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Shure MVL Review - TRRS Lavalier Microphone

February 17, 2024

Today we are going to review a Shure MVL lavalier mic, which is another example of a quality microphone for portable devices by the colossus of mic production "Shure". MVL lavalier microphone belongs to the Shure MOTIV line and was released in 2015, managed to show that even lavalier microphones with a price tag of ~60-70$ can provide fairly good recordings for different purposes, such as recording of reportages, lectures, public speeches, witness statements, blogging and everything you want. Moreover, everywhere you want you can connect it to any portable device, that has a 3,5mm connector. So let us dig a bit deeper and start our review from specs as usual!

Best Price on Shure MVL Lavalier Microphone

The Shure MVL Lavalier Microphone offers professional-grade audio capture in a compact and versatile package.

Shure MVL Package Classic Package

Shure MVL Specifications

  • Microphone Type: Lavalier Microphone
  • Capsule: MEMS
  • Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
  • Frequency Response: from 45Hz up to 20KHz
  • Output Impedance: 350Ω
  • Signal / Noise Ratio: 65dB
  • Dynamic Range: 95dB
  • Sensitivity: -44 dBFS/Pa at 1 kHz
  • Maximum SPL: 124dB SPL
  • Equivalent Output Noise: 29dB A-weighted
  • Type of Connector: 3,5mm (1/8") TRRS
  • Microphone Bias: 2.7 V DC through 2.2 K Ω resistor
  • Current Drain: 245 μA, typical
  • Material of Housing: Cast Zinc
  • Size (with cable): 5,5mm (diameter) × 15,2mm / 130cm length of cable
  • Net Weight: 8.0 grams (.28 oz)

Overall Build and Features

The style of the external part and overall thoughtful design gave us incredible results. The housing material provides great endurance of construction and pleases your eyes with dark shades of the shell, which don’t look like plastic (although it does). This mic looks elegant and unobtrusive at the same time, and don’t forget that the weight is only 8 grams! Also in addition to the mic, you will get a foam windscreen (so recorded speech will be clear), and a carrying pouch for transporting. Also clip is included in the set which is a great addition to place it near the speaker's mouth. As an optional accessory you can buy AMVL-FUR (Rycote Windjammer for MVL), which will help to remove wind noise if you record the sound outdoors in very windy weather, this addition is worth ~25$.

Shure MVL

Like other products of the "MOTIV" line, MVL works with the free official application ShurePlus Audio which gives you a lot of advantages, for example, you can control microphone gain, the format of recorded files, set equalizer parameters, save your recordings in camera roll on IOS etc. So that is why using MVL is highly recommended specifically with devices such as iPhones, iPads, and others. More detailed information about this application you will be able to find on the official Shure MVL page.

Some information about device connection; one of the main features of this microphone - it works in tandem with iOS lightning devices and iOS applications, you can also connect a microphone to some DJI devices. Connecting to DSLR cameras is made by using the TRRS to TRS adapter (for example RØDE SC3 TRRS to TRS adapter). If you can’t use the iPhone as a sound recording device, you can connect the lavalier microphone to the recorder/transmitter in a wide variety & price range on the market. Most importantly, choose the recorder that will record audio in WAV format and with a good Bit-Depth / Sample Rate (24bit / 44kHz or higher).

Most iOS tech with a 3.5mm hybrid mic/headphone connector is obsolete. Therefore, we no longer consider the Shure MVL as a microphone for iOS equipment. After reading customer reviews, we've come to the conclusion that most of the time this headphone is used with DJI equipment, action cameras or with other devices via a TRRS to TRS adapter. But as the Shure company states: it does not give any guarantees and answers to the question - Will the microphone exactly work with your device via TRRS to TRS adapter?

Sound Quality

We have no complaints about the sound quality of Shure MVL. At least the sound is much better than cheaper lapel microphones like Giant Squid, Boya, Movo, Power DeWise. Shure MVL has quite a good frequency response from 45Hz up to 20KHz, with a dip from 45 to 300Hz, which tells us that the low frequencies are slightly cut (good for speech) and with an uplift in the range from 10KHz to 20KHz - which is not very good, as in this range a lot of unwanted transients. You can see a picture of the frequency response in the comparison section below. Unfortunately, we haven't prepared for you audio samples recorded on Shure MVL, but you can always find a review of the sound on YouTube.

Shure MVL vs Rode SmartLav+

During the writing process of the Shure MVL review, we fully researched the lavalier mic market and concluded that most people compare the MVL model to the Rode SmartLav+ before buying.

Let's compare two of the main competitors for lavalier microphones in the $50 to $70 price range. Shure MVL and Rode SmartLav+ are identical in their package bundle, they have minor differences in technical specifications, but the main difference is in the microphone capsules, which directly affects the frequency response. Rode SmartLav+ has a wider frequency response from 20Hz to 20KHz and at the same time it is almost flat with a slight uplift from 5KHz to 20KHz (you can see the comparison in the picture below). Rode SmartLav+ is a bit cheaper and at the same time has better sound quality compared to Shure MVL. Well, the winner in this comparison is definitely Rode SmartLav+, and as the number of sales shows - Rode's device is more successful.

Shure MVL Frequency Response and Rode SmartLav+ Frequency Response

Rode SmartLav+ can also connect to a wide variety of devices thanks to the Rode SC3 3.5m TRRS to TRS adaptor.

Three Reasons to Buy:

  1. Price/Quality. This lavalier microphone costs ~70$ and gives you good sound quality for this price, also it gives you a nice package bundle with a windscreen, leather carrying pouch & lav-clip.
  2. Opportunity to use with iOS devices via 3.5mm headphone input and ability to use a free application ShurePlus which provides user-friendly features that help you save time on some operations.
  3. Great solution for videography, interviews, and voice recording.

Final Verdict on Shure MVL

We realize that this mic is not a technology breakthrough as in our opinion Shure MV88+ is, but on the other hand size of that mic and its price (69 bucks for this guy is more than an acceptable price) speak for themselves and this quality will be more than enough for unsophisticated persons, as the majority of users are. So, we recommend this stuff to mediocre people who need certain recordings for certain reasons and don’t want to spend a lot of money on it.

We hope you enjoyed our Shure MVL review. Feel free to leave your comments in the section below, we will be happy to answer all your questions, comments, and suggestions.

  • Good Sound Quality
  • Nice Price/Quality Ratio
  • Portability: Compact and travel-friendly design for on-the-go recording
  • Accessories Included: Comes with tie clip, windscreen, and carrying pouch for added convenience.
  • Unfortunately iOS devices with a 3.5mm jack are obsolete. Apple no longer manufactures devices with a 3.5mm jack and we can no longer position the Shure MVL as a microphone for iOS devices.
  • You will need a 3.5mm TRRS to TRS cable adaptor to connect to other devices.
Our Score

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