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If ever there was a defining trait of modern life, it’s convenience. Nearly every aspect of human life is now easier and simpler to do, thanks to the wide range of tools and technology that we have at our disposable. And no other tool in the world defines convenience quite like the smartphone. Filming, recording, communicating, and much more has all become possible with just your phone and a few good accessories. In today’s Shure MV88 microphone review, we take a look at how elevating your smartphone usage just got so much better.
Mono cardioid, Mono bidirectional, Mid-side, Adjustable width stereo
Adjustable Gain Range
0 to +36 dB
-37 dBFS/Pa at 1 kHz
The iPhone has completely transformed the ways we consume and create media. Thanks to the advent of social media and photo and video sharing capabilities, it’s never been easier to create content. But an internal microphone won’t always cut it, and as cameras and video editing apps improve, users are starting to look for options that can bring their audio to the next level.
The Shure MV88 is a lighting connector microphone that promises to bring top quality audio recording to your handy dandy iPhone. It’s a digital stereo condenser microphone that allows you to record fantastic audio on the go using only your iOS device. That’s right— no need for fancy adaptors or connectors. The Shure MV88 is plug and play with any iPhone model.
Since its establishment in 1925, Shure has led the way in terms of microphones and audio electronics in the United States. From industry standard microphones like the Shure SM7B, to old favorites like the Shure SM58, the company has always brought its best to the table. In the 21st century, it’s leading the way once again— this time with its iPhone microphone models.
Shure is well known for its incredible durability and sound quality, and the Shure MV88 aims to follow in that long tradition. A tiny microphone that connects to your device via the lightning port, it ensures that even later model iPhones without audio jacks can enjoy the best of that Shure-quality audio.
What’s one defining thing about the iPhone experience, besides its portability? That’s right, the wide array of apps (both free and paid) that elevate it from a simple phone into a powerful, everyday companion. iPhone engineering and design has progressed to the point that the latest model is almost at par with a basic computer. That’s a lot of power in your pocket.
Shure takes advantage of this incredible processing power with its MOTIV iOS app. It’s a free app (with extra features and presets that are available for purchase) that allows you to make the most of your MV88 or other smartphone-compatible microphones. Basically, it’s able to turn your pocket into an entire studio.
You can use the MOTIV app on its own, but its best features are unlocked when you purchase a Shure microphone like the MV88. Any settings you save in the MOTIV app are actually saved to your MV88, meaning that your preferences are set into the mic even if you switch to a different app. This allows for maximum convenience when switching between preferred apps.
In addition, the MOTIV app allows you to setup your microphone according to your references. You can adjust the gain and other settings, or choose presets according to what you’re recording (Speech, Singing, Acoustic, etc.). You can also do some basic editing on the app, allowing you to whip out a finished recording as fast as possible.
The Shure MV88 is the simplest sort of iPhone microphone that you’re likely to find. No extra frills or attachments— it can plug directly into your lightning port, and comes with a carrying case, foam windscreen, and an adaptor cable for monitoring with headphones.
This means that the MV88 is travel-ready and able to be used anywhere on the go. The foam windscreen allows you to start using your MV88 in the outdoors, as well as inside, so you can pretty much start recording from out of the box.
The sound on the MV88 is clear and fairly detailed, with a richness that sets it apart from other iPhone microphones. It’s a good vocal mic, as long as you can find the right placement.
In terms of instrument and acoustic recording, placement plays an equally important role, but the MV88 is nonetheless able to produce a rich, detailed sound. Plus, you can use the MOTIV app to change the microphone’s tone from rich to bright, making it appropriate for a variety of recording situations.
Users should take care to invest in a good shock mount, however, as the microphone can be sensitive to movement.
Despite the Shure MV88’s deceptively small size, it offers great quality for filmmakers and content creators on the go. The MV88 is made of metal and solid plastic, hefty enough to feel durable without weighing your device down.
The two capsules are visible behind a metal grille when you take the windscreen off. Additionally, the base is wide enough that it can comfortably connect to your iPhone, or a larger device like an iPad.
While the MV88’s small size and status as a device attachment may make users feel wary about its capabilities, this microphone means business. It has dual capsules— one a cardioid capsule that focuses directly on one sound source, and the other a bi-directional capsule that records on the sides. Combined with the hinge that allows the MV88 to be pointed in different directions, this allows for a more versatile area of sound capture, one that most iPhone microphones may not be able to match up to.
Overall, the Shure MV88 is all about bringing incredible quality to a simple device. As phones get bigger and better every year, and more and more content is filmed or recorded on the go, microphones should start catching up. Shure does just that with the MV88— a small, simple, yet durable device with just enough versatility to make you feel like you’re on your way to professional content creation.
The Shure MV88 may be a little pricey for beginner content creators, but it’s a worthy investment if you want to record top quality audio on your iPhone. It’s been carefully designed and engineered to maximize portable recording, making it a great addition to any video or audio creator’s arsenal. If you do a lot of work on your iPhone or iPad, this is a top quality investment.