Discover the budget mic that works way better than it’s worth in our Maono GamerWave review!
I almost always buy my PC gaming components with budget in mind; this has worked for better, like when a random chiclet keyboard lasted me 7 years, and for worse, like when a headset lasted me a few weeks. The goal is to spend a fraction of the price of the top brands and achieve a relative amount of quality; Maono hopes to do just this with their reasonably-priced GamerWave microphone.
The Maono GamerWave doesn’t take up much space, but boasts RGB to be pleasant to look at.
Gaming microphones exist for one reason only: to sound better than headset microphones, which are typically quite inferior in sound quality because the focus of that peripheral is sound output, not input. I’ve been rocking a HyperX Quadcast S which I got on sale for $110, as I use it almost daily on Discord calls with friends. In comparison, the Maono GamerWave will run you $32, which is 5 times cheaper than the Quadcast S’ MSRP of $159.99. Will it sound 1/5 as good, or emulate the high quality of the best in the business? Find out in our Maono GamerWave review.
Maono GamerWave Review – Build Quality
The Maono GamerWave stands about 5 inches tall, making it easy to find room on your desk for it. It features RGB that you can adjust by tapping the left side on the top to hone in on a certain color should you desire one to match your game. On the right side, you can tap to mute with a small light changing from green to red instantly. You can also scroll the knob on the bottom to set your mic volume at twice the range that the Quadcast S’ knob allows for, so you’ll never have to worry about being too loud or quiet to your audience.
The mic volume scroll on the GamerWave is excellent, as is the option to plug in a headset to hear yourself in real-time.
The shock mount on the Maono GamerWave is sturdy and stays tightened enough not to shift up or down no matter how hard you wiggle it. I did notice that the USB-C port doesn’t give much room for the cord to flow once plugged in, so cord strain is a concern. Plus, it seems impossible to detach the microphone from its stand, so you won’t be able to work with a mic mount if you want the mic as close to your face as possible.
Maono GamerWave Review – Sound Quality
The reason you’re buying a mic in the first place is to sound better. I’m pleased to report that the sound quality of the Maono GamerWave is more than adequate for its price point. Upon testing, voices sound clear and crisp, far from the tinny/unpleasant sound that headset mics typically put out. I was also able to hear myself clearly talking whilst clapping, proving that the noise isolation on the GamerWave is superb.
When I game with my friends, my fiance is on her mic on a desk a few feet away from me. During a test, the Maono GamerWave only picked up my voice when we simultaneously talked. To its detriment with its compact size, though, the range of this microphone is fairly small; if you’re more than a few feet away, you’ll be abysmally quiet, so ensure that you use the GamerWave as closely to your face as possible, otherwise, you’ll be inaudible.
Maono GamerWave Review – Comparison to HyperX Quadcast S
So, let’s stack the $32.99 Maono GamerWave against a formidable competitor in the $159.99 HyperX Quadcast S. Both have RGB, a tap-to-mute on the top, a mic range scroll on the bottom, and a 3.5 jack to plug in your headphones to monitor. The Maono GamerWave also comes with a pop filter unlike the Quadcast S. At this rate, the GamerWave is keeping up with its expensive counterpart.
Don’t talk to me (HyperX Quadcast S) or my son (Maono GamerWave) ever again.
In build quality, the HyperX Quadcast S outclasses the Maono GamerWave with its detachable mount, stronger material, and ability to customize with its comprehensive software. Sound quality is also edged out as it captures a wider range and manages to isolate a bit better, but not quite 5 times better as the price may suggest. Ultimately, the GamerWave is as feature-rich for a small fraction of the price of a class-leading microphone.
Maono GamerWave Review – Noise Cancellation Test
One of the most satisfying things about dedicated microphones is their ability to isolate your voice and cancel out background noise. To put this to the test, I decided to record my voice while clapping a few inches away from the microphone. Optimally, this will let you hear my full sentence despite the spike in noise at a closer distance:
What’s so impressive about the Maono GamerWave is that you can hear my voice and the clapping at an equal level; while clapping outputs more decibels, the microphone equalizes it to my voice and won’t hurt the ears of anyone listening. This is capable technology put into a budget microphone and you can color me impressed with this stellar quality.
The Maono GamerWave is also compatible with PS4/PS5, but the 6-foot USB length might be restrictive to your setup.
As someone who’s bought hardware on the cheaper route for a decade now, I was pleasantly surprised with how strong the Maono GamerWave stood up for its meagre price point. Even if you don’t need its RGB or its 3.5 jack, this small microphone is going to be serviceable for anyone in the market for a middle-range microphone without breaking the bank. You can purchase the Maono GamerWave on Amazon, so if you’re in the market for an excellent value-for-money mic, this is more than worth weighing with your options.
So, why should you buy the Maono GamerWave?
- Fantastic sound quality and ample noise cancellation/isolation/equalization for its price
- Works almost as well as a microphone 5 times its price
- Can be used not just with PC, but PS4/PS5 as well
But why shouldn’t you buy the Maono GamerWave?
- Stiff competition on Amazon at its relative price point
- It’s a bit quiet and might need boosting if you aren’t close enough to it
- Maono’s DM30 is more robust for a few bucks more
A microphone review unit was provided courtesy of Maono for the purpose of our Maono GamerWave review. If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out more of our tech and hardware reviews!