Podcasting Equipment

Podcasting Equipment

This page was created to help you find the podcasting equipment that suits your budget and expertise level the best. There are seven major pieces of podcasting equipment, and they are the following:

  1. Microphones
  2. Digital Recorders
  3. Mixers
  4. Laptops
  5. Headphones
  6. Shock Mounts
  7. Boom Arms
  8. Windscreens or Pop Filters

1) Microphones

Microphones

Microphones are one of the most essential pieces of equipment every podcaster should have and use to record their podcasts. There are so many different types of microphones available for podcasting, so I understand how overwhelming it could be to pick the best microphone for your podcast.

If you want to understand the different types of microphones out there, there you go:

There are a lot of terms that are used to describe different types of microphones, so before we dive into which microphone is best for you, let us first briefly explain four different terms that are used to describe microphones. These four different microphone terms/ types are the following:

  1. USB Microphones
  2. XLR Microphones
  3. Condenser Microphones
  4. Dynamic Microphones

What are USB Microphones?

USB microphones are the most common podcasting microphone, probably because they are so easy to use. All you have to do is directly plug the microphone to your laptop, and you are ready to record your podcast.

USB microphones are the best podcasting microphones for the following:

  1. Podcasting beginners
  2. Podcasters who host a lot of online interviews for their podcasts.
  3. Podcasters who run monologue styled podcasts

What are XLR Microphones?

XLR microphones are typically reserved for podcasters who are a bit more experienced because they tend to be a bit more complicated to use than USB microphones.

Why?

Unfortunately, you can not just plug an XLR microphone directly into your laptop. You are going to need specific additional equipment to be able to record your podcast with an XLR microphone.

These specific additional pieces of equipment that you are going to need in order to be able to use an XLR microphone include digital recorders and mixers, all of which I am going to discuss and recommend on this page.

You can get the digital recorder and the mixer in the USB form in order to be able to connect your XLR microphone to your laptop indirectly.

XLR microphones are the best podcasting microphones for the following:

  1. More experienced podcasters
  2. Podcasters who want to improve the sound quality of their podcast
  3. Podcasters who want higher production flexibility
  4. Podcasters who do not want to record on and be tied to their laptops all of the time

What are Condenser Microphones?

A condenser microphone is a microphone that gives depth to your podcast’s audio more depth. Unfortunately, this fantastic feature comes with a price, and I am not talking about how expensive or affordable the price is.

The price that I am talking about is how sensitive condenser microphones are. You will get higher audio quality, but you will be limited to where and what you can record.

Why?

This sensitivity of the microphone basically means that the condenser microphone is going to capture a lot of the background noise.

This means that you must record your podcast in quiet environments if you want to record a podcast that has high audio quality, and that is almost free of any background noise.

Condenser microphones are also fragile, so they are not the best microphones to have if you are always moving and carrying it around with you.

Condenser microphones also rely on internal power, which can come from a digital recorder

Condenser microphones are great for the following:

  1. Podcasters who want a higher audio quality
  2. Podcasters who have a dedicated podcasting setup that is noise-free
  3. Podcasters who already have or plan on getting a digital recorder

What are Dynamic Microphones?

Dynamic microphones are the alternative to condenser microphones. They are actually considered to be the exact opposite of condenser microphones because they record narrower frequency ranges. This makes the recorded audio sound less rich than that of a Condenser microphone.

However, this also means that dynamic microphones actually end up capturing less of the background noises. The downside to that is that you should always be very close to the microphone.

Dynamic microphones are great for the following:

  1. Podcasters who are recording their podcasts on the go
  2. Podcasters who are recording their podcasts in not so good recording environments 
  3. Podcasters who want their audio to be void of background noises

To sum it up

USB and XLR microphones are categorized depending on how and to what they are getting plugged into to record your podcast. The terms Condenser and Dynamic are used to describe the audio quality and the sensitivity of the microphones.

Which microphone should invest in for your podcast?

For Beginners

The Samson Q2U Microphone

  • This is a dynamic microphone.
  • It is both a USB and an XLR microphone.
  • It is very versatile
  • It is budget-friendly.
Intermediate

1) The Rode Podcaster Microphone

  • This is a dynamic microphone.
  • This is a USB microphone.
  • It comes with a ten-foot USB cable and a stand mount.

2) The Blue Yeti Microphone

  • This is a condenser microphone.
  • This is a USB microphone.
  • It is a bi-directional microphone, which means it is excellent for co-hosting and interviewing a guest in person
For Professionals

1) The Rode NT1-A Microphone

  • This is a condenser microphone.
  • This is an XLR Microphone
  • It comes with a Shock Mount and a Pop Filter

2) The Shure SM7B Microphone

  • This is a dynamic microphone.
  • This is an XLR microphone.
  • This is the microphone that Joe Rogan uses.
  • There is no need to purchase a Shock Mount because it has an internal shock isolation.
  • No need to purchase a Pop Filter or a Windscreen because it comes with two windscreens.

2) Digital Recorders

Digital Recorders

Although you can use your smartphone or your laptop to record your podcasts, it is better to use a digital recorder.

Why?

  • Reason number one: It offers flexibility
  • Reason number two: It offers reliability

But why are digital recorders so reliable?

Well, audio recording software and apps sometimes glitch or even crash while you are recording on them. However, by using a digital recorder, you are never going to lose any content.

For Beginners

The Zoom ZH1 H1 Digital Recorder

  • It has a good internal microphone 
  • It is affordable.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It allows you to connect a microphone to it.
Intermediate

The Zoom H2n Handy Digital Recorder

  • It doubles as a USB microphone.
  • It is well designed.
  • Provides you with five different audio recording options
For Professionals

The Zoom H5 Four-Track Digital Recorder

  • It provides you with two XLR inputs. ( Better for recording live events.)
  • It comes with a detachable stereo X/Y capsule with shock-mounted microphones. ( Better for talking alone in a room.)
  • It provides you with higher audio quality than the Zoom H2n Handy digital recorder.

3) Mixers

Mixers

A mixer can be compared to a bridge because it connects your microphone to your laptop. I have mentioned earlier that XLR microphones can not be connected directly to a laptop. This is made possible if you use a USB form of a mixer.

A mixer converts the XLR microphone analog signals to digital signals that a laptop can understand and use.

A mixer is not an important or even a piece of essential podcasting equipment unless:

  1. You are using XLR microphones to record your podcast.
  2. You are using multiple microphones at once because you have a co-host, or you often have guests on the podcast.
  3. You are recording your episodes with SFX and music that are going to be played in real-time while you are recording your podcast.
For Beginners

The Yamaha MG10 Mixer

  • Great Value
  • Easy control interface
For Professionals

The Mackie ProFX8v2 Mixer

  • The best of the best!
  • Worth investing in if you are a professional

4) Laptops

Laptops

If you are looking for a new laptop to use for your podcast, then I have two options for you. One is more budget-friendly, while the other is more expensive, but it is considered to be the best laptop for podcasting.

The Macbook Pro 15 inch

  • It performance smoothly.
  • It has a good battery life.
  • It has a beautiful display.

If you have the budget for the Macbook Pro 15 inch, then I highly recommend that you go for it because it truly is the best laptop for podcasting due to its excellent specifications.

The Acer Aspire E 15

  • It is a good value laptop.
  • It has really good battery life.
  • Its latest processor performs pretty well.

If you do not have a big budget, don’t worry because Acer Aspire E 15 might be budget-friendly, but it is the best laptop for podcasting if you are on a budget.

5) Headphones

Headphones

Headphones are important because they allow you to catch up on any mistakes that you do immediately instead of just spending so much editing your podcast.

I will be recommending a more expensive pair of headphones that are super high quality, and a good pair of headphones that are a little bit more budget-friendly.

The AKG K92 Headphones

  • Good value headphones
  • Offers great listening experience

The SR325e Headphones

  • One of the best headphones to use while recording and editing podcasts
  • Has a padded leather headband

6) Shock Mounts

Shock Mounts

Shock mounts are used to isolate shock and vibrations from affecting your audio. This aids in preventing your microphone from recording unwanted voices like typing and vibrations, even noises that occur due to microphone movements.

Be careful, though; you should always read a shock mount’s product description because not all of them are going to be compatible with your microphone.

The Rycote InVision Shock Mount

  • This is a universal shock mount, which means it is suitable for most microphones.

7) Boom Arms

Boom Arms

The boom arm is yet another unessential piece of podcasting equipment, but most professional podcasters use it. 

A boom arm allows you to utilize your podcasting space efficiently and enables you to move and adjust your microphone any way you want.

The Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead Broadcast Boom

  •  This boom arm allows you to rotate it ( 360 degrees) three hundred and sixty degrees while holding your mic in any position steadily.
  • This Boom Arm is so strong that it could hold two of the heaviest pieces of podcasting equipment, which are the Blue Yeti and its Blue Radius II shock mount.

8) Windscreens or Pop Filters

Pop Filters

A windscreen or a pop filter is used because it reduces the harsh noises that a microphone ends up recording.

The kind of harsh sounds that windscreens and pop filters are used to reduce the popping sounds that occur when you speak letters like B and P and the noises resulting from the bursting air.

The Stedman Corporation Proscreen XL

  • Aids in controlling your podcast’s audio levels.
  • Reduces the amount of audio editing that you need to do.