One of the struggles with starting or improving an existing channel is knowing what you need. There is almost always a better option, with countless side paths, and accessories designed to achieve that professional experience, but that doesn’t mean you need a top-of-the-line product. With Maono’s latest, DM30, they’re stepping more into the world of gaming. With their quality mics, exciting colors, and flashy lights, is DM30 a must for someone looking for a new microphone, or is it all razzle and no dazzle?
DM30 retains the high-quality packaging we’ve come to expect from Maono. The front shows DM30 in black with a glossy finish, with one side explaining key features and the other colors. At the time of this review, it comes in black, white, pink, and for this review, purple. There should be a black sticker to indicate which model the box is holding, so if you see the black front and are worried, you shouldn’t be. On the back is a description of how Maono views DM30, highlighting some notable details like the 3-in-1 digital knob.
Inside is a nice set of foam inserts to keep DM30 safe, the microphone itself, and a yellow box containing accessories. For accessories, we have a beefy manual that mainly explains how to use DM30 and a step-by-step guide to get it working. In addition, there is a 6’ USB-C to USB-C cable, with a USB-C to USB-A adapter on one end. One thing that immediately stands out about this cable is that it matches the color of the microphone. So, if you get pink or purple, the cable will be the same color. We also suggest using this cable since it has a right-angle connection, which works better with the stand.
As for DM30, it’s almost entirely metal, with the top, 3-in-1 knob, and screw connecting it to the stand being the only plastic parts. On the bottom are three rubber strips to prevent movement. If you want to use the built-in 3/8” and 5/8” stand threading, simply unscrew the bottom and connect it to your boom mic arm.
Is a Lovely Shade of Purple
One of the nicer things about DM30 is the color. We were fortunate enough to get one of the unique colors for this review, which in the case of purple, looks very similar to the online pictures. Looking at it in person, I’d say it’s like a medium purple, giving it a softer feel than Synido’s deep purple. Best of all, the inside has a purple pop filter, so you can fully enjoy the color right out of the box.
Upon plugging DM30 in, you’ll be greeted with a vibrant array of colors. Unlike some of the RGB products we’ve checked out, these are strong and do a good job of standing out. If it bothers you, they can be disabled, there are options to decrease the intensity, or use a fixed color instead of having it cycle through the whole range.
A Brief Look at the App and its Functions
Immediately after plugging DM30 in, we could use it on our Mac, PC, or PlayStation. At this point, you will want to calibrate it to your needs. Since this boasts Maono’s 3-in-1 multi-functional compound knob, everything besides the LED controls is handled by the front-facing knob. When the microphone icon is green, you can turn it to increase or decrease gain. Odds are the initial amount will be too high for the average user, though it’s nice that DM30 offers those settings if you can’t be near the microphone. Pressing down on the knob will turn the light red, indicating it’s now muted. To activate the final feature, headphone volume, press down on the knob and hold it for roughly two seconds. A second blue light will appear above the headphone icon to indicate the change in modes. Pressing the knob again will mute/unmute, with another 2-second hold being required to return to the previous mode.
Like PD400X, Maono included software support through their Maono Link app. The application features immediate access to every function on the actual microphone, along with the ability to enable/disable mic monitoring, LED intensity, tone capture, plus advanced settings like adding a limiter or compressor. Unfortunately, it does not offer any advanced settings to edit the LEDs, but it is helpful if you want to edit something quickly without touching the microphone. The app can also provide updates, making it extremely helpful to have.
Nice and Colorful LEDs
As for the actual performance, DM30 did a pretty good job. When using it to capture my voice in various settings, it was clear and easy to understand. The only thing that stood out was how my voice came across. I have a flatter voice, so when something was captured with DM30, it brought that out a bit more. When using something nicer, such as Maono’s PD400X, I gain a certain crispness and depth, which brings out some of the subtle details of my voice. By using Maono Link, you can improve the experience, though if this is a concern, I’d consider going up a level.
Maono DM30 Review Verdict
DM30 is a solid choice for an entry-level microphone. Not only do the unusual colors cater to a larger group of players, the included software and 3-in-1 knob makes it extremely easy to use. It is a shame that some of the features are a little on the weaker side; one of my favorite details on the DuoCast was seeing the LED lights being used to indicate gain/volume level, but the actual capture is among the best at that price point. For these reasons, if you’re looking for a starter microphone or want something a little flashier, you’ll probably be satisfied with DM30. However, if you’re looking for a bit more, we suggest getting a long-term solution like PD400X.[Editor’s Note: Maono DM30 was given to us for review purposes.]