Maono AU-HD300 USB/XLR Cardioid Dynamic Microphone Review

  1. About the Maono AU-HD300T USB/XLR Microphone...
  2. Microphone Design and First Impressions
  3. Microphone Testing and Conclusion
  4. Online Purchase Links

Disclosure: The AU-HD300 microphone is shipped by Maono

About the Maono AU-HD300…

I like USB/ XLR dynamic microphones. It gives the USB functionality for one to start with and the XLR output to extend and enhance the microphone quality via a USB audio interface. Because of this, it provides a better value than many USB only microphones around its price segment. The Samson Q2U and Audio-Technica AT2100 are two of the first such USB/ XLR microphone that’s been around for a long time. But here comes a new player in the USB/ XLR mic segment.

The Maono AU-HD300 is a very new USB/ XLR microphone and keeps up with the time with a 48 kHz sample rate, USB Type-C and a 2.5mm jack. The company sent this to review since they read my review of the Samson Q2U, saying that I’ll love this even more. That’s one way to get somebody’s attention. But in a way, it is good since it shows their target audience and the merits of catering to such end-users.

Who is Maono?

Maono makes a lot of peripherals for content makers, podcasters and streamers, including many other USB microphones and mixer+ USB audio interfaces units like the GoXLR and Rode Caster Pro units. These come in two kits- the HD300T (viz. this one) is the one with the desk stand and the HD300S is the one with the boom arm. The one I’ve received is the desk stand variant.

Packaging

Layered with its brand’s colour choices, the box is pretty large compared to other USB/ XLR microphones of a similar class. It gives adequate information about the microphone, including features, frequency response and polar pattern charts.

The packaging has generous protection for the HD300 microphone and its essentials. This is much needed and much appreciated if the microphone is imported by an individual overseas.

Contents

Aside from the microphone and its cables, you get a stand and a pop filter. Usually, I would normally see a run-of-the-mill tripod legged tripod that does the job but takes more space on the desk than it should. But it also includes an expandable neck and a shock mount with a smaller but much heavier rounded base. Maono AU-HD300 is ticking the right boxes so far.

The base is solid metal and a very good weight to it- as it should be. The extendable metal neck has a lock-in mechanism where you can extend/ retract it to your preference. The shock mount assembly is mostly plastic, with the exception being the nut and the thread. You get a pop filter a support bracket that slips on the shock mount. You get a complete package.

In comparison, the round-shaped stand requires lesser space than the generic microphone tripod. Both do a good job. But this does a far better job. I even prefer this over the Amoon microphone desk stand. The rounded base and the extendible neck makes a good enough impression that it is strong enough for heavier microphones.

Specification

At the time of writing, Maono didn’t list the HD300 on their website, yet. But these are specifications shared via email and on the box:

Element Type: Dia. 16mm Condenser
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Frequency Response: 40Hz- 17,000Hz
Headphone Output Power: 41mW @ 32 Ω
Sample Rate: 44.1/ 48 KHz, 16Bit
Output Connector: USB-C/ XLR

Frequency Response and Polar Pattern

The microphone’s frequency response tries to stay mostly flat, with an exception between 6 kHz to 15K(?) kHz then taking a dip down to 20K. The audio spectrum between 6K to 20 kHz is the brilliance spectrum which gives high-end clarity to voice and music, but too much of it makes a very noticeable hiss.

There is a slight dip between the 4k to 6k- the presence spectrum. While this is where a lot of clarity sits in place, this also leads to the microphone picking up sibilance (the ‘S’ sound). I am curious to see how effective this is, especially without the pop filter.

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