I absolutely love checking out cheap gear. And I don’t mind that in a negative way either. I’m talking about the PC gear that sits at the bottom of the pile, at the cheaper end of the scale, and really in my eyes the more unknown the better. Now I hadn’t heard of Maono before their reps reached out to me asking if I wanted to check out their PD200X microphone. It was an unknown brand, but as I said, being at the cheaper end of the market, I was all in. I wanted to give this thing a test.
The Maono PD200X is a dynamic microphone that’s actually pretty lightweight, and quite small in size compared to other dynamic microphones we’ve tried on the channel before. It really mimics that of the Shure MV7 or the SM7B which we all know are extremely popular microphones when it comes to podcasting or content creation, but it costs pretty much one-third of the price. It does have some flashy RGB strip though to really keep within the gamery theme, though can only be utilised if you’re using the microphone as a USB mic. There’s a button on the bottom to change the colour or activate a rainbow wave pattern.
The microphone is all black with a removable foam pop filter. It comes with a shock mount as standard in the box. It’s branded Maono down two sides and the microphone is incredibly lightweight though it was right at home on my Rode boom arm I usually use on my gaming setup and was able to balance in place no problem at all. By the way, you get all the adapters you need to use this microphone with a stand or boom arm in the box, and speaking of what you get, we were also provided with a small XLR cable, though I did not use it during testing.
What’s unique about the Moano PD200X microphone is the fact you have a choice of USB Type-C or XLR input on the bottom of the microphone. This means that you can use this as a great plug-and-play microphone without the need for any other equipment, and there’s a driver that you can install on your PC to customise audio. The other option is to use this microphone with some kind of audio interface like I am here right now with the Wave XLR from Elgato on my desk. Either way, there’s no real difference in audio quality in my opinion, though you do get to customise your audio slightly when using the PD200X as a USB microphone. Just check out this software and audio settings demo.
So for some specs. The PD200X uses a cardioid polar pickup pattern of which you need to speak directly into the top. It has a sample rate of 24-bit/48kHz and a frequency response of around 40Hz – 16kHz. When it came to off-axis rejection due to that cardioid polar pickup, the PD200X handled it very well, and in terms of its proximity effect, when I was pretty much on top of the microphone, it produced very bassy audio when using it with an XLR cable into the Wave XLR audio interface as well as a USB cable directly into my PC. It’s definitely best used at around 3 – 5 inches away from your mouth to really get the best quality. This is an example of background removal when typing on a mechanical keyboard. The microphone does a decent job of cutting out background audio, but it isn’t gone completely, and you will need to run some kind of noise removal filter on your audio during your livestreaming. And just take note, for this test I ran this microphone in its purest form, at the same gain levels as the other tests, but removed my noise reduction filter.
Now, is this microphone worth its £60 price tag? Well yes, absolutely, if you’re in the position of starting a new project, like a podcast or livestream and really want to level up your audio. It doesn’t handle proximity too well like some other more expensive microphones on the market, so you’ve got to keep yourself controlled in this area, as long as you’re not eating the microphone, you’re going to be fine. Using it as a USB or XLR mic has its advantages, and it’s nice that both inputs are included here to give users the choice. Yes, the microphone feels a little plastic, but at the end of the day, it’s a £60 mic. Find me a £60 mic that doesn’t feel like this. It’s a decent offering for sure.