Shure MV7 vs Elgato Wave 3; Which one is better?

Last Updated on March 22, 2022.

I mentioned in some of my previous articles that I consider the Elgato Wave 3 to be the best USB microphone for gamers & streamers because of all its included features, but the Shure MV7 share some of these features and has a couple extra things to offer.

So, which one should you get?

In this article, I will go over the differences between these two microphones, how they sound, their built-in features, the software they come with, if they offer an upgrade path, and more.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

In short, here are the differences between the Shure MV7 and the Elgato Wave 3: The Shure MV7 is a dynamic microphone that features USB and XLR connectivity and it’s got a great-sounding low end as well as an overall balanced sound, whereas the Elgato Wave 3 is a USB condenser microphone that has an balanced sound, but the low end is not as present.

Let’s get things going by starting with the Shure MV7!

Shure MV7 Overview

The Shure MV7 is a relatively new mic that seems to have been designed to bridge the gap between the more affordable USB microphones and the almighty SM7B, which is the standard podcasting mic that sells for roughly $400.

The Shure MV7 looks very similar to the SM7B and it’s also a dynamic microphone, which is not that common for USB microphones since most of them are condensers, and this means that it generally won’t pick up as much background noise, making it a good choice for anyone who is running a podcast or gaming at home where there might be some noise.

The most important feature of the Shure MV7 is that it not only features a USB connection, but an XLR one as well, and if you read any of my other USB mic-related articles then you probably know that, while I like USB mics and I think that they have their place, they don’t offer an upgrade path and you will end up spending a lot more once you move on to a more professional setup.

With the Shure you can simply buy a Mixer or an Audio Interface and won’t have to worry about not being able to use it since you can simply connect it to the mixer using an XLR cable.

Another distinctive feature is its interactive touch panel on the top which lets you control the audio level, the monitor mix, and you can tap it to mute/unmute the mic and the headphones. While I do think that this is a really modern way of doing things, I don’t know if a touch panel will last longer than knobs, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Lastly, it comes with the ShurePlus MOTIV software which comes with a lot of features that podcasters and gamers are going to enjoy, such as:

  • Control the gain automatically or do it manually.
  • Change the tone from Dark to Natural or Bright.
  • Adjust the monitor mix.
  • Adjust the audio “view” of the mic, such as “Near” and “Far”.
  • Manual mode lets you adjust the gain, the monitor mix, it offers some basic EQ, a limiter, and a basic compressor.

The EQ and compressor only offer basic settings that you can turn on or off, like High-Pass filter, presence boost, etc., and don’t really give you a more granular control over the signal.

The Limiter is an excellent feature to have, especially for podcasters and gamers, since they prevent loud audio spikes, which could easily jump scare your audience.

What comes in the box?

  • Shure MV7 USB/XLR Microphone.
  • Micro USB to USB-C cable.
  • Micro USB to USB-A cable.

Features

  • USB and XLR connections.
  • Touch Controls (no knobs).
  • Dynamic microphone (better for background noise).
  • ShurePlus MOTIV software for better control over the audio signal.

How does it sound?

This mic reminds me a lot of the way the Shure SM7B sounds, especially in the low end since it makes your voice sound deep and really full, which is why I think that it’s especially good for podcasters. Other than that, it sounds really balanced and I don’t think that there’s anything that stands out as “bad”, like no frequencies poking their head out too much.

As far as recording music goes, it actually surprised me quite a lot since recording my acoustic guitar sounded full but not boomy, and the higher end had a nice open airy sound to it. Overall, quite impressed.

One thing that I don’t particularly like, however, is the foam pop filter, especially for being such an expensive microphone, since I feel like it doesn’t really do that much in terms of reducing the plosives. It’s super thick on the sides but the top is extremely thin (hold it up against a light and you can almost see right through it).

I don’t know why they went with this design, maybe a thicker pop filter affected sound quality? I don’t know, but it doesn’t work as well as I would’ve hoped.

So, either offset it when recording (off axis) and see if you like how it sounds, or find a way to put a pop filter in front of it.

Also, it doesn’t come with a built-in shock mount, so taping on the desk, keyboard, or just accidentally bumping up against the boom arm/tripod, will transmit all of that vibration into the mic.

Specifications

  • Polar Pattern; Cardioid
  • Connectivity: XLR and USB
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz- 20kHz
  • Sample Rate: 44.1/48kHz/16/24-bit
  • Max SPL: 132dB
  • Weight: 550g

Get the Shure MV7 here.

Elgato Wave 3

Elgato Wave 3 USB Microphone.

Now, I have to say that I didn’t have high expectations for this mic at all, but I definitely was impressed since for once a company decided to focus on what the users actually need, instead of just adding unnecessary features to inflate the price.

So, if you’re a gamer, YouTuber, Streamer, etc., this microphones probably has everything you need.

As far as the build quality goes, it’s nothing to brag about since the body is made out of plastic which does feel a little cheap, and the U-bracket that attaches the mic to the desk-stand is also made of plastic. The mesh grille is metal, but it has a bit of give to it, which isn’t ideal as well.

Even though it should last you a very long time if taken good care of, the overall build quality is lacking, and I wouldn’t recommend dropping this mic or anything similar.

However, and even despite this, I still think that it’s probably the best microphone for Gamers/YouTubers out there, and here are the reasons for that:

  1. It features a “Clipguard”, which when enabled will prevent clipping or saturation if you signal gets too loud; like for example if you scream.
  2. It also comes with a high-pass filter that can be enabled to remove a bit of the low end, and this can come in handy when you want to better deal with the proximity effect (basically, the closer you get to the mic, the more low-end you will hear, and the high-pass filter helps deal with this).

These features can be accessed through the Wave Link software that comes with the mic and are definitely something that the gaming and streaming community desperately need to be able to produce content with good sound quality, and it’s refreshing to see that a company has finally taken notice.

Lastly, it features a Mute button, gain control, headphone volume, and the mix control between the computer’s playback and zero-latency monitoring.

Note: If you want to check out my full written review of the ElGato Wave 3, you can find it here.

What comes in the Box?

  • Elgato Wave 3 Microphone
  • USB Cable
  • Mic Stand adapter

Features

  • ClipGuard
  • High Pass Filter
  • Mute Button
  • Wave Link Software for more in-depth control of the audio

How does it perform?

As far as spoken word goes, which is what this mic was mainly designed for, it’s absolutely great since there are no prominent frequencies poking there head out anywhere, plus if you want to get rid of some of the low end, you can always engage the high pass filter.

The Clip Guard is definitely a huge plus here, since there will be no more clipping/distorting, which is definitely something that streamers have to del with on a daily basis.

There is one issue though, and it’s that the desk stand doesn’t really help reject any noise coming from the desk itself, like for example if you tap your fingers on it, the vibration coming from the keyboard, or basically bumping against the desk.

In that case, I would much rather recommend a boom arm with a shock mount to absorb those vibrations.

Now, what if you want to record music with it?

Well, for singing it does more than fine!

As far as recording instruments go, it did a decent job at recording acoustic guitar, and the HPF came in handy here since it allowed me to angle it more towards the sound hole and still get a good recording.

Also, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how well it managed to capture the sound of my electric guitar cabinet, even with distortion.

Still, I think that I would much rather use a good dynamic mic for this, but hey… it works!

Finally, the Wave Link software that comes with this microphone is where you can enable the Clip Guard and the High Pass filter, plus it lets you mix the audio signals from different sources in the PC, like Google Chrome, etc. and decide how high or low the volume of every source will be on the stream.

Specifications

  • Polar Pattern; Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz- 20kHz
  • Sample Rate: 48kHz/96kHz – 24-bit
  • Max SPL: 120dB
  • Sensitivity: -25dBFS
  • Weight: 280g

Get the Elgato Wave 3 here.

Which one should you go for?

I honestly think that the Shure MV7 sounds a little better, especially when you get up close (although the plosives might be an issue there), which is why I think that it’s an absolutely fantastic microphone for podcasters, and since it’s got an XLR connection as well, you won’t need to buy a new mic once you upgrade the rest of your equipment, overall saving money.

In addition to this, the ElGato Wave 3 is mostly made out of plastic and I don’t think it will last as long as the Shure.

Both feature an included software that is ideal for streamers since it lets you set up a limiter/clip guard, adjust the EQ, compression, etc.

However, I also think that the price difference is an important factor, and the Elgato costs close to $100 less, which makes it quite more appealing for most users.

I think that it all comes down to budget and upgradeability: Do you plan on upgrading your setup at some point and purchasing a mixer or an audio interface with more inputs? Then get the Shure MV7 since it’s going to be more affordable in the long run, even if it costs $100 more.

If you’re a gamer that will never need more than one mic, then go with the ElGato Wave 3 (if you’re not a gamer but still only need one mic, then check out the alternatives I list below).

Other alternatives

I reviewed a couple USB mics already and there are two that stand out: The Audio-Technica AT2020+ USB and the Samson G-Track Pro.

The AT2020+ USB sounds great, similar to the Elgato Wave 3 in my opinion, but it also only comes with a USB connection, so no upgrade path there.

The Samson G-Track Pro is an interesting alternative, mainly for guitarists and bassists since it features an instrument jack that lets you record both the microphone signal and the instrument signal to separate tracks, and you can even use it with amp simulation software with very low latency.

FAQs

Do you need shock mount for Shure MV7? The Shure MV7 doesn’t come with a built-in shock mount and is very susceptible to picking up any vibrations and transmitting them through the audio signal, which is why it’s recommended to get a separate shock mount.

Does Shure MV7 need phantom power? The Shure MV7 is a dynamic microphone, which means that it doesn’t require any sort of external power source, such as phantom power, since the coil itself inside of the microphone will create enough current on its own to generate the signal.

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