Podcasting gives laymen people the ability to communicate with potentially millions of people on the internet at once. You do not need a fancy commercial studio or sound recording equipment to make this happen. All you need is an average consumer-grade computer, a high-speed internet connection, and a decent microphone. If you have always wished that you could speak on the radio about topics that interest you and grow a fan base around your broadcasts, then podcasting is for you. Rather than trying to get a job at a radio station, you can become an entrepreneur and just create your own internet radio station instead.
How to Pick the Best Podcast Microphone
Microphones come in various shapes, sizes, and levels of quality. The microphone that is right for someone else might not be right for you, and vice versa. Below are the factors you should consider when choosing a microphone to conduct your own podcasts.
Your Budget – Most people will check the price of the microphone before anything else. Good microphones used to cost hundreds of dollars but now you can get some high-quality ones for less than $100. Of course, the more money you spend on a microphone, the better sound quality it is going to be. A lot of people starting out with their podcasts may choose the most affordable microphone at first. If they are able to grow a large following from the podcast, this may give them an incentive to spend more money on a better microphone. That way, it can be like a reward to their fans by giving them better sound quality.
Connectivity – Microphones may have a 3.5 mm, USB, or XLR connection type. The 3.5 mm is the classic connection port which has been on computers and audio equipment for decades. However, it seems to slowly be getting phased out. You might want to stick with either XLR or USB instead. They continue to be the most popular in the current market.
What type of device do you use? – The traditional way to conduct a podcast is on a laptop or desktop computer. This seems to be changing because more people are now connected to the internet through their smart devices. They love the ability to have mobility in their podcasts, which is what a smartphone or tablet allows them to do. All they need is a Wi-Fi connection and a good microphone connected to their smart device. Then they can podcast from anywhere. If you’re an Apple fan, then check out the best mics for iOS.
Additional Accessories – When you purchase a microphone, you will need to purchase some important accessories for it too. These accessories will maximize the performance of the microphone while making it more comfortable for you to use. These accessories would include a shock mount, microphone stand, or pop filter/shield. Sometimes you may find mic package deals where these accessories and microphones are sold together because of how well they work together.
For anybody looking to start their own podcast we highly recommend the following article to get you up and running: How To Start A Successful Podcast
The Best Podcast Microphones
After carefully reviewing all the latest podcast microphones on the market today, we created the following list of the 10 best podcast microphones. These microphones include commercial-grade models as well as economically friendly models for those on a budget. Chances are that you will find a microphone on this list that meets your specifications.
Blue Yeti Microphone
The Blue Yeti is a very popular podcast microphone. It seems to have the perfect blend of quality and affordability. This should continue to stay popular until a better-quality microphone comes out with the same affordability. It doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon, though. There are 4 capsule modes available on the Blue Yeti including bidirectional, omnidirectional, cardioid, and stereo. For conducting podcasts, the best capsule mode would be cardioid. The second-best choice will be the omnidirectional mode which can detect sound from the front and back of the microphone.
The Blue Yeti features a headphone jack and a USB port. If you need to adjust the microphone as you are using it, there is a simple tilting mechanism which easily gives you this ability. The sound quality itself is considered to be “semi-professional.” The price for the microphone on Amazon is currently $124.81. Some people may find this affordable while others will want something much less. Just remember this is a USB microphone which can plug right into your computer. If you want to record podcasts, this microphone is simple and effective to use for this purpose.
When you see a microphone that has “podcaster” as part of its name, then you can assume it is a good microphone for podcasting. On top of that, the brand name “Rode” is very popular in the sound recording market. The Rode Podcaster uses a USB connection and has a 28 mm capsule size, which is a fair enough size. The microphone has a strong build with internal shock mounting and 48 kHz / 18-bit sound quality. Users will have access to volume controls that are right on the body of the capsule. The microphone even has a headphone out area which works great when mounted next to your computer screen. Of course, you will need to purchase the shock mount or microphone stand separately.
The Rode Podcaster is a little bit better than the Yeti but also costs about one hundred dollars more too. Overall, it is worth trying out for podcasting.
People who really care about price will love the CAD U37 microphone. At only $49.99, this microphone will allow you to conduct podcasts with amazing sound quality. It has the build of a big condenser microphone which delivers smooth clear sounds to the listener. If you live in a somewhat noisy environment with sounds around you, the CAD U37 has a cardioid pickup pattern which will isolate these noises and only pick up the sounds right in front of it.
Another great feature on the CAD U37 is the switch that reduces the bass, which is suitable for more experienced users. You won’t need to worry about purchasing a separate mount or stand accessory either because the CAD U37 comes with a small stand to use on your desktop.
As soon as you take the CAD U37 out of its packaging, you can use the USB cord to immediately connect the microphone to your computer, whether it’s a Mac or PC. Therefore, anyone looking for a truly affordable microphone for conducting their podcasts will want to try the CAD U37. It will not disappoint.
Audio-Technica may not be a brand that you’re familiar with but you should get familiar with it. They are taking the headphone market by storm. Surprisingly, they are already producing some great quality USB microphones while continuing to remain under consumer radar. However, this seems to be changing for the better. People who have used the AT2020USB are giving it great reviews online. One of the biggest praises is the microphone’s strong build and that it is a condenser microphone. Overall, the sound quality is great, and the frequency response is quite impressive. The audio sample rate is 44 kHz / 16-bit. This puts it in line with the Rode in terms of feature specifications.
For podcasting, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB seems to be one of the best microphones out there. It is fairly priced at under $150, so it is a worthy investment.
The Samson Meteor is considered the cheaper alternative to the Blue Yeti. Both microphones are often compared to one another by users who conduct podcasts. Priced at only $69.99, podcasters are certainly paying attention to the Samson Meteor. However, the quality of the microphone is slightly less than the Blue Yeti’s quality. The Samson Meteor is basically in the middle and is perfect for someone who doesn’t want to spend too much on a microphone.
The Samson Meteor comes with a small desk stand which is built into the microphone. Anyone in an office or sitting at a computer desk will find this extremely beneficial. Behind the Samson Meteor, there is a USB port and headphone out for connecting your USB cord and headphone wires; respectively. Other features in the back include a mute switch and a control for the headphone volume.
Anyone looking for a reasonably priced podcast microphone will be happy with the Samson Meteor.
This is an alternative Rode microphone that is also great for conducting podcasts. It is a USB microphone too which makes it easily connectable to most computers. However, what makes the Rode NT-USB particularly unique is the mobile app which is included. A connection kit will be needed if you have an iOS device. Once you have the app installed, you can use it to equalize your recorded tracks and alter the FX. The Rode NT-USB also comes with a desktop stand, pop shield, 20-inch USB cable, zip case, mix and level control, and headphone monitor jack.
There is no doubt that this is a great microphone for podcasting. If you don’t mind spending $169.99, then you should go for it.
Samson Go Mic
There is a lot of good things that can be said about the Samson Go Mic. For starters, it is one of the most affordable podcast microphones on this list. It is priced at only $39.88 and it is small enough to carry with you while traveling. The Go Mic even folds so that you can easily fit it into your carrying case. If you wanted to, you could fit the Go Mic into your wallet or pocket. That is how small and compact it is.
As for the sound quality, the Go Mic delivers 44.1 kHz / 16-bit audio. This is the same rate as other microphones which are double the price. It will be slightly better than the sound quality of CD audio.
Anyone who likes to conduct their podcasts away from their home or office, the Samson Go Mic is the perfect microphone to use while on the road.
The Blue Spark is a condenser microphone which provides the same sound quality that you would find in a studio microphone. In fact, an external power source may be needed just to handle the power of this microphone. Anyone who wants to produce the very best quality sounds in their podcasts will want the Blue Spark. If you connect it to an audio interface, you can alter things like gain and FX. As for the external power source, try the affordable Phantom Power Supply if you don’t have an audio interface. However, the interface is preferable because it gives you extra versatility.
You will be surprised to see that Blue Spark is packaged inside a wooden box. Other accessories included with it are a pop filter and custom shock mount. The only accessory you need to purchase separately is the stand.
The Rode NT1-A is another condenser microphone that produces commercial quality sounds. Like the Blue Spark, you will need to purchase an external power supply and an audio interface to use it. Anyone familiar with great microphones will definitely know the Rode NT1-A. Many podcasters use this microphone for their broadcasts and other sound recordings. Even though it costs more money than the Blue Spark, the Rode NT-A has a better build and produces better sound. It was designed just for the purpose of recording musical instruments and voice sounds. This makes it the perfect microphone for a podcaster.
If you do not mind spending a little over $200 on a high-quality microphone, then you will love the Rode NT1-A.
Focusrite Scarlett Studio Pack
If you’re looking for a quality microphone with absolutely everything you need to get started then we would highly recommend the Focusrite Scarlett Studio Pack. This condenser microphone comes bundled with the necessary external power supply that it needs to function properly. Other accessories included are the headphones, audio interface, boom stand, microphone cable, various plug-ins, and a pop filter.
When the Focusrite Scarlett Studio Pack gets delivered to your doorstep, you will be able to use it right away. You do not have to go out and purchase all these individual accessories because they come included in the bundle. This will save you time, energy, and money!