So – you want to start a podcast? Well, you’re not alone. Podcasting has become a super popular way to broadcast on the internet. It’s essentially a “radio” show that people can download and listen to on their computer or phone. Step 1 to starting a podcast is getting a microphone. Shure has been making professional microphones for years and now they have a mic designed specifically for podcasters. I took the Shure MV7 Podcast microphone for a test.
One hefty microphone
First and foremost – this is a sturdy microphone. It has some heft to it and looks great. Beware of a super light microphone, they’re often made with cheap parts. You want some weight to your mic and that’s exactly what you get with the MV7. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise as Shure is a company that has been making professional gear for a long time. The Shure MV7 looks very similar to other Shure mics like the industry standard SM7B.
On the back of the mic you have a classic XLR audio connection along with a micro-USB port and a headphone jack. What I like about this is that you get the plug-and-play ease of USB for beginners but also the professional level XLR connection when you’re ready to move up. If you’re not familiar, XLR is what the pros use. It’s a balanced audio connection that provides the cleanest audio but also requires more external equipment. The USB connection plugs right into your computer or phone without any additional hardware. I like having two options and it’s perfect for beginners who may want move up to an XLR setup as they get their footing in the podcasting world.
The MV7 does not stand alone… it literally needs a stand. It’s a microphone designed to be mounted on a boom arm or on a microphone stand. Shure sells a combo kit that comes with a nice-looking boom arm that clips to your desk and a set of headphones. If you don’t need the headphones you might be better off finding a boom arm for much less investment on Amazon. None the less, you can’t do much without some sort of stand for the MV7.
On top of the MV7 you’ll find a touch strip with lights. Slide your finger across the strip to turn the microphone gain up or down. You can also switch it so your slide adjusts the volume of the headphones plugged into the back of the MV7. In my testing, the touch strip worked but was a bit quirky from time to time. I would prefer a hardware adjustment dial. I found myself adjusting the levels in the app instead simply because it was easier than trying to use the touch strip. I like the look of the strip and I like the idea but in reality it wasn’t as responsive as I would have liked.
A jack of all trades
What I really like about the Shure MV7 is that it gives you options. As I mentioned above you can use it as a USB connected microphone or you can use the more professional XLR audio connection. In addition to this, that USB port can be used plugged into your PC (Mac or Windows) but you can also plug it directly into your smartphone. The MV7 app (on your phone or on the PC) lets you adjust the sound and settings of the MV7 microphone and record your voice. You can literally record a podcast directly into your phone without ever powering up your PC.
How does it sound?
I’m not an audio expert, by any stretch, but I have spent about 20 years using professional audio gear as a news reporter and anchor. I think the MV7 sounds great. The compression and tone settings in the app make it sound even better! The included foam wind screen helps block out unwanted pops but I would recommend an additional pop filter. They’re pretty inexpensive and in my testing it made a big difference.
Check out this audio that I recorded using the MV7:
Overall – a good buy
The Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone is a great combination of Shure’s professional level microphone skills with features that will appeal to anyone who wants to start podcasting. It blends the plug-and-play ease of a USB connection with the upgradability of XLR balanced audio. The touchstrip isn’t my favorite control but it also isn’t a dealbreaker. The Shure MV7 is the perfect microphone for someone looking to start podcasting with high-quality audio, usb and XLR versitility and even the ability to record a podcast directly into your phone while on the go.
The Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone is $250 and available directly from Shure or at most major stores.