All new from Shure is a series of microphones labeled the “MOTIV Digital Microphones”, and up first in our series of reviews is the MV5. When it comes to to microphones in general, we’re always excited when Shure announces a new release. Not to sound biased, but they’ve been making quality microphones for decades now — we just can’t help it. This particular mic is a condenser microphone with USB connectivity, stated to be ideal for recording vocals, acoustic instruments, and podcasts, but we can also see it used by merely any activity you may partake in when it comes to needing a USB microphone. The unit itself has a headphone jack built-in, volume control and DSP options as well. Let’s get into the details of the Shure Motiv MV5 Microphone.
Main features of the Shure MV5
- Plug-n-play USB microphone
- Small diaphragm
- Cardioid condenser
- Comes with metal stand
- Three DSP modes
- Headphone jack
- Available in two colors
- Transducer: Electret condenser (16 mm)
- 24bit/ 48 kHz maximum sound quality
- Frequency response: 20 to 20k Hz
- Adjustable gain: Up to +36dB
Design and features
The steel stand that comes with the mic can be unscrewed to unveil a quarter inch base, which can then be attached onto any compatible device, such as video cameras and the like. It’s also compatible with all iOS devices (all of the MOTIV microphones are — a huge plus as we see this trend becoming more popular as time goes on). As seen in the photo, you don’t need to use the stand at all — when unscrewed, it resembles a metal ball that can be placed anywhere near you or your instruments. This is comparable to the Blue Snowball mics that are so popular in the market at the moment. It’s great for versatility or keeping it in a needed position that may be a bit awkward with the stand still attached.
There is also three buttons on the back we found super convenient to access. You can play around with three DSP modes. You get a flat, acoustic, and vocal option. When pressed, they illuminate on top — there’s one for instrument, voice, and flat mode.
On the bottom of the microphone itself is also a headphone jack which is also pretty easy to access. This is great for real-time monitoring if you need some immediate feedback. The USB port is also on the bottom of the unit here — no complaints when it comes to the build or placement of buttons and features, so a great job by Shure in terms of the overall design.
Overall build and stability
The build of the MV5 mics are quite well-made. No cheap materials here — it’s not a mic you’d buy at a local electronics store just to get some audio into your PC or phone. When we played with it at the show we were impressed. It’s not quite on the level of the beloved Blue Yeti USB mics, but it comes pretty close in our opinion.
If you’re buying this for recording vocals or instruments into your PC for some music-making, keep in mind that it’s nowhere near a professional condenser microphone. As you’d expect, those cost a lot more money but they’re a lot higher in terms of audio quality, build, and power in general. Not that the MV5 won’t get the job done, but it’s more recommended for those in a home studio and are working with a budget.
Since the stand is detachable, we’d rate this mic pretty high in terms of being portable. However, it doesn’t come with a case, and although that isn’t necessarily expected, if you travel a lot you’ll need to merely place it wrapped in a towel or somewhere safe — we wouldn’t risk just throwing it in a box.
The sound quality of USB microphones have come a long way. So when we call the Shure MV5’s sound quality average, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Coming in at a maximum sample rate of 24bit/ 48 kHz, it will get the job done, but won’t give you professional studio-quality sound. You’ll definitely need a traditional XLR condenser microphone that requires phantom power for a more powerful, warmer sound.
The recommended applications for this mic fit the build when it comes to the audio quality. Just keep in mind that we’re not saying the quality is bad, it just is what it is — and in all honesty, pretty good considering the price.
The final verdict on the Shure MV5 microphone
We love the MV5 if it fits your needs. When it comes to USB condenser mics, there’s a decent difference in models as you go up in price point. We have a feeling this model will fall under one of the best under $100. Only time will tell and as we use it for a longer period of time we will be able to report to you the longevity of it. But as of now, it’s a great investment for musicians in home studios looking to add an affordable microphone to their setup, if you do pod casts, need an external microphone for gaming, or partake in conference calls online.
What separates the MV5 from the Blue Yeti (one of the most popular USB microphones in the market, hence why we compare many models to it), is the fact that the stand can be removed to add some versatility to your setup. Whether or not this is important is up to you, but in our opinion it really doesn’t hurt. You can also read our Shure MV51 Large-Diaphragm Microphone review for a higher alternative, and at only a few dollars cheaper with a larger mic, it may be another option for you.
All in all, the Shure MV5 Condenser USB Microphone is a solid solution for those who need an affordable USB microphone that gives you some versatility. It’s especially attractive to those who are looking for a decent-quality mic to attach to their iOS device. Time will tell on the longevity, but in terms of the immediate use, this thing isn’t a cheap mic whatsoever.