If you are looking for a decent and reliable stereo condenser microphone to work with your iOS device, look no more! Shure MV88 and Rode iXY are among the best choices available on the market! Both are heavily popular products on the market. People love Shure MV88’s simple and straightforward design, also superbly rugged and durable construction. On the other hand, Rode iXY is small, compact, and portable. Available at a very affordable and budget-friendly price point, it is considered as a huge value for the money. Which is the one that you should get?
In terms of design, Shure MV88 and Rode iXY are certainly very different from each other. From the looks alone, Shure MV88 looks like a single-piece hardware so that you may mistake Shure MV88 as a regular mono mic. But, in fact, Shure MV88 is a stereo mic. It utilizes paired built-in cardioid and bidirectional 1cm cartridges, configured in a mid-side architecture to capture the best-in-class audio in a clear and phase-perfect stereo image. Shure MV88 features an all-metal construction for the best durability, ready for all kinds of heavy-duty usage. The mic is attached to a unique 90-degree rotatable hinge that allows you to record in various positions.
|Shure MV88||Rode iXY|
|- Cardioid (1 cm) / Bidirectional Condenser Cartridge (1 cm)||- Acoustic Principle: Pressure Gradient|
|- Recording Quality : Up to 24bit / 48 kHz||- Record stereo audio at 24-bit, 96kHz*|
|- Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz||- Frequency Range: 20Hz - 20kHz|
|- Adjustable Gain Range : 0 to +36 dB||- Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted): 18dB-A|
|- Sensitivity: -37 dBFS / Pa at 1 kHz||- Sensitivity: -42.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (8.52mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz|
|- Maximum SPL: 120 dB SPL||- Maximum SPL: 120dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)|
|- Power Requirements: Powered Through Lightning Connector||- Connector: 30-Pin|
|- Polar Pattern: Adjustable Width Stereo / Mono Bidirectional / Mono Cardioid / Mid-Side||- Polar Pattern: Paired cardioid capsules in X-Y stereo pattern|
On the other hand, Rode iXY, as the name suggests, features an X/Y configuration, utilizing a pair of condenser microphones aligned in such a way to capture the desired stereo image. Rode iXY also comes with a metal casing for maximum protection.
Mid-side and X/Y have each own distinctions. Mid-side breathes a significant clarity to the center of a stereo recording, emphasizing the center more. Mid-side is great for speaks and dialogues, also for capturing a wider spread of instruments. Mid-side also actually records sounds in different signals, mid and side, allowing you to adjust and customize each signal separately, as well as to create a mono track if you only use the mid signal. On the other hand, X/Y is useful when you want to de-emphasize the center of the stereo field. X/Y record into a single stereo recording that can be manipulated in many ways, but not to the precision level that mid-side has.
Both models record with satisfying quality. They both capture lows, mids, and highs very well. Each has a frequency response range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz. However, Rode iXY has a slightly higher sensitivity than Shure MV88, allowing you to capture subtle details more properly. Also, both record in 24-bit, but Shure MV88’s sample rate is 48kHz while Rode iXY’s sample rate is 96kHz.
Shure MV88 is Apple Mfi-certified, able to connect to any iOS device equipped with a Lightning connector. It comes with 5 DSP preset modes (instrument, acoustic, singing, speech, loud, and flat) that are handy when you don’t have enough time to do the settings manually. It can automatically adjust the EQ, compression, and limit for optimum results. It is compatible with the free Shure Plus MOTIV Recoding app.
On the other hand, Rode iXY connects to your iOS device using the 30-pin connector. Another variant, Rode iXY-L, comes with the Lightning connector instead. There is RODE Rec app that functions to help you control your recording, as well as to activate the software-switchable 72Hz high-pass filter.
Shure MV88 Vs Rode iXY
All in all, if you prefer mid-side, which has superior controllability, you should choose Shure MV88. If you prefer X/Y, you should choose Rode iXY. If you are fine with either, you may prefer Rode iXY due to the higher sample rate and high-pass filter.