Maono had graced us with the Maono HD300, a dynamic microphone designed for podcasters, game streamers and professional recording. Priced at RM299, the HD300 aims to cover a lot of ground dominated by different brands across multiple niches. So how does it stack up against the competition?
Maono HD300 Microphone – Specifications
What’s In The Box?
Out of the box, the Maono HD300 has everything you need to get the microphone set up and running:
- HD300 Microphone
- User Manual
- Boom Arm with Microphone Clip and Clamp
- XLR Cable
- USB-C Cable
- Cable Management Strap
Design And Features
The Maono HD300 might look like an ordinary dynamic microphone, but it has a few tricks up its sleeve. First, there is a volume rocker underneath the on/ off switch, of which you can use it to adjust the volume. However, the bottom is where the fun begins.
Unlike other dynamic mics, the HD300 has two outputs: XLR and USB-C. This simplifies the setup process as connecting via USB-C is a plug and play process, while also retaining professional audio capabilities that mainly require XLR outputs. Situated at the bottom left is a 3.5mm audio out jack, which allows users to plug in their headphones and monitor their voice at zero-latency without the need for an audio interface albeit with a catch.
The desktop boom arm provided in the box is a rather basic affair. It has three adjustments that allow quite a bit of movement and extension. However, the spring tension cannot be adjusted and it creaks every time I make an adjustment. If that bothers you, Maono sells the same microphone with a basic stand and pop filter package for the same retail price so at least you have some options there.
The Maono HD300 is one of the easiest microphones I had the pleasure to set up, as everything you would need is provided in the box, the microphone can be easily set up and running in less than 10 minutes.
For this review, I connected the HD300 via USB-C to my PC. I used it as my daily driver for video calls, narration and online Dungeons and Dragons sessions. Personally I really like the cardioid polar pattern, of which the microphone is most sensitive at picking up sounds from the front, with minimal sensitivity at the sides and back. This allowed me to use the microphone in tandem with speakers without it accidentally picking up keyboard and background noise.
Previously I have mentioned there is a catch with the headphone output and volume rockers, which is that it only works with USB-C output. In short, if you mainly use XLR outputs, you would need a separate audio interface with a headphone out jack and volume control knobs to monitor your voice. This is mainly due to the XLR output being an analog signal and requiring preamps to boost the audio digital and process the audio externally.
After weeks of use, I find the audio quality to be very good for a microphone of this price bracket. The lows and mids are balanced, and the highs are well controlled without being sibilant (hissing sound associated with very high notes). I also love the fact that I can monitor my voice in real time and make necessary adjustments on the fly.
However it is very sensitive at picking up plosive sounds (“p-”, “t-” and “k-” sounds). For that reason alone, I would highly recommend adding a pop filter to negate some of these issues. Another thing to note is that the audio recording can sound flat to some people, which is characteristic of dynamic microphones in this price range.
Below are some audio samples recorded with the Maono HD300 via USB-C mode:
Overall the Maono HD300 is a great microphone for the price. It is versatile, has good audio quality, and is convenient to set up and get it running. I can see it being used in a variety of applications, such as game streaming, podcasts, and to a certain extent, professional audio as well.