Shure Motiv MV88 iOS Condenser Microphone Review

Our review of the new MV88 digital smart device micOne of the best brands in the microphone world, Shure, has come out with a nifty recording solution for iOS smart devices.  As a part of their new “MOTIV Digital Microphones” line, the MV88 is a high-quality condenser mic that is powered via Lighting connector and provides up to 24-bit 48 kHz audio quality. We’ve seen a rising trend in iOS microphones the past few years, and it looks like it isn’t going to stop anytime soon considering the popularity of iPhones and iPads. Not to mention that the microphones built-in to these things aren’t good at all, and probably won’t be ‘studio quality’ for a very long time. With that being said, we know some people who use their smart devices to record music, podcasts and more. Let’s check out the Shure MV88 iOS Condenser Microphone.

Main features of the Shure MV88 microphone

  • Connects via Lightning connector
  • 90-degree hinge with built-in rotation (the hinge is great for bending the mic in flexible positions)
  • Five built-in preset modes
  • Records with 24-bit 48 kHz quality
  • Condenser microphone
  • All-metal construction
  • Mid-side design
  • Frequency response: 20 to 20 kHz
  • Adjustable gain: +36dB
  • Maximum SPL: 120 dB
  • Powered via Lightning connector
  • Weight: 40.5 grams

Design and features

The mic in actionThe overall design of the MV88 is pretty ideal for smart devices. It plugs directly into your iPod, iPad or iPhone via lightning connector (no cable needed). The hinge rotates and turns, so if you’re looking to record video and audio in landscape it’ll be super easy to adjust at-will (such as the photo to the left, in adjusting the MV88 to the source you’re filming or recording).

It’s a condenser microphone, so it’s ideal for recording audio. The builds of condenser mics and sensitivity are great for picking up details within the sound source. Therefore, the MV88 is great for really any recording type of activity — we wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s for professionals in a recording studio, but those using an iOS device in general regardless of the application should be fine (we assume you’re not using your phone to record pro tracks).

Lastly, and one of the most impressive features in our opinion is the ShurePlus Motiv App that comes along with the microphone. Within the app, you can do some crazy adjusting in terms of control over the mic as a whole. You can adjust the stereo width, sift through the DSP modes, and mess with EQ and limitingcompression to name a few. The DSP presets include speech, singing, acoustic, loud, and flat. More than enough choices here for such a small mic.

Build and stability

ShurePlus Microphone ApplicationThe biggest standout of the MV88  microphone really is the overall size. It’ll fit in pretty much everybody’s pocket, so if you’re traveling or need to store it away from a while, it’ll be relatively safe with you (unless of course you fall or sit on it!). Too bad it doesn’t come with a little case, but beggars can’t be choosers.

We find this to be pretty well-built, especially with the price point, we’d hope it would last a few years at least. In terms of longevity, it will be some time before we can report back on it, but at first glance, the material isn’t cheaply made and if you take proper care of it you’ll have an investment on your hands.

Audio quality

The fact that this microphone is so small and offers the better standard of audio quality still makes us scratch our heads. The 24-bit 48 kHz is better than even some USB microphones out there in the market (we’re looking at you, Blue mics!), so this is quite up there when it comes to quality. To put this in perspective, the standard audio rate of iPhones are 8 kHz — so the MV88 is six times better than what your device already gives you! This is more than we could ask for, and a super impressive feature by Shure.

The final word on the MV88 microphone

A steal in terms of price and qualityWhat’s impressive about the MV88 is the fact that it pretty much pertains to anybody within any realm of use. Whether you’re recording something your bedroom, are an artist on tour, bands at rehearsals, this or that, or merely want better quality for your phone when you speak to others, it’ll work as it’s intended.

We’ve also seen that once you save the settings in the app, it will save all choices you have per mic — being that if you want to switch devices, the settings and presets will switch over without hassling you to choose them all over again. Very convenient and saves a lot of time. It works well with any Apple music software, such as GarageBand as well. Unfortunately, it is only iOS specific, so my Android friends will be missing out here. We’ve heard some complaints about this, so hopefully Shure can make you guys a model as well if they take them time to read user feedback.

If you want to check out their other models in the Motiv Microphones line, read our Shure MV5 and Shure Mv51 microphone review — they’re super high-quality mics as well. For a solid competitor to the MV88, check out the Blue Mikey iOS mic, since it’s a bit cheaper although doesn’t provide as many details as this one. Read our best iOS microphone for even more options.

All in all, the Shure Motiv MV88 iOS Microphone is a perfect solution if you want above-standard audio quality for your iOS smart devices. The app that comes along with it is also super convenient, making this a great one-stop shop for your recording needs.