Review: Shure MV7X

The Shure Motiv MV7 Podcast Microphone (USB & XLR)

When the Shure MV7 was released in the autumn of 2020, it provided a unique all-in-one package for podcasters. The original MV7 combined a quality dynamic microphone with a USB-interface, switchable automatic level control and a headphone amplifier. Additionally, Shure offers the free Motiv desktop app that further enhances the MV7’s functionality.

The Shure SM7b

The fact that Shure took a lot of visual pointers for its new MV7 model from the company’s legendary SM7 microphone surely didn’t hurt the Motiv model’s sales one bit. Over the last five years the SM7’s popularity has experienced a steep rise, as a fine go-to microphone for vocals and guitar amp duties. This is in part due to the widely publicised use for Michael Jackson’s vocals on his legendary ”Thriller” album – recorded and mixed by the late, great Bruce Swedien.

The new Shure MV7X (XLR-only)

Shure got a lot of positive user feedback for the MV7, but also many requests to release a straight XLR-version of the new microphone for those who already owned all of the necessary recording equipment.

In late 2021 Shure did just that, introducing the new Motiv MV7X.

In terms of its design the Shure MV7X (price in Finland around 170 €) is virtually identical to the MV7, save for the missing soft-touch buttons and USB-port.

The MV7X comes mounted to a U-shaped bracket-cum-mic-adapter, making it easy to use the mic either on a traditional microphone stand or suspended upside down from an adjustable desktop arm.

The microphone and its yoke look and feel very sturdy and professional.

The MV7X’s large foam windscreen is easy to take off, making it easy to spot how Shure have managed to shrink the SM7:

In an SM7b, removing the foam screen will reveal a very large and long, relatively wide-mesh metal basket, whose main objective is to hold the windshield in place. The SM7b’s mic capsule – or cartridge in ”Shure speak” – sits far back, a bit more than halfway from the basket’s tip to the microphone’s body.

The MV7X’s front end looks very much like that of a handheld mic, beneath its foam shield. Here we have a very sturdy, tight wire mesh, with an additional layer of plosive-filtering foam inside the grille.

The Shure MV7X’s large body and front metal collar combine with Shure’s cardioid capsule to give the mic excellent rejection of sound coming in from the rear.

With a moderate length of just over 15 cm, and a weight of 550 g, the Shure MV7X won’t look out of place on a stage, either.

****

I recorded a number of clips comparing the new MV7X to the classic Shure SM57. Being one of the most widely used dynamic microphones on the planet means, that everybody knows what an SM57 sounds like, making a good starting point for these comparisons.

Clean and overdriven amps sounds
Strummed acoustic guitar
Blues Harp
Male vocals

To my ears both microphones sound remarkably similar, but not completely identical. The differences I could make out, listening through my Genelec monitors, were a warmer low-mid range, and a less-pronounced and softer-sounding presence boost in the new Shure MV7X.

****

Yes, the Shure MV7X’s design, construction, yoke and large windshield have been tailored towards radio studio and podcast use. But tying the MV7X firmly to the podcast genre does this mic a bit of a disservice, because it will surely work well in multiple musical situations on stage and in the studio.

The mic worked fine in the applications I tried it out with, but I bet you could put the MV7X in front of a kick drum or horns, and it wouldn’t disappoint. The new Shure is definitely a mic to take a closer look at!

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