A top-quality mic with a handy noise-reduction mode, although the price is high
- Light and compact
- Fantastic voice capture
- Speech enhancement mode really works
- Fiddly controls
The Shure MV5C is surely a product of its time. Designed to work in home offices where there might be distracting background noises, it offers a way for you to speak clearly to fellow videoconferencees. Only the prospect of the pandemic finally being crushed counts against it.
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Shure MV5C review: What you need to know
If and when that does happen, you may decide to bring this excellent and compact microphone back to the office with you. Even at its full height it only stretches to 14cm tall, and with its retro styling and black/metal finish, it looks attractive on the desk.
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If anything it’s too light, being easy to accidentally knock over. What photos never show, though, is the trailing USB cable that’s required to power it and connect it to a computer (it’s compatible with PCs and Macs), and note the supplied USB-to-micro-USB cable is only 1m long so you may need to shuffle your laptop a little closer during calls.
The diminutive dome houses two tiny buttons: one for muting (which turns a row of three LEDs helpfully red) and one to activate the speech enhancement mode. You’ll know if this on because the leftmost of those LEDs will turn green, with the middle LED to simply show it’s active and connected. The third light indicates headphones are plugged into the 3.5mm jack. Note that you can adjust the headphone volume using the world’s tiniest volume control; those with big fingers need not apply.
Shure MV5C review: What’s the mic quality like?
What really matters, though, is sound quality, and the MV5C lives up to the Shure heritage with clear voice capture that’s so superior to most built-in laptop mics that it doesn’t bear comparison. It’s more than good enough for podcasts too.
Shure recommends you switch on the speech enhancement mode during conference calls, which then uses “a mix of preset gain, compression and EQ processing that optimises the sound of your voice for clarity”.
It also promises to reduce sibilance, which is the annoying harshness that often occurs when a mic captures the letter “s”. It works too, but what you really notice as you switch between modes is how much louder and clearer voices are in enhanced mode.
Why would you ever switch the enhancement off? Simply if you want to capture a purer signal that’s free of compression, which you might do if you were recording a voice-over or something similarly professional.
Shure MV5C review: Should you buy it?
The big question is whether all this undeniable quality and convenience is worth the £115 asking price. With far cheaper microphones and headsets available, my answer is a guarded “yes”: if you want your voice to cut through during a call, the Shure MV5C Home Office Microphone is a sound investment.