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Shure MV7+: The best USB podcast mic gets better

Date 10 Apr, 2024

Writen by Brian Heater

Position Hardware Editor

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I was happy — excited, even — to check out Shure’s latest USB microphone. Its predecessor, the MV7, has been my default podcasting mic since it was launched toward to end of 2020. I’ve recorded more than 100 episodes of my show on the thing — not to mention using it for meetings, social engagements and even telehealth visits.

If you’re looking for a desktop microphone for podcasts or streaming and don’t mind investing a bit of cash, but don’t want to bother with a separate audio interface (mind you, there’s also XLR on-board, if that’s your thing), you’d be hard-pressed to beat the MV7 — until now, that is.

As the name suggests, Shure’s MV7+ doesn’t represent a massive departure from its predecessor. If you’ve asked me at some point over the past year and a half to recommend a USB mic, I likely suggested its predecessor. If you happened to heed my advice during that time, no worries. The new hardware doesn’t present a sufficient enough departure to recommend an upgrade at this stage. More than anything, the MV7+ is the refinement of an industry-leading mic.

Image Credits: Brian Heater

I was frankly a bit surprised when Shure reached out to offer the new microphone for review. It’s a (relatively) fast follow-up to a well-received product. That’s not to say the MV7 didn’t have its shortcomings, of course. In fact, there was one glaring issue about the product. It’s the first question I asked the company when it told me the new product was coming.

Yes, the MV7+ has USB-C. It was, frankly, bizarre that a $300 or so device released at the end of 2022 didn’t. With day-to-day use, this oversight was more of an annoyance. But the longer I used the product as my daily driver, the more pronounced the issue became. I am my own podcast producer. This generally doesn’t present a huge issue for the shows I record, but every so often, something will happen to the sound quality and I won’t be able to respond in real time, as I’m too focused on the conversation.

It took me a bit to realize why my audio quality suddenly went on the fritz for a few episodes. Turns out the micro-USB cable was coming loose. Upon closer inspection, the cord was beginning to split at the connector. I invested in a longer, braided micro- to USB-C cable to fix the issue, but the damage had already been done for those episodes. Looking online, it appears I’m not the only person to have that issue.

Image Credits: Brian Heater

I haven’t had any accidental unplugs with the MV7+ — though, granted, I’ve only been using the microphone for a couple of weeks at this point. That said, USB-C cables are, as a rule, more robust and durable than their predecessors and generally more up for the sorts of wear and tear you’ll put a cord through when attached to something like a swiveling mic arm. Of course, if robustness is your only concern, both systems also support XLR cables, for those who want to take an extra step beyond plug and play functionality.

As for sound, I’ve been quite pleased with the MV7+. I unintentionally put the mic through the ultimate test last week, when I had producer Don Was on my show. The guy has produced some of the all-time greats, including Dylan and the Stones, runs legendary label Blue Note Records and has a hit or two of his own in front of the mic. Naturally, his first question to me was which microphone I was using. Rather, he asked whether it was the SM7B — Shure’s much-loved vocal mic, which has become something of a gold standard in the podcast world.

Image Credits: Brian Heater

The two mics do look fairly similar, though the USB version is a bit more compact. That’s not to say that the MV7+ competes with the SM7B when connected via USB. The more traditional mic has a richer, warmer tone — there’s a reason so many people consider it the best. You can get closer to the MV7+ when it’s connected via XLR. The truth is, however, that the Shure mics are not designed to be in competition with one another.

The MV7+’s real competition is other USB microphones. This is where it truly shines, as a plug-and-play device for the proliferation of amateur podcasters and streamers out there. The microphone sounds great out of the box, and while it does feature EQ settings beyond input volume, you have to dig in to access them. While that may sound like a knock against the product, the truth is some of the biggest sound issues in podcasting are a product of having settings that are way too easy to access.

Blue mics provide a great example of this. So many recordings on those systems sound worse than a built-in mic, due to fiddling with the gain and other settings. It’s nice that Snowballs have multidirectional recording and all that jazz, but if you’re looking for a desktop mic for remote recording, you’ll be well-served by something unidirectional like the MV7+. Once you’ve been at it for a while, you can always take the next step and pick up an XLR interface.

Digging into settings here requires you to download the Shure Motiv Mix software. The interface is fairly simple. Everything is on auto by default — that includes gain, tone (dark to light) and reverb. You can flip any of those over to manual and adjust the slider accordingly. Also new is a “pop stopper” feature, which algorithmically protects against plosives — sounds like “p” and “b,” which cause expelled air to hit the mic’s diaphragm. The feature isn’t perfect, but I found it works well enough (when coupled with the foam cover) to allow me to ditch my unwieldy windscreen.

Image Credits: Brian Heater

Motiv Mix gives control over another new feature: the LED light up top, which replaces the MV7’s touch panel. It’s clear the company is targeting streamers specifically with the feature, which brings a small, customizable rainbow strip. By default, you can toggle between pulsing, solid and live, the latter of which pulses based on sound input. There are four default color palettes, along with an option to create a custom one. The settings will still be stored on the mic’s firmware after unplugging.

I’m sticking with the relatively neutral blues of “Space.” I’m not streaming games on Twitch or anything, so my preference is something that doesn’t draw the eye. I do, however, like the single tap for mute, and the fact that its red glow is tough to miss (I’ve still managed to forget that I’ve had myself muted at times, as is the human condition).

Additional options include a digital “denoiser” to remove unwanted sounds and a “monitor mix” for when your headphones are hardwired into the mic to check your levels (something I should be doing more often).

Shure’s MV7+ is now available in black, priced at $280 — that’s a $30 premium over the MV7. It’s pricey compared to other USB mics, but it’s hard to beat out of the box.

This story was updated to correct the MV7 release date from 2022 to 2020.

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