TL:DR – This really is an easy purchase to recommend and is honestly the best bang for buck desktop mic I’ve ever come across.
The best professional microphones for voiceover or live streaming tend to cost around four hundred dollars. Many of these will ALSO need an audio interface to connect to your computer. This can simply make high quality desktop audio out of reach for most. That was until recently when we saw the market flood with decent quality USB alternatives. I did a bit of a search on Amazon for a well spec’d desktop microphone for under a hundred dollars and found the Maono PM 422 on Prime for eighty five dollars. Although I had not heard of the brand before I liked the spec and decided to take a punt, for you ON AJ’S BUSINESS CARD.
The PM422 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone, which is perfectly suited for voice. The in-built converters deliver 192Khz 24 Bit digital output via USB A connector.
This is recognised automatically by your computer as a ‘core-audio’ input, so no need for additional drivers or software to get up and running.
Being a USB mic brings other advantages too with on-body zero latency monitoring, quick touch mute and not to mention it being packaged as a full kit with an adjustable scissor arm and pop shield. But is it actually any good, let’s take a listen and find out.
Being a USB mic is great for accessibility, meaning it’s easy to use just plug and play you don’t need loads of additional recording equipment or drivers and software on your computer. This ease of use means it will be perfect for less experienced creators to step up their audio game.
And on the ease of use front, the gain and mute controls are clear and simple to use, nicely accented by that coloured LED. The onbody zero latency monitoring is also a fantastic feature for a mic of this price point, making it SUPER simple to use.
Now really the best part and the part that surprised me the most is just how good this microphone sounds, for the money it’s incredible. Easily the best bang for buck microphone of this type we’ve used. For once I don’t feel bad for spending Aj’s money… I never do, but you get the point.
But surely it can’t be all good news. This microphone is around quarter of the price of the market leaders. So what should you be aware of?
There is no visual giveaway that this setup has anything to disappoint. To find the bad bits of this mic you really have to get familiar with it. Firstly the mic, for a condenser, has pretty low output gain. For my voice I had to crank the gain almost to full to get the recording peaking anywhere near zero.
This isn’t bad on its own, but it does mean the amount of noise on your recording is increased to audible levels, it’s certainly treatable and would only be a hang up if you plan on doing any audio recording where – the voice has to be clean on the fly.
The build quality of the scissor arm part of this kit is questionable, it’s not overly secure and if played with too much feels as if it is likely to become too loose to use. This also leads to the lack of shock mounting within the clamp, there is none at all.. so any movement on the desk or handling of the stand or mount will be picked up as handling noise, ESPECIALLY at those higher gain levels.
This microphone doesn’t just outperform other similarly priced USB microphones, but really gives those mics in the higher price points a run for their money. This really is an easy purchase to recommend and is honestly the best bang for buck desktop mic I’ve ever come across. I’m hoping if I keep saying nice things about it that Maono might send me another one!
🛒 Maono PM422 USB Mic: https://geni.us/pBTXKT4
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