Shure MV7 review:
with a shoot-out

Built for your voice, ready to grow with your setup.

“If you’re looking for a simple mic to clearly capture the spoken word – podcast, voiceover, gaming, any kind of streaming – Shure MV7 must be considered as a viable and satisfying USB microphone”

Shure MV7 is foremost a USB microphone designed for voice, and it does a great job. Let’s take a look at why it’s so often recommended for content creation, gaming, podcasts, voice overs and more.

USB for now, XLR for later

Yes, MV7 has all the classic features of a USB microphone – including a headphone jack. This is essential for a typical podcaster, because without a sophisticated recording chain, sometimes you’ll get an delayed echo (latency) in your headphones if you’re monitoring via the laptop headphone port.

Plugging your headphones into the back of your MV7 allows you to hear how the mic sounds – in real time – without the distracting delay.

Aside from the Micro USB port (you get both USB-A and USB-C cables supplied) and the headphone socket, there is also a 3-pin XLR connector on the back. We’ll save that for after the test results.

Ease of set up – getting ready to test

Rather than set up in a “nice” space, all our testing for Shure MV7 was done in a home office – which opens to a lounge room.

With all the USB ports chock-a-block at the back of our MacPro, it was left for the Mac keyboard to do the ‘heavy’ lifting. We plugged MV7 into one end of the keyboard, and Rode NTUSB MINI into the other end.

Nothing was touched on either microphone (more about MV7 controls a little later).

It was as simple as we could make it:

  • Open a new project on Final Cut Pro X
  • Go to “Record Voiceover” (Shift > Command > 8, or look under the Window tab)
  • Go to Input and select SHURE MV7
  • Wait for the countdown, start talking… stop after 20 secs
  • Start a new clip, select RODE NT-USB Mini as the input
  • Wait for the countdown, start talking… stop after 20 secs
  • Listen to both clips a couple of times

The whole test (setting up the mics, setting up a project, recording, listening back a couple of times) took around 3 mins.

Sometimes three minutes is enough to know!

Test Results: Shure MV7 vs Rode NT-USB Mini

Shure’s tagline for MV7 is “For Perfect Recordings In Imperfect Rooms” – and it proved to be immediately apparent on the first listen back.

Right out of the box, Shure MV7 sounded clear. The spoken word was picked up with great articulation and no distortion whatsoever. Background sound (room reflections) are kept to an absolute minimum.

In comparison, Rode NT-USB Mini produced a little more overall volume level, more higher frequencies (which you’d expect from a condenser microphone), and a LOT more “room sound”. In fact, the sound of floor boards and a large space in the home office was quite obvious.

First thought: Shure MV7 is definitely worth the extra $$ compared to Rode NT-USB Mini

If you’re looking for a simple mic to clearly capture the spoken word – podcast, voiceover, gaming, any kind of streaming, Shure MV7 simply must be considered as a viable and above-satisfactory USB microphone.

Now for a quick dive into the extra features you get with Shure MV7 – above and beyond what most USB microphones offer:

The controls

Many USB microphones include a volume control for the headphone level.

MV7 throws quite a bit more at the control ‘panel’.

Touch the ‘mute’ button and the mic is instantly silenced. Very handy if you don’t want to mouse click, or can’t quite get to the ‘cough’ button quickly enough.

Touch the Mic/Headphone selector to set levels for yourself (remember, we didn’t do this for our test, and it worked “just fine”).

Use your finger to adjust the levels up or down. The LED indicator ramp will be green for mic level, or orange for the headphone level. The VERY handy setting we didn’t see until reading the user guide (which we tend to do after testing), was MONITOR MIX.

Press and hold the mic/headphone toggle for 2 seconds to access monitor mix controls. Swipe left to hear more mic audio (green) or swipe right to hear more playback audio (orange). Press and hold the toggle to return to separate microphone and headphone volume controls.

Future you (XLR)

This is where MV7 really comes into its own.

As a starting mic (especially as a USB mic) it really is above grade – which is reflected in the price. Furthermore, when you are ready to take the next steps toward further refining your creative or streaming set up with the addition of an audio interface (Audient EVO 4, for example) or perhaps a podcast workstation (such as Rodecaster PRO), MV7 can be used to connect via the XLR output.

For even greater flexibility – and depending of the quality of the audio interface you’re planning on using – an inline preamplifier could also be used, including the famous Cloud Lifter, or one of the many Tierra Audio flavour preamps.

USB is great for starting out, working remote and providing solo content. However, when you’re ready to have a collection of presenters in the same space (or you want some extra flavours as we mentioned above), connection to your interface via XLR really is the option.

The software

We didn’t dive into the software, but it looks great. The 3-minute shoot-out really was enough for us to hear what we needed to hear.

However, for those who are looking for even better functionality when using MV7 as a USB microphone for voiceover, gaming, streaming, etc… it is definitely worth diving into the (free) Shure MOTIV Desktop App. (the link opens the relevant info via Shure website MV7 user guide)

There are so many sound-shaping features in the app, it’s well worth a play. Remember, you won’t need to open the app every single time you use MV7. Use it once to find the sound that is perfect for you, then “press and hold both Mute and Monitor Toggle for 2 seconds to lock and prevent accidental adjustment and ensure that your audio remains consistent”

Final word and SM7B

Shure MV7 is a dynamic, end-address microphone tailored nicely for voice work in either the studio or virtually any workspace you can find.

It looks very much like the classic (and venerable) SM7B, but MV7 really suits spoken word better than a “scorching vocal take” – so if you’re looking for SM7B performance, it’s not quite there.

Being a dynamic mic, MV7 is naturally suited to working in a space that’s not necessarily perfect – so if your creative space looks better than it sounds, it is a great choice.

Is a side-address USB condenser bad for content creation, podcasting and gaming?

No. In our shoot-out, we had a reflective room, so the NT-USB Mini (side-address condenser) didn’t work as “nicely” as the MV7 (end-address dynamic). In a less reflective environment, a condenser will often work very well, especially at picking up the higher frequencies.

Shure MV7 is priced higher than Rode NT-USB Mini, but it also offers more. Is it worth it? Yes – if you’ve got the extra $ to spare, and you’re looking for a microphone that can grow with you, it’s a great choice.

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