Shure MV88 Review

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Table of Contents

Shure was launched in 1925 as a wholesaler of radio parts, and today, it is recognized as a world leader in audio electronics. Shure is now known for the production of pitch-perfect music mics.

Shure had initially launched the MV88, especially considering those who love to edit music in their videos. MV88 is smaller in size, and its best feature is its compatibility with all types of iOS devices, especially the iPhone. The best part is that it easily fits the mobile device using a lightning port, making the process of recording on the roads easier.

Who is the Shure MV88 for?

Shure MV88 is specifically designed keeping three types of users in mind:

  • Amateur vloggers and video producers 
  • Solo Podcasters
  • Musicians

The year 2020 saw the production of several external mics. Some of the popular ones are the Shure, the Rode, and the Audio-Technica. If you are a newbie in the field of podcasting, check out our list of best budget podcast mics in 2020.

Shure MV88 Review: Why Is It A Better Option To Capture Great Audio Quality?

The Shure MV88 comes with a lightning connector that can be used to connect with iOS devices, and it is specifically designed for portable recordings. The MV88 was launched by Shure aimed at recording music audios. It requires the Shure MOTIVE iOS app to function, allowing users to take control over a variety of options like gain, EQ, stereo width, and others so that a perfect configuration can be set up based on the needs of the recording sessions.

Key features of Shure MV88 

  • Frequency Response: 20 – 20kHz
  • Cardioid Condenser
  • Pickup pattern: Adjustable Stereo Width
  • 24-Bit/48 kHz Resolution
  • Compatible with MOTIV App
  • Weight: 40.5 g

The Unique Design of the Shure MV88

Shure MV88 is designed for smartphone users. It has a small body that makes it easier to carry on-site and while traveling. It comes with a good quality lightning connector that plugs directly into the Android phone, iPhone &/or iPad. It also has a spherical windscreen that covers a microphone with only 2.7 inches in diameter. The hinge of the mic rotates 45 degrees to accommodate landscape or portrait recording.

Shure MV88 is a digital stereo condenser microphone with high sensitivity for picking details in sound. The MV88 is encapsulated with a fine mesh metallic grill. Internally, the microphone has two capsules in the center configuration, which can record an adjustable stereo field and multiple mono or mono summed recordings. The dual capsule consists of a cardioid and a bidirectional capsule. The signals generated from these two capsules together control the width of the stereo image. The audio recordings with Shure MV88 are of high quality with crisp and clear sound. However, it is not recommended for professional studio setups.

The packaging of the Shure MV88 includes a small zipper carrying case and a 3.5mm cable with a female plug that connects the microphone with the headset and allows the users to adjust gain while monitoring. This feature and windscreen work great for both outdoor and indoor recordings.

For first time users, it will be good news to know that the arrangement of the mic is very easy. You simply need to screw the phone mount to the tripod. Adjust the width of the mount according to the phone, and then connect the appropriate cable (Lightning or USB-C) to the phone. The metallic built is high quality and can very well protect the condenser microphone. The windscreen is attached to a rubber ring and needs to be applied with a slight force to slide over the microphone.

Performance Dynamics of the Shure MV88

Since the Shure MV88 is a digital stereo condenser mic, a well-thought-out recording sequence with the perfect studio placement can play a crucial role in getting the best results. The dynamics of the system can be altered when you switch the limiter on or change compressor mode to ‘light’; however, these do not significantly impact the recording. Users can also choose not to use DSP options and still get crisp and rich sound.

The Shure MV88 users can benefit from the limiter setting in an amplified mode or can find solid gain when the mic is placed in a spacious room for audio peaks. For live recordings, users do not need a limiter or a compressor to catch the perfect levels and placement. When the Shure MV88 is placed near a sound source, it records audio of rich quality allowing the proximity effect to operate at low frequencies. The quality of the audio is dependent on the type of recordings, whether you are doing a solo or are recording music.

The Shure MV88 is a versatile mic. It allows the users to apply both stereo image width and mono cardioid settings. For a more professional sound, the mic needs to be stabilized on the phone or tablet using the stand, ideally a shock mount; otherwise, the recordings will have interruptions. When recording in stereo, even the slightest movements can sound like a thunderstorm in the recording.

You can also change the color of the microphone according to your studio environment. It can be a dark microphone or a bright one. By default, in non-EQ/DSP mode, the microphone will tilt towards clear sound through a solid brass anchor. The closer you are to the sound source, the richer will be the bass depth, which is worth noting when connected to a portable device.

The ShurePlus MOTIV App

The MOTIV app is a key feature of MV88. The app gives the users control over various functions like DSP (digital signal processing) mode. Installation is easy, like any other iOS app. While recording a video or audio, the users can easily adjust the stereo width between 60º to 135º and switch between modes, including mono bidirectional, mono cardioid, and raw mid-side. They also can change the bitrate and sampling rate. The Shure MV88 can record audio at 16 or 24-bit and 44.1 or 48kHz sample rates. Reducing the focus allows users to minimize the echo while widening the width enhances the pickup of room reverberation.

The app also lets users preset gain level, EQ level, and compressor (like speaking, singing, flat, guitar, and loudspeakers). However, when using the app, it is advised to switch on the Airplane mode or Do Not Disturb mode to avoid any audio capturing interruptions. The cell service may cause interference and disrupt the smooth recording.

There are also options for the limiter, wind reduction, and left & right channel swap. Users can also adjust the compressor (three options are available: off, light, and heavy). If someone wants to create their EQ mix, adjusting the five bands can allow you to change the frequency range easily. The EQ and compressor combined are DSP. However, it may be difficult to properly hear EQ in a noisy environment.

After adjusting the required setting, users can record audio in the MOTIV app or use any other app of their choice. The recording length can be edited in the app and saved as a compressed file or sent via text or email. You can also convert the file into a desirable format such as ALAC or AAC. These are the different screens you can access in the MOTIV app :

Different ShurePlus MOTIV Apps

The ShurePlus MOTIV apps are designed specifically for MOTIV digital mics. Both work with smartphones. There has been some report of some users experiencing a compatibility issue as some functions failed to work properly. However, this is not frequent feedback.

ShurePlus MOTIV

ShurePlus MOTIV is audio-only. However, it offers certain supporting features like a video-oriented app, including five-band EQ and adjustable gain. The main features of the ShurePlus MOTIV app are:

  • Ability to switch between the polar pattern
  • The adjustable stereo field width 
  • Five predefined selections
  • WAV recording with an option to save the file within a different format
  • Options for compressor, limiter, and high-pass filter
  • Option for editing recordings
  • Live metering

ShurePlus MOTIV Video

With this app, users can control both video quality and frame rate along with audio-related options. The app works well with other inline MOTIV products like MV5, MVi, etc.

Shure MV88 features include:

  • Direct sound meter overlay
  • Record uncompressed audio while recording video
  • Gain control 36dB
  • Variety of sample rates/bit depth
  • Users can switch between preset modes and polar patterns

Pros and Cons of the Shure MV88

Pros

  • The high-quality signal of the mic can provide rich bass and clear treble
  • The DSP can be adjusted manually or disabled completely.
  • Presence of multi-pattern, including adjustable stereo imaging and single cardioid mode
  • The application is easy to operate while recording

Cons

  • Most mobile phones/tablet casing needs to be removed to connect the microphone
  • Considerable delay in monitoring

Shure MV88 – The microphone of Choice!

Shure MV88 is the microphone of choice for recording music with an iOS device. It is affordable, portable, with a simple plug and plays feature. The MOTIV app that comes with the mic is easily understandable by beginners. Although there are several options the app has to offer; only a simple setup lets users record audio quickly and efficiently.

Not only is the Shure MV88 perfect for studio settings, but its small size, light-weight, and a high-quality mic is easy to use on the roads as well!

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