The Shure MV7 is an almost good USB microphone

The Shure MV7 is an almost good USB microphone

Round late-September/early-October every 12 months, I get a Slack message from Greg asking whether or not I’m desirous about writing a present information (or two). “Certain,” I say, by no means anticipating simply how a lot of a slog the following two months are going to be for {hardware} information/critiques. Placing collectively a roundup like that has the determined good thing about forgetting what a ache the entire thing will be.

I used to write down a “Greatest Presents for Vacationers” every year. After which this international pandemic factor occurred, at which level I shifted to “Greatest Presents for Working from Dwelling.” Fittingly, this 12 months I’ve dedicated myself to each, as myself and others semi-cautiously reenter the world.
My course of for placing these collectively is getting in no matter potential merchandise I can get my fingers on. It’s simpler stated than carried out typically, however an essential a part of recommending merchandise is definitely attempting them your self. I do know it sounds simple, however you’d be stunned.
The previous few years have been a little bit of a quiet revolution for teleconferencing. Some people are completely content material utilizing their computer systems’ built-in digicam and microphone, be it for the sake of simplicity or value. Actually, that’s effective for like 99% of the folks 99% of the time. I had my hand pressured on each of these items for 2 causes. First, I overview devices for a dwelling. Second, I’ve been internet hosting a podcast for just below 10 years and the pandemic required a shift from in-person to distant.
For a wide range of causes, I haven’t gone again.
I’ve written about my in-person cell podcasting setup in these pages quite a lot of occasions. It was the results of a number of years of refinement by trial and error. Placing collectively my at-home setup hasn’t been all that totally different, truthfully. Specifically, I’ve gone by quite a lot of totally different USB mics.
If I had extra time and cash, I’d in all probability have a extra skilled auto interface with a correct XLR microphone. My degree of dedication has, as a substitute, been in search of out my platonic best USB microphone. To date, I’ve been fortunately recommending the Audio Technica ATR2100-USB. It’s a great-sounding, directional stick mic, with each a USB-C and XLR enter that’s not dissimilar from the kind I used for face-to-face interviews.
I’m a fan of directional microphones for quite a lot of causes, and have lengthy thought they must be the business commonplace, notably for inexperienced persons. Right here’s the soiled little secret in all of these: You will get fairly good sound from most USB mics over $100 (and a number of other under), however the interface is nearly deliberately tough.
Many of those microphones characteristic three, 4 or 5 directional settings. Freshmen will nearly invariably select the mistaken one, unintentionally flip the acquire up full drive and wind up sounding worse than they’d have with a pair of earbuds or a default system microphone. The ATR2100-USB mounted that with easy, out of the field setup. However the Shure MV7 takes issues even additional.
The design seems to be like a extra compact model of the legendary studio/podcasting SM78. I’m not going to say it sounds nearly as good as a correct studio mic with a correct studio interface, however I’ll say I doubt most individuals would be capable of pick the distinction. The MV7’s sound is wealthy, full and heat — all the pieces you need out of a vocal mic. Just like the ATR2100-USB, it sports activities each an XLR and USB-C output. Given how good it sounds, nevertheless, I don’t really feel any want to modify to the previous.
Additionally just like the Audio Technica system, it simply works. Plug it in, ensure that your software program is accessing it and you have to be good. Higher nonetheless, there’s a contact panel with inexperienced lights that permits you to alter the quantity on the fly. There’s additionally a headphone enter if you wish to monitor your voice in actual time by the mic.
A number of downsides. First is value. At $250, you may get mic at half the worth. This, nevertheless, is a superb mic. If sound is essential to you, splurge a bit. Second has extra to do with the directional design. If you happen to absentmindedly shift lots in your seat whereas talking, this may not be the mic for you. I try this typically, and I’m simply attempting to drive myself to be extra aware of these actions.
Third, it’s pretty heavy. If it’s simply going to dwell on your house desk, no biggie. It mounts on both a mic stand (I’ve a small one I exploit) or an arm. For an extra $20, the corporate will toss in a mini tripod. If you happen to plan to take it on the street, it may very well be a bit extra of a difficulty, however it’s removed from a dealbreaker, particularly given the small dimension (simply keep in mind to pack a stand).
I’ve been recording episodes of my podcast solely on the MV7 and haven’t appeared again since.


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