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Maono PD400X Microphone and BA90 Boom Arm Stand Review - PAGE 1Mark Watkins - Tuesday, April 11th, 2023 Like Share
Maono PD400X Microphone and BA90 Boom Arm Stand: Introduction
Maono is a recent company with the mission of making some of the best microphone products available. Up for review is their PD400X dynamic cardioid microphone, which is certainly the best USB/XLR dual-mode microphone in their lineup! The PD400X is designed specifically for professional-grade online podcasting, recording, streaming, and singing. It is compatible with a wide range of platforms including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Androids. The included USB cable has an attached adapter for Type-C and Type-A connections, so you can readily use the PD400X with computers, tablets, or smartphones. A smart 3-in-1 knob makes it easy to adjust microphone gain levels, as well as adjusting headphone volume and monitor ratios over the 3.5mm jack. Near the knob is a mute button for when you need to stop broadcasting too. The PD400X has both 3/8 and 5/8 threaded interfaces for compatibility with a wide array of mounting brackets, and comes with a portable iron stand base for desktop use.
While the PD400X comes with a stand base, Maono also provided their latest BA90 microphone suspension boom arm stand. The BA90 boom arm offers users a very clean mounting solution that can be either mounted permanently or clamped temporarily to desk surfaces.
Maono PD400X Microphone Closer Look
The packaging for the Maono PD400X has a smooth surface with a clean layout. The back of the box shows the PD400X on its desktop stand, demonstrating how it can be rotated 360 degrees. The top of the microphone has a 3-in-1 compound knob for adjusting microphone gain, headphone volume, and monitor mix levels with LED indicators to show which mode you are on and the setting level. A touch mute button sits nearby and lights up red or green to indicate if the microphone is muted or not. The microphone body is all metal, using a zinc alloy for construction. The microphone itself is designed for a cardioid polar pattern. The PD400X is well protected inside of the box, held in the center by a black foam insert with multiple chambers for the accessories which include wind foam, the desktop stand base plate, an XLR audio cable, a USB-C to USB-C/A cable, and the user manual.
The PD400X looks great, with an all-metal design and simple layout. The front of the microphone has the 3-in-1 compound knob, with LEDs all around it, and the touch mute button that turns green or red to show when the mic is hot or not. The sides of the microphone have adjustable knobs to change the tension on how easily the microphone can rotate 360 degrees, while the bottom of the microphone has the XLR, USB-C, and 3.5mm microphone-monitoring ports. There is also a button with three LEDs to change the built-in filter mode from: flat, high-pass filter, presence boost, or a combination of high-pass filter and presence boost. The PD400X is designed to be plug and play with no drivers needed. The Maono Link software is optional, and any changes you make on the mic directly or via the software will be reflected live between the two.
The PD400X is designed to mount to either 3/8 or 5/8 bases out of the box, which is very convenient. The base plate is simple but works well, with a good amount of weight and three large rubber feet to keep the microphone stable and absorb vibrations from whatever surface you mount it on.
A large open-cell wind foam is included, and fits snuggly over the microphone for full coverage. The microphone already does a good job of blocking out popping, but in testing my voice could still be heard with the wind foam attached too in case you want that extra layer.
Maono Link Software Closer Look
The Maono Link software is lightweight and easy to install. The software is intelligent enough to detect the microphone, and if you already have multiple Maono products it will allow you to select which one you want to modify. The software has a standard and an advanced mode. The standard mode provides options to mute the microphone, adjust headphone volume, adjust monitor mix levels, set a tone, and adjust user distance. Advanced mode meanwhile allows access to the EQ profile, gain, limiter, and compressor levels as well. The software makes it extremely easy to update firmware and perform factory resets. During initial testing, the software detected there was a newer firmware available for the PD400X, and the update process only took a minute or two to complete. The software worked perfectly, and it was nice to confirm that the LEDs on the microphone reflect the changes I made in the software. Maono Link is a bonus, but you certainly don’t need it to make good use of the PD400X out of the box either, which is great for portability and fast setups. No drivers are needed to use the PD400X as well, so it truly is plug and play.
Maono BA90 Boom Arm Stand Closer Look
The packaging for the BA90 boom arm stand is similar to the PD400X, with a picture of the boom arm holding a microphone in a shock mount. The front of the box says that this boom arm is made of aluminum alloy, is compatible with all shock mounts, features 360-degree rotation, and is squeak-free. The back of the box further explains the features, detailing how the arms pivot and how to lock them, how to set the tension, and so on. Inside the box is a cardboard platform with three black foam blocks that hold everything securely in place. You’re supposed to slide the cardboard out to get at the supplies easily. It only takes a few moments to assemble and install the BA90 with the desk clamp. Drilling your desired surfaces for permanent installations shouldn't take much longer for skilled users, but the clamp works well enough out of the box.
Maono PD400X Microphone and BA90 Boom Arm Stand Closer Look
The BA90 boom arm is mostly ready out of the box, with a few base parts to assemble for either hard mounting or clamping. The BA90 has a pre-installed adapter to convert from 3/8 to 5/8 threads, so it is compatible with a large variety of microphones. Channels run along the top of the BA90 arms for stealthy wire management. When fully assembled, the combination of the PD400X and BA90 looks sharp and professional.
Maono PD400X Microphone Features
|Capsule Type||Dynamic microphone|
|Audio Output||XLR & USB-C|
|Mic Gain Range||0 to +42dB|
|Sampling Rate||48kHz / 24bit|
Information Courtesy of Maono @ https://www.maono.com/products/pd400x-dynamic-podcast-microphone
Maono PD400X Microphone and BA90 Boom Arm Stand Conclusion
Maono has done a terrific job with both the PD400X microphone and the BA90 boom arm stand. The microphone works great at capturing for broadcast quality audio, while having plenty of options for adjustments onboard via the Maono Link software. The PD400X is a dynamic cardioid microphone designed for portability and travel, so you don’t need additional interfacing equipment as would be the case for a condenser microphone. It also makes the PD400X less susceptible to feedback and unwanted noises over a condenser microphone. Cardioid pickup patterns are ideal for podcasts or other applications where you want to record directionally, and they are also great in spaces where there might be a lot of background sounds you want to filter out. The Maono PD400X microphone retails for $149.99 USD, but Maono has them on sale at both their website and Amazon for $129.99 USD.
The Maono BA90 boom arm stand retails for $79.99 USD at Amazon, but you can get it for $69.99 directly from Maono. With the sales running it is better to buy these products separately, but outside of sales you can get the two products bundled together directly from Maono or Amazon for $219.99 USD.
The included base for the PD400X works well out of the box, but you may want to consider a boom arm for improved setup flexibility and Maono's BA90 is one of the best I’ve seen. The Maono BA90 boom arm stand is designed to work and look better than traditional scissor mounts, and has convenient cable management built in. You can clamp it down to a desk, or mount it permanently with a bolt. I found the clamp more than sufficient for my needs.
If you want an elegant and professional microphone solution, then Maono has you covered! I readily recommend both the PD400X microphone and BA90 boom arm to anyone in the market for quality sound products.