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In The Box
Shure MOTIV MV5 Cardioid USB/Lightning Microphone for Computers and iOS Devices
Micro-B to USB Type-A Cable (3.2′)
Micro-B to Lighting Cable (3.2′)
Limited 2-Year Manufacturer Warranty
- Primary Applications: Podcast, Web streaming, Audio for Video
- Form Factor: Desktop/Stand/Boom Mount
- Intended Sound Sources: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
- Sound Field: Mono
- Capsule: Electret Condenser
- Diaphragm: 0.62″/16mm
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Orientation: Side Address
- Circuitry: Solid-State
- High-Pass Filter: Yes
- Gain Adjustment: 0 to ±36dB
- On-Board Controls: Headphone Volume, Mic Mute
- Windscreen: Built-In
- Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Maximum SPL: 130dB
- Sensitivity: -40dBFS/Pa at 1kHz
- Output Connectors (Digital): 1x Micro-USB Female
- Headphone Connector: 1x 1/8″ / 3.5mm
- A/D Conversion: 24-bit
- Sample Rate: 48kHz
- Digital Signal Processing: Sound Presets
- Operating System Support: Windows, iOS, macOS/OS X
- OS Compatibility: Windows iOS, macOS
- Mobile Device Compatibility: iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6 Plus (with lightning connector), iPad 4th Gen (with lightning connector), iPad Air (with lightning connector), iPad Air 2 (with lightning connector), iPad Mini 1st Gen., 2nd Gen., 3rd Gen.
- Bus Power: USB/Lightning
- Operating Voltage: Not Specified By Manufacturer
- Color: White w/ Black Windscreen, Black w/ Red Windscreen
- Mounting: Tabletop (Included)
- Mounting Thread Size: (1/4″ – 20 Female)
- Construction Material: ABS, Die-Cast Zinc, Polycarbonate
- Dimensions: H: 2.6 x W: 2.64 x L: 2.56″/ H: 66 x W: 67 x L: 65mm (Without Mount), H: 3.5 x W: 5.59 x L: 3.82″/ H: 89 x W: 142 x L: 97mm (With Mount)
- Weight: 3.2 Oz. / 90g (Without Mount), 5.6 Oz. / 1.6g (With Mount)
- Package Weight: 0.81 Lb.
- Box Dimensions (LxWxH): 5.2 x 4.5 x 4.35″
The Shure brand has always been synonymous with quality, but the Chicago-based radio company founded in 1925 is most well known for its excellent dynamic mics – specifically the SM57 and SM58, first introduced in 1965 and 1966 respectively.
- Recommended: Shure SM7 vs. SM7B vs. SM58 vs. SM57
But a USB mic? Really?
I just had to see what all the fuss was about as I’d read the MV5 is excellent for voiceover work/podcasting etc.
Let’s begin with the build.
Unfortunately, things start out a tad dicey here.
I’ll be straight up with you; this mic feels cheap.
It fits in the palm of your hand and seems really portable, but it’s really, really light.
In fact, you may not want to fart in its general direction as it may keel over (and not from the smell).
Time will tell how this thing is going to hold up, but for now, let’s just say I’m a bit skeptical.
It comes in 2 pieces that are connected, but you can disassemble it (more on that in a bit).
One piece is small, about the size of a tennis ball, shaped microphone portion which is attached to a curved arm that finishes into a round base with foam padding on the underside.
To be clear, I like the padding but find that the mic wants to get yanked around when the USB chord is connected.
In other words,
the chord is a bit too dummy THICC for this unit.
Aside from that, the ball portion actually has 2 positional settings: back and up, or neutral.
So think of a neutral position as your head looking forward.
Now tilt your head up.
This adds a cool element of versatility, and even though it seems a bit fragile, you can simply unscrew it and have a gander.
Basically, it’s just a metal (?) ball and thread (with a small washer) which screws into the mic.
The MV5 boasts 3 DSP presets:
- Vocal Mode
- Instrument Mode
There is also a Microphone Mute and power/mode indicator LEDs.
In addition to that,
we’ve got a headphone volume control, and a 1/8″ headphone jack for real-time monitoring.
Rounding things out, it’s plug-and-play and includes the detachable stand we discussed, a USB cable, and a Lightning cable.
So you can use it with a Mac, PC, iPhone, iPod, or iPad. Pretty nifty.
But how does it actually sound?
I was pleasantly surprised by the sound coming out of this thing.
It is $99, so in theory, it better sound pretty darn good, but I really enjoyed it.
One gripe I’d like to get out of the way first is its built-in windscreen which doesn’t mitigate plosives at all.
I was pretty disappointed in this, but my remedy is simply to toss a Yeti windscreen over top and call it good.
I find that pretty much 99% of microphones are going to need a pop filter or windscreen of some sort, so I suppose it’s not that big of a deal.
What really impressed me was how easily I was able to get a very good vocal take almost instantaneously.
I enjoy rapping as a hobby, and I wanted to see how the MV5 measured up.
In short, it sounds fantastic.
My vocals are clear and crisp, and I can easily see myself using one of these for podcasting/voice-over work as well.
In addition to that,
it’s one of the few microphones that give me a decent take out of my dinosaur Gibson Epiphone from 2003.
I was not expecting this thing to record my guitar and voice at the same time very well, but I was blown away by the result.
The MV5 is clear and articulate with a touch of broadcast warmth to ensure it doesn’t come off as too sterile or brittle.
Combine that with instrumentation and it sounds great in my estimation.
Here I will share with you what I came up with.
When the final mixes for some of the songs are done I will add those in as well.
None of these have gain applied.
MV5 – No Windscreen
MV5 – Windscreen
MV5 – Vocal Mode
Adds gain on its own
MV5 – Guitar Mode
MV5 – Alternate Take (Ren & Stimpy) – Windscreen
As you can hear, the raw takes are very good, especially for a USB microphone.
Add some EQ, Compression, and Reverb, and you can make pretty fantastic-sounding mixes for only $99.
And as a voiceover mic, this thing is rather impressive. I wouldn’t mind using it for a YouTube channel.
Shure MV5 vs. Blue Yeti
One of the reasons I picked up the MV5 was so I could compare it to the Yeti – a mic I’ve had since around 2017.
I think the differences are pretty obvious:
The Yeti is a lot colder, more sterile, and somewhat hollow sounding in comparison to the warmer tone of the MV5.
The sound of the MV has that subtle radio broadcast type of warmth that lends itself really well to voiceover and podcast work.
I like the Yeti and have used it for many years, but I think it comes off as just a tad brittle/thin by comparison.
It’s almost as if there’s a little too much air which kind of makes it seem like you’re in a huge empty room.
That said, you be the judge!
Blue Yeti (Original)
No Windscreen, No gain, and no post-processing
Windscreen Used, No gain, and no post-processing
Stereo Mode – Windscreen used, no gain and no post-processing
Figure 8 Mode – Windscreen used, no gain and no post-processing
Omnidirectional Mode – Windscreen used, no gain and no post-processing
What do you make of all this? Do you agree?
Blue Yeti vs. Shure MV5 – Features
As far as build and features go, the MV5 is tiny. The mic itself is about the size of a tennis ball – perhaps even smaller.
The Yeti by contrast is gargantuan and with the stand, very heavy and feels incredibly durable.
Without the stand?
It still feels pretty solid but not nearly as robust.
it’s simply a bit more cumbersome in the studio, but does have the 4 polar patterns:
- Figure 8
- Omni Directional
It also has the volume dial and mute button on the front, with a gain knob on the back.
the MV5 has a few nifty modes that we touched on earlier: Vocal Mode, Flat, and Instrument Mode.
These are all pretty useful and I’m especially liking the instrument mode as it sounds much more professional than I was expecting.
Shure MV5 vs. Blue Snowball
The MV5 slaps the Snowball around and then some.
While the Snowball is clearly built better (It’s around the size of a Grapefruit), teh sound was pretty abysmal.
I’m not sure if I got a lemon (or a .. Grapefruit.. haha, get it? *ahem*), but here are the takes I got some years back.
Please forgive me. Haha.
No seriously, it sounds horrible.
Shure MV5 vs. Blue Snowball – Features
The Snowball comes with a cheap feeling tripod stand that screws into the base of the unit.
Like the MV5 and Yeti, there are also some extra modes:
If you plan on getting the regular version of the Snowball, it does come with:
- Cardioid. Meaning it receives sound only from the front, as discussed above.
- -10db Cardioid. Same as the cardioid setting, but reduces the volume by 10dB. Great if you plan on recording a video in which you anticipate getting kind of loud. I tend to yell a lot in my videos. Not really. QUIT YELLING!
- Omnidirectional. Picks up sound from all directions. Works very well with interviews, podcasts, and any situation that has multiple persons speaking. Also discussed above.
Keep in mind that there is a switch on the back for each of these settings, but it’s labeled 1, 2, and 3.
One reviewer found that to be a little irritating because they don’t actually tell you which is which.
Blue Snowball vs. Ice
The ICE version (the one pictured in this review) does NOT come with these features.
Something to keep in mind before purchasing as well.
While the build is so-so in my estimation, the sound of the MV5 is excellent.
In addition to that,
It’s one of the few microphones that record my ancient guitar well enough to use in a final mixdown.
as much as I love the MV5, I think there’s an even better option and a mic that really blew me away.
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Shure MV5 Review.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
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What are your thoughts on the MV5? What are you looking to record? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..
All the best and God bless,