Shure MV88+ vs Rode VideoMicro are attractive choices for people who need a portable microphone for amateur film projects or field recordings. However, their use cases are slightly different. Shure MV88+ is meant for iOS and Android devices, whereas Rode VideoMicro is designed for cameras or camcorders although it can also connect to mobile devices.
Continue reading to find out further about:
- The design and build quality of each microphone
- What accessories that are included with each microphone
- The features and capabilities of Shure MV88+ vs Rode VideoMicro
- The comparison of their sound quality
- Which portable mic that is generally better and more recommended
Shure MV88+ : Design
The name sounds very similar to Shure MV88, a portable mic that is designed to connect directly to an iPhone or iPad (see Zoom iQ7 vs Shure MV88). However, it is actually very different. Shure MV88+ is a cylinder-shaped mic with a black all-metal body and a Micro USB port on its rear. This mic accepts either a USB-C or a Lightning connection, both cables included. So, Shure MV88+ can be used with pretty much any mobile device.
Shure MV88+ does not have a swivel neck; instead, it comes with a tripod stand which is very effective for keeping the mic stable. Shure MV88+ also has a headphone output to allow direct monitoring.
Behind the grille, there is a condenser mic capsule whose pick-up pattern can be switched between cardioid, stereo, bi-directional mono, and mid-side options. Shure MV88+ also has four DSP modes for singing, acoustic, speech, and loud sounds, which will apply EQ, compression, or limiting to suit different conditions and purposes. Shure MV88+ has a frequency response range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz, and is able to record in a maximum quality of 24-bit/48kHz.
Shure MV88+ : Features
The included tripod is very good. Besides for mounting the mic, it can also hold your phone while you are holding it like a mini selfie stick. You can aim both the phone’s rear camera and the mic to the front when recording both video and audio; this will allow you to see the phone’s screen and monitor both video and audio at the same time. However, you can also flip the phone around to shoot a footage of yourself.
Shure MV88+ vs Rode VideoMicro are different because Shure MV88+ is designed to work with mobile phones, whereas Rode VideoMicro is more for cameras or camcorders. Shure MV88+ is mounted on the included tripod, whereas Rode VideoMicro can be mounted on the accessory shoe of the camera/camcorder.
The included USB-C and Lightning cables are big plus points. Since the cables are included, you can use the mic on your phone right out of the box. However, the cables are very short. This is because the company assumes that your phone is going to be mounted on the tripod, right under the mic. So, the short cables are beneficial that they won’t get tangled.
Shure MV88+ comes with two mobile apps: Shure Motiv Video and Shure Motive Audio. Obviously, they handle different things. Shure Motiv Video is great and very easy to use; it supports various audio codecs (such as WAV, AAC, and ALAC) and multiple video resolutions (including 720p, 1080p, and 4K). You can adjust the audio sampling rate, video resolution, and video frame rate from the main screen. You can also adjust the mic’s gain, pick-up pattern, compression, high-pass filter, and DSP preset from this mobile app.
Meanwhile, Shure Motiv Audio is for recording audio only. The features are similar, except without the video options. You can adjust the audio sampling rate and various mic settings from the mobile app. In addition, it also has basic editing capabilities and some sharing options.
Shure MV88+ : Sound Quality
The sound quality of Shure MV88+ vs Rode VideoMicro is generally better, especially in the low-end. The bass is deeper and more accurate. The reason is Shure MV88+’s wider frequency response range, which can reach lower frequencies to 20Hz. As a comparison, Rode VideoMicro only goes to 100Hz, so the low-end will be a bit lacking.
The four DSP modes of Shure MV88+ are quite useful in some situations, such as when recording an interview or capturing a loud sound. However, in most cases, the flat mode which is without any DSP is the best and most accurate. As long as you are getting a clean signal that isn’t peaking out, the flat mode will give you more dynamics.
The high-pass filter quite effective for eliminating noise. It works by attenuating sounds in the low frequencies. Most types of noise, such as handling noise and wind noise, exist in the low frequencies.
When tested to record a vocal with music from a pair of speakers, the sound quality is very good. Shure MV88+ can capture a very good stereo image from the two speakers. The ability to adjust the mic’s gain quickly becomes very handy here for preventing distortion. The vocal sounds clear with good presence, while the music is crisp and detailed. Overall, Shure MV88+ is a very capable mic for a variety of tasks.
Rode VideoMicro : Design
If you are looking for a mic to be mounted on a camera or camcorder, Rode has some cool options. Among them, Rode VideoMicro is the most affordable and budget-friendly. There are other more expensive and potentially better Rode mics, but Rode VideoMicro remains attractive due to the awesome portability and plug-and-play usability.
It is extremely compact and lightweight. It measures barely 8cm long. However, the build quality is excellent. It has a metallic construction, and the mic is equipped with the Rode Rycote Lyre suspension system to help reduce handling noise. A standard camera microphone is typically prone to handling noise, but Rode VideoMicro does not have that issue.
The mic has a solid grill on the front. Meanwhile, on the rear, there is a 3.5mm audio output for sending the captured sound into the camera. The audio cable is included.
When choosing between Shure MV88+ vs Rode VideoMicro, note that Rode VideoMicro doesn’t have a headphone jack. This is because Rode VideoMicro is meant to work with a camera. So, for direct monitoring, you can connect your headset to the camera’s headphone jack, if available.
Rode VideoMicro : Features
Rode VideoMicro comes with a wind shield, which can be particularly useful when shooting outdoors. It will significantly reduce wind noise, so the captured audio will sound clean. Unfortunately, the wind shield is a bit too large for the mic. It is easy to slide on and off the mic, but it may get blown away when there is a strong enough wind.
Nevertheless, Rode VideoMicro remains very easy and practical to use. The small form factor will allow you to carry the mic around easily. The mic doesn’t require any battery or power adapter. It draws power from the camera. Simply use the included audio cable, and you are ready to start shooting.
Although Rode VideoMicro is meant to be used with a camera, there is an optional Rode SC7 cable which has the TRRS audio jack. It will allow you to use the mic on Android devices, iPhones, and iPads. Unfortunately, since newer iPhones no longer have a headphone jack, a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter may be necessary for this case. Then, you can use a common app like Voice Memos or GarageBand to record the sound.
Rode VideoMicro : Sound Quality
In terms of sound quality, Rode VideoMicro is pretty good. It has a frequency response range of 100 Hz – 20 kHz. Despite being the cheapest model in Rode’s line-up of camera shoe-mounted mics, Rode VideoMicro can capture sound with decent detail and clarity.
The captured sound is clear and detailed. Rode VideoMicro is particularly good for speeches and vocals because the mid frequencies are somewhat boosted. However, Rode VideoMicro doesn’t have much bass. Some instruments may sound shallow due to the lack of bass. You can increase the low frequencies in post-production if necessary.
Rode VideoMicro is not very versatile. It is mostly for capturing sound from a single direction. It is unable to create a stereo image or capture room ambience properly. However, it is great for interviewing and field recording. You can also use this mic for recording a live performance.
The mic itself doesn’t have any noise rejection capability. It is quite sensitive, so try to minimize unwanted noise when recording. Rode VideoMicro doesn’t suffer from handling noise, thanks to the sophisticated suspension system, but environmental noise can be a problem. The wind shield is useful for reducing wind noise, but not for other types of noise.
Shure MV88+ vs Rode VideoMicro
In general, Shure MV88+ is better. It has better sound quality, especially in the bass section. It is also much more versatile. You can change the pick-up pattern to suit different needs and purposes. The mobile apps offer useful features, such as the high-pass filter and DSP presets, and can control the mic’s settings remotely. The mic also has a headphone jack for direct monitoring.