Shure is the most recognizable maker of microphones in the world, with its SM57 and SM58 being the two most popular microphones in the whole performance and recording industry. The Shure MV7, then, is the closest the company gets to the more convenience-orientated world of home recording thanks to its included USB connection.
Available in four different configurations, you can get the Shure MV7 on its own, with a small tripod, a boom arm, or the mini tripod version that we’re looking at here. The mic alone costs $249 – so that’s what we’ve based our core value judgement on, but the mini tripod bundle is relatively good value at just $20 more. The boom arm kit is quite a lot more, at $330.
The mini tripod is made by Manfrotto – of photographic tripod fame – and is very well put together. There’s nothing more to it than a mounting screw and its foldout feet, but it’s very solid and the legs are surprisingly stable. The legs’ inherent slight flexibility also means they take the edge off desk vibrations being transmitted to the mic, compared to big, flat, solid-stand bases.
The microphone itself is a big unit that’s quite distinct from most other competing gaming-oriented streaming microphones. Instead of being addressed from the side, you talk straight at its foam-covered end. As such, despite it sitting high on its stand and high-quality Y pivot mount, its address position isn’t much higher than the likes of the Blue Yeti. With the mic at a 45-degree angle, its front sits at a height of 30cm.
The foam sock does an excellent job of reducing plosives and wind noise, immediately elevating this mic over most other competitor for close-up, more intimate styles of voice recording. The desktop mounting position of most streaming mics reduces the need for pop shields and wind protection, but they’re essential once a mic is mounted on a boom arm and held close to you. You can also easily slide off the foam and replace it.
Running around the top half of the center of the mic is the MV7’s cluster of touch controls. They work well enough, but physical controls would be preferable here. There’s a mute button to the left (with the mic facing you), and on the right is a button for switching between headphone volume and mic gain control. In between them is a row of eight lights with a touch-sensitive strip that you use for adjusting the headphone volume and mic gain. We found the controls rather fiddly and not otherwise in tune with the professional grade feel of the rest of the mic.
Meanwhile, at the back of the mic is where you really start to see the professional recording pedigree of Shure, with the inclusion of an XLR analog output alongside the microUSB PC connection. There’s also a headphone jack for live monitoring and audio output from your PC, when attached via USB.
Less premium is the inclusion of a single capsule for producing this microphone’s single cardioid pickup pattern. However, Shure’s software (that annoyingly requires an email signup to download) lets you set near and far mic positions to help optimize the pickup. You can also change the tone (dark, natural or bright), adjust the gain and monitor mix, change the EQ and add a compressor. It’s a very useful selection of features.
As for sound quality, it comes as no surprise that the MV7 tops our charts for overall clarity and range, making for a much more life-like, engaging presentation than any other model we’ve tested. Notably, this is despite the MV7 only sporting a modest 16-bit/48kHz sample rate on paper – there’s a reason those figures were deemed sufficient for CDs.
- Class-leading sound quality
- Great overall feature set
- Integrated foam windshield
- XLR output makes it versatile
- Micro-USB connection
- Single pickup pattern
The Shure MV7 specs list is:
|Dimensions (mm)||153 x 90 x 164mm (W x D x H)|
|Weight kg||753kg (198g stand, 550g microphone)|
|Capsules||1 x condenser capsules|
|Frequency Response||20Hz – 20kHz|
|Extras||Headphone amp with 3.5mm output, windshield|
The Shure MV7 price is $249, making it a very expensive USB/streaming microphone choice, but its sound quality is clearly better than cheaper options.
If you can afford it, the MV7 is our top choice for pure sound quality. It also has easy-to-use controls and the versatility that comes with an industry-standard XLR output. However, it’s arguably overkill if you only want to stream games, and you only get a single pickup pattern, limiting its versatility.
So good is the Shure MV7 that is tops our best USB microphone guide as the best USB microphone for sound quality.
This USB/streaming microphone has fantastic sound quality and a professional-grade feel, but you pay a high price for it.