Maono Maonocaster G1 NEO & PD100X Review

Maono Maonocaster G1 NEO & PD100X Review

When you’re doing any sort of content creation, whether it be streaming, podcasting, recording, or whatever, one of the most important areas of your setup needs to be the microphone you use. A quality microphone will help you go from a poor production to top level in no time, and will let your listeners enjoy the soothing sounds of your voice the best way possible.

Of course, there are a lot of options out there that it can be tough finding that balance between what you can afford and good quality. One company trying to bridge the gap between affordable and quality is Maono. 

The company has a number of microphone options for all budgets. Recently, it released its new PD100X mid-level microphone to go along with its Maonocaster G1 NEO audio interface. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks using the setup as my daily driver for content, and I’m here to tell you whether or not I think it’s something you should consider if you’re looking to get into content creation of any kind.

Maono Maonocaster G1 NEO & PD100X Review

Retailing for $119.99 as a package, it’s hard to find a better mic and mixer bundle for a better price. But price is only one part of the equation. How does everything perform under use?

Starting with the mixer. To be perfectly honest, it’s one of the nicer and most functional audio interfaces that I’ve used. It looks basic and only supports one XLR input, but what it does, it does really well.

The Maonocaster G1 NEO features 48V phantom power for your microphone and a number of streamer-friendly features without having to do much of a setup. There’s a noise reducer option that blocks out background noise such as fans quite well along with a SideChain feature that automatically lowers the volume of the music you have playing through your interface, turning it into a properly adjusted backing track for your voice over. 

There’s a simple voice changer button that adjusts the pitch of your voice if you’re into that sort of thing as well as a toggle for directly monitoring your sound through your headset. A lot of expected features, but it comes with another feature that went from being a nice-to-have to one that I can’t live without: a sound board.

On the device there are four extra buttons that you can use for a soundboard. From simple sound effects to clipping and using songs, you can use it for pretty much anything you can think of. Lastly, the board features Bluetooth connection, allowing you to sync your phone or any other Bluetooth audio source to pass through music, sound effects, or anything else.

Maonocaster G1 Neo

How Does The Mic Sound?

While the interface is really nice, none of it matters if the PD100X microphone isn’t a quality sound. On that front, the word to use with it is: okay.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad mic. Like I said, it’s okay. It’s just one that you’ll need to do some work with to get it rolling out of the box.

It does a solid job of blocking out background noise immediately, something that even the more pricey mics can struggle with. The PD100X also is quality on keeping away any noise behind the microphone, a benefit of the cardioid polar pattern.

Mic TypeDynamic
Polar PatternCardioid
Frequency Response40Hz-16kHz
Sample Rate48kHZ/24-bit

Where the PD100X doesn’t perform well is handling peaking and general level stability. Every time I used it, even if I left settings alone, the slightest adjustment of your position to the mic will have you frustrated at the levels. It’s not a major problem if you’re pre-recording content or doing something that will need multiple takes. However, it can get annoying for both you and your listeners/viewers when you are doing something live and you get comments on the sound issues.

There are also too many issues with the gain where the slightest change will have you sounding like you are speaking through a drive-thru speaker box. I found myself messing with the gain and general audio levels too much when doing live content that it took away from the overall presentation.

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Should you not want to use a mixer, the PD100X also comes with a USB cable that can be connected directly to your PC. Both have their pros and cons like XLR not letting you use the RGB on the mic and the USB connection pickup up and and all clicks on the on-board wheel and mute button.

Additionally, should you connect via USB, you can use the Maono Link or Maono Arena apps for mixing purposes. Just know you’ll need to create an account in order to use their software.

Maono Maonocaster G1 NEO & PD100X Review Verdict

As a package, the Maono Maonocaster G1 NEO and PD100X are solid, especially at such an affordable price point. The interface has a lot of nice features and works well even with other branded XLR mics. Hell, I even hooked up my guitar to it via XLR, and found that it worked pretty well for that, too.

The mic, on the other hand, just doesn’t do much for me. It’s an okay entry level option if you decide to go with it. Just be ready, as I said, to do a bit of manual work getting it to sound right. The frustration of constantly adjusting the levels and dealing with clipping just turns me off too much when there are other options that work better straight out of the box. It also would be nice if you could just buy the interface on its own. Unfortunately, it seems that if you really want the Maonocaster G1 NEO, you have to get the mic with it. 

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