A $2,490 wi-fi podcasting package is absurd, however a minimum of Nomono’s sounds nice

“A $3,000 podcasting package, on this financial system?” That was my first thought once I realized about Nomono’s transportable recording setup last year. Since then, the value has dropped barely to $2,490. However my most important concern stays: Who wants this factor when you will get a small audio recorder and lavalier mics for a lot much less? Nonetheless, I used to be intrigued.

Nomono’s package contains 4 wi-fi lav mics, in addition to an area recorder for room tone and spatial information, all of which cost in a transportable carrying case. Your recordings are robotically uploaded to Nomono’s cloud service, the place you’ll be able to optimize their audio high quality (and finally edit them in your browser). As somebody who’s been podcasting recurrently since 2008, the notion of an all-in-one package that may simply deal with native recordings feels like an absolute dream. Nomono’s package has the potential to be one thing the podcasting trade has wanted for years, however can the corporate justify its extremely excessive value?

Gallery: Nomono podcasting package | 5 Photographs


Clearly, this is not a product aimed toward everybody — it is actually not for newcomers, and I might argue it’s miles past the scope of what most podcasters really want. However after testing Nomono’s package for just a few weeks, I can see the way it could possibly be useful for recording studios and firms that want versatile podcasting options. It does not require a lot coaching to make use of, it delivers top quality recordings, and it may be deployed nearly wherever. For these people, spending $2,490 on Nomono’s package might make extra sense than having an engineer dedicate time to each single recording. Add in a cloud subscription, which may price as a lot as $29 a month, and it positively does not appear to be one thing for mere podcasting mortals.

You may inform Nomono is striving for Apple-level design just by taking a look at its {hardware}. Though all the pieces is fabricated from plastic, nothing feels low-cost. The egg-like charging case has a fabric deal with on the high in addition to a USB-C port. Its two halves snap along with safe clasps — flip these open, take off the highest and also you’re introduced with 4 lavalier microphones across the house recorder. It is like an cute podcasting chook nest.

Photograph by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

The house recorder serves because the hub for your complete Nomono expertise: It is a rectangular machine that includes omnidirectional microphones for capturing room tone with spatial data (it could inform the place everyone seems to be situated throughout a dialog). There is a small display screen on the high displaying the battery ranges of all of the related lavs, in addition to outstanding recording and directional buttons. On the aspect, it encompasses a USB-C port and a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. As you are capturing audio, the house recorder takes in information from the lav mics and uploads it to Nomono’s cloud as soon as your session is completed.

The lavaliers aren’t almost as distinctive: They’re small, indiscrete sq. pucks that includes 4 LED colours (useful for distinguishing every monitor). They grip onto your garments with small magnets — making them straightforward to placed on, however probably simply as straightforward to slide off. The lavs by no means fell off throughout my testing, however I continuously nervous about knocking one off and shedding the tiny magnet. (Nomono contains some extra magnets in its bundled accent package, which additionally has windscreen sleeves for the lavs and house recorder.)

Nomono podcasting kit

Photograph by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Organising Nomono’s {hardware} was comparatively simple: After charging the case, I downloaded the Nomono Companion app, created an account, and paired the package to my telephone. The app reveals battery ranges for the lav mics and house recorder. To seize audio, you simply have to take away the house recorder and a minimum of one lav, then hit file. That course of was surprisingly quick and dependable — I used to be usually capable of get recordings began in beneath 30 seconds.

Wrapping up a session is generally dependent in your web connection. It took beneath 60 seconds for a 90-minute recording to get uploaded, after which I needed to wait just a few extra minutes for Nomono’s cloud to course of the add. It was far quicker for brief recording checks, simply be ready to attend a bit in case you’re planning to push a number of audio. Nomono’s {hardware} delivers 16-bit 48kHz WAV information for every lavalier, in addition to an ambisonic WAV file (with as much as 4 tracks) from the house recorder.

The standard of these recordings are crisp and detailed even in barely noisy outside areas. The lavs do not sound almost as wealthy or nuanced as a premium dynamic or condenser microphone, however I did not actually anticipate them to. I might contemplate them on-par with different wi-fi lavaliers I’ve used throughout video manufacturing (our podcast editor, Ben Ellman, described the sound as being supreme for video shoots). A dialog with my spouse additionally sounded surprisingly clear, with not one of the crosstalk points or echoes I’ve encountered with cheaper multi-mic options.

A podcast recording featuring four people using Nomono's wireless kit.

Nomono

To provide your recordings a bit extra polish, Nomono additionally provides three ranges of enhancement by way of its cloud platform: on the sunshine finish, it encompasses a high-pass filter, cross-talk discount, notch EQ filter, de-noising and de-essing (for eradicating harsh “S” sounds and different sibilants). Medium enhancement provides loudness normalization, a tone-shaping EQ and adaptive stage, whereas full enhancement goes even heavier on the latter two options. When you can nonetheless obtain pure, unfiltered tracks, these enhancements are helpful for the much less audio savvy.

Ultimately, you’ll be able to select to spatialize your recording by way of Nomono’s on-line platform, which makes every audio monitor sound like they’re coming from completely different instructions (relying on the place the house recorder was positioned throughout the session). That function wasn’t obtainable whereas I used to be testing the package, and to be trustworthy, it is also not one thing I might ever think about using in a podcast. 

Nomono’s full audio enhancement did an honest job of slicing down freeway sounds and different road noise whereas I used to be recording in entrance of my native Starbucks (see above), but it surely additionally made my voice sound a bit tinny and compressed. Mainly, do not anticipate any miracles. Whereas It is helpful to have easy methods to chop down background noise, you will nonetheless have to discover a comparatively quiet recording house to seize the perfect audio. (In any other case, why even purchase such an costly podcasting package?!)

The corporate plans to launch its on-line editor by the top of 2023, which might additionally probably embody the power to edit spatial recordings. Since this isn’t precisely a client resolution, I’d guess that most individuals shopping for Nomono’s {hardware} have already got extra refined methods to edit audio.

This is a comparability of Nomono’s lavalier versus the Rode Procaster XLR microphone: 

Whereas Nomono’s {hardware} largely impressed me, its on-line platform made it powerful to cope with bigger information. It took over 5 minutes for it to arrange a 90 minute monitor for obtain (together with its bundled spatial audio file). And that didn’t embody the time it took to really seize the file, which might be dependent in your web connection. I perceive the attraction of a seamless on-line audio resolution, but it surely’s annoying once I know it will be quicker to only seize a file from a tool sitting proper on my desk. 

The house recorder didn’t present up on my Mac or PC once I related to it, sadly. Nomono representatives say the corporate is planning to make offline options obtainable subsequent 12 months, however for now, it is targeted on a cloud-based workflow as a result of they imagine it is the “most handy and time-efficient” resolution for customers. That additionally means livestreaming is out of the query with this package, although it could present up in a future Nomono product, the corporate tells me.

I’d have a a lot simpler time justifying Nomono’s excessive value if I knew I might use its {hardware} with out counting on a web site. This isn’t my first time on the gadget startup rodeo: What good is that this $2,490 recording package if the corporate goes out of enterprise in a 12 months or two?

Nomono podcasting kit

Photograph by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

It’s clear that Nomono has developed one thing particular, but it surely’s onerous to think about this recording package being the one resolution for an audio-savvy firm. You’ll nonetheless have to have a devoted podcasting house with hard-wired microphones. What Nomono provides is flexibility: What if it is advisable to file in one other room, in another person’s workplace, or at a lodge? In these conditions, a self-contained $2,490 podcasting package may not appear so wild.

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