Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone and Shure AONIC 4 Sound Isolating Earphones Review: Perfect for Podcasters

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The Lowdown

The Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone and Shure AONIC 4 Sound Isolating Earphones are a perfect marriage of audio quality, usability, and, dare I say, style? As podcasting and streaming get more mainstream, companies want to make it easier for you, and there’s no more complete setup than what Shure has to offer.

Overall
4

Pros

  • The Shure MV7 has an absolutely fantastic iOS/Mac app with MOTIV
  • The Shure MV7’s portability and versatility in terms of use with XLR cables or plugging directly into devices
  • The Shure AONIC 4  have excellent sound and dynamic bass
  • The Shure AONIC 4 are very comfortable to wear for long periods of time
  • Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter can be purchased separately or as a bundle with the AONIC 4 to make them true wireless earphones

Cons

  • The Shure MV7 uses a microUSB port
  • The Shure MV7 has no included microphone stand or tripod
  • You may have to purchase cables/accessories on Amazon to accommodate laptops/interfaces without proper ports (a fault of the MV7 microphone requiring Micro-USB)
  • The Shure MV7 requires a microUSB power supply  even when using XLR
  • The Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter has a large bulb that sits behind the ear when using the AONIC 4 in wireless mode
  • The Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter charging case is very cumbersome

It seems more and more people have started a podcast during the pandemic, and with apps like Clubhouse, Stereo, and Zoom, it’s been made even easier to connect to your community. But how do you do it without spending a fortune on the setup? The answer is with the Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone and Shure AONIC 4 Sound Isolating Earphones.

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

I’ve had the opportunity to check out both products, and I’ve been wowed by how they’ve uncomplicated my content creation. These two are a perfect marriage of audio quality, usability, and, dare I say, style? As podcasting and streaming get more mainstream, companies want to make it easier for you, and there’s no more complete setup than what Shure has to offer.

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

The Shure MV7 Microphone is quite possibly the most versatile, easiest to set up mic I’ve ever used. Inspired by the legendary Shure M7B microphone, the MV7 is a dynamic microphone with both USB and XLR outputs. Having both means that you can not only use it with your computer or your phone, but you can also use it with professional interfaces via XLR.

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

Whether you are a podcaster, a full-time streamer, or just someone who hosts meetings and dreads using the internal microphone on your desktop or laptop, this is a great microphone. I’m a podcaster, so I wanted a microphone that would make my setup easier. I wanted a mic that used fewer cables, one that didn’t need any amps or additional interfaces, which would be versatile and portable, so when I can inevitably podcast in person again, I can carry my mic to the studio.

Before using the Shure MV7, the AT2100 was my microphone of choice. While serviceable, I needed a microphone that had a crisper sound and would grow with me, and the Shure MV7 sounds incredible.

Some people will tell you if you want the best sound without having to tinker too much in editing, you should get an XLR microphone. But after the pandemic hit last year, I needed a setup that didn’t require much room treatment. I didn’t want to turn my living room into a “cord island” with XLR cables, interfaces, and the like all over my coffee table. The Shure MV7 checked those boxes for me.

The Shure MV7 looks like the younger brother of the Shure SM7B. Complete with a similar swivel mount and front-addressing design, the two-for-one microphone is available in black or silver metallic. I received it in black. You wouldn’t be wrong to compare the MV7 to the SM7B in overall design, but the $399 SM7B has significant differences in capsules and audio content. I couldn’t compare the two in person, as I do not own an SM7B, but the MV7’s cardioid pattern has a frequency range of 50Hz to 16kHz, so you can record in both 16- or 24-bit audio up to 48kHz sample rates.

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

After unboxing, I was disappointed that the Shure MV7 did not come with a microphone stand. Most people looking for a “professional, yet entry-level” mic won’t want to make an additional purchase after spending $249 for the microphone itself. But Shure did include adapters for thread mounts like the Manfrotto. Shure sells desktop tripods, mic stands, and boom arm stands as accessories if you go that route. Luckily, I used the stand that came bundled with my old Zoom L8, and it worked fine.

At the top of the Shure MV7, you’ll notice there’s like a control panel with illuminated lights below the included Pop Filter. These are touch0sensitive controls that allow you to easily mute by pressing or slide to adjust your levels.

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

This has saved me on more than one occasion when I’ve been recording and had to step away because of my daughter crying or to take a phone call. This is far easier than opening the app you’re recording in and pressing mute.

There are two colors on the Shure MV7’s slider: orange for headphone volume and green for mic gain. When pressed simultaneously with the level button, the Lock button will lock the settings so you won’t accidentally move them the next time you swipe on the microphone accidentally.

The back of the MV7 is clearly the business end, with the 3.5mm headphone jack, XLR connector port, and a micro-USB connection. This part perturbed me a bit. With virtually every device phasing out micro-USB in favor of USB-C, it was disheartening to see that Shure went this route.

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

Luckily, third parties sell micro-USB to Lightning cables or micro-USB to USB-C cables when the USB-A and USB-C cables that come included eventually fail you. I highly suggest picking up spares in the event.

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

The MV7, however, allows me to record the way I want to record, no matter what equipment I use. I do a lot of solo podcasting these days, which results in me doing them from the voice notes app on my computer or my iPhone. With the Shure MV7, I have the ability to clearly record myself with ease while getting a better audio soundstage than my AirPod Pros could ever provide.

This has not only been given rave reviews from my listeners on Stereo live, but I’ve seen an improvement in my cadence and speech by focusing on recording with the microphone in front of me versus talking as if I’m on a typical phone call. And a lot of this is thanks to the Shure Motiv app.

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

Available for Mac or PC, the Shure Motiv app offers many ways to tweak the audio live, so you won’t have to do it later. Complete with EQ presets, dynamic compression, and limiting, my favorite functionality is the ability to set my tone. So if I want to sound Dark, Natural, or Bright, it’s an easy flip of a switch with the Motiv app that you can actually hear live back directly. \

I’ve learned to enjoy the sound of my voice when recording, but if you haven’t, you can easily turn this off completely so you can have a more fluid sound with a co-host without feeling like you’re tripping over your words. These are basic tools that are easy to use and don’t compromise the experience for your listeners.

One of the biggest problems I’ve had with other microphones was the monitor mix. I wanted to be able to slightly hear myself but not feel as though I’m talking and hearing my echo in the midst of recording. Adjusting the equalizer, there is a limiter feature, as well as a compressor that can make your voice sound lighter or heavier, depending on what you prefer.

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

Let’s talk about the USB capabilities. For me, this is where this microphone really shines. Using USB means that I can plug the Shure MV7 microphone into my MacBook, iPad, and iPhone and still record audio. I’ve taken the iOS 14 voice notes app to create individual voice memos reminding myself of things that I need to do. I’ve also used it to dictate my journal entries on the Day One app as well.

I’ve noticed that the Shure MV7 picks up my audio and speech better than my phone’s microphone, which, after talking to Shure customer service, I’ve even got it working on third-party apps like Clubhouse for our private group talks. Many people will tell you that USB mics are terrible compared to XLR, and usually, they are.

USB microphones tend to tweak things on the back end like effects. I think that due to the Pandemic, the way that people consume their podcasts is different, especially with the introduction of chatting apps like Clubhouse, so there’s a certain rawness that I’ve learned to appreciate from what a USB microphone can give.

And to be fair, I don’t have almost $1,000 to spend on the Shure SM7B, a cloud lifter, interface, and cables to get “Joe Rogan-esque quality. So if you’re beginning, I tell everyone… focus on the content. Create a good docket, practice your cadence, and make sure you stay on topic (again, docket) so you don’t ramble on. The microphone will do its job, but you have to let it. And the Shure MV7 can do that with an interface, or you can pull out your MacBook and get equal quality.

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

Now don’t get me wrong, the Shure SM7B is still the best microphone that money can get, in my honest opinion. I can’t go against a microphone that Quincy Jones produced the Thriller album with. Many concerts, podcasts, and orators worldwide use the SM7B because Shure’s quality sells itself.

But after over 30 years of greatness, the podcast, gaming, streaming, audio world wanted a bit more. A bit more affordable. A bit more functionality. A bit of a different size. And the Shure MV7 not only does this, but it does it effectively — with or without the MOTIV companion app.

Aside from the microphone stand not being included in the box and the microUSB port, the only thing that would potentially improve on this set-up would be offering it in a bundle with the AONIC 4 True Wireless Earphones, which I feel are the perfect companions for this microphone.

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone and Shure AONIC 4 Sound Isolating Earphones Review: Perfect for Podcasters

If there were anything I could potentially change for the MV7 microphone, there wouldn’t be much. I wish a microphone stand or tripod were included. Of course, the micro-USB cable for the MV7 feels very dated since most accessories are now moving to USB-C. But seeing as the Shure SM7B hasn’t been updated in years, I can see the Shure MV7 staying the same, too.

The Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone sells for $249.00, and it is available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including Amazon.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Absolutely fantastic iOS/Mac app with MOTIV; Portability and versatility in terms of use with XLR cables or plugging directly into devices

What Needs Improvement: MicroUSB port; No included microphone stand or tripod; May have to purchase cables/accessories on Amazon to accommodate laptops/interfaces without proper ports (a fault of the microphone requiring Micro-USB); Requires power supply (Micro-USB) even when using XLR

Shure AONIC 4 Sound Isolating Earphones

Shure AONIC 4 Sound Isolating Earphones

Typically, when podcasting, I prefer over-the-ear headphones, but Shure’s AONIC 4 Sound Isolating Earphones have a certain “je ne sais quoi” to them. Complimented with a dual-driver hybrid design with a balanced armature that gives you the dynamic bass you typically wouldn’t receive from in-ear buds.

Shure AONIC 4 Sound Isolating Earphones

Inside the box, you receive a few different ear tips that Shure calls “sleeves” in foam or silicone tips. I’ve always been a fan of foam tips as they fit my ears more accurately, and the silicone sleeves are just as you would expect from any other brand. There is also a carrying case that houses the included MMCX cable that you attach the Shure AONIC 4 to. The MMCX cable has an in-line remote that controls volume and calls.

Shure AONIC 4 Sound Isolating Earphones

The Shure AONIC 4 earphones have a wrap-around-the-ear design that goes over and then inserts in your ear; it’s very comfortable, and I was amazed I didn’t grow tired of wearing them over time while recording. But it’s the actual sound here that is the true treat. When doing our “Dope or Nope” segment on my podcast, where we play new and unreleased music and rate if they are Dope or Not, the Shure AONIC 4’s sound stage is amazing.

The Shure AONIC 4 are very bass-heavy, which I’m a huge fan of, but it’s not overbearing by any stretch of the imagination. When listening to my podcast co-hosts speak, they sound as clear as if they were sitting beside me in the same room regardless of whether we’re using Zoom, Clubhouse, or Skype to record our content.

Shure AONIC 4 Sound Isolating Earphones

Aside from using them for podcasting, I’ve started to use the AONIC 4 as my go-to editing and streaming headphones with my MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, most smartphones no longer come with 3.5mm headphone jacks, but Shure has a solution with their AONIC 4 “True Wireless” accessory.

Available as a $429 bundle that includes the Shure AONIC 4 or sold as a $179.99 accessory if you already own the Shure AONIC 4 earphones, Shure has taken a unique approach to wireless buds. To make your Shure AONIC 4 earphones wireless, you detach them from the MMCX cable and attach it to the Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter; you’ll experience a jaw-dropping wireless experience with only a minor difference in audio quality from being wired into the device.

Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter
Great for commuting or even a brisk walk, the wireless function of the AONIC 4 still boasts that sound-isolating technology. According to Shure, you’ll get up to 37dB of noise-isolation that allows you to be immersed in whatever content you’re currently listening to without interruption.

In these crazy times that we’re living in, the built-in “Environment-Mode” is available for when you actually have to go outside for a quick grocery trip, or in my case, to walk the baby and dog around the block for some exercise (in comfortable temperatures of course).

I was a bit concerned about the fit of the Shure AONIC 4 with the Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter attached due to the wireless housing that sits behind your ear. While it looks great on Adam Levine in all the promotional videos, I was concerned that it would be uncomfortable, but rest assured, this is not the case. I’ve comfortably worn them for the 8-hour workdays I have before charging, which is roughly how long their battery life lasts.

Shure says that the included case will recharge the Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter with up to 32 hours of battery life, but consider that your mileage will vary if you’re using the sound isolation technology and the volumes you’re playing. Luckily, you can control all audio with the included ShurePlus PLAY app, which is available for iOS or Android.

Finally, my only gripe with the Shure AONIC 4 is with the Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter wireless charging case. There’s a bit of a learning curve to fitting the adapters in perfectly, and it’s not something you can easily do the first few tries (or when you have your other hand full of groceries). I’m sure muscle memory applies here, but with other earphones like Jabra or AirPods having the one-handed ability to place wireless headphones back into their case, it takes a bit more finessing to get them back in there properly.

The Shure AONIC 4 Sound iSolating Earphones sells for $299.00, and they are available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including Amazon.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Excellent sound and dynamic bass; Very comfortable to wear for long periods of time; Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter can be purchased separately or as a bundle with the AONIC 4 to make them true wireless earphones

What Needs Improvement: The Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter has a large bulb that sits behind the ear when using the AONIC 4 in wireless mode; The Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter charging case is very cumbersome

 

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About the Author

Greg Alston
Diehard Apple fanboy, and lover of all things tech. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Greg enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, family and friends, live sporting events, good bourbon, Tetris, and pizza. In that order.