Maono WM-821: review, audio test, price Peru

To stand out on social networks like TikTok or Instagram, audio plays an essential role. Brands like RODE have positioned themselves in the minds of consumers with products that, little by little, have managed to become standard in the audio industry. However, Maono has been able to find space in that market, and today proposes medium-cost solutions at the level of big brands. Is it worth going for the WM-821 microphone system? This is NIUSGEEK’s opinion.

Maono WM-821: technical specifications

MAONO

WM 821 DUAL SYSTEM

DIMENSIONS

Case: 116 x 60 x 48mm (309.5g) | TX & RX: 45 x 45 15mm (35g)

CONNECTIVITY

2.4GHz | 3.5mm TRS I/O Connectors | charging pins

FLEECE PATTERN

Omnidirectional (mic in chassis) | Response between 80Hz and 16KHz

CHANNELS

Dual channel mixed | Low cut function

SIGN

SPL 105dB | S / N ratio: line at 75dB and headphone at 80dB

BUTTONS

TX: Power/mute, Lo-Cut, pair | RX: power/mute, volume/pair

AUTONOMY

350mAh unit | 2500mAh case | USB-C charging 10W

Maono WM-821: what you should know

All inclusive. From the packaging, Maono shows the dedication and the difference compared to other brands. Included in the box are the case that carries the transmitters and receiver, two lavalier microphones, windscreens for the TXs, USB-C charging cables, and TRS and TRRS audio cables. It is, surely, the most complete kit there is.

Not even RODE has that, since I had to buy a charging case for the Wireless GO II earlier this year. Already from the WM820 model that we reviewed, we noticed that Maono take care of those details: everything organized and ready to go to record from the moment you open the box.

Each team comes inside the case. Both the transmitters and the receiver are charged via pins, a solution that makes their individual USB-C charging incompatible with the WM-820. Obviously, carrying the case is not a problem, but it is always good to have mixed solutions. Perhaps enabling a USB-C port in the case for each component would have increased the price.

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Simple, out-of-the-box hardware. In the case of the transmitters, we have three interaction buttons, although they add extra functions: power button that you can use with a short touch as MUTE, pairing with the RX and a very good frequency cutter to eliminate sounds at low thresholds.

In the case of the RX, we have a small panel that indicates the income levels per channel, in addition to the stability of the 2.4GHz connection. By the way, it is an issue to consider the fact that we have this level of frequency, because in environments with a high Wi-Fi connection load – such as CES, MWC and others – these microphones usually have record drops. Nothing serious at events or outdoors, but in my field of work this is a limitation.

How well do they work? Maono promises a coverage of up to 100 meters, and delivers with solvency. I have been able to test the equipment in the open field and in recordings inside stores, and I have not had connection problems. The low frequency reducer works well, although I recommend you activate it before recording because the button is not silent on the module when you record with the capsule that comes with the equipment.

One of the criticisms I made of the previous model is that we didn’t have a way to record in Split-stereo, a condition that is vital for those of us who edit audio and want to give individual values ​​to each channel. Finally, Maono enables Split-stereo and we have independence for each TX.

Additionally, Maono enables Mix on the RX so that if you wish, you can mix both channels into one by clicking the power button once. That way, we can toggle between split mode and mix mode. We can also add up to 6 input levels to each TX from the RX, and improve the audio quality.

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The other criticism was the screen, which is non-existent on the WM820s. We have a panel that displays the information of each element. In the case of the TX, we can see the battery level, connectivity, Lo-Cut activation and volume level. For the RX, we reserve the space for the VU Meter – be it Split or mix -, the battery level and the RX label.

That I do not like it. So specific points. To begin with, we still have no ability to record audio within the equipment, a differential advantage of DJI and RODE, although on a different price frontier. In addition, the brightness of the screen outdoors is not enough if we want to check the levels under direct light.

Another issue is that we cannot add these devices as an audio interface to a PC via USB-C either, something that would be useful for video calls – we can do it with the audio cable, but it is better to do it by plug and play sometimes – and that, in a certain way, speed up the connection with phones without the need for dongles or US-C or lightning to audio port adapters.

An additional issue is that the VU Meter – the volume indicator – does not have -dB information, and is just an arbitrary green line that only indicates the “peaks”. Suddenly with an update you can add at least the level tags. Beyond that, we have a great mid-cost combo that does it all.

Autonomy to spare. Fortunately, this case is charged via USB-C at 10W of power, and has 2,500 mAh of autonomy. This is enough juice for 20 hours of recording days without problems. Each device can withstand use for up to 8 hours, so we would be a little more carefree on this issue.

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Maono WM-821 Are they worth it?

Yes, and three times yes for various reasons. The first is the complete proposal of the firm in this product. You have EVERYTHING in the box so, from the first minute, you can record one or two people. The second is the considerable improvement over the cheaper model, the WM820. We already have a team that gives room for maneuver for post production.

The third reason is autonomy, as it remains active and consistent. The fourth is the price, in a border of less than 200 dollars and with additives such as microphones, protectors and cables. If Maono releases a “Pro” model with internal storage and software for updates, it will be able to put up a fight with RODE. I hope so.

* Equipment provided by Maono Internacional from August 7 until the publication of the review. Price: $189 on Amazon and the Maono website.

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