Podcasting and other forms of content creation have become increasingly accessible to the average consumer. As a result, manufacturers have flooded toward the new watering hole in the market.
Hundreds of options will assail anyone who Googles “good quality podcasting microphone.” The internet is packed with options. So, how do you make a choice with confidence, especially if you’re new to the whole thing?
Well, if you ask anyone who’s already doing it, they’ll tell you to invest in quality if you can from the get-go. If you’ve already decided on this point, then I’m pretty sure the name Shure has crossed your mind.
The professionals brand…
Known for making quality audio and arguably the two most popular microphones of all time, the SM57 and SM58, Shure is a name many pros have come to rely on for quality mics. Shure was keen to make its mark on the world of podcasting and currently has a range that can be seen and heard all over.
The MV7X is meant as a stripped-down, more affordable option to the MV7 USB & XLR microphone. Coming in at around $160 is not expensive enough to be outside the budget of most. But has it retained the quality of sound that makes it worth every dollar? I jacked in and loosened my jaw muscles for some deliberation upon the matter in my in-depth Shure MV7X Review.
Design and Build
The MV7X, and its USB/XLR hybrid counterpart, the MV7, are inspired by the popular but much more expensive Shure SM7b. This already hints at good things to come as the SM7b is a highly acclaimed microphone. The SM7 has been one of the two go-to radio mics since its launch and has even been used to record locals by the likes of James Hetfield, Anthony Keidis, and Michael Jackson for Thriller!
The MV7X weighs in at around 550 grams, and feels like the kind of mic one would come to expect from Shure. Good materials are used to make simple quality components that are expertly assembled.
The microphone and the mount are both all-metal designs. That’s reassuring and even surprising considering the price range and the fact that this is a high-end brand. Overall, there isn’t a single thing that feels cheap on the MV7X.
The “X” in MV7X stands for XLR. This is a strictly XLR directional microphone and a more stripped down and affordable version of the MV7. A major complaint with the MV7 was the weakness of the XLR output. Luckily, that is no longer a problem, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
There isn’t a single dial or switch on the MV7X. It is a dynamic microphone which means you won’t need any phantom power. And since it is XLR input, you will need to get an XLR cable and a recording interface. For some great recommendations, check out our reviews of the Best Audio Interfaces, the Best USB Audio Interfaces, and the Best XLR Cables For Microphones you can buy.
If you want to control the microphone in any way (like the input gain, for instance), you’ll need to use the controls on your interface and/or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).
In the Box
The MV7X microphone comes with a removable foam windscreen and a steel yolk-mount which is easily removable thanks to bulky thumbscrews. At the top of the mount, you’ll find a ⅝ to ⅜ thread, making the MV7X easy to mount on almost anything.
The metal grille and foam windscreen are sold as replacements by Shure should you need to replace one of them. Furthermore, the MV7X comes with a 2-year warranty. Everything about it says it’s one of the most durable podcasting microphones you can buy.
As for overall quality, this microphone is based on a very well-made, more expensive, and successful microphone. It feels as well made because it most likely is because it’s made by Shure.
The MV7X has a frequency response of 50Hz to 16kHz. At minimum gain, it has a sensitivity of around -55dB and features a unidirectional polar pattern (also called cardioid).
The MV7X features a dynamic cartridge and internal shock mount. Shure also claims the MV7X’s construction makes for “Voice Isolation Technology.”
Testing in normal conditions…
When plugged into my interface connected to my laptop, the MV7X did quite well. I made a vocal sample while typing on the keyboard of the laptop. Then, another with a keyboard that had even louder keys. On both, the speaking voice came through clearly.
In recording conditions…
The MV7X just gets better and better. Remember that troublesome XLR output I (and quite a few users) mentioned earlier? Well, Shure has sorted that completely. The XLR output on the MV7X is a total turnaround and works perfectly.
As far as fricatives, plosives, and sibilance were concerned, the MV7X ate those three for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When the windscreen is used, and you distance yourself correctly from the mic, you shouldn’t have any problems with harsh sounding “S,” “P,” or “F” sounds.
Recording instruments and vocals…
Again, the MV7X performs very well. Unlike condenser mics, dynamic microphones can handle quite loud inputs from bombastic voices and acoustic guitars. In other words, it’s one of the most versatile XLR microphones on the market.
Even something as loud as a piano or overdriven guitar is doable. Just keep the input gain lower when you reach that high. The mic is perhaps not as sensitive as you’d like, but then again, you’re paying under $200.
Though this microphone is not marketed as being suited for recording music, it can quite happily be used by musicians. The MV7X does a good job of picking up the subtleties of an acoustic finger-style guitar. Vocals and even a low output practice amp with a bass connected to it had plenty of details.
Whatever, wherever, whenever…
Basically, the MV7X can be used to record anything. Therefore, it is a great microphone for making demos that can be used as the basis for a recording session with more specialized equipment.
Shure MV7X Review – Pros and Cons
- Simple and easy to use.
- Well built and durable.
- Great for podcasting, good for making music demos.
- XLR output has been fixed.
- Limited use.
- No cable included.
In the Market for a Microphone?
We can help with that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best XLR Microphones, the Best Dynamic Microphones, the Best USB Microphones, the Best Condenser Microphones, the Best Computer Microphones, and the Best Shure Microphones you can buy in 2023.
Also, take a look at our detailed reviews of the Best Microphones For Recording Electric Guitar, the Best Microphones For Recording Vocals, the Best Vintage Microphones, the Best Microphones For YouTube, and the Best Wireless Microphones that are currently on the market.
Shure MV7X Review – Conclusion
The MV7X is exactly what Shure says it is. If you’re already using XLR and you need a well-built, all-around microphone for speaking or making demos, look no further. The MV7X carries the lineage of the SM7B well and will not let you down in any situation. The final score is 9 out of 10.
Until next time, make yourself heard.