Maono PM500 Kit Review: A Vocal Mic for Podcasting & Streaming

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Are you in the market for a new podcast microphone? In this review, I’m going to take a look at the Maono PM500 and its accompanying kit. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The Kit’s accessories and their quality
  • The performance of the Maono PM500
  • Extensive testing with results and explanations
  • Summarized pros and cons

Read below to find out how the Maono PM500 Kit stacks up!


Heads up: This review uses affiliate links. We may earn a small commission should you choose to buy through them – though never at any extra cost to yourself!

Introducing the Maono PM500

The Maono PM500, set up

The Maono PM500 is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone.  Out of box, you’ll get:

  • The microphone x1
  • Desktop stand x1
  • Pop shield x1
  • Shock mount x1
  • XLR cable x1
  • Manual x1 in a handful of languages

The price tag for the Maono PM500 Kit comes in at $149.99 USD. You’ll need an interface to use the mic, but aside from that, the kit contains everything you need to get recording. The manual lets you know which way to point the mic so it doesn’t end up backwards, and an easy to understand assembly guide for the other accessories.

Maono PM500 in the box

The Maono PM500 Kit Sound Quality

My initial impression of this mic is that it has a clean and clear tone for the voice.  There is no noticeable colouring to the tone (brightness or warmth).  This is preferable for many scenarios. It has a bit more of a lower frequency pickup than most mics at this price range. However, this didn’t muddy the voice in my testing.  

Maono PM500 Kit Off-Axis Test

I find this to be super important in a podcast scenario.  In a natural-sounding conversation, people can be lively and most likely won’t be sitting completely still.  So, of course, I have to test what happens if a host or guest goes off-centre from the mic’s diaphragm (the area that houses the capsule to capture the sound).

For this test, I moved to the left and right side only to the extent that my torso could move in a chair that has arms, which was about 6 inches off-centre from the mic. 

As you can hear, there is a slight loss in the high-end detail of my voice.  However, it’s not overly drastic.  A little corrective EQ will help smooth things out in the mix.  Surprisingly, there wasn’t much of a drop in recording levels either.

Maono PM500 Kit Plosive Test

Take a listen to the plosive test below:

There are quite a bit of popping plosives even with the pop shield placed and the mic is the standard 6 inches away on the desktop stand.   This can happen to any mic, even with a shield, so to remove plosives at the source some mic placement techniques will need to be used.

A Spectrogram of Plosives Circled
A Spectrogram with Plosives Circled

Maono PM500 Kit Accessories

Let’s take a look now at the other stuff in the box.

The Stand

The stand has some heft to it.  This lessens the risk of the mic shaking and that noise being picked up into your recording.  The stand is semi-adjustable, so the height can be adjusted to be slightly higher by a few more inches.  You can’t adjust the angle of the stand to help alleviate plosive issues, though.

You may need to get an extra foam “mic sock” to help with plosive reduction.

The Shock Mount

The shock mount is a bit on the flimsy side.  The mic was susceptible to wiggling around even after tightening the available piece. 

The Pop Shield

The shield covers the entire mic’s diaphragm with an air space but there was still a noticeable amount of popping plosives.  The shield’s material didn’t cause any resonances, which is good.

The Cable

The cable is marketed as high-quality, low noise.  After looking at spectrograms of my test recordings, I can say that is true as there was no cable-induced noise.

Pros and Cons of the Maono PM500 Kit?

Now that we’ve had a look and a listen, let’s weigh up the plusses and minuses of the Maono PM500.

Pros

  • The mic does, overall, sound good for its price range
  • The mic is of a sturdy build
  • Frequency response clearly captures full range of the voice
  • Comes with almost everything you need to start recording
  • Price point is decent for a microphone kit
  • Assembly of kit was easy
  • Slight off-axis is forgiving for those unaccustomed to microphone etiquette

Cons

  • Plosives may be an issue that may require some tweaking for mic placement
  • The pop shield and shock mount aren’t perfect

Best Used For

  • Podcasting
  • Streaming/video blogging

Our Rating: 4/5

  • Microphone Performance: 4.2/5.0
  • Price: 4.0/5.0
  • Quality of Included Accessories: 3.9/5.0

Conclusion

At a price point of 149.99 USD, this microphone performs generally well on the voice.   The list of pros does outweigh the cons.  However, it is a bit disappointing that the shock mount didn’t hug the mic enough, so you’d be better off just having it on a stand.  That said, it’s the mic’s tone and overall performance that matter the most. 

Hopefully, this review has helped you decide whether or not the Maono PM500 and its kit it is right for you. If you’re still looking to shop around a bit though, be sure to check out our Best Podcast Microphones roundup!