Whether it's in the middle of a heated match or just a lively voice chat with online buddies in a guild, a proper mic for mobile games can be a true godsend. These days, phones' built-in mics just don't cut it, even more so when you throw podcasting and streaming into the mix.
Enter the Maono PD200X - a USB/XLR dual-mode microphone that boasts high-quality output via its cardioid polar pattern, which means you can expect to suppress pesky background noise to make sure your voice is heard loud and clear. It also features a sleek RGB-filled aesthetic, but while it all sounds fab at first glance, does it actually have what it takes to get the job done?Table of contents:
For the purposes of this review, the kind folks over at Maono did ship a Maono boom arm to me, which I'll talk about in more detail later on. They also included an XLR mic cable with a standard 3-pin XLR jack and plug that can come in handy if you're looking to connect your mic to PA systems, speakers, mixing boards and the like.
The minimalist look of the mic doesn't call too much attention to itself - with only a single mute button and a clean central knob to control the mic gain and the headphone volume - but it's still gorgeous enough that it makes me want to keep it in the shot whenever I'm on camera. That's largely thanks to the vibrant RGB ring that you can cycle across 8 colours, and as any player will tell you, if you're really aiming for the ultimate gamer vibe, then RGB aesthetics are the way to go.
Another thing I really appreciated about the mic was the 3.5mm jack that allowed me to hear my voice in real-time, which definitely isn't something I can ever expect my Razer Seiren Mini to do. That tiny added feature makes a world of difference to me, especially since I always have a hard time hearing myself over the mic whenever I have noise-cancelling headphones on.
Given the mic's cardioid pattern, I did notice a significant difference in the volume of my output depending on where I was speaking from. Positioning my mouth right in front of the mic yielded better results as opposed to speaking from the side, but that's something you'd expect from the polar pattern (you can opt to remove the mic capsule foam as well). The mic did, however, do a great job suppressing unwanted sounds. I even brought the mic along to a press conference for a game launch, and absolutely loved the portability with the shock mount removed.
Of course, with the Maono boom arm, you can just clamp it onto your desk and adjust the angles accordingly. The boom arm itself is a beauty too - sturdy, flexible, easy to install, and with a sleek metallic finish that features the subtle Maono brand on the arm. As icing on the cake, the boom arm has special grooves where you can tuck your USB cable into to keep it out of sight, which is a huge plus for me given how much I hate cluttered wires and how limited my desk's real estate is.
The boom arm also has a padded clamp and a counterweight to keep your set-up weight-balanced at all times. Be prepared to drill a hole into your table though, because while I can get by without having to punch a hole through my desk, I do think it's not the most sustainable idea - there's always this constant fear of my mic crashing down onto my laptop at the slightest pressure.
There's also a Maono Link app that you can use to tinker around with the settings on the mic, but, oddly enough, I can seem to get it to work on my mobile device. Downloading the app from the Google Play Store is easy enough, but it can't detect my mic for some reason, unlike with the desktop app.
Minor gripes aside, the Maono PD200X is going to be, from the looks of it, my go-to mic from now on. I just love how easily it fits inside my tote bag with the shock mount removed, and, gaming aside, it definitely saves me from shoving my phone into people's faces whenever I need a quick voice interview. I also adore the way it looks on my desktop - of course, I'm not exactly the most professional audiophile out there, so my needs are as casual as ever. If you're a pro looking for something a little more heavy-hitting - and you have the budget to spare - then it's best to look for your mobile mic needs elsewhere.
BUY LINK: MAONO PD200X