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Maonocaster E2: The Ultimate Review to Help You Decide

Maonocaster E2: The Ultimate Review to Help You Decide

Looking to upgrade your mixing equipment? There’s a good chance the Maonocaster E2 is on your shortlist. This is one of Maono’s best-selling mixers for professional environments, including B2B business podcasting.

But the Maonocaster E2 doesn’t suit everyone. There may be features you don’t need or limitations you don’t want to deal with. That’s why we put together this comprehensive guide on everything you should know about the Maonocaster E2 — including how it’s different from the Maonocaster Lite. If you’re curious about how the Maonocaster E2 compares to alternatives outside of the Maonocaster family, we’ve compiled the ultimate podcast mixer list for a broader comparison. Now, let’s take a closer look at the Maonocaster E2.

The Maonocaster E2 at a glance

What can you expect from the Maonocaster E2? We’ve put some key details in this handy chart.

Recording MediaUSB ConnectorSampling RateRecording FormatInputs and OutputsIncluded ItemsPrice
Not compatible with SD cards – requires a direct connection to your laptop, tablet, or desktopUSB Type-C48kHz / 16bit24-bit / 48kHz WAV2 channels in, 2 channels out
Earphones, shock mount, metal pop filter, USB A-C charging cable, 2 TRRS audio cables, user manual,  12-month warranty, PM320T microphone, mic stand$169.99 USD

Keep reading to get a full breakdown of the Maonocaster E2

Maonocaster E2 features

The Maonocaster E2, also referred to as the AME2, is a fully-integrated production studio for mixing audio. It doesn’t offer built-in recording capabilities like the TASCAM Mixcast 4 or the ZOOM PodTrak P8, but it does come with a microphone and pop filter so you can start recording audio right away.

The basic E2 bundle comes with:

  • Two mic inputs: You have one XLR and one 3.5 mm jack so you can record with different mics. There are microphone sliders attached to each so you can adjust their gain separately.
  • Two headphone jacks: Every guest can listen to their own audio while hosted on your show. Keep in mind these are 3.5 mm jacks — you can’t use anything with USBs.
  • Three preset audio effect buttons: You can choose between reverb presets, wet/dry effects, sidechain, loopback, and music only filters. There’s also a denoise that eliminates self generated noise from the device as well as gets rid of room tone.
  • 11 customizable sound pads: Buttons A through C can store 60 seconds of audio, while the remaining buttons store 20 seconds. Keep in mind you can’t pull sound bites off your computer — they have to be recorded by the Maonocaster itself.
  • Miscellaneous connections: You can connect a musical instrument (like a guitar) to a single INST port. There’s also an aux-in port for music playback and a monitor SPK port for listening through a speaker.
  • Six knobs: These adjust your EQ (low, mids, and highs) and control your pitch. The other two knobs control volume for your instrument and monitor SPK ports.
  • Autotune: Hitting the ‘autotune’ button lets you tune your mix to one of 12 steps. You can chain this effect with other built-in adjustments if you’re looking to create a unique sound.
  • Bluetooth connection: You can wirelessly connect your phone to play background audio for your show. You can’t connect microphones, headphones, or other hardware through this connection, though.
  • Phantom power: Pressing the phantom power button activates 48 volts for your microphones. Just tap it again to turn phantom power off.

Maonocaster E2 pros

  • Phantom power (48 volts) allows you to use condenser microphones with your mixer.
  • This mixer is small, compact, and easy to carry.
  • Your purchase includes a mic, mic stand, and pop filter.
  • Every purchase comes with a 12-month warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee.

Maonocaster E2 cons

  • This mixer doesn’t support USB microphones.
  • Although you can directly connect your iPhone to the mixer via an OTG adapter cable, the audio quality may be poor. Android devices have much clearer audio, which means this limitation largely depends on the phone you use.
  • You can’t import sounds to your sound pad through a computer. Instead, you have to record on the Maonocaster itself. 

You can’t record directly to the mixer like you can with the TASCAM Mixcast 4 or ZOOM PodTrak P8. Because of this, you can’t use an SD card to capture recordings — you need to record on your tablet or computer before promoting and publishing your podcast.

Maonocaster E2 hardware

Understanding Maonocaster E2 hardware

The intuitive design of the Maonocaster E2 makes it very easy to use. There’s a user manual in every bundle so you can assemble its components accordingly.

Each bundle comes with:

  • Your Maonocaster E2 model
  • Earphones
  • One shock mount
  • A metal pop filter
  • A USB A-C charging cable
  • Two TRRS audio cables (3.5mm)
  • Your user manual
  • A 12-month warranty
  • A PM320T microphone 
  • A basic microphone stand

There are a number of accessories you can add to the bundle, including:

Download the Podcast Launch Guide by The Podcast Consultant

How to use the Maonocaster E2

The Maonocaster E2 comes with everything you need to start recording your podcast. Not only does the bundle come with earphones and a microphone, but you also get a pop filter to ensure the quality of your audio. This gives you a good starting point to create a good podcast, but you might be interested in checking out our article around how to make your podcast unique to make sure your show becomes successful.

It takes 12 steps to set up your Maonocaster E2:

  1. Open your box and remove the microphone. You can put this together by first screwing the shock mount to the stand, then installing the microphone to the shock mount.
  2. Install the pop filter on top of the microphone. Feel free to consult your user manual for guidance.
  3. Connect your E2 to its power cord. The mixer should have eight hours of battery life when fully charged.
  4. Plug your XLR cable into the back of your mic and connect it to your E2.
  5. Adjust your gain to a suitable level. Maono recommends 40dB for condenser mics and 60dB for dynamic mics.
  6. Connect your E2 to your recording device (likely a computer or tablet with Adobe Audition or similar podcast recording software).
  7. Tap the power button to switch on the E2.
  8. Adjust your knobs to control the volume.
  9. Turn on phantom power and connect your headphones to the monitor.
  10. Change your computer’s input device to the E2 (if it hasn’t changed automatically).
  11. Adjust your inputs, outputs, and pitch as desired.
  12. When you’re ready to record, start recording on your device (or livestreaming, depending on your setup).

Keep in mind you can always refer to your user manual if you get confused during setup.

More of a visual learner? This 20-minute video covers these steps in greater detail.

Maonocaster E2 vs. Maonocaster Lite

Maono sells several consumer-grade mixers, the most popular of which include Maonocaster the E2 and the Maonocaster Lite (also referred to as the AM200). The biggest difference between these two is that the E2 comes with phantom power and an XLR microphone input — something the Lite model does not have.

The Lite also comes with 12 soundpad buttons (only four of which are customizable) and pre-loaded audio. This is different from the E2, which offers 11 customizable buttons with no pre-recorded audio.

Other differences between these two mixers include:

  • Headphone jacks: Maonocaster Lite only has one headphone output. The E2 has two.
  • Mic gain setting: In contrast to the E2, there’s no gain setting on the AM200.
  • Podcast output: There are two USB-C outputs with the E2 and three with the Lite.

Here’s a table to sum this up:

Comparing the Maonocaster E2 with the Maonocaster Lite

Alternatives to the Maonocaster E2

Concerned that the Maonocaster E2 doesn’t offer what you need?

Let’s look at three of our recommended alternatives — starting with the Maonocaster Lite.

Maonocaster Lite

The Maonocaster Lite could be an alternative to the Maonocaster E2

As mentioned, the Maonocaster Lite is a more compact version of the Maonocaster E2. This version also comes with a (non-XLR) mic and stand so you can start recording right away. It may have fewer customizable sound buttons and just one headphone output port. However, it’s roughly $40 cheaper than the E2, which means you can get comparable quality with very little sacrifice.

For more details, check out our full guide to the Maonocaster Lite.

TASCAM Mixcast 4

The TASCAM Mixcast 4 may be a suitable alternative to the Maonocaster E2

Unlike the Maonocasters, the TASCAM Mixcast 4 records audio directly to an SD card. It also comes with four mic inputs so you can have more people on your podcast at once. Since the touchpad screen can help you edit audio directly, you don’t need to do as much cleanup later.

If you want to read our summary about the TASCAM Mixcast 4, feel free to check out our article about it here.

ZOOM PodTrak P8

The ZOOM PodTrak P8 is one alternative to the Maonocaster E2

The ZOOM PodTrak P8 is referred to as a prosumer device, which means it’s marketed to experienced podcasters who are familiar with audio mixers. With the P8, you can manage up to four XLR mics, take call-ins on your phone, and customize nine soundpad buttons with audio you imported from your computer. Just keep in mind it’s more than three times the price of the Maonocaster E2.

You can explore these features in greater detail in our ZOOM PodTrak P8 guide.

The bottom line on the Maonocaster E2

Whether you’re looking for new audio equipment or upgrading to XLR microphones, the Maonocaster E2 is a great option for business podcasts and B2B production environments.

Just be sure to give some thought to how you want to edit your audio, including the software you need to refine your final product. If you want help from professionals, The Podcast Consultant would be happy to assist with the launch of your podcast or even do podcast video production for you. We can also audit your existing podcast so you can make future episodes even better.
Want to learn more about our podcasting services? Just book a discovery call.

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