Depending on the type of podcast you’re the host of, the need to take your show on the road and record outdoors might be something you have to consider at some point.
Switching up your recording environment from time to time can help keep things fresh and exciting for your audience, which, in a crowded market, is more critical than ever.
Recording outdoors doesn’t necessarily have to mean hauling large amounts of heavy equipment around with you, though. There is a much simpler alternative.
This is where the Shure MV88 Portable Microphone comes to the rescue! The design of this mic is to work with iOS devices; it can be plugged into your smartphone to record high-quality sound when you’re away from the studio.
It’s this simplicity and ease of use that also makes it a fantastic choice for anybody new to podcasting. It’s an excellent microphone for someone with a smaller studio space or a podcaster working to a tight budget too.
Below, we’re going to take a look at all of the features and specifications that make the Shure MV88 such an impressive piece of podcasting equipment. This full breakdown will give you a better idea of just what this microphone can do and help you decide whether it’s the best option for your own podcasting needs.
Table of Contents
Let’s start by taking a look at the overall design of the Shure MV88 Portable Microphone. As its name suggests, it’s effortless to transport from place to place. This ease is mainly due to its compact size.
We’re not joking when we say that this microphone is tiny, and it measures in at just 1.38” x 2.64”. What it lacks in size, however, it more than makes up for in performance, but we’ll go into more detail on that a little later.
This super-compact size also makes it incredibly lightweight, so there’s no risk of it weighing down your equipment bag.
Its lightweight nature prevents it from adding any extra weight to your recording equipment while it’s in use too, which is particularly useful if you’re recording with a handheld device.
A lightning connector installed on the base of the microphone allows you to connect it to your iOS device easily.
This means you can use it with any recording software installed on an iPhone or iPad without the need for any special adapters.
It’s stylish too, and, while this doesn’t necessarily have any effect on its recording performance, it’s always nice to have a microphone that looks professional and blends in with the rest of your equipment.
Plus, the metal construction makes it incredibly durable.
One of the most remarkable features the Shure MV88 has is switching between stereo and cardioid recording. The switch is achieved through two capsules built into the microphone head that sit neatly side by side.
The cardioid capsule position focuses solely on sound coming from in front of it, making it great for recording in outdoor environments where noise pollution may be an issue.
The second capsule is a bi-directional condenser, and this position is to pick up sound from a 180º arc.
Switching between these two different recording styles gives this microphone an exceptional level of versatility that is rare for something so small in stature.
Crystal-clear, concise vocals are now easily captured regardless of your recording environment, even when using a handheld recording device.
This portable microphone’s sound recording quality is further enhanced by the included foam windscreen, reducing background interference when recording outdoors significantly.
A unique hinge has been built onto the base of the microphone too. This hinge allows you to adjust it into various positions, making it easier to pick up sound from a specific direction with greater ease.
One of the best things about the Shure MV88 is that it doesn’t require any recharging or battery replacement to function. Instead, operational power is taken from the battery life being provided by your iPhone or iPad.
This power design doesn’t only mean that you don’t have to worry about keeping a stash of batteries available at all times, but you’ll also never have to worry about it running out juice when you’re recording.
While the Shure MV88 is designed to be as a plug and play microphone, it also comes with details of two free downloadable apps that can help enhance your recording experience even further.
The most useful of the two for podcasting is the ShurePlus MOTIV Audio app. The app allows you to adjust your sound levels, switch between recording modes, and even lets you adjust the bitrate and sampling rate.
It’s also a straightforward app to use. There are no confusing menus, in-app purchases, or annoying adverts getting in your way. Easy to use sliders help you adjust your levels quickly, and, as soon as the app has detected the microphone, it automatically opens up a wealth of recording options.
These include easy switching between mono-cardioid, mono-bidirectional, or raw mid-side recording. You can even choose to switch to a stereo mode that combines both of the capsules and allows you to adjust the stereo width from 60º to 135º.
You can use this app to the microphone’s limiter and dynamic compressor and adjust the amount of wind noise getting picked up. It also gives you the option to switch between left and right recording channels.
Aside from opening up a plethora of recording options that will make capturing crystal-clear sound super easy, the app itself also has a few useful design features.
One of these is the ability to switch to dark mode, which is useful if you’re recording and filming in low light levels and don’t want any unnatural light interference.
You’ve also got the option of clicking the screen off altogether while you’re recording without the app thinking that you’ve finished and accidentally cutting out the microphone.
It’s always worth seeing what else you can get for your money, and the Shure MV88 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to included accessories.
Not only will you get a high-performance microphone and a windshield to help reduce noise pollution when recording outdoors, but you’ll also receive a headphone monitor adapter cable.
The adapter cable gives you the ability to record with the microphone while monitoring your sound levels through your headphones at the same time.
You can also use Bluetooth headphones to monitor while you record without needing to unplug the microphone.
An included carry case gives you a safe place to keep the microphone well protected as you transport it or when not in use. You’ll also receive a two-year warranty, which is a real testament to the quality of the microphone.
Pros and Cons
No honest review is complete without a list of pros and cons and, while the features of the Shure MV88 are quite phenomenal, there are a couple of things that may not make it the best option for you.
Let’s take a brief look at the pros and cons below.
- Small, lightweight, and extremely portable
- Two built-in capsules give you the ability to switch between cardioid and stereo recording.
- The simple plug and play design requires no batteries or recharging.
- An included foam windscreen helps to reduce noise pollution further when recording outside.
- Free access to the easy-to-use ShurePlus MOTIV Audio app opens up a world of new recording options.
- Includes a carry case for easy storage and a headphone monitor adapter cable that allows you to check your sound levels as you record
- Comes complete with a two-year warranty
- You may find that you need to remove your phone or tablet’s case to fit the microphone.
- Only compatible with iOS devices, so it isn’t suitable for anybody with an Android smartphone.
Easy to use, budget-friendly, and powerful, the Shure MV88 is a fantastic microphone that is ideal for any podcaster that likes to take their show out on the road.
Whether you’re recording in a busy city environment, in front of a live audience, or a quiet studio, this microphone will capture clear vocals every time.
This ability is mainly due to its unique ability to switch between recording modes. However, the included app plays a huge role in enhancing your recording capabilities.
You’ll even be able to listen to your sound levels and easily adjust them as you record, either with the included headphone adapter or Bluetooth headphones.
Its size requires a special mention. This tiny microphone packs a real performance punch, and it’s rare to find a piece of equipment that can produce such high-quality sound with its size.
The compact size and lightweight nature of this microphone also make it incredibly easy to transport from place to place without weighing you down.
It won’t take up much room in your equipment bag either, and the included carry case gives you somewhere to safely store it away when it’s not in use.