Shure MV88 vs Rode NT-USB

With the advanced in technology, we can leave our bulky equipment at home and go with a more compact one without sacrificing the quality and performance including when you want to record audio. For those whose works centered on the smartphone and computer, Shure MV88 vs Rode Rode NT-USB are two nice model to go with because these USB microphones are made just for the application but, see what we can expect from these models below before shopping so you can choose the better option.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Do you need a USB Microphone
  • What to Look at USB Microphone
  • What are Shure MV88 and Rode NT-USB
  • Shure MV88 and Rode NT-USB Look like
  • What Shure MV88 and Rode NT-USB are Compatible with
  • What App to use with Shure MV88 and Rode NT-USB
  • How are the Performance of Shure MV88 and Rode NT-USB
  • Shure MV88 vs Rode NT-USB

USB Microphone

We see so many great compact devices today from the amazing quality of an expensive smartphone to those uniquely capable action camera or compact camera for video blogging; it seems that everything is getting smaller and more convenience with greater capabilities than what we see on the past decade. With the improvement on many aspects, recording as well now become more doable on various devices like computers and smartphones without requiring professional grade equipment anymore because even though they are small, the result quality are comparable to higher-end models.

If you are fond of recording video or audio, we are sure microphone is a very important equipment to have and worth saving money for because apparently, the built-in microphone on our various devices like smartphone, tablet, or even expensive action cameras are not yet there in terms of capturing better audio quality. This of course will affect how your footage or audio perform later when enjoyed personally or especially more important when it is meant to be shared with other people.

When it is the age of camcorder, we used to have additional microphone that can be integrated with the camera to capture better audio quality but today, everything is simpler and we want something more compact to carry around. This is where USB microphone shines the most because they are indeed designed to be paired with your portable device be it smartphone or laptop and tablet. In general they are a small microphone with connectivity to your suitable main device to help improve the audio quality captured.

USB Microphone Features

Similar to when looking for a regular dynamic or condenser microphone, the most important part will be the sound quality but even before reaching this point, a USB microphone must suit your main device because apparently not all of them will match with just any smartphone or operating system. In addition, some older smartphone may not able to properly power the unit so we have to check the compatibility list first before shopping for one model, more importantly if you are using an older smartphone.

In addition, the shape and mounting system may play an important role as well to the overall functionality since it decide how we use it later in real-life. Some models are mounted directly to a smartphone port while some can have long cable to allow more proper tripod and handheld mounting. If meant to be used for audio recording, the app they are suitable with can be very helpful to tailor the sound captured to better match your preference. 

About Shure MV88

If you are already making up the mind and want to get a small microphone to enhance the audio quality taken and recorded on your portable device, now is a good time to see what the market has to offer because there are so many of them out there yet, Shure will always be a good brand to look at. We are sure most people are familiar with this name because they are among the best when it comes to the microphone and for a USB type one, we have the popular MV88 mic.

It is the close brother of MV88+ that you can check on our Shure MV88 Vs MV88+ but is different because it is solely made for iOS users since it will only work with lightning port in your iPhone or iPad. It can be used to record audio with various purposes such as while recording video but is focusing on audio only or music recording because despite the small size, it is actually a condenser microphone.

Shure MV88 Design

As you can see on the sample picture above, Shure MV88 is a stylish microphone and will look native when paired with Apple products. Unlike the brother MV88+, it is sporting silver fashion and it has a hinge on the bottom of the microphone which means we can position it to back or forth according to where the sound comes from. The picture we use is the actual mic and when needed, there is a puff head included on the package to filter wind.

Shure MV88 Compatibility

As it has been mentioned above, this model is only working with iOS products with lighting cable so android user may want to move forward to look for another option. It has no headphone jack as well when you need to do direct monitoring but there is a headphone adapter to help users plug their 3.5mm jack beside the lightning port. In addition, if you want to use a tripod while recording video, we can use long lightning cable and tripod to mount the phone.

Shure MV88 App

For those who are recording audio only, Shure MV88 has ShurePlus Motiv app which is very useful in real life application because here we can adjust several points about the microphone. First it can be used to change between stereo and mono as well as adjusting the bit depth and sample rate. As a compact microphone, it is already very capable because the bit depth are switchable between 16 and 24-bit while the sample rate is 44.1kHz or 48kHz.

Shure MV88 Performance

On the performance part, this microphone is working well when recording audio because its sound quality is very crisp, clear and rich in presence but with limiter on or activated compressor, there will be some reduced dynamic. If it is meant to be used for recording acoustic live performance, the level and placement will play an important role in deciding the audio quality. In addition, Shure MV88 does have DSP but we can leave them as well when not needed.

About Rode NT-USB

Because we have so many good options out there, it is great to see what the other manufacturers are offering as well and besides Shure, we also have Rode with the same benefits as a reliable and trusted brand. They have various models on the catalogue but if compact and portable is at the top list, the NT-USB will be the most ideal choice. This USB microphone is working with computer and smartphone as well as long as it has a USB port.

This microphone is designed for anyone who are working with audio such as music recording or streaming their content so we don’t have to get a separate condenser mic and audio interface box just to provide a more reliable audio quality.

Rode NT-USB Design

From the outside, while we do put it side by side with MV88 from Shure, Rode NT-USB is by comparison far larger or bulky in terms of size and it will sit quite high like our coffee tumbler on top of a table. It felt very durable and already have the feet or tripod forming a claw that can be placed on top of any flat solid surface. It has the windscreen included on the box and if you see closely, there are two knobs and a 3.5mm headphone port on the mic’s main body.

Rode NT-USB Compatibility

As the compatibility, Rode NT-USB is suitable with any device you have be it Android or iOS because as long as it has a USB port, we can connect it together and as for iPhone users, we can purchase additional lightning cable to USB to use the mic. If not, we can plug the USB cable to computer and laptop as usual but our favorite part is it already has the headphone port for direct monitoring when you need to listen to the audio comes from the mic or computer.

Rode NT-USB App

As for the app, this mic doesn’t have special app that comes with the equipment so we can use any other third part app available in the market for example the GarageBand and Smule. What you may want to keep in mind is not all of those apps will receive external microphone so we can just change to those that do so. For iOS users who want to use with video, there is an app called MoviePro which is a very good option because it eliminates the need to synch audio to video.

Rode NT-USB Performance

For the audio quality, Rode NT-USB is not going to disappoint you because it is actually amazing for a USB microphone to deliver impressively sharp audio and what’s even better, the background noises are reduced to make your voice more prominent without affecting the voice precision. The overall sound is open and leaving plenty of headroom for the recorder while the bass boost will appear better when you place it closer. As for the specification, it is both 16 and 24-bit and even at lower bit the quality is still very nice.


These two USB microphones are indeed a great friend to have for those who are working with audio but they are also very different because as it has been mentioned above, the MV88 mic is made specifically for iOS users while NT-USB can be used by everyone, just make sure to use the suitable app available. They perform very nice but to have the option to listen to your mic sound or computer sound is easily possible with NT-USB, moreover it already have a dedicated 3.5mm port for headphones.

Shure MV88 vs Rode NT-USB

- 5 DSP preset modes (Speech, Singing, Flat, Acoustic Instrument, Loud). Automatically adjusts EQ, compression and limiting for optimal results.
- Flexibility to tilt, flip and rotate the microphone up to 90° to get stereo clarity, whatever your sound source
- Two free Apps (MOTIV Audio & MOTIV Video) for pro-level recording and control
- 3.5mm stereo headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring
- High quality studio microphone with the convenience of USB connectivity
- Pop shield, Tripod desk stand, ring mount, storage pouch and 6m (20’) USB cable included


We are sure most readers can decide to pick which model between these two good options because there are some substantial differences, but if we are to choose, we do like the Rode USB-NT because it can be used by Android phone as well and the option to plug headphones as well as adjusting the mix is necessary in audio recording.

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