Shure Mv88 Ios Stereo Con­den­sor Mi­cro­phone


Australian Guitar - - Contents - BY ALEX WIL­SON.

iPhone video has ad­vanced by leaps and bounds over the past decade, but the ac­com­pa­ny­ing sound record­ings have strug­gled to keep up. For rea­sons most likely to do with the size re­quire­ments of de­cent mi­cro­phones, au­dio recorded on an iPhone’s na­tive hard­ware suf­fers from al­most deal-break­ing is­sues: it’s thin and scratchy, un­til an ex­plo­sion of bass-heavy prox­i­mate noise eats up all the head­room and smears the record­ing with nasty dis­tor­tion.


The Shure MV88, then, has the po­ten­tial to be a game-changer for any­one who’s ever had a se­ri­ous rea­son to record au­dio with their iPhone. It will cer­tainly find a home with pod­cast­ers and con­tent cre­ators on the move, but can also be a handy as­set for mu­si­cians of all stripes. Let’s have a look at the so­lu­tions, both hard­ware and soft­ware-based, that the MV88 pro­vides to the plague of bad phone sound.

The MV88 plugs into your iPhone via the Light­ning con­nec­tor (the same part where you at­tach the charge ca­ble). It’s got two ten-mil­lime­tre cap­sules – one car­dioid and one fig­ure-eight – that pro­vide a mid/side stereo im­age. In terms of dig­i­tal au­dio spec, it can record up to 24-bit/48kHz and cap­ture fre­quen­cies be­tween 20 and 20,000 hertz. This is com­pa­ra­ble to stu­dio-qual­ity equip­ment.

The cap­sule it­self can be swiv­elled in its Light­ning mount, al­though be aware that move­ment is not 360 de­grees. Some de­gree of phone sta­bil­i­sa­tion and place­ment will be im­por­tant if you need to po­si­tion the MV88 just so.

In terms of ac­tual sound qual­ity, the MV88 feels com­pa­ra­ble to the in­dus­try stan­dard Zoom H4N, pro­vid­ing a record­ing that, while not per­fect, is highly us­able and free from any frus­trat­ing ar­ti­facts or prob­lems. Ul­ti­mately, the com­par­i­son to the H4N is not to ex­tol the MV88s sound qual­ity — it’s fine, but won’t blow the mind of any au­dio­phile. It’s in­stead to high­light how much qual­ity is packed into the MV88s tiny 40-gram frame. With this at­tached to your phone, you have a record­ing so­lu­tion com­pa­ra­ble to the in­dus­try stan­dard that’s eas­ier to charge, carry, con­trol and con­nect to the cloud.


In fact, the op­tional, free MOTIV app, which can be used in tan­dem with the MV88, is per­haps what gives it the edge. Not only does it pro­vide ad­vanced con­trol based around EQ, com­pres­sion and the stereo field pro­cess­ing, it also pro­vides built-in sync­ing sup­port with email and other third-party apps like Drop­box. Adding to this, the MOTIV app has re­cently added video record­ing sup­port, re­ally up­ping the ante in its ef­forts to pro­vide the most func­tion­al­ity to users want­ing to cre­ate and record on the fly.

How­ever, users are not bound to Shure’s soft­ware. The hard­ware re­quires no driver to run, so you can use what­ever soft­ware you like, in­clud­ing Ap­ple’s na­tive voice recorder, to con­trol the MV88 with­out any is­sues what­so­ever.

This kind of con­ve­nience of­fered by the MV88 will likely be king in a mu­sic in­dus­try driven by vi­ral con­tent and con­stant en­gage­ment. It’s so easy to see how mu­si­cians could record a re­hearsal, live show or writ­ing ses­sion and up­load quickly to so­cial me­dia, with­out hav­ing to worry that the sound of their mu­sic is be­ing com­pro­mised by the lim­i­ta­tions of a phone’s built-in mi­cro­phone.

The MV88 isn’t cheap as chips, but it’s also priced rea­son­ably. The only big is­sue I see with it is that it’s de­signed only for iOS de­vices – I don’t see why Shure couldn’t have made this great prod­uct avail­able for users of dif­fer­ent de­vices.


If you have an iPhone and want a mo­bile record­ing so­lu­tion, this is for you.

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