Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone for iPhone/iPad/iPod via Lightning Connector, Professional-Quality Sound, Digital Stereo Condenser Mic for Vloggers, Filmmakers, Music Makers and Journalists Musical Instruments
About this item IOS LIGHTNING CONNECTION: Apple MFi certified and compatible with all iOS devices with a Lightning connector POCKET-FRIENDLY: Capture powerful audio recordings on the move without the need for large and heavy audio equipment FULLY ADJUSTABLE: Flexibility to tilt, flip and rotate the microphone up to 90? to get stereo clarity, whatever your sound source TWO FREE APPS: ShurePlus MOTIV Audio and ShurePlus MOTIV Video allow you to customize the performance and set-up of the microphone for professional audio and video capture. Download directly from App Store NO WIND NOISE: Includes a black foam windscreen (part number AMV88-WS); please note that the windscreen comes attached and can be removed if desired BUILT TO LAST: All-metal construction and quality Shure engineering that has stood the test of touring and live stages across the world over the past 90 years PROTECTION IN TRANSIT: High-quality zip carry case included for protection when traveling IN THE BOX: 2-Year Warranty, MV88 microphone, foam windshield, carry case, headphone monitor adaptor cable
10 reviews for Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone for iPhone/iPad/iPod via Lightning Connector, Professional-Quality Sound, Digital Stereo Condenser Mic for Vloggers, Filmmakers, Music Makers and Journalists Musical Instruments
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Fresh and Felicia –
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Wow – there is a huge difference in the performance of this microphone versus the stock iPhone mic. As a matter of fact, this mic is so good I’ve actually recorded two radio commercials on it in my studio and no one could tell I wasn’t using my standard EV RE320. You will need the free app to use it as an audio only recorder, but it automatically picks up this Mike with the phone’s video app and uses it if it’s plugged in. The free app is really nice, complete with level meters and its own Library System. Noise level is noticeably different when using this microphone. Although the iPhone picks up more sound, it also introduces a whole lot more noise. And what’s really surprising is the bass pickup for such a small microphone. You’ll have to hear it to believe it. I had a hard time choosing between this unit in a separate digital recorder, but I figured this made more sense since I always have my phone with me. Now all I have to do is remember to throw this unit in the glove compartment.
Fan of The Phoenix Affirmations –
I own 4 studio-quality Shure SM7Bs ($400 each). I’m not always in my studio when I want to record, though, so I took a chance on to MV88 after hearing the sound quality in their promo video. I was skeptical, but bought it since I trust the brand. Am I ever glad I did! I just recorded my first podcast using this tiny microphone plugged into my iPhoneX. When I loaded the recording into my studio software and listened on professional headphones, I could not believe how incredibly good it sounded. It actually comes close to replicating the quality of my SM7Bs! I’m amazed – and grateful “for Shure”!
Mark Riddle –
I was hesitant to buy this simply becuase of the price–$150…ouch. But I’m glad I did. The price is definitly seen in the quality of the recordings. I use this for in-the-field interviews for my podcast. I have used it in situations that I would consider less than ideal and the sound quality that I’m able to get out of it is excellent and I mean excellent. The quality of the recordings are very high and detailed. The best thing for me is that I can hold my cell phone while recording and I do not get much, if any, hand noice (mechanical noise) from holding the phone. This makes it great for situations where I cannot put the phone on a surface to record. My hat is off the Shure for this excellent little baby. Keep up the great work and if mine dies, I will definitely buy another one! Oh and the build quality is sturdy and very very good too so I don’t expect it to die any time soon.
I was hesitant to buy this because many reviewers said, to use this mic, you’d have to either remove your case, or dramatically alter your case.Because of the super high reviews on the sound quality itself, I still bought the mic with hopes of MacGyvering a solution.Upon receiving mic, I discovered here’s actually a raised black area on the mic’s underside. (See picture)Whereas the silver part is approx 1.5” wide, the black section is only 1.0” wide. That may not sound like much, but it meant cutting out far less of my iPhone case’s underside.Couple snips with a scissor, plus a cross-cut with an Xacto knife and I was in Business. Seeing as it’s a fairly hidden part of case (covered by hands when in use), I can barely notice my case modification.
Wow! This mic is great! I play drums in an extremely loud rock band and use this to record rehearsals. This mic handles the volume like a champ! The app that you must download is very good and easy to use. There is no paper manual BUT there is a very good one built into the app.My phone has 15.6 gb of storage available and I was pleased that an 90 minute rehearsal used very little of that storage. I airdrop the files to my macbook…very easy. There is also editing capabilities within the app. I can’t say enough good things about this mic. Now we see if it stands the test of time. Comes with great zippered storage container as well. This mic rocks!!!!!
The Key Master –
It is excellent. I have a youtube channel, I am active vlogger. The quality of my videos are considerably improved because now my audience can now hear me. I use an iPhoneX and a iPAD Pro 10.5 and these have amazing video recording features, including 4K and macro zoom, but the recording of audio is very low. Just plug this mic into the lightening port and it works. Add the Sure MV88 App and it opens up a world of configuration choices. You can adjust the sound field, choose a DSP for voice, music, etc. This is powered from the phone, no external batteries. It is a great addition. I really love it
I am not sure why people have a problem with this microphone. I recorded a loud concert at an arena tonight and it sounded as good as a professionally engineered recording. I was able to use the Motiv software on my iPhone 8. I followed the directions, put it in airplane mode, turned on do not disturb, used the preset for live music and recorded. I even put my iPhone in my shirt pocket and let it go. I had zero of the issues that other reviewers had. It leads me to believe that most of the complaints with this microphone are user error.
Update 16Oct2021 – iPhone Xs Max in 2018 finally introduced stereo mics. The MV88 is still superior in frequency response and doesn’t require the always-on compression in the iPhone.I modified a 2021 Spigen Ultra Hybrid case with an X-acto knife to clear the MV88 (see photo). It was possible to leave intact the top edge over the Lightning connector–unlike some cases with an open area there to I’ve used the MV88 for live music performance video recording in stereo, with a handheld iPhone 6s Plus since Dec2015. As of 04Jul2017 there is no competition for this application. As a musician and software engineer coding audio signal processing, I’ve found the sound quality to be excellent. Amazing lows and clear, extended natural highs vs. mics like the Zoom iQ7 and the old Tascam iM2. Amazon apparently doesn’t allow external links, but google “youtube electric eye lucky strike” should yield two videos of the same performance, with audio from the Zoom iQ7 vs. the MV88.There are other great stereo mics from Shure and Rode, but they’re significantly bulkier and heavier—impractical for handheld video. And there is no contest vs the mono, overload prone built-in iPhone mics—optimized for noise cancellation and monaural voice, rather than stereo live music. You may burst out laughing hearing recordings with the MV88 for the first time. Commenters saying there is little or no difference—maybe are listening on the iPhone speaker? Headphones, external speakers, are the real test.The MOTIV app is easy to use. Documentation is a joy—clear and detailed, often answering not just how, but why. Its Band preset works amazingly well for rock concerts—just a touch of compression and limiting, to the point i’ve never heard distortion on live performances, other than traceable to overloaded mixer/monitor/amps in the original performance. Even on video of Motley Crue’s Final Tour 31Dec2015, the explosions weren’t distorted (google youtube motley crue antera77, at 27:42)The highly elegant pivot and twist system for the stereo mics gives correctly oriented stereo audio for landscape mode (“horizontal”) video. Mics like the Rode iXYL and the apparently abandoned Blue Mikey Digital Lightning (Blue’s website as of 04Jul2017 touts iOS 7 compatibility—a version introduced Sep2013) require portrait mode for this—rendering them essentially useless for landscape mode video. The jewel-like, all metal construction screams quality, vs. plasticy, deformed Mickey Mouse ears looking mics like the Zoom iQ7.Suggested improvements, 0-10 scale, 10 being highest priority/cost:10/10: Recording level indication on the mic – add two or three green LED level meters to the single MV88 “Communication Established” LED.My biggest disappointments have involved not knowing audio levels while recording video. Excellent workaround has been an iOS video app like Filmic Pro with on-screen audio level meters. Apple’s default Camera app has none—suggestion to Apple: Make audio level meters a Preferences-selectable option! Much less elegant workaround: carry earbuds or headphones to the live show to monitor the audio. Earbuds are hard to hear in a live music setting, and more bulk and kit to lose and fuss with—especially with iPhone 7 and newer needing an adapter for headphones.The $100 Zoom iQ7 Lightning mic has three LED level meters, so they’re likely cost-effective.4/10: “Turn Airplane Mode On When MV88 detected” option in the Shure MOTIV appI’ve come home to interference-riddled audio several times, because I forgot to turn Airplane Mode on. No reliable way to tell if interference is occurring while taking video, even with an audio level meter-equipped video app like Filmic Pro.You wouldn’t want Airplane Mode automatic:* not clear that iOS would allow this* some would like to do live streaming, and/or to take calls while recording even if it interrupts the video app3/10: Improve software system reliability in establishing MV88 communicationI don’t know if this is practical. But I’ve had big disappointments from not paying attention to the MV88 green LED. Not noticing the serial data connection wasn’t established meant the horrible, built in mono iPhone mic took over, or worse, no audio. Even using an audio level meter equipped app like Filmic Pro, sometimes I haven’t noticed if the on-screen audio meters were showing stereo vs. mono, or no audio. Apparently it’s fairly common even with the MV88 plugged into the Lightning connector, that a serial data connection is not established. Understandable given several systems have to interact perfectly:* mechanical Lightning connection* three software systems—iOS, video app, Shure MOTIV appThe ideal live music recorder would be a dedicated video camera and permanently attached stereo mic and integrated software. It may be that Shure has already maximized communication reliability, given the constraints of integrating with the iPhone hardware and software.1/10: Add RFID—MV88 is so tiny, it’s easy to lose!A passive 916MHz RFID tag would add an insignificant $0.15 (in volume as of 2006) to the $150 cost. You’ve got the radio hardware to sent out RFID signals right there on the iPhone. Most practical would be just a response—tells you the MV88 is in the room somewhere at least, vs. lost at the gig. GPS chips and a beeper in the MV88 would be nice, but almost certainly not cost effective. Source: wikipedia RFID.——I’d like to address the remainder of this review to errors in the review “Not $150 worth of mic, just ok.By Amazon Customer #99 on March 7, 2017”, as these are common misunderstandings that could dissuade many from making an excellent choice in the MV88:“Bottom line: It’s good but, frustratingly, not $150 good…Zoom makes one…at least as good for…less.”I disagree completely. Superior performance, build quality and features are well worth $150 vs competition like the $100 Zoom iQ7. This is generally echoed by the majority of other reviews here.“ “It’s fine for speech and podcasts and YouTube videos, but not really good enough for a musician. It is noticeably noisy (hissy)…”For conversations, and live music performances at least, avoiding distortion and overload, is far more important than background hiss—a comparative non-issue. As a musician and audio engineer, I’ve found the MV88 audio excellent—extended bass and highs, and if there’s any distortion, it’s been from overdriven mixers/monitors/amps in the original performance. On quiet passages, audience noise has been more an issue than background hiss.From Shure:“The MV88 was designed primarily to record loud sounds, like a rock concert, or medium sounds, such as conversation. As the sounds gets softer and/or the MV88 is placed farther away from the sound source, at some point the self-noise (hiss level) of the MV88 might become noticeable or objectionable…The MV88 does not have an exceptionally low noise floor like a Shure KSM44A (4 dB SPL-A), however the KSM44A is nearly seven times the price. If the requirement is to record very soft bird sounds in a forest, or the barely audible whispers of wind in the trees, the MV88 may not be appropriate.” (google Shure Customer Help MV88 recording soft sounds)Further, the biggest source of background hiss is presets with Compression on, rather than quiescent mic capsule noise. Turning it off or using Flat preset in the MOTIV app will help. Just be careful to set recording levels low enough to prevent overload.“…even when the phone is in airplane mode.”Airplane mode being off, and microphone signal-to-noise performance are two different noise sources. Airplane mode turns off the iPhone cellular/Bluetooth/wifi radio frequency transmit and receive, which can cause static and other intermittent noise at audio frequencies. This has nothing to do with steady background hiss from the MV88 ADC and mic capsules’ combined signal to noise ratio.“ It has weak midrange and bass response…“Compared to what? I’ve found the MV88 to have excellent bass response vs other Lightning connector mics like the iQ7. Shure’s User Guide lists response as 20-20kHz. Its frequency response graph shows a gentle rolloff below 300Hz but no dip in the midrange:(From Shure MV88 User Guide – Specifications)You may be comparing the MV88 to a mic with artificially boosted midrange and bass.“… although it’s tweakable in the MOTIV app up to a point.”Indeed it is, with the MOTIV 5-band graphic EQ:(From Shure MV88 User Guide – The ShurePlus MOTIV App – Mic setup)“It is heavy and cumbersome unless you hold the phone…on a tripod.”Maybe if you’re a leprechaun. The MV88 mass is 40.5g vs. your favored Zoom iQ7 at 30.5g. Using the MV88 handheld for shooting live music performances with my 192g iPhone 6s Plus and approx 24g Incase Halo Snap case increases the mass as a unit by about 20%. Or the mass vs. using the iQ7 by about 4.1%.(192+24+41)/(192+24).(192+24+41)/(192+24+31)Claiming a 4% increase in mass would push an iPhone-plus-mic into tripod territory is baffling.“It won’t work with many cases…”It fits Apple, and some Incase cases. Making sure your case provides clearance around the Lightning connector is a reasonable tradeoff to get the excellent MV88 features. Shure also addresses this: (google Shure Customer Help MV88 use with a phone case)“Alesis and Rode make better ones.”As of Jul2017:* The RODE iXY-L orients its stereo mics incorrectly for landscape mode video. This can outweigh possibly better sound* Alesis lists no mics on its website“It’s an improvement over built in DAC/mic but not a huge improvement.”DAC (digital to analog conversion) is irrelevant to an analog audio source like a microphone. You might be thinking of analog to digital conversion (ADC).“An iPhone really needs a full outboard DAC to record decently. This seems to share…”You seem to be suggesting the MV88 relies on an iPhone internal digital to analog converter (DAC). If so, this is false.Again, digital to analog conversion—outboard or otherwise—is irrelevant to an analog audio source like a microphone. You might be thinking of analog to digital conversion (ADC). This is necessarily done by the MV88, since the iPhone Lightning connector has no analog data signals. It only has pins for a serial digital data stream. That is, the MV88 indeed has an ADC “outboard” from the iPhone.(Wikipedia Lightning Connector)
I love this little thing. The sound quality is, of course, vastly superior to the iPhone’s built-in mic. But I’m no sound engineer, so I’ll leave it at that. It sure sounds a lot better to me though.The mic can stick straight out from the bottom of the phone, or bend up to a 90° angle. It can also twist to reverse the left and right side alignment.The fit against the phone is meant to be tight. So tight, I could only barely use it with a thin silicone case, and not at all with my normal hard plastic case. I was able to grind away at the case to make room for this mic to slot in and connect securely, but just be aware that only the very thinnest of cases will work. Otherwise you will have to take the case off, unless— You also have the option of buying a lightning extender cable. That’s what I did initially. The cable plugs into the phone with the case on, and the mic plugs into the other end of the cable. It works okay, but then you have to worry about holding the phone and the mic somehow. That was too cumbersome for me, so I modified my phone case so the mic would fit. However, I sometimes still use the cable to make my Shure mic work like a (big, ugly) lavalier mic. ?For iPhone 7 users with no 3.5 mm headphone jack, you won’t be able to monitor audio as it is being recorded. It’s not possible with Bluetooth/wireless headphones, and obviously you can’t plug in wired headphones while the mic is plugged in. …unless there’s some adapter I’m not aware of which would allow one audio input and one audio output device… Anyway, just something to be aware of. You can see the graphic representation of the levels in the Shure app and apps like Filmic Pro, but you won’t be able to listen to the audio as it comes in.Finally, there’s the app, which is easy to use, allows for customizing the way the mic captures audio, and will allow you make high-quality audio-only recordings right in the app. I imagine most people buying this will already have a preferred recording app, but it’s still a nice feature. The mic also remembers what it’s set to, so you can set it and then use it with any other app, or even another iOS device, and it will work just the way you set it to.
Justin WrightJustin Wright –
It’s about time someone made an iOS mic that ticks all the boxes. I’ve been tempted to buy other options, like the iXY, but it’s static construction (lack of rotation) made me shy away. A little background on me- I’m a former professional recording artist (Intangible) & am still an active home recording enthusiast/ producer/ musician. I purchased the MV88 about 3 weeks ago & LOVE it. I’m not going to get into details about what I like because every review already posted pretty much talks about the same things I would. Really the only complaint I have is that the software compressor and limiter add quite a bit of background noise, as if the gain were turned up 15 db. I think the best option is to use it in “flat mode” when recording and manipulate your audio recordings as needed in postproduction. As stated in previous reviews, the build & audio quality are top notch. The software is solid but could benefit from a bit of GUI tweaking to make it a bit more “intuitive”. For instance, the monitor function is in the “info” menu, which doesn’t really make sense. It should be accessible on the main (record) screen. I’m sure these sort of things will be addressed and changed on upcoming revisions of the software.