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“A $3,000 podcasting package, on this financial system?” That was my first thought once I discovered about Nomono’s moveable recording setup last year. Since then, the worth 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 knowledge, all of which cost in a conveyable carrying case. Your recordings are routinely uploaded to Nomono’s cloud service, the place you possibly can optimize their audio high quality (and ultimately edit them in your browser). As somebody who’s been podcasting commonly since 2008, the notion of an all-in-one package that may simply deal with native recordings appears like an absolute dream. Nomono’s package has the potential to be one thing the podcasting business has wanted for years, however can the corporate justify its extremely excessive worth?

Gallery: Nomono podcasting package | 5 Photographs

Clearly, this is not a product geared toward everybody — it is definitely not for freshmen, and I would argue it is past the scope of what most podcasters really need. However after testing Nomono’s package for a number of weeks, I can see the way it could possibly be useful for recording studios and corporations that want versatile podcasting options. It would not require a lot coaching to make use of, it delivers prime quality recordings, and it may be deployed nearly anyplace. For these of us, 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 might value as a lot as $29 a month, and it undoubtedly would not look like one thing for mere podcasting mortals.

You possibly can inform Nomono is striving for Apple-level design just by its {hardware}. Regardless that every thing is fabricated from plastic, nothing feels low cost. The egg-like charging case has a fabric deal with on the prime 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 offered with 4 lavalier microphones across the area recorder. It is like an cute podcasting fowl nest.

Photograph by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

The area recorder serves because the hub for the complete Nomono expertise: It is a rectangular system that includes omnidirectional microphones for capturing room tone with spatial info (it may inform the place everyone seems to be situated throughout a dialog). There is a small display on the prime displaying the battery ranges of all of the related lavs, in addition to outstanding recording and directional buttons. On the aspect, it incorporates a USB-C port and a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. As you are capturing audio, the area recorder takes in knowledge 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 observe). They grip onto your garments with small magnets — making them simple to placed on, however doubtlessly simply as simple to slide off. The lavs by no means fell off throughout my testing, however I continually frightened about knocking one off and dropping the tiny magnet. (Nomono contains some further magnets in its bundled accent package, which additionally has windscreen sleeves for the lavs and area recorder.)

Nomono podcasting kit

Photograph by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Establishing Nomono’s {hardware} was comparatively easy: After charging the case, I downloaded the Nomono Companion app, created an account, and paired the package to my cellphone. The app exhibits battery ranges for the lav mics and area recorder. To seize audio, you simply must take away the area recorder and at the least one lav, then hit document. That course of was surprisingly quick and dependable — I used to be usually in a position to get recordings began in underneath 30 seconds.

Wrapping up a session is generally dependent in your web connection. It took underneath 60 seconds for a 90-minute recording to get uploaded, after which I needed to wait a number of extra minutes for Nomono’s cloud to course of the add. It was far sooner for brief recording checks, simply be ready to attend a bit in the event 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 area recorder.

The standard of these recordings are crisp and detailed even in barely noisy out of doors areas. The lavs do not sound almost as wealthy or nuanced as a premium dynamic or condenser microphone, however I did not actually count on them to. I would think about them on-par with different wi-fi lavaliers I’ve used throughout video manufacturing (our podcast editor, Ben Ellman, described the sound as being ideally suited 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.


To provide your recordings a bit extra polish, Nomono additionally gives three ranges of enhancement by way of its cloud platform: on the sunshine finish, it incorporates 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 degree, 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 possibly can select to spatialize your recording by way of Nomono’s on-line platform, which makes every audio observe sound like they’re coming from totally different instructions (relying on the place the area recorder was positioned in the course of the session). That characteristic wasn’t obtainable whereas I used to be testing the package, and to be sincere, it is also not one thing I would 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 count on any miracles. Whereas It is helpful to have easy methods to chop down background noise, you may nonetheless must discover a comparatively quiet recording area 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 tip of 2023, which might additionally doubtlessly embody the flexibility to edit spatial recordings. Since this isn’t precisely a shopper answer, I’d wager that most individuals shopping for Nomono’s {hardware} have already got extra refined methods to edit audio.

Here 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 robust to take care of bigger information. It took over 5 minutes for it to arrange a 90 minute observe 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 answer, but it surely’s annoying once I know it might be sooner to only seize a file from a tool sitting proper on my desk. 

The area 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 yr, however for now, it is centered on a cloud-based workflow as a result of they imagine it is the “most handy and time-efficient” answer 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 worth if I knew I might use its {hardware} with out counting on an internet 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 yr or two?

Nomono podcasting kit

Photograph by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

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

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