Whether you’re streaming on Twitch, recording a podcast or (shudder) having online work meetings, a decent microphone can really make you stand out in the crowd. The Shure MV7 was already a great microphone, but with the Podcast Kit adding a tripod stand as well, it makes it an even more tempting and top quality package.
We’ll focus on the microphone itself in this review – the addition of a tripod is an excellent idea (the base microphone needs a separately purchased stand, tripod or arm to hold it in place), but the tripod is a tripod. It sits on the table and holds the microphone in place. Useful? Absolutely. Exciting? Not a bit.
The MV7 itself though is a very exciting bit of kit. Sporting touch-controls on the microphone itself to adjust input and output volumes, as well as the option of USB or XLR connectivity, the MV7 has the flexibility to be a microphone you can take with you to an event or recording location, or sit alongside a more high-tech setup with fully fledged mixers and controllers. It hooks up nicely to PC, Mac, iOS or Android devices, and unlike many of its competitors has some really decent software that can control the microphone and adjust how it’ll work in a range of different situations. This includes the very impressive Auto Level Mode, which will let you place the microphone at different distances from you and automatically tweak the various settings to ensure you’re not only being picked up clearly, but also not overly loud and clipped if you get a bit over-excited during your recording or streaming.
Couple this with the Voice Isolation tech built in which does a great job of filtering out background noise and you’ll end up with some very nice sounding and clean recordings while you’re using the MV7. The Voice Isolation isn’t merely a software option though, as is often the case, but comes about from how the microphone is actually made, meaning the idea of killing off background noise was a design decision from the beginning, not something that’s tried to be patched in later on. As such it’s incredibly effective, and gives a much lower level of the surrounding sounds (PC or console fans, traffic outside, that kind of thing) than some other microphones.
If, though, you’d rather tweak some settings yourself then the Manual mode gives you a small number of things to tweak in order to get your perfect sound. As well as three levels of brightness (essentially giving some shortcuts to gently boost the bass or treble of your voice) you can also tweak your gain, change the mix of microphone to desktop when you’re using the headphone socket to monitor audio, or change a few filter-based settings. Here you can enable a high pass filter designed to eliminate even more low-level background humming, xxx, and even add a limiter and compressor to make sure your own personal requirements can be met. There’s a lot of flexibility here, but really the star of the show is the quality of the microphone itself which just oozes quality.
It feels great too – there’s no worry that a clip might break or something might come loose, and the mic has a healthy weight to it which feels more akin to a professional recording microphone than something you’d just stick on your table to record a podcast. The price might be a little more than some of its competitors, but with the MV7 you’re getting something that feels like you’ve spent well – there’s definitely none of that disappointment when you first open up the box and get your hands on it.
Whether you want to spend over £200 on a microphone depends entirely on what you’re using it for. If you just want something that sounds decent for meetings or basic recordings then you’ve got the HyperX Quadcast that does a decent enough job. But if you want something that’s more professional sounding for paid voice recordings, game streaming or that kind of thing then in my eyes the extra money is very well spent on the Shure MV7. It’s a definite step up from those less expensive microphones, and while there’s definitely a place for both of these examples in the market, it’s the MV7 that I’ll be going back to time and time again. It’s extremely, extremely good.