Maono PD400X and DM30 microphone review
Mar 20, 2023
When considering what peripherals to add to your gaming or PC setup, a microphone might not be the first thing on most peoples’ minds. But if you want your comms crystal clear, or spend a lot of time speaking for work or play, there are fewer things more important. Here is our review of the Maono PD400X and DM30 microphones.
Audio equipment company Maono touts itself as a top-tier equipment manufacturer across a variety of price ranges and budgets, but does that hold up? This is a dual review of the PD400X and DM30 microphones from Maono after over 150 hours of use.
Maono PD400X review
Maono PD400X features
The Maono PD400X microphone is USB or XLR dual-mode microphone that is advertised as being designed specifically for podcasting. It retails for $149.99 USD from Maono, and it is compatible with the manufacturer’s BA90 Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand. Key features outlined by Maono are that the microphone is a cardioid pattern, picking up audio in a ‘heart-shaped’ area in front of the microphone, and comes equipped with a three-in-one compound knob and an audio-monitoring output, plus a one-touch mute button. The microphone is also compatible with Maono Link, a program that gives access to controls for microphone gain, tone, equalization, limiting, and compression, as well as headphone volume. All of these capabilities make the microphone seem perfect on the surface for those looking for a high-quality podcasting device. Is the Maono PD400X as good as it’s cracked up to be?
The Maono PD400X comes in a simple orange box with just enough space for the necessities. Inside the box are the microphone itself, a foam windscreen cover, and an attached hinge and threaded interfacing point for attaching to boom arms or other brackets. The box also includes a weighted stand to thread the microphone onto for desktop use and both a USB and XLR cable. The presentation of the product is straightforward, and the box comes with a clearly displayed manual to guide new owners through using the microphone.
Using the PD400X
The PD400X takes only a few moments to unpack, plug in, and get ready for use. Unboxing it to test the audio takes minutes at most. Coming stock with all the necessary cables, XLR or USB, and a stand means the microphone can be ready to go near instantly, even if you’ve never set one up before. From there, it’s a smooth ride.
Maono Link can be easily installed. Some minor adjustments had to be made in order to best suit the microphone to our current setup, but once more, it was quick and absolutely unintrusive once the right settings had been selected. For how much customization is available for the PD400X, it doesn’t get bogged down in complicated orientation or preparation processes.
The simple truth is that after well over 50 hours of dedicated use, we have yet to come across a single substantial complaint about the Maono PD400X. The one-touch mute feature is effortlessly easy to use, silencing any undesired audio with the brush of a finger. The sound quality is crisp and high quality by default, and the microphone can be further customized to better fit your specific needs if you are trying to record a podcast or similar audio-involved product. Unlike less well-designed and manufactured microphones we’ve experienced, the Maono PD400X gets out of your way and lets you get straight into the world of high-quality audio.
We’ve looked for logistical issues, design flaws, and technical foibles with the microphone and found none. From work calls to in-game voice chats to TTRPG sessions, the PD400X has shined through its sheer lack of issues. Apart from some minor tweaks to gain and recording settings in the first five minutes of operation, it has needed absolutely no adjustments since then and continues to provide crystal-clear audio.
Maono PD400X: An astonishingly trouble-free microphone
In the name of a fair review, we’d like to provide any issues we’ve had with the Maono PD400X, but the simple truth is that we haven’t had any. It has functioned impeccably from unboxing through dozens and dozens of hours of use. The only thing remotely resembling a design flaw is that the mute button can occasionally be activated accidentally while adjusting the microphone, but that’s simply the dual-edged sword of the mute function’s easy accessibility.
Controls are easy to access and modify both on the microphone and through Maono Link, and they can easily be integrated with a sound mixer via the provided XLR input. While not cheap, the PD400X is stellar for its price range and seems capable of performing without issue for long periods of time. If you’re looking for any reasons not to purchase the Maono PD400X if the price is right, this review can’t provide any. However, if the selling price makes you balk somewhat, Maono does offer a tempting budget substitute.
- High accessibility, little to no setup required.
- Good quality materials, durable microphone
- Crisp, consistent audio quality
- High price allows easily usable product
Maono DM30 review
The Maono DM30 is a microphone built for gaming, and is a comparably budget option next to the PD400X. For a third of the price of the podcast microphone, the DM30 offers a smaller frame and simpler make. Retailing at $50 USD, it’s a compact USB microphone built for desktop gaming use. It comes in a simple box with a USB cord and an attached stand. Here’s our review for the Maono DM30 gaming microphone.
Maono DM30 features
The Maono DM30 has several useful features for those looking to use it for voice communication while playing video games. A three-in-one multi-function knob controlss input and output volumes as well as a simple click-to-mute feature. The DM30 doesn’t have any more or less than it needs to be a perfectly functional gaming microphone. The sound quality is somewhat lower than the PD400X, but for one hundred dollars less, that’s a compromise to be expected.
Using the DM30
The DM30 is very plug-and-play, with virtually no setup at all. Its more compact frame allows it to fit into unobtrusive spaces more easily than the PD400X. For its price, the DM30 does about as much as you could ask of it. It gives good, though not phenomenal, audio quality and has ease of use thanks to not requiring any drivers. The DM30 isn’t a recording microphone, but that’s not what it’s intended to be. The DM30 is a simple, relatively low-budget gaming microphone. The only downside is that it likely fails to match the convenience of a headset and microphone combination, given that similarly functional audio quality is readily available from headsets in the same price range.
Maono DM30: A middle-of-the-road microphone
The simple truth is that the DM30 is neither the cheapest nor the most convenient solution for gaming audio. It’s not a poorly made microphone by any means and performs quite well for its price range. However, when weighing audio products purely for gaming, it’s hard to justify spending on a microphone on top of a headset rather than a more expensive headset with a microphone attached. However, for those looking for a microphone to compliment a microphone-less headset, it’s not a bad choice. The narrow appeal of this does set the DM30 back somewhat, but it’s purely a matter of convenience. Where the DM30 falls short is hardly a fault of its own, merely an innate problem with standalone microphones in the budget range.
- Good price for good audio
- Simple, small, easy to use
- Very little setup required
- Fails to match the convenience of a headset
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