Here is my review of the Maono AU-HD300T dynamic hybrid USB/XLR microphone. I am glad to see the market is receiving of this unique category of microphone. I love the fact that all of the included accessories that come with the AU-HD300T are perfect, as I’ll cover ahead. I also like the latency free monitoring via the headphone jack, which is available when connected via USB. Ahead you’ll hear 48 kHz test recordings made via XLR and USB, together with my comments.
The above image was supplied by Maono.
The above photo was taken by me using my Moto G Power smartphone (2020 version), known as Moto G8 Power outside of the US.
Multiplatform compatibility, connections
Maono officially offers the AU-HD300T to be compatible with macOS and Windows. All of my test recordings you’ll hear ahead are made with a laptop running macOS Catalina 10.15.7. I suspect that the AU-HD300T will also work fine with Chromebooks too, as I have used several other USB microphones and interfaces with Chromebooks with no problems. With the appropriate cable, I suspect that it would also work with Android, iPadOS and iOS devices.
The AU-HD300T officially has a standard cardioid pickup pattern. My testing confirms that, even though the pattern looks more like a supercardioid pattern.
Available sampling rates and resolution
When connected via USB, the Maono AU-HD300T offers both 48 kHz (recommended, see 48kHzAllance.com for more information) and 44.1 kHz (not recommended). At TecnoTur, we produce and distribute all of our own podcasts at 48 kHz, and highly recommend the same for our clients. Of course, for professional video, television and DCI digital theater, 48 kHz is the standard. In terms of resolution, the Maono AU-HD300T offers 16-bit. See Understanding 24-bit vs 16-bit audio production & distribution for more information.
As I have covered in prior articles, to set your audio sampling on Android or iOS, simply select it in any of the recording apps that offer such an audio sampling selection (i.e. Auphonic, FiLMiC Pro, FV-5 Cinema) or use an app that uses 48 kHz exclusively, like the RØDE Reporter app. (Stay away from the native camera app or GarageBand, which only support 44.1 kHz, which is kryptonite for video production.)
On macOS, first select in the Audio MIDI Setup (illustrated above) and then in your desired recording app,
which must not be GarageBand. See my 2015 article 48 reasons why GarageBand is kryptonite for video production illustrated above.
Bulletproof and strong latency-free monitoring
The Maono AU-HD300T’s 3.5 mm jack for monitoring is designed to be used with either TRS stereo headphones or even with TRRS headphones with a microphone included. The AU-HD300T is fortunately designed to ignore the microphone on a TRRS headset, if present, while outputting the latency-free audio.
I call it bulletproof since it solves the issue discussed in my 2015 article TS/TRS/TRRS/TRRRS: Combating the misconnection epidemic(illustrated above).
The same 3.5 mm jack also works just as well for playback monitoring (or listening to a remote guest or panelist), as long as your app and system are set to send audio playback to the AU-HD300T.
Unlike some other devices I have tested recently (which have a much weaker headphone amplifier), using my favorite CB-1 isolating headphones (which are rated at 32 ohms, shown above, reviewed here), the output level in my headphones was fine. The volume is adjusted via the + and 1 buttons on the AU-HD300T microphone. These buttons affects the monitoring volume, not the recording level. I plan to review some of Maono’s isolating headphones in the near future.
Perfect included accessories
I love the fact that all of the included accessories that come with the AU-HD300T are perfect:
- For those who don’t already have a flexible boom, the included stand has a solid metal base and the stick is adjustable to an appropriate height, unlike many other included bases with other microphones. which are often way too short and flimsy.
- The AU-HD300T includes quite an effective shockmount and pop-filter which uses a solid rod, not a gooseneck, which is what I personally prefer if using a pop filter instead of a windscreen. (I really love using an A81WS windscreen as a substitute as a pop filter with any mic where it will fit.)
- Both an XLR and a USB-C to USB-A cable come included with the AU-HD300T. I like the fact that the included XLR cable has black XLR connectors to match the black color of the microphone. Too many black microphones include a black XLR cable but with a silver XLR connector. Thanks Maono for choosing an appropriate cable.
All below recordings are uncompressed 48 kHz WAV and normalized in Hindenburg Journalist Pro. I recorded simultaneously from both the USB and XLR output via the RØDECaster Pro, although absolutely no effects were active in the RØDECaster Pro during these recordings. The files you are going to hear are uncompressed WAV, normalized. Please use Ethernet, wifi or other unmetered data.
Above, the XLR output, flat.
Above, the XLR output with mild noise reduction from Hindenburg Journalist Pro.
Above, the USB output, flat.
Above, the USB output with mild noise reduction from Hindenburg Journalist Pro.
As I stated in the recordings, I was surprised to see that the USB output was so low even at maximum gain. I even sent the flat recordings to Maono to make sure that they were typical, and the answer was affirmative. I normalized all of the files to -16 LUFS so you won’t hear the difference in the gain, only the difference in the final quality.
Looks and build quality
Plosive resistance using the included pop filter
Quality of included stand
Quality and performance of the included shock mount
Connectivity for USB
(Loud enough for even higher-impedance headphones; allows hearing both the local microphone and remote return audio without switching back and forth to hear a remote guest or panelist.)
Sound quality with XLR connection
In its price range.
Sound quality and performance with USB connection
The Maono AU-HD300T dynamic hybrid USB/XLR microphone represents a great value for ≈US$60. I love the fact that all of the included accessories that come with the AU-HD300T are perfect: for those who don’t already have a flexible boom, the included stand has a solid metal base and the stick is adjustable to an appropriate height, unlike many other included bases with other microphones which are often way too short. The Maono AU-HD300T includes quite an effective shockmount and pop-filter which uses a solid rod, not a gooseneck, which is what I personally prefer if using a pop filter instead of a windscreen. Both an XLR and a USB-C to USB-A cable come included. I like the fact that the included XLR cable has black XLR connectors to match the black color of the microphone. Too many black microphones include a black XLR cable but with a silver XLR connector. Thanks Maono for choosing an appropriate cable. I also like the latency free monitoring via the headphone jack, which is available when connected via USB. My only concern is that the USB output is somewhat low, even at maximum gain, and doesn’t seem to be as clean as the XLR output.
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