ReviewsPeripheralsMaono PD100X Review: Budget-Friendly Brilliance With RGB Flair!

Maono PD100X Review: Budget-Friendly Brilliance With RGB Flair!

Let's have a look at the Maono PD100X that can be an excellent affordable option for gamers and content creators.

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Is It Worth It?

Review Summary

The Maono PD100X is an affordable dynamic microphone ideal for content creators, streamers, and gamers, offering versatile XLR and USB-C connectivity. It features a modern design with customizable RGB lighting, though its foam shield is flimsy, and the build quality feels somewhat plasticky. Despite these minor drawbacks, the PD100X provides exceptional value for its price, making it a strong choice for enhancing gaming and content creation setups.

Hours Tested: 2 weeks

Tech4Gamers Recommended Award

Overall
8.4/10
8.4/10
  • Design - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Build Quality - 8/10
    8/10
  • Control - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Performance - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value - 9/10
    9/10

Pros

  • Affordable Price
  • Dynamic RGB Lighting
  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Convenient Control Knob
  • Dual Connectivity

Cons

  • Flimsy Foam Shield
  • Plasticky Build Quality
  • RGB Lighting Might Be Overwhelming
  • Subpar Performance in Video Conferencing Apps

It is now simpler than ever to create gaming content. Maono aims to capture a substantial market share with its growing portfolio of products for newcomers and audiophiles. Consequently, the Maono PD100X, with its user-friendly interface and dynamic RGB lighting, could be an ideal choice for aspiring gaming content creators, regardless of skill level. When it comes to microphones and podcasting equipment.

It is widely recognized that Maono has the greatest value-to-performance ratio thanks to its reasonably priced products. Surprisingly, this microphone ends up costing about $59.99. The question is, does it really improve a gamer’s standard equipment? We’ll have to see. Having said that, Maono provided me with this microphone for my review, but my thoughts and opinions are all my own without any biases.

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Key Takeaways

  • The Maono PD100X is a dynamic microphone tailored for gamers, streamers, and content creators seeking a budget-friendly yet high-performing audio solution. With its cardioid polar pattern, the PD100X effectively isolates your voice from background noise, ensuring clear and crisp recordings.
  • You should buy the Maono PD100X if you want an affordable yet high-quality microphone, need versatile connectivity options, appreciate dynamic RGB lighting, and prefer simple and intuitive controls.
  • You should not buy the Maono PD100X if you require a robust build quality, need ideal performance for video conferencing applications, dislike extensive RGB lighting, and prefer high-quality components. 

Here are the specifications:

Element Type Dynamic
Polar Pattern Cardioid
Connectivity XLR & USB-C
Bit Depth/ Sample Rate 24-bit/ 48kHz
Frequency Response 40Hz-16kHz
Adjustable Gain Range 0 to +42dB
Sensitivity XLR: -52dBV/Pa | USB: -10.5dBFS/PA (Max)
Max. SPL >130dB SPL

Box Contents

Box Contents (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Box Contents (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  1. USB/XLR Dynamic Microphone x1
  2. USB A&C to USB-C 2-in-1 Cable x1
  3. User Manual x1

Design

First, let’s have a look at it. The PD100 (the one without the X) is a comparable microphone from Maono. However, it differentiates itself in appearance. Nonetheless, there are some shared features as well. This is because both of these mics provide XLR outputs. Having said that, the PD100X’s design is eye-catching and modern, featuring colorful RGB lights. A large foam cover conceals the internal microphone component at the top.

The plastic housing inside gives it the appearance of a typical boom mic. However, the foam shield feels loose and flimsy, which might concern some users. You can install it upside down, and it will still stay there, but it doesn’t seem like a sturdy piece. Moreover, I would compare its construction quality to that of the other microphones that I have tested. From my perspective, the PD100X has a more plasticky feel.

Stand

Stand (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Stand (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The PD100X’s accompanying stand is excellent since it allows you to use it as a desktop companion or connect it to a boom arm, depending on how you set it up. Although I usually prefer to use my microphones positioned on a boom arm when working with limited space, I do not mind the versatility of placing my mic onto a table if needed.

Notably, no complicated setup or installation processes are required to get it working, and it is both lightweight and sturdy enough to stay on your desk. To mount the microphone on the base of the desktop stand, you just need to turn it counterclockwise. Since the boom arm is another option for mounting the microphone, it supports compatibility with standard threads that are either 3/8 inch or 5/8 inch.

RGB Lighting

Instead of going for understatement, Maono has covered the whole microphone with translucent RGB lights that you can control with a little button on the bottom. A plastic casing conceals the shifting RGB lighting display, and the whole style of this microphone gives off an air of being ideal for streamers or gamers. Like predecessors before it, it proudly displays the RGB lights that signify the gamer’s aura. 

Control Scheme

Control Scheme (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Control Scheme (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The front panel has a control knob that doubles as a volume knob for the headphones and the microphone. So, you can spin it to control it, then push to choose between the two options. With a single push, the color will change to blue, indicating that the headphones’ volume will now change. Then, to change the mic gain volume, push the button again until it becomes white.

Since we don’t want to press any buttons while recording to reduce sound interference, it’s nice that there is a touch-sensitive microphone mute switch on top of the mic. Another great feature is that I can control the RGB lights and mute option simultaneously from inside the app. If I want to make sure I don’t accidentally mute the mic, I can sync the red RGB lighting with the mute status to make it even more obvious.

WARNING: The touch-sensitive mute switch, while convenient, can be easily activated accidentally. Be mindful of its location during use to avoid unintentionally muting your microphone.

On the bottom, you can see the level indicator, which shows the gain level or audio output of the mic or headphones near the base of the microphone. My favourite feature of this microphone is having access to the 2-in-1 knob that adjusts the volume for both the microphone and headphones. Overall, the control schemes are all very straightforward to use and how they should be.

Connectivity

Connectivity (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Connectivity (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Underneath the microphone, you’ll find all the output options. First and foremost, there is the XLR output, which is essential since many podcasters prefer to use an XLR connection to connect their microphones to the mixers. As I have observed before in similar microphones, the XLR outputs make the whole microphone compatible with different audio interfaces, which isn’t always the case with other USB-driven microphones.

If you’re a digital nomad and want to connect it to your phone or PC, you can do it with the completely digital Type-C output. That way, you can connect it straight to your PC or even mixes that support Type-C inputs. Overall, this microphone is quite simple to set up; all you have to do is connect it to your preferred device, and it will begin recording sounds in a matter of seconds.

Software

YouTube video

The PD100X is compatible with the Maono Link, which is available for both Mac and PC users. This is where you can make hardware-level adjustments, such as muting or unmuting your microphone or adjusting the gain or monitoring volume of your headphones.

For distortion-free audio playback, adjust the monitor mix to the right. To hear your voice clearly through the mic, drag it to the left. The app also offers four tones: deep, natural, bright, and legacy. The “near” setting provides a clear signal-to-noise ratio, while the “mid” setting boosts volume when you speak from a bit farther away. The “far” setting maintains loudness from a distance but increases ambient noise. My favorite setup is between natural and mid. You can also customize RGB lights, brightness, and colors.

PRO TIP: To get the most out of your Maono PD100X, use the Maono Link app for advanced audio customization. This includes adjusting the gain, equalization settings, and RGB lighting. You can sync the RGB lights with the mute function to avoid accidentally recording when the mic is muted.

At the top of the app, you can access lighting connection capabilities. In advanced mode, the lower section provides equalization controls, a limiter, and a compressor. It’s impressive that the PD100X works out of the box without additional software, and you don’t need to tweak these advanced settings unless you want to.

Performance

Plastic Housing (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Plastic Housing (Image By Tech4Gamers)

With its impressive cardioid polar pattern, PD100X primarily picks up sound that is directly in front of it while at the same time reducing its sensitivity to sounds coming from the sides and eliminating any sound coming from behind it. If you’re using it for a podcast or a live stream, this is ideal since it isolates your voice from background noise. Since PD100X serves as a kind of noise-cancellation microphone, it could have been ideal for conference call applications like Microsoft Teams or Zoom meetings.

However, one complaint that I have is that it doesn’t perform as intended with video conferencing apps. Nevertheless, it’s not terrible. People on the other end of the conference call can still hear you well, but the audio compression isn’t up to par. Notably, the problem doesn’t lie within the microphone, but it is more of an issue with the applications themselves. Having said that, the overall recording performance you receive here is quite outstanding.

Even though you are not spending plenty of money on this microphone, which is just the case with every other Maono microphone out there. Although I have heard some entry-level Maono microphones with a more plasticky sound trait. However, the sound you get from PD100X is incredibly clear and sharp with no distortion. 

Here, you can listen to a sample of the PD100X’s recording quality. I must say, this microphone has an excellent sound trait. It has a very clean, sharp sound overall, with a slight indication of podcast quality. In this case, how would you rate the PD100X? What do you think about it? 

A great choice for content creators and gamers – all thanks to its budget-friendly price, crystal-clear audio, and captivating RGB lighting!

Should You Buy It?

Buy it if

You want an affordable yet high-quality microphone: The Maono PD100X offers excellent sound quality and performance for its price, making it a great value for money.

You need versatile connectivity options: With both XLR and USB-C outputs, the PD100X provides flexibility for beginners and professionals, allowing for easy USB connectivity or more advanced XLR setups.

You appreciate dynamic RGB lighting: The microphone features customizable RGB lights, adding a modern and appealing aesthetic ideal for gamers and streamers.

You prefer simple and intuitive controls: The dual-function control knob, touch-sensitive mute switch, and straightforward software make it easy to manage audio settings.

Don’t Buy it if

You need perfect performance for video conferencing: The microphone doesn’t perform optimally with video conferencing apps like Microsoft Teams and Zoom due to audio compression issues.

You prefer premium-quality components: The foam shield and overall construction might feel less refined than other high-end microphones.

Final Verdict

Generally speaking, this is yet another excellent Maono microphone. It is designed with content creators, streamers, and enthusiast gamers in mind and is extremely versatile. With this microphone, I have not had any concerning issues. It has great, simple, straightforward controls, and my favorite is the mute touch surface. Furthermore, its excellent sound quality makes it live up to my expectations. So, the one thing I would like to improve upon about this microphone is the windshield, which seems really flimsy and unrefined.

Additionally, the quality of the shield’s inside is subpar. Having said that, the RGB lights are the main attraction, which is already in favor of someone like myself who gets satisfaction out of lighted surroundings. On the other hand, some users may find it overly obnoxious now, given that the PD100X has RGB lights all over it. However, if you think all of the things above mentioned are what you prefer, then the Maono PD100X can be yours for $59.99 from their official website.

Coming Next: Fifine K688 Review

 
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