USB microphones are not new but a very interesting alternative to opt for if you are in the market to build a compact system. Popular options such as Shure MV5 Vs Rode NT USB Mini targeting podcasters or streamers as the main category but you can use them for other purposes as well without cluttering your digital setup. Even so, the two are not the same so before putting them in the cart, here are the things you may want to know about the microphones.
In this comparison, we are going to talk about:
- How to Choose a Microphone
- What are Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini
- How are the Built of Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini
- How are the Sound Quality of Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini
- What else Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini can offer
- How are the Experience with Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini
- Shure MV5 Vs Rode NT USB Mini
Shopping for a Microphone
Microphone is a basic audio equipment that is necessary for lots of applications that require you to use audio and manipulate them to achieve a certain quality or character. The confusing part is not all microphones sound the same and while many of them have negligible differences, some are quite far from each other as well. Outside whether expensive mics are better, there are also people who are focusing on the right tool for the right job aspects, so it is best to follow your own needs around the application.
When asked what decides a microphone’s quality, all of the components that made up the unit matter so it is difficult to say a certain type is better than the other because at the end of the day manufacturers have to balance the cost production and the quality or value of the unit itself. For the consumer part, professionals will most likely know what they want to achieve and which meets their application the most while the rest of us are more towards which is more promising.
When it comes to the microphone, you may want to consider the basics itself. First is the polar pattern because microphones have a polar pattern to define the coverage. The most common type is cardioid which is sensitive from the front of the microphone and rejects the rear area. Omnidirectional for example is designed to be able to capture the same amount of noise from both sides of the unit. In applications like podcasts, cardioid the most popular while in movie making there is super cardioid as well.
Next is dynamic range which is very important in affordable microphones because it indicates how the microphone produces recording between the largest and smallest signals. In short the greater the range of capture the less information you will lose as well hence it is more ideal for post-processing. Another typical factor is the frequency response and this is probably very basic since most of them are capable of recording from 20Hz to 20kHz yet still worth to note in the microphone.
In addition, for the simplest setup, we must consider the budget as well and how you will build the system. In most cases we prefer to spend as little as possible to achieve the most but with a microphone, depending on your type of interface there will be additional equipment to purchase as well and this may affect the overall convenience. If this is a new setup, make sure whether you need an interface or phantom power in between the computer and microphone.
|Shure MV5||Rode NT USB Mini|
|Product Dimensions||4 x 5 x 4.5 inches||3.52 x 2.15 x 5.59 inches
|Shipping Weight||10.1 ounces||1.21 pounds
|Shop now at Amazon||click here||click here|
About Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini
For those who are going to build a simple setup and don’t want to clutter the table with cables or audio interface for example, a USB microphone will be a great choice. They are pretty convenient alternatives to the typical XLR or TRS jack because the unit has their own amp to drive the mic and what you need to do is only plug them to the computer and we are ready to record or stream. They are perfect for streamers or content makers who want to have a simple setup.
With the more common and mainstream podcast or digital content maker nowadays, it is not surprising to see the tons of options out there and if you are also in the market for one, Shure and Rode are two great options to shop from. These names are famous in the audio-equipment section for so long so we do think there are lots of reliable alternatives from the two. Budget wise you can find them on a wide range of price points as well.
If you are going to use a simple setup, the Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini are two ideal choices to consider. Both of them are the same USB style microphones, which means we don’t need to invest on an interface or phantom power anymore. These two are very popular among podcasters or streamers in general due to the ease of use and being straightforward. Sold at sub $100, you can’t go wrong with these microphones.
Especially for the Shure MV5, which seems like the little brother of MV51; if you are interested we have talked about the two in Shure MV51 Vs M5, this microphone is built around simple and mobile application so if you will be using phone or tablet for recording, this is a very ideal choice. On the other hand, NT USB Mini is the more convenient version of the regular NT USB while also cheaper. This one does have less capabilities however compared to the full version but it can be just perfect for you.
Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini Design
One thing we always concern about affordable microphones is their built quality and this is true with both Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini because they are not made from 100% metal. The latter is better however since it use probably a combination of metal and nylon but for the MV5, this mic’s housing is made of plastic which is quite flimsy, if users will be moving a lot or plan to bring the unit in their travel, remembering that you can use it with more compact smart devices.
On the microphones there is some functionality such as on the rear part of MV51 there are both monitor and power ports with two buttons as well to mute and to change the recording mode. On the NT USB Mini, there is only one knob for controlling the volume when monitoring while the rear area is where you find the audio jack and USB port. You can find a mic mount inside their boxes as well.
Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini Sound Quality
Now let’s see the most important part of Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini which is the sound quality. On the basic they are regular cardioid microphone, with 20Hz to 20kHz frequency range, and can record at 24-bit as well. In recording setup, the two don’t sound like each other at all and in comparison probably the NT USB Mini is more prominent on the mid-range while the MV5 is giving you that strong low-end for some reason, making your voice deeper.
One thing we suggest is to put the mics on a boom mount because depending on the table’s height, these mics are short and can’t be close enough to your mouth. It is very difficult as well to find the perfect positioning for the MV5 since it has limited flexibility in how you can arrange the microphone, unless placing it on a table and handling noise is not a concern to you. As for instruments, NT USB is great for acoustic guitars, it gives your recording both warmth and details while the MV5 making is a bit subdued.
Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini Features
Next we want to talk about the features of Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini since some may be interested in what the two can offer besides capturing your sound. They have zero latency monitoring which is great so we can hear while speaking directly to the microphone. Shure is richer however because it comes with some presets for the flat, speech, and instruments yet none of them are outstanding. However for typical use such as voice over, it is a decent sound.
You can mute these microphones as well using the available buttons but in NT USB Mini, the rotating knob can act as a mute button as well and being at the front making it just convenient to press compared to how Shure places it on the back. For the ease of use, both are plug-and-play with gain adjusted from the computer. With MV51, you will get lightning cable means we can record using iOS devices along with their Motiv app.
Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini Experience
Lastly on the experience, we find the Shure MV5 and Rode NT USB Mini are probably for different types of users. The MV5 for example is great for streaming and voice over type of users because it is very narrow hence despite being a bit further from you, it doesn’t really pick up the room noise which we think the latter do a lot more in this area. NT USB on the other hand sounds good for voice overs, being more versatile with the setup but probably best for acoustic guitar sound compared to other applications.
Shure MV5 vs Rode NT USB Mini
We do think there is no bad option between the two since they sound good. If you like the characteristic that is prominent on the mid-range without boosted low or highs, the NT USB is a great choice and this is also impressive on capturing the best part of your acoustic guitars. On the other hand if you like a deeper tonality on the voice, MV51 will give you the sound but it is not what we recommend for instruments while build quality wise is too concerning for travel. Its best part is probably the versatility with mobile devices.
It is wise to shop based on your own preference because these two sound quite different from each other. But, for those who will be using a tablet or smartphone, we recommend sticking with MV5 but if you want both voice over and acoustic guitar mic, we suggest getting the NT USB Mini.