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Shure's new MV88+ Video Kit brings pro sound to your phone videos at CES

Designed for both iPhones and Android phones, the kit includes a new Shure digital stereo condenser mic, a Manfrotto Pixi tripod, a phone clamp, mount and cables.

The kit costs $249.

In advance of CES, where Shure is rolling out its new $249 MV88+ Video Kit, I've been playing around with an early review sample and have been pretty impressed with it.

Geared toward videographers, podcasters and anyone who wants to make their smartphone videos look and sound more professional, the kit's relatively compact and easy to assemble once you put it together a couple of times. While the included Manfrotto Pixi tripod is the heaviest piece of equipment -- it's nice and sturdy -- it's still quite small. 

The other components slide into five separate compartments in an included neoprene sleeve that rolls up and stays closed thanks to a Velcro strap. You'll have no trouble carrying all of this in a small bag or backpack and it might even fit into a set of cargo pants or a jacket with deep pockets.

Along with the Pixi tripod, you get a new, upgraded version of Shure's MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser. Two cables are included: a Lightning to Micro-USB and a USB-C to Micro-USB. The microphone requires power: if you're using an iPhone, you run the Lighting cable to the mic's Micro-USB port; if you're using a USB-C Android phone, you'd go with the USB-C cable. There's also an audio input in the microphone that allows you to plug in a set of headphones to monitor audio levels as you're shooting.

What's in the box.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I left my case on my iPhone X and didn't have a problem getting it in the phone clamp, which can accommodate even larger phones such as the iPhone XS Max and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

The MV88+ can also be used for standalone audio capture -- you can just attach the microphone to your phone with the cable and not bother with the tripod or mount -- and it's designed to work with Shure's companion Shure Motiv Video and Audio Recording apps.

The only thing missing here is some sort of gimbal accessory, but I was able to create pretty smooth video holding the closed tripod in my hand.

I'll be using the kit here at CES 2019 and will update this post with additional notes as I encounter any issues, but my first impressions are good. This is a kit well worth checking out if you're looking to level up your smartphone video-shooting game.

As noted, the MV88+ Video Kit retails for $249, with no word yet on international pricing (that converts to about £200 or AU$350). It's available for preorder at select retailers and will ship in the coming weeks.

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