Shure Motiv MV88 Review – The Mighty Mouse Of Microphones

AudioRumble rating 74/100

  • Very good audio quality.

  • Small and portable, perfect for on-the-go mobile recording.

  • May not have access to headphone jack.

  • Does not work with a phone case.

Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Max SPL: 120 dB
Connection: Lightning (iOS)

Motiv MV88 is unique in that it plugs directly into your Lightning-equipped Apple device for on-the-go recording. This is especially nice for podcasters, journalists, and spoken word recordings. But is the quality good enough?

Design

Just like Mighty Mouse, this tiny microphone is surprisingly powerful. It’s about as big as your thumb and easily plugs into your Apple phone or iPad. It’s compatible with almost every Lightning-equipped Apple device — iPhone 5 and later, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini, iPod touch (5th generation).

The microphone rotates on a 90-degree angle so you can direct it toward what you want to record. The body that the microphone sits on seems sturdy, ensuring it doesn’t get loosened up or fall out of the Lightning slot. However, if you use a phone case, you’ll have to remove it before using the MV88. And it may block the headphone jack on your phone, which means you won’t actually have live monitoring.

The size of this mic can be super great for the right occasion — interviewing someone out-of-studio as a podcaster or journalist, recording your band rehearsal, or for shooting videos while capturing matching audio. But its size can also limit what you can do with it — this isn’t a mic you’d use to record your album with.

Features

The main feature on the Motiv MV88 is how it records using almost any Apple device, something most microphones in its league don’t have. It has matched cardioid (heart-shaped) and bidirectional recording patterns. It also has DSP (digital signal processing) presets specifically for whatever situation you’re in: Speech, Singing, Acoustic, Loud, and Flat.

The microphone comes with the ShurePlus MOTIV Mobile Recording App, where you can control the gain, stereo width, and EQ. The app also lets you share your work through email and text messaging.

Having the availability of the presets for the different types of recording is a nice feature, especially if you’re not an expert engineer. And then being able to do some basic mixing from the mobile app is a big win, instead of being required to send it to yourself and mix the audio from a laptop or desktop.

One glaring issue is there’s no live monitoring — if Shure upgrades the Motiv MV88, they should allow access to the headphone jack.

Performance

The actual quality of the microphone is great — it’s at pro-studio level audio. For all of the previously mentioned recording situations (podcaster, journalist, band rehearsal, filming), you’ll be golden. But there are just a couple caveats.

Sometimes you can get crackling from the mic, which could be from the Lightning connection wiggling around. It’s also difficult to tell what kind of sound you’re getting while you’re recording because there’s no access to the headphone jack (if the jack is on the same side as the Lightning connection).

Aside from those caveats, which may be its downfall, the Motiv MV88 is a fantastic mic.

Our Final Verdict

Shure Motiv MV88 Review – The Mighty Mouse Of Microphones The microphone is great for the podcaster, journalist, your band rehearsal, or filming on your iPhone or iPad. But oversight in the design department hurts its overall score -- no access to the headphone jack and useless with a phone case.

AudioRumble rating 74/100

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