Shure Motiv MV88: A great stereo mic for your iOS device

Review Category


4 Stars


So, for the longest time iPhones have only been able to capture audio in mono. That all changed with the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. The catch is, you can only get stereo audio when recording video. This has it's cons and pros. For one, the stereo mics on these phones aren't lined up with the camera, so you get an inaccurte stereo image compared to the actual image. But on the good side, they exist, but that's not what I'm here to talk about. I am here to talk about the Shure Motiv MV88. This is a stereo condenser microphone with two capsules. It's made by Shure, a well known company in the audio industry. It is well built in comparison to the other mic I have had experience with, the Blue Mikey. This device is about as thick at the top where tthe actual microphones are as a standard piece of bubble gum or a tootsy roll. But with the pop filter on, it's about as big as a mediu, sized rubber ball. It sits on a small rectangular base with a lightning connector at the bottom. If you use a case, you will want to buy a lightning extender, but I advise that you not buy one that is a cable because you don't want your mic flapping around as you move. I fund a two pack on amazon for like two bucks US, and I just leave one connected to the device at all times. It's small enough that you won't need to worry abut it breaking. It does come with a little hard case to put it in, but if you use an extender it won't fit in the pouch as it's been designed just for the mic. I honestly don't know why they give you the case anyway, because most people are going to have an extender on it and when they want to use it all they have to do is pull it out of their bag or pocket and connect. They do have an app that you need in order to change settings like stereo degrees, decebel level of recording, wind reduction, etc. The app is very accessible. Everything is labeled and the settings and other feayures of the app are in tabs. You can also record in the app as well as listen to past recordings. When recording you can monitor your output if you have a headset connected, byt sense this uses lightning and there is no headphone jack, you will only be ableto use bluetooth. The problem with that is the monotoring is very crackly and doesn't sound right. Note, your recordings don't turn out like that. Of course you can use this with pretty much anything that records, Voice Memos, Camera, GarageBand Ferrite, Just Press Record, and Backpack studio have been tested by me, but it should work with anything as it uses the default microphone API so any app that uses the microphone for capturing audio and or video will work. Obviously it doesn't work for calls and voice chats on services like Messenger, WhatsApp, FaceTime etc, because they use a different mic that apple has placed in the device for noise reduction. As for the audio that this does capture, there's almost no low end, so if you try to record drums or anything that naturally has low end bass frequencies that won't be in your recordings. But overall I've been using mine sense Christmas 2018 and think it's a great choice. Mine was ordered from Guitar Center online, and cost about 150 US bucks.

Devices Accessory Was Used With

iPod Touch


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Submitted by OldBear on Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Does this microphone disable audio output from an iPhone when it is plugged in?
It doesn't seem like it from the review, but I need to be completely positive that I will be able to use VoiceOver when the mic is plugged in, especially with the MV app. I don't mean monitoring the output of the mic. I mean the phone's speakers being fooled to think a headphone is plugged in and not having any system audio output what so ever, making VoiceOver useless. I ask because this is an issue with another mic I have. You have to unplug the mic from the phone to get any audio, including from headphones through a lightening splitter.

It was a cheap microphone that did that. But you say the iPhone12 mics are better than the Shure. Can they handle the DB and sound range that this one can? Just wondering.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, December 9, 2021

I've recorded some loud parties etc and the iOs mics were fine even afterwords. No c clippage. Of corse this depends on the app that you are using, but yeah it works just fine.

I have an iPhone7, but I will need to upgrade at some point. The microphones are only useful for voice, and you need to be very close to them. I got a cheap external mic to do a video where I needed to speak from across the room so the camera could see me standing in a costume. It worked OK, but then I tried to record playing a guitar in several different ways, including headphone mics, and it always distorted on the bass end while not being loud enough on the rest. Just a horrible sound quality for anything other than a voice very close up.