The Shure MV7 microphone is built upon a rich history in the audio industry and now aims to become one of the best microphones for streaming.
If you’ve been to see live music, listened to a public speech, or endured an open mic poetry night, you’ve heard a Shure microphone. The SM58 dynamic condenser has been an industry standard for live vocals since the sixties, while its studio mic cousin the SM57 has been sliding up against guitar speakers for just as long.
Its SM7B podcast mic has proved just as dependable in modern media recording situations - streaming, shouting at people on Discord, and of course podcasting, but this market is extremely competitive and Blue’s still the dominant name here.
Time for the smaller, lighter, more affordable MV7 to step up and steal the limelight, then.
Design & features
Visually the MV7 takes its cues from the world of pro audio rather than gaming peripherals, much to its benefit. Shorter and stubbier than the SM7B, it’s built around a totally differently shaped capsule, itself shorter and protected by a heavyweight cap similar to a squared-off SM58, rather than the more delicate studio-style SM7B’s capsule cage. If you’d rather place a separate pop shield in front of it and lose the foam cover, it’s still a very presentable mic.
Its mounting system is just the same as the previous model, screwing into a boom arm and then hanging down from it for easy positioning.
However, the standout features on this one are a touchscreen display which, while slightly at odds with the pro audio aesthetic, does prove useful in quick signal gain changes and the like, and dual XLR and USB outputs. Not only does this give you a choice of interfaces - it also lets you record in both formats at once.
And those recordings sound full-bodied and natural, with none of the EQ valleys of boosted lows and highs that the likes of Razer streaming mic tend to favor. That’s whether you opt for XLR into an audio interface or with the slightly higher latency USB option. This mic really does flatter spoken word vocals, and when gain levels and mic position are set correctly, it can capture some superb musical vocal performances too. There’s a richness here that speaks to the high price point - though admittedly a fair whack cheaper than the SM7B. We still prefer the Blue Blackout Spark SL’s creamy studio tones and high pass filter for outright audiophile porn, but these two are definitely in the same league, and it’s a rather exclusive one.
As for the benefits of recording both analog and digital outputs at once - most obviously, you’ve got a backup track if your audio interface driver crashes or you dislodge a cable. Some users might like to use separate wet/dry tracks too.
The touchscreen interface responds well to inputs, allowing fast adjustment of mic gain and headphone monitoring, along with a mic mute button. Physical toggle switches probably would have been easier to operate here, but it’s not too fiddly to make adjustments on the fly and there’s no mechanical ‘pop’ noise when muting and unmuting. Holding the gain/monitoring button also lets you control the blend of monitoring/gain, which is slightly less intuitive to dial in, but an added bonus feature nonetheless.
Headphone monitoring sounds crisp and reliable, avoiding the common pitfall of running a bit too hot and veering into distortion at higher gain.
Most streamers don’t need to spend this much money to get great, out-of-the-box audio. That’s not a knock on Shure’s formidable MV7, but rather a testament to the quality on offer right through the streamer mic market. But this, this one in particular might be the streamer mic to rule them all.
What those who do drop some extra coin get is truly professional audio reproduction, flexibility of setup thanks to that dual output system, and even an effortless means of recording backups. All in a mic that looks like it could survive small arms fire if that podcast recording session of yours really got out of hand.