Shure MV5 USB microphone review

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The Shure MV5 is a super portable, lightweight USB and Lightning compatible microphone that’s decent for on-the-go recording as it delivers quality audio. And with Shure’s Motiv Plus app helping to fine-tune things, you get a good value. However,  the microphone is too lightweight and, like a baby taking its first steps, has a propensity to fall over easily.

Shure MV5 pricing and configurations

The Shure MV5 can be had for $99.00 and comes with a lightweight silver metal base; you connect the two via a silver metal ball screw. The unit I received is all black with the exception of the chrome Shure logo at the top front of the microphone. It is also available with a silver grill instead of the black.

Shure MV5 design

The MV5 is almost perfectly round with the grill having a retro appeal. It is quick to assemble: just screw the little silver ball into the mic to connect it to its metal base. It takes up very little space on your desk, or wherever you place it. However, due to how light it is, I found myself knocking it over repeatedly, so be wary of this potential issue. Behind the retro grill is a black foam windscreen covering the actual microphone, which helps prevent plosives while recording.

(Image credit: Future)

On the backside of the ball is a 3.5mm headphone jack for monitoring your audio and a micro USB port. There is also a mute button and a mode button so you can change the level of DSP and trigger the speech enhancement mode. The unit comes with a micro USB-to-USB Type-A cable and a micro USB-to-USB Type-C cable, which gives you plenty of connection options. 

(Image credit: Future)

A chrome Shure logo is located on top in front of three lights, which indicate different DSP modes and when the mic is muted. Just below the light, you will find a headphone volume control slider built into the center rear of the round structure. 

(Image credit: Future)

The Shure MV5 is tiny, toy-like and almost weightless, weighing in at 13.1 ounces and measuring just 4.1 x 5.1 x 4.4 inches. When you have Kraken-like hands as I do, it feels breakable but, I assure you, the main microphone housing is rather solid. It’s most comparable to Blue’s Snowball iCe, which weighs a hefty 1.1 pounds and measures 10.6 x 5.5 x 9.1 inches.

Shure MV5 microphone quality

Shure has a storied history in the recording industry of creating high-quality microphone products, and the MV5 proves the company can also make an affordable ultra-lightweight USB microphone with quality audio. The MV5 is a true plug-and-play mic that is ready to go from the moment it’s out of the box. You can even use it without downloading the Shure Motiv Plus software. Once connected, you’re ready to go. The MV5 MV5’s frequency range is 20Hz to 20kHz, and the mic offers 16 – 24-bit, 44.1 – 48kHz recording quality. It’s compatible with Windows 7 and above, Mac OS X and above, and can be connected to iOS devices starting with the iPhone 5 and any phone with iOS 10 and up. 

The MV5 uses three DSP (Digital Signal Processing) modes although it’s more like two, for voice and instrument, then a mode without the DSP. That means the flat mode lacks EQ or compression, while the other modes create a certain amount. This set allows for a quick setup and creates a worry-free, plug-and-play environment. Shure is one of the few companies whose microphones offer both DSP and DSP-free signal options within the same microphone. It gives Shure a leg up on the competition. 

(Image credit: Future)

The Speech Enhancement Mode does a great job providing automatic equalization and boosting vocal frequencies. This helps ensure crystal clear audio reproduction when you’re using it either to record or talk on Zoom call. I recorded a mock podcast and it reproduced the timbre in my voice nicely. I also noticed that it does a nice job of picking up my voice from about two feet away, which makes it a solid choice if you’re using it to interview another person. When recording, the lows in my voice were picked up subtly, and when playing back, the MV5 reproduced my low bass and sounded smooth with crisp detail.

The Shure MV5, along with its bigger sibling, the MV7, are both Apple MFi-certified, which means you can connect the microphone to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod to record via a Lightning cable that you can purchase for $25 on Shure’s website.

Software

The ShurePlus Motiv software is user friendly and easy to use when it’s time to toggle the sound quality. The Motiv software leaves nothing to chance, allowing the user fine control via manual mode or select auto mode to set it and forget it, which lets the intuitive software find the right balance of settings. 

In manual mode, you can be a little more heavy-handed and adjust the audio features, with the ability to pick one of the customizable sound signatures. You can choose from either “dark, “natural” or “bright” within the software to create that sexy depth that will make others swoon. 

In the software, you can control mic gain, headphone monitor volume, or even mute the unit entirely. There are also four EQ profiles you can choose from including Flat, High Pass, Presence Boost, and a combination of High Pass and Presence boost. You can also control the sensitivity levels of the microphones compressor. The Shure Plus Motive software is cleanly laid out and one of my favorite software suites to date.

Bottom Line

The Shure MV5 is a very solid USB microphone that also gives you the option to connect to your iOS devices. It records and produces clear quality audio at an acceptable price point of $99. Also, for the $99, you get user-friendly ShurePlus Motiv software, which improves overall performance. 

The MV7 loses some points for being too lightweight; the mic  falls over easier than a drunk relative on Christmas Eve . Then again, I do like the stand’s curb appeal. Overall, the MV5 will take your podcasting and streaming into the professional stratosphere and it’s worth the investment. It’s a very solid option for traveling and podcasting on-the-go but you can get the Blue Snowball iCe for $50 less or the Blue Yeti Nano for the same price. which is sturdier and has wider recording range. 



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