I was happy to be selected by Maono to receive a pre-release microphone to do this review. Thanks, Maono for letting me test this microphone out!
Maono HD300 Dynamic Microphone unboxing and review
Today I’m taking a look at a new microphone from Maono. This microphone is a dynamic cardioid USB/ XLR microphone.
It is no secret that I’m partial to extensible microphones – microphones that have both USB and XLR connectivity.
For new podcasters on a budget, it makes financial sense to start a podcast with a USB microphone and record directly into your computer.
Then if you find you are enjoying your podcasting hobby you may choose to spend money on an audio interface, mixer, or podcasting tools like the Rodecaster Pro or Zoom P4.
And if your USB microphone also supports XLR then you don’t have to buy a new mic to go with your new audio interface.
>> I believe all podcast starter microphones should be extensible so 10 points to house Maono.
Unboxing the HD300T
Features listed on the box:
- USB/XLR dual-mode output
- Built-in premium audio processor
- Zero-latency monitoring
- Support playback
- System volume control
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Full metal body
The HD300 will be available in three packages:
- The HD300 microphone on its own (estimated price $60)
- The HD300T includes a desktop stand, shock mount, & pop filter. (Launch price $69.99)
- The HD300S includes a boom arm (estimated price $80)
The version that Maono sent me is the AU-HD300T
What comes in the box?
- The Microphone
- XLR Cable
- USB Cable
- Stand base
- Stand stem
- Shock Mount
- Pop Filter
I like the metal finish with the mat black colour. It feels good in my hand with a balanced weight to it. It definitely has the feel of a quality microphone. It doesn’t feel cheap.
You can see the XLR and USB C outputs on the bottom of the mic along with the microphone jack.
The On/Off switch is large and sturdy. I particularly like this. When my son was a few years old he got a hold of my ATR2100-USB microphone for literally three seconds and broke the on/off switch :(. The HD300’s on-off switch looks like it would have survived his deceptively strong fingers.
The Volume buttons are big and easy to push but they do make a clicking sound which will probably get into your recording if pressed on air. This isn’t a deal-breaker as most of the time I adjust my levels before starting the recording but it would be nice if these buttons didn’t audibly click.
I like the look and feel of this microphone.
I am impressed with the stand that comes with the HD300T. Other microphones in this category have flimsy little stands that are too short to be considered usable. You have to hunch over or stack up a bunch of books in order to get it high enough to talk into.
The Maono HD300 stand is taller and places the microphone where it needs to be to sound good. And the shock mount helps prevent rumbles from entering your recording as you bump or nudge the desk.
I also like how the stand leaves room for you to access the volume buttons.
The included pop filter takes a little manual dexterity to attach but once it is on it sounds good and it does a good job handling plosives.
The stand looks cool and matches the overall pleasing aesthetics of the microphone. It would look good in a stream, Youtube video, or video podcast.
Maono HD300 microphone specs
The HD-300 is a Dynamic Microphone with a Cardioid polar pattern. It has a frequency response of 40Hz – 17kHz. With headphone output power of 41mW @32 Ω. The sample rate of the mic is 44.1 / 48 kHz , 16 bit. And of course the Output connector is both USB-C and XLR.
Cardiod Polar Pattern
The polar pattern is a cardioid pattern that is designed to be a front-facing microphone with audio fall out on the sides and back of the microphone.
The HD300 has a frequency response of 40Hz to 17kHz.
The HD300 is a Dynamic Microphone. I believe that Dynamic microphones are better for indie podcasters because they are less sensitive and indie podcasters generally record in untreated home studios.
How does the Maono HD-300 sound?
So with all the specifications out of the way let’s see how the Maono HD-300 sounds. For this test, I will record a sample audio script using both USB and XLR connections and I will compare the HD300 to a more expensive dynamic microphone and also a cheaper one.
Note: These test recordings were recorded in a basement with some background noise.
TEST 1 – Maono HD300 recorded with USB-C cable plugged into a PC.
TEST 2 – Maono HD300 recorded into XLR connected to my Behringer UMC404HD
TEST 3 – HEIL PR40 test recording to compare a more expensive microphone to the HD300.
TEST 4 – Nady SP1 test recording to compare a less expensive microphoen to the HD300.
I’m not surprised that the Heil PR40 does sound a little better. The Heil PR40 ($400) seemed to handle the background noise better. But I am surprised that it is only a little better. At the price point, the Maono HD300 ($60) microphone sounds great. And it did outperform the Nady SP-1 ($15) but I wasn’t too surprised by that either.
TEST 4 – Shock Mount and Volume Control Buttons
The shock mount does a decent job reducing the desk vibrations from rumbling into your recording. But the volume buttons do make an audible click when pressed during a recording.
Maono is a company that focuses on the gaming and podcast space. With millions of users enjoying their products around the world Maono is becoming a well-known audio equipment brand.
So what do I think of the Maono HD300?
This is a great starter microphone and is probably the best value in its class. It is less expensive and has a much better stand than other microphones in the same category.
I like how it sounds and the build quality apears to be good.
The only thing I don’t like is the clicky sounding volume buttons but I can live with that. I’ll just have to remember to set my monitoring volume before the recording starts.
Choosing a microphone is a personalized experience because some microphones will sound better with your unique voice than others. And you will have your own preferences for the type of sound you want. The Maono HD300 sounds pretty good with my voice and is certainly as good or better than the other microphones in its class.
At the launch price of only $69.99 for the microphone with desktop stand, this may be the new best value microphone for the dollar. I have added this microphone to my suggested mics in the best podcast equipment guide.
I can safely recommend this microphone to any podcaster looking for a starter microphone, extra guest mic, or experienced podcasters on a budget looking for their new main mic.
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