From the stage to the studio, Shure makes some of the most ubiquitous microphones in the world. They're reliable, high-quality workhorses. With the new Shure Motiv line of microphones, the company hopes to translate some of that success to millions of iPhone users.
All of the Motiv products are designed to plug and play with lightning connector iPhones and iPads. They either work with any Apple core audio applications—GarageBand, for example—or with Shure's free Motiv Mobile recording app. Using the app, you can modify the parameters of the mic's built-in DSP as well as some recording settings. These include a wind reduction setting, a compressor, a limiter, and a 5-band equalizer. You can also choose between several standard polarity settings for the microphones
Each product in the line targets a slightly different use case. For $100, MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone is an ideal little mic for quickly recording a single source of audio. It's also ideal for improve your voice quality on chat applications like Skype. The $150, MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone is designed for field recordings.
The $150, MV51 Digital Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone is a little pricier and designed for higher-quality capture. It has a touch panel designed for quick access to settings like phantom power, headphone volume.
Finally, the $100 MVi Digital Audio Interface takes a feed from an XLR or 1/4 inch and converts it to a lightning connection so you can plug an old school microphone or electric instrument like a guitar into your iPhone.
These products certainly aren't the first iPhone microphones we've ever seen. Shure isn't even the first legendary audio brand to get into the Phone game. But what's clear from the outset is that Shure has taken care with the design to make the products really useful for more than the most rudimentary tasks. Though there's no way I'm tossing my SM58s out any time soon, I'm psyched to see how these measure up to that pedigree. [Shure]