Best Podcast Microphone for 2018
One of the things that you have to spend a lot of time as a podcaster in selecting is the microphone you’ll use. If you want to sound professional and credible to your listeners, you’re going to need a good microphone. The thing that differs podcast from youtube videos is that in other platforms, you have two elements to impress – audio and video. In podcasting, you’ve got only one – audio. Even in a video, audio is the primary element. If your video isn’t 1080p, viewers can bear it, but if your audio has a lot of noise, that will lead to people clicking away from the video.
There are a ton of cheap options. Like the inbuilt microphones in laptops or smartphones, or the generic headphones that you might have used for Skype video calls. But if you expect to be in the head of your listeners, you need to have very good audio. Below listed are some good microphones that you can use for hosting your podcast.
Important: Before you move on and start figuring out which microphone you need, keep in mind that some microphones require a phantom power, and an audio interface. Sometimes, you might purchase a microphone considering that it is cheap, but the cost of phantom power might increase the cost. You also have to keep in mind that you'd be purchasing boom arm, headphone, pop-filter and shock mount also. Thereby, calculate everything beforehand. Not a lot of sites will tell you this because they're too busy in selling only the most expensive microphone.
Podcasting Microphones: The microphones mentioned in this article are specifically for Podcasting. If you're going to use them for making youtube videos, head over to this article instead. If this article helps you, please consider purchasing via my links to support this blog.
10 Best Podcast Microphones
This page compiles our list of best podcast microphones. If you don’t want to read a lot and simply bag a decent microphone, then go to my pic for the best microphone for podcasting. I have included both high-end models and budget-friendly ones to make sure you can find one fit for you.
Blue Microphones Yeti
There is no way you weren’t expecting this microphone on this list. Despite what article you read, or what guide you follow, you are going to find this beast ( when it comes to audio production, it is undoubtedly a beast as per its size ) everywhere. The Yeti gets a ton of appreciation from audio producers, and it receives every bit of it. The build quality, the sound, the features, it has everything you need to get a podcast up and running.
The microphone provides you the option to record in four different modes. You can record in cardioid mode if you host a solo podcast, but if you have a guest over, the omnidirectional will be the best. Next up, the microphone has got a live headphone jack which will let you listen what is being recorded in the real time. You get a USB port to plug it into your computer and a tilt mechanism to adjust it as per your position.
If you’re in a position of affording this USB microphone, don’t read further and grab it. A ton of reviewers has rated it on top in their list of best USB microphones. You don’t need any extra power supply or equipment to run this mic. Just plug it, and you’re ready to go.
The name itself leaves no stone unturned to explain what it is meant for. It comes from Rode, one of my favorite brands for microphone and mic accessories. I love their boom arm in particular. This one is no doubt was made specifically for podcasting. This model in particular features a 28mm capsule, USB connection port, volume controls on the body, internal shock mounts, and a solid body. The microphone produces a very decent sound at this price range. Like many microphones, it also has a live headphone jack with which you can listen to what’s being recorded. The body is super slick. If you’re thinking about purchasing this microphone, keep in mind that you’ll also need a boom arm (or a mic stand), and shock mount.
CAD U37 is one of my favorite budget-friendly podcast microphones. I remember I started one podcast with this microphone itself. If you need a decent sound but don’t want to churn out a lot of cash, this is what you need. This condenser microphone is big and delivers a sort of warm sound. With its cardioid microphone, it isolates background noise and focuses on what’s being said in the front. It also has a bass reduction switch, I have never used it. On the contrary, I usually add the base in my audios. You also get a desktop stand with it.
Being a USB microphone, you can simply plug it into your PC and start recording.
You might have heard of audio technica from their headphones. They’re quite big in the headphone industry, but still growing in the mainstream USB microphone market. The AT2020 USB microphone is one of their best selling products and receives a ton of very positive reviews for its durability and build. The microphone is built from the high quality material, is a condenser microphone, and the overall audio quality and the wide response rate is excellent. The microphone can be compared with the Rode podcaster when it comes to the audio quality.
If you’re an audio technica fan and need a good microphone for your audio production, pick this one up.
This microphone gives competition to the Blue Yeti. Despite offering almost the same features and audio quality, this one is cheaper than the Yeti. Like the yeti, this one has a headphone and USB port, volume controls and a mute mic switch. If you want to get the quality of blue yeti but don't want to spend as much as the Yeti, this is the microphone that you need to purchase. The microphone is not shaped normally though and won’t fix in a lot of boom arm or arm stands, so if you’re thinking of purchasing it, make sure you have a table on your recording set.
Another one of the classics from Rode. I am still focusing more on the USB connection microphones. This model has one added feature that not a lot of microphones have. It comes with this app of its own. So, if you have an iOS smartphone, you can use the microphone with it if you have a connection kit. The microphone can be used to EQ your tracks, add some minor FX or tweaks and more. You also get a usual headphone monitoring jack and a pop shield, zip case, desktop stand and a long USB cable.
Overall, in its a good package for value, and is termed as one of the best microphones for podcasters.
Samson Go Mic
This microphone competes with the CAD U37 mentioned above. This one is aimed at people who want to record a podcast while traveling or are always on the run. It comes with a small carry case that you can store it in. The microphone folds nicely for storage. This microphone is almost the size of a wallet. Thereby, you can keep it in your pockets or laptop bag. You’d be getting pretty sound quality despite the price. Usually, microphones provide the same audio response at twice the price.
If you’re looking for a versatile microphone that you can carry to take interviews etc., this one can be a sure shot hit.
This yeti is beast in size, and when it comes to audio production, the beast is Blue Spark. This comes from the same company, but this one is one of their high-end microphones. The microphone is high end as I mentioned delivers studio quality audio, the microphone is very powerful, and you’d need an external source to power it up. If you’re serious about your podcast being the best, this is worth spending money on. If you pair it up with an audio interface, you’ll also be able to adjust your FX, gain and more. You can either plug it into a cheap audio interface, but you should get the most out of it with good phantom power.
This microphone comes with a wooden box, pop filter, and a custom shock mount. All you need for this microphone is a stand.
One more professional grade microphone that is sure to upgrade your podcast’s audio quality to one notch. This one also needs an external power source and audio interface. The microphone is quite famous because of the warmth that it provides in broadcast and recordings. It is even more expensive than the spark, but the ultimate reputation, build and sound quality justify the pricing very well. The microphone was made for recording instruments and vocals; thereby you can put quality out of your issues.
Focusrite Scarlett Studio Pack
A lot of my clients complain that they get irritated when they have to buy so many different accessories just for a podcast. As I also mentioned in some of the microphones listed above. If you also don’t like figuring out what is phantom power, what is an audio interface, this is the package you want. This bundle contains everything that you need. It has a microphone, audio interface, cable, boom stand, headphones, pop filter and some plugins.
You don’t need to order multiple things, just order this package. As soon as it gets on your door, you can simply start recording.
Additional Accessories You're Going to Need
Headphones are essential as they let you hear and control what is being recorded. When you need to monitor the external noises that your microphone might be picking up, or might pick up while recording, headphones come very handily. When you’re recording a voice-over gig, make sure you do it in a quiet room with your headphones on. I don’t need to mention, that if you record with speakers, the quality would be gradually low. If you need a quick suggestion, pick up the Sony MDR75006. The headphone offers flat sound with clear highs and mids.
The second thing that you’re going to need is a right microphone arm to hold your microphone. I always recommend not picking up a cheap one because in case it breaks down, there’s a good chance that you might lose your microphone as well. There are three kinds of microphone stands, and all three serve different purposes. A desk stand is made to be kept on the desk if you need to record voice-overs while sitting on the chair. Arm stand is fixed to the desk with a clamp and microphone is attached to the arm. If you prefer to record while standing up, you should choose a floor stand. These are a longer model with stronger boom arms. The floor ones also provide more flexibility while recording. I recommend Arm stands: NEEWER. Floor stands: Samson MK-10 Desk stands: On Stage DS7200B.
Pop filters help in improving your speech flow. If you’re using a condenser microphone or any sensitive microphone, you need a pop filter to avoid the sibilant and plosive sounds that mic picks up while recording. You have to position these in the front of the microphone, and it helps in controlling air flow created by P’s and S. Depending on which pop filter you pick up, the screen will either be of metal or foam-like fabric. If you by my recommendations, I recommend the dragonpad USA pop filter.
The shock mount is the suspension device that holds your microphone and prevents it from picking up any rumbling sounds. It is mounted on the end of the boom arm. It is used by voiceover, podcasters and YouTubers to keep the unwanted noises away. Sometimes, the manufacturers include the shock mount inside the box itself. However, if you need a separate one, I’ll recommend Neewer. This model from Neewer isolates most of the unwanted noises, is supported by most of the microphones, and offers a wholly smooth angle adjustment. Made with a metallic body, it is great for voice overs and broadcasting.
A lot of the microphones give low output when powered by their own. In that situation, you connect them to a phantom power or audio interface to amplify their sound. I always recommend preamps. Coming in all shapes and sizes, they can be external, or internal, can be dual channel, or single, in a tube or solid state. What they do is get the most out of your gadget. They result in production less noise and better gain. I recommend Focusrite ISA one, a classic.
These instruments connect your XLR microphone to your computer. There are audio interfaces that have multiple XLR input jacks and headphone channels. Some even have the option to plug in other instruments. Although you’ll be fine with any audio interface, make sure you get one which serves your need. I recommend the Focusrite Scarlett Solo ( 2nd gen ). It is a great microphone preamp and comes with phantom power inbuilt.
One obvious thing that you need to your audio recording setup. A standard cable provides all XLR microphones, mixers, and recorders. I prefer using 20foot long microphone cables. They’re thick, long and are highly durable. The cable I recommend is CBI MLC20 flat zxlr microphone cable. The cable is all you need, it is cheap, sturdy and will last longer.
If you can’t sound foam the whole room, you should get one of these. They’re a curved surface of absorption material that covers your microphone. A smart way to get rid of room ambiance indeed. Isolation panel covers the side, and back of your microphone and thereby steers away from all the unwanted noises. These panels although aren’t lightweight, thereby you’re going to need a heavy-duty microphone stand as well. I love the LyxPro VRI-10.
Unlike Isolation panels, these are made to cut down the overall room ambiance. These foams are placed on vital focal points in studios. As per your need, they can vary as per structure and size. Some of them have adhesives; some include bass traps. They’re good for vocal booths, control rooms, and studios. They work the best in preventing echo in recording setup. You’d have to clean them time to time with the vacuum. You should consider Foam Engineering Acoustic Panels which is 48 pack.