In this review, I’m looking at the new Maonocaster C2 Neo Streaming Mixer. The C2 Neo features an XLR microphone input with +48V phantom power, headphone output, 2-level noise reduction, a built-in battery and much more. The price is $59.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Maono for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are based on my experience with the product.
Maonocaster C2 Neo Streaming Mixer Review
The Maonocaster C2 Neo Streaming Mixer offers outstanding value for content creators.
Independent microphone and accompaniment volume control
Side chain and music only feature
Direct monitoring and loopback switch
Two-level noise cancelling to reduce ambient noise
USB-C for easy connection with computer and mobile device
USB-C pass-thru charging for select mobile devices
Compatible with Windows and macOS
Built-in battery, up to 6 hours of off-grid operation
5 pitch control effects
6 preset reverb effects
3 custom sound effect settings
How to connect the Maonocaster C2 Neo to a PC
The device features a pair of USB-C ports located on its rear side. One of these ports serves the purpose of power delivery and battery charging, while the second port facilitates data transmission between the device and a PC or phone. Notably, upon connecting the Maonocaster to my PC, it was promptly recognized by Windows without requiring any driver installations.
Using the Maonocaster C2 Neo
Operating the C2 Neo proves to be a straightforward endeavour. Once you’ve established connections between your microphone and computer or phone, you’re all set to begin. However, a minor point of frustration I’ve encountered pertains to the default activation of reverb and noise reduction features. It would be more convenient if the device retained previous settings in its memory.
Fine-tuning the microphone level is a seamless process thanks to the intuitive gain dial and volume slider. This setup enables precise control over levels, allowing me to achieve an optimal and clear audio output from my Maono PD200X microphone. My personal choice of recording software, Audacity, seamlessly integrates with the C2 Neo, enhancing the overall recording experience. It’s worth noting that the device offers impressive audio quality, particularly considering its cost-effective nature.
Furthermore, monitoring your audio output proves to be equally uncomplicated via the dedicated headphone output. The presence of a headphone output slider further facilitates achieving the ideal listening level, ensuring comfortable and accurate audio monitoring.
Built-in Noise Cancelling
This feature truly stands out as a remarkable advantage, especially given the budget-friendly nature of the caster. Its effectiveness is striking, managing to virtually eliminate the background noise from my air conditioner, even when using the default setting. Notably, upon switching the noise reduction mode to High, even the audible clacking produced by my mechanical keyboard practically vanishes into thin air.
On-board Reverb and Pitch Effects
The performance of the six reverb effects is highly commendable. The available options, namely Original, KTV, Church, Hall, Valley, and Room, demonstrate impressive efficacy. Notably, a built-in voice prompt accompanies your cycling through these options, informing you of the currently selected effect. Additionally, a clever design choice assigns a distinct colour to each reverb preset, streamlining the process of swiftly identifying and selecting the desired effect.
The inclusion of various pitch presets, such as Female, Baby, and Robot, adds an element of fun and creative versatility. Transitioning between these presets is effortlessly achieved with a simple press of the Pitch button. Similar to the reverb effects, each pitch preset is assigned its own unique colour, further enhancing user-friendliness and aiding in quick selection.
In summary, the Maonocaster C2 Neo Streaming Mixer is a standout product, offering an unbeatable combination of user-friendliness, versatile features, and impressive audio quality. Priced at just $59, it provides exceptional value for budget-conscious users, making it an ideal choice for newcomers and those starting out.
The intuitive gain dial and volume slider ensure precise microphone adjustments, delivering clear audio output from microphones. Notably, the noise cancellation feature effectively removes background noise, even at its default setting.
The inclusion of reverb and pitch effects adds creativity to content creation. The range of presets, each marked by colour and voice prompts, along with playful pitch options like Female, Baby, and Robot, encourages exploration.
With its remarkable price-performance ratio, the Maonocaster C2 Neo Streaming Mixer at $59 is a compelling choice. It’s a valuable tool for those on a budget or entering the content creation arena. For affordable yet feature-rich audio production, the C2 Neo proves itself as an indispensable asset. Recommended.