If you’re thinking about starting a podcast or a YouTube channel, one of the first purchases you should be making is an efficient microphone. The search for a decent entry-level microphone can get daunting with the sheer number of options out there. To make your search simpler we got our hands on the Maono DM30 and took it for a spin. We’ve been using this microphone for the past week, trying it with a bunch of devices and recording software. Priced at Rs 4,663 on Amazon, the DM30 looks like a good purchase on paper with its metal build, clean design, high-sensitivity condenser core, and high sampling rate. But how did it fare in our tests? Find out in our Maono DM30 USB Condenser Microphone review.
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Maono DM30 review: Design
Inside the box, you’ll find the condenser box, a desktop stand, a USB Type-C cable with a Type-A attachment, and a user manual. The microphone comes attached to the stand, so you don’t have to worry about assembling it after pulling it out of the box. However, if you’re planning on travelling with this mic, we’d suggest taking it apart for better portability.
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Maono DM30 surprised us with its sturdy build quality. This isn’t something we expect from affordable microphones, so Maono has definitely earned itself some extra points here. The metal casing for the microphone along with the metallic mesh grill really elevates the premium factor of the microphone. The desktop stand is all metal as well. The cover on the top of the mic, the control dial, and the adjustment knob were the only plastic components we could spot on the microphone.
The clean and minimal design of the Maono DM30 makes it very accessible to use. The front end (also the input end) of the microphone houses the control knob along with a couple of notification lights for the mic and headphones. Bordering the bottom of the microphone is a grille with RGB lighting inside. This is where you’ll also find the 3.5mm headphone jack along with a USB Type-C port and a control button for the RGB lights.
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The microphone can be adjusted back and forth. There is no way to alter its height. You can disassemble the microphone and attach it to another stand or a boom arm. Those accessories need to be purchased separately. However, in a home recording setting, we didn’t feel the need for any additional accessories. If you want to hold the microphone in your hand, all you need to do is unscrew it from the stand.
Maono DM30 review: Performance
Connecting the Maono DM30 microphone to your PC is a total breeze. Since it is a plug-and-play mic, you don’t need to install any driver or any additional piece of software to use the DM30. Simply plug the USB Type-C cable into the microphone and connect it to your PC using the USB Type-A end. To connect the microphone to a smartphone, simply pull out the USB Type-C attachment and plug the Type-C end into your phone. A pretty neat process that completely eliminates the need for an OTG adapter.
Maono DM30 is a condenser microphone with a cardioid pattern. This means it picks up sound from only one direction – the front of the microphone. This is where the dial and notification lights are placed. A cardioid pickup helps in suppressing the noise coming from the other direction. You can monitor the audio input in real-time by plugging your headphones into the mic.
We used the Maono DM30 microphone on a Windows laptop and an Android smartphone. The level of detail that the microphone managed to capture was very impressive for its price. In a quiet indoor environment, the microphone did a good job of recording different kinds of voice samples. Since it has a cardioid pickup, it did well in rejecting the noise coming in from a distant window in the opposite direction. While some ambient noises (ceiling fan, AC, general humdrum) still managed to slip through, they did not amount to be a nuisance since the microphone was able to suppress them to some degree.
While gaming, we placed the DM30 on the desk and recorded a few sample takes. While we did not have any complaints about the general quality of the voice recording, it still managed to pick up the noise from the keystrokes. Placing the microphone farther away from the keyboard helped minimised the noise. The microphone was still able to pick up our voice thanks to its high-sensitivity condenser and the 24bit/48kHz high sampling rate. We even used the DM30 for WhatsApp calls and virtual meetings, the quality of relayed audio when compared to a regular headset was night and day.
You can control the microphone gain and the volume of the headphones from the control dial on the mic. Pressing the dial once mutes the microphone while long pressing it allows you to control the monitoring volumes. We also really like the super low latency which allows you to monitor the audio input in realtime. You can also switch the colour of the RGB lights using the dedicated button at the bottom. If you find them too tacky, you can switch them off using this button as well.
Maono also offers a customisation app for this mic called Maono Link. Using this app, you can control the mic gain and headset volume from your PC. You can also change the brightness of the RGB lighting, something that can’t be done from the mic itself. Maono Link also offers 4 presets to change the tone of your voice – Deep, Natural, Bright, and Legacy. If you want to boost certain frequencies in the audio input, you can access the equaliser from the Advanced tab of this software.
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After using the Maono DM30 USB Condenser Microphone in different situations, we were impressed by its range and the quality of audio recordings. If you’re just getting started with content creation, this microphone is a safe bet. For those that want to live stream, the RGB lighting at the bottom of the microphone adds to the gaming aesthetic without being gaudy. The DM30’s portability will also appeal to podcasters that are always on the go. At the price of Rs 4,663, the Maono DM30 is an excellent choice for newbie streamers and content creators.
Maono DM30 USB microphone: Pros
- Solid build
- Produces detailed audio recordings
- Very accessible
Maono DM30 USB microphone: Cons
- Has the tendency to pick up the sound of keystrokes while gaming
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