As the podcasting trend continues to grow, you might be looking for suitable equipment to join in the bandwagon. Audio equipment may not be the easiest to navigate, but there are plug-and-play options beyond talking into your voice notes on your phone that make the process less complicated than it needs to be. The Maono PM422 Podcast USB Microphone is one of those tools that can make podcasting a breeze.
Typically, you’ll need a microphone, laptop, and editing software (free options like Audacity and Garageband are available).
Whether it’s for podcasting, streaming, or recording your next hit, there’s the Maono PM422 Podcast USB Microphone. The set comes with a bundle of 7 pieces of equipment that helps make the microphone set up more professional:
- Maono PM422 Microphone
- Microphone stand
- Table clamp
- Windscreen cap
- Shock Mount
- USB cable
- Pop filter
Clamp the microphone stand – which comes with a shock mount – to the table top for stability and manoeuvrability, instead of traditional microphone stands that you place on the table.
Both the pop filter and foamy windscreen cap serves to protect your microphone from taking in plosives (sounds like p, t, k, b, d, g produced with sudden air release, producing a ‘pop’-like sound) and other unwanted sounds such as wind and ambience. Many rooms, even quiet ones, can produce echoes and reverberation that may make a recording sound less professional.
To reduce echoes and reflections in the space that you’re recording or streaming in, place soft materials such as pillows or blankets around you to absorb the sound. It’ll make the space more recording-friendly.
Recording and streaming
The USB mic connects to your laptop directly. You only need to launch your audio editing software to start your sound test, recording, and streaming. The mic is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS drivers.
Monitor your sound in real time through the mic to hear how you sound. Plug in your earpiece into the 3.5mm headphone jack (no Bluetooth pairing available) to test your volume by adjusting the knob on the mic. You can also mute or unmute yourself with a touch of the mute button, which is located above the gain knob. The built-in LED Indicator lights to tell you the working status (Green Light: Working, Red Light: Mute).
Suitability for different types of users
New audio equipment users
For new audio equipment users, the ease of use, affordability, and functionality are the top considerations for this mic. The USB Maono PM422 microphone set offers a plug-and-play feature with everything out of the box, boasting affordability as no additional equipment is required to make it work.
Having a USB microphone would save you extra set-up time and money for additional equipment like XLR cables that connect an audio interface to your laptop. For those unfamiliar, an audio interface is a piece of equipment that acts as a middleman between your laptop and the microphone. It lets you control the signal level, in- and outputs, and processes the signals into your audio editing software.
In the case of the Maono PM422 USB microphone, the audio interface is built into the microphone itself. To control the sound input, simply adjust the gain knob and mute button.
The Maono microphone offers an affordable home studio experience for audio uses beyond just podcasting. You can use the mic for gaming, live streaming, singing, recording your next video, or chatting with your friends, just like your built-in laptop mic.
Existing content creators
For existing content creators, the Maono PM422 set gives you an affordable alternative.
Maono’s manual and their website include informative details, such as the frequency response (how accurately the microphone captures the sound source without altering it), polar pattern of the microphone (the how much signal from different directions the microphone captures sound from), and other specifications.
For those familiar with recording quality, the PM422 is designed to enhance digital sound. Its 16mm electret condenser transducer lets the mic hold a high-resolution sampling rate up to 192KHz/24bit. A 24-bit audio is optimal for studio audio editing, because at higher volumes, audio starts to distort. With its higher dynamic range, the audio can reach louder volumes before distortion sets in.
Its specifications are built close to industry standards, with a cardioid polar pattern and a flat frequency response of 20Hz.
The cardioid polar pattern is a heart shape pattern, with the wider range of signal being picked up from the front, and least from the back of the microphone. This improves the isolation of the desired sound source. The flat frequency response means that the microphone does not alter much of the tone of the sound source, and provides a close-to-accurate sound from the source, hence the ‘flat’ response.
The Maono PM422 USB microphone can effectively reproduce the entire range of audible sound from 20 to 20,000Hz, or it can be limited to a narrower band within the audible frequency spectrum.
The stiff shock mount provides great support and stability. The pop filter significantly reduces plosives, while the windscreen cap helps to absorb surrounding ambient noise.
In addition, these accessories can also complement other equipment you may have. Built to industry standards, they can easily hold the size and weight of a typical professional studio microphone.
At US$87.99 (SGD123.33), it may be a little higher than the cheapest bundle mic with XLR cable and audio interface. Its selling point is that it’s very convenient for new users, as it’s plug-and-play direct to the laptop. Being built to industry standards, you also get a much better quality with the Maono PM422 Podcast USB Microphone. Bundled with its accessories, the PM422 provides a better overall quality for its price category. What’s more, Maono – which also makes a range of other audio equipment – provides a 12-month warranty.