Review: SHURE MV7X
Here’s why a USB-less (and cheaper) MV7 may actually be better for you.
Usually when a product gets an ‘X’ added to its name it sports a new feature of some kind. In the case of the Shure MV7X, it’s actually the exclusion of a feature that sets it apart – namely the lack of USB functionality present in its sibling, the MV7.
The MV7X, while possessing the same capsule and design as the MV7, is a purely analogue dynamic microphone with an XLR output only. The MV7 has both USB and XLR outputs.
Both MV7 and MV7X weigh in at 0.55kg and have identical frequency response (50Hz-16kHz), sensitivity (-55dBV/Pa) and physical dimensions. Output impedance on the MV7 is slightly higher at 314Ω than the MV7X at 252Ω. Where the MV7 has the LED-lined touch strip for controlling headphone and gain levels, the MV7X is girded by a sleek brushed steel strip with the Shure ‘S’ embossed on top.
The absence of a Micro-B USB port and headphones output on the MV7X is still the most obvious difference. This also makes it nearly $100 cheaper than the MV7.
Why would Shure release the MV7X as a separate product to the MV7? Affordability, of course, but that alone might not be reason to create a USB-less version of the MV7 – except for the fact that many podcasters don’t require a USB mic anyway. Podcasts with more than one presenter are typically recorded with multiple XLR mics into an audio interface or a podcast recorder like those from Zoom, Røde and Tascam. In which case, for someone who likes the SM7B-esque sound and ergonomics of the MV7 but doesn’t require its USB capability, the MV7X is the perfect and more cost-effective solution to set up a multi-presenter podcast.
As a podcasting microphone the Shure MV7X delivers on the fundamentals. Spoken word is reproduced with a natural and polished touch. The tight cardioid pickup pattern is perfect for isolating a voice while rejecting ugly room reflections. Sibilance is kept under control thanks to the dynamic capsule. The MV7X doesn’t ask for a bucketload of gain so rest assured the preamps in your interface or podcasting recorder will do a fine job capturing every detail.
You might need a pop filter if you like to speak up close, as I found the foam windshield and grille don’t catch every plosive. It’s less of a problem if you keep the mic a bit further away or speak across it at an angle – the flexible Y-mount makes repositioning easy. The MV7X gracefully responds to compression with a familiar-sounding, broadcast-friendly punch on both male and female voices alike. A built-in HPF and presence boost would have been a welcome addition.
NEED TO KNOW
XLR Podcasting Microphone
TWO PEAS IN A POD
Sonic differences between the MV7 and MV7X were all but imperceptible in my tests. The MV7X may have a smidgeon more presence in the low mids which became ever so slightly more noticeable with compression, but I can’t say you’d pick one over the other for a better sound. Both supplied the same levels for the same amount of preamp gain, and both uniformly responded to proximity with about 10cm being the sweet spot of presence, clarity and plosive rejection.
I can see why Shure knew the MV7X and MV7 would have distinct appeals. USB microphones have their limitations and can’t offer the scalability (and sometimes reliability) of a system centred around a dedicated podcast recorder or audio interface. For the podcasters whose setup resembles the latter, the MV7X offers a legendary sound from a legendary brand.