled by Shure’s MOTIV app when plugged in via USB. Though you cannot control internal settings when using the XLR output, you do not need a Cloudlifter or phantom power to boost the signal when plugging into another audio interface.
Shure says the MV7 is not going to sound exactly like the SM7b but that it offers the frequency response and tonal quality of broadcast-style dynamic microphones. The SM7b sounded considerably better than the MV7 out of the box in my own brief comparison. However, the “tone” presets on the MOTIV app (dark, natural, and bright) change the sound of the MV7 significantly. Shure says the “dark tone” setting is designed to bring a BBC-style sound to the recording, whereas the “bright” setting sounds more like NPR. This is a pretty great setting for live-streaming rather than recording, as this is something you can do in post-production if you have the know-how.
One thing to note is Shure is still sticking with Micro USB for the MV7 instead of moving to USB-C, stating that they already have Shure-made cables, which are also used in their other products like the MV88+ and the MV51, and that they do not need the higher speeds that USB-C has to offer.
Since Shure has been a trusted brand in the microphone space, the MV7 seems to be a promising option for podcasting, streaming, and voice-over work for someone who wants to upgrade their microphone setup while still keeping the flexibility of the built-in USB interface. Bringing the broadcast-style dynamic microphone to this space is worth the effort, as it has been used in radio for decades.