Thronmax MDrill One Pro Review
I recently decided to upgrade my microphone to further improve my work from home setup. As I spend almost 90% of my time these days over web conferences, I came to realise that audio is 50% of the experience. But since this is mainly for web conferencing, I didn’t want to spend too much on it. So when I came across the relatively unknown Thronmax MDrill One Pro, I decided that this might be the microphone for me. So consider this a Thronmax MDrill One Pro review focused on web conferencing use.
The Thronmax MDrill One Pro
Thronmax MDrill One Pro is the highest end version of all the available microphones from Thronmax. Slightly under US$100 price range, it really is a steal.
It uses 3 16mm condenser capsules to capture 96 kHz 24-bit digital recording. This is actually a little overkill if you are using the microphone just for web conferences. As a comparison, the Jabra Speak 510 supports 16 kHz 16-bit recording quality which sounds great to begin with.
The 3 condenser configuration allows it to support all 4 different recording patterns: cardioid, stereo, bi-directional and omni-directional. As a comparison, all these 4 recording patterns is only available on the full featured Blue Yeti microphone that is double the price of the Thronmax here.
Enough with the specifications. Let’s instead take a look at the microphone itself!
The microphone is packaged in a rather simple box. It opens at the sides when you will find the microphone safely packed in thick foam. Thronmax also ships a 2.5m (about 8.25′) thick braided USB-C to USB-A cable along with a simple manual and some stickers.
The Thronmax MDrill One Pro comes in two colours: Jet Black and Slate Gray. The one I got for myself is the Slate Gray one which you can see in the photo below.
Below par quality control
Unfortunately, the was some minor quality issues with the unit I received. Thankfully, the issue is related only to the microphone stand and not the microphone itself. First is some cosmetic scratches that I found at front side of the stand. It is a good thing that I can easily reattach the microphone so that the scratch is facing the back when I use it.
Secondly, the rubber pad of the microphone stand was not stuck perfectly aligned. This caused the rubber pad to overlap over the edge of the stand.
Since I am planning to use the Thronmax MDrill One Pro microphone with a stand similar to this one shown below, I’m not too bothered to get the replaced. But if you are a stickler for quality, just be aware to check it thoroughly if you do decide to purchase one yourself.
Using the Thronmax MDrill One Pro
I’ll just say it. The Thronmax microphone does look really cool. It does not sport the retro look like the Blue Yeti. It also does not look like yet another plain studio microphone like the Audio Technica ATR-2500X.
The microphone is primarily made of plastic. The exception is the futuristic looking VERTIGAIN® grill which is made of die-cast aluminum.
The front side features an array of LED displays that lets you see the selected recording pattern, the microphone gain (green) and headphones volume (blue) level, and if the microphone is mute or not. This means you don’t have to fiddle around with the settings on your computer at all.
You will find the two knobs that controls the microphone gain and the volume of the monitoring headphones you can connect to the microphone at the back of the microphone.
Both knobs in the photo is at the 0 position. But you can see the top knob for the microphone gain is not in the right rotation for the G to be upright. While this is a small cosmetic issue which does not affect the real-life use of the microphone, Thronmax can really improve further on its quality control.
The bottom side of the microphone features a ring LED that comes in 7 pre-configured colours to match your RGB gaming devices.
The bottom of the microphone is where you will find the USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There is also button to cycle through all the 7 LED light options, including turn it off completely.
You will also find the 5/8″ threaded socket to connect the microphone to a standard microphone arm or boom stand as well.
Comparing the Thronmax MDrill One Pro with the Jabra Speak 510
I’ve been using the Jabra Speak 510 for a while now. The Jabra Speak 510 is an excellent web conferencing microphone and speaker. As such, I will be mainly comparing the Thronmax MDrill One Pro with it.
On this post, I would not be comparing all the different modes or the microphones full recording capabilities. I think there are already a lot of such reviews on YouTube. This is also where I did a bulk of my research before deciding on the Thronmax.
Instead, I will focus on one specific test which was to compare an omni-directional mic that is made specifically for web conferencing and a cardioid condensor microphone. The test I did was a very simple one. I just recorded myself speaking while also typing on my mechanical keyboard at the same time.
As you can see from the waveform patterns of the recording I did. The sound of the keyboard clicks are a lot less audible on the Thronmax in cardioid mode compared the the Jabra Speak 510 as expected. The voice is also a lot richer on the Thronmax microphone.
I suspect if I already have the microphone arm shipped, I would be able to position the Thronmax microphone better to keep it further away from the keyboard and closer to myself. This should further minimise the sound coming from the back of the microphone.
If you are interested, these are the two WAV files that I recorded of myself speaking while also typing at the same time on my mechanical keyboard.
Even on a simple test like this, you can see how much better my voice is through the Thronmax microphone.
If you are looking for a cardioid condenser microphone, there are a lot of choices to choose from. There are the highly coveted ones like the Blue Yeti that is undoubtedly great in quality. And there are also the trusted ones from the traditional studio equipment houses like Audio Technica and AKG. Of course, there is also the range of cheap generic ones that usually comes with rather mix and unproven reviews.
For me, the Thronmax MDrill One Pro strikes a rather good balance between audio quality and price. Despite the few cosmetic quality issues I had with my unit, I am very satisfied with the performance the the Thronmax microphone so far. According to my friends and colleagues on the other side of my Zoom and Google Meet calls, my voice is audible warmer and richer in quality. I would take that as a win.
You can find it on Amazon here. It should also be available on an online stores at your location.