The Best Podcasting Equipment

Dear future/ up and coming podcasters, we have talked before about how much it might cost you to start and launch a new podcast, so you are familiar with what type of equipment you need to do that. However, we never talked about the best podcasting equipment you need in detail, so that is what we are going to do today. 

So, what are the best podcasting equipment that you can purchase for your podcast? Depending on whether you are a beginner or a pro, the type of podcasting equipment you could buy varies.

For example, if you are looking for a good value microphone that good in quality, then you should try the Samson Q2U Handheld Dynamic USB Microphone. If you are looking for a microphone that is higher in quality yet still easy to use, then you should check out the Blue Yeti microphone.

If you are interested in an ultimate guide that is going to show which equipments you are going to need to start a podcast or you want to learn about which products you should get depending on your podcasting experience, vision, and budget, then make sure you continue reading this blog post.

I have spent a lot of time reading a lot of other podcasting sites and amazon reviews, and this post is the result of that!

What is the best podcasting equipment?

Like I have mentioned earlier, the best podcasting equipment varies according to the podcaster’s experience, budget, style, and quality that they are looking for, but what are the essential equipment that every podcaster should have?

P.S.: Today, I will mostly focus on podcasting with a laptop and not by using a smartphone. If you are interested in doing that, then I highly recommend that you check out my following blog posts according to your specific needs:

The Best Podcasting Equipment- How to Create A Podcast on iPhone or iPad in 2019
  1. How to Create A Podcast on iPhone or iPad?
  2. Can I Make A Podcast with My iPhone? (Create your podcast using the Anchor FM app only)
  3. How to Create A Podcast on Android
The best podcasting equipment- how to create a podcast on android

The podcasting equipment checklist includes the following:

  1. A Laptop
  2. A microphone or multiple microphones for co-hosts and guests
  3. A Mixer
  4. Headphones
  5. Shock Mount
  6. Boom Arm
  7. A Windscreen or a Pop Filter

Other things that you need, but that are not really equipment that you can hold with your hands include the following:

  1. An audio recording software
  2. An audio editing software
  3. A podcast hosting site
  4. A hosting website 

You can learn all about which software to use and which podcast hosting services to go for by reading my following blog posts:

Do Podcasts Cost Money
  1. Do Podcasts Cost Money?
  2. How to Choose the Best Podcast Hosting Site?
How to Choose the Best Podcast Hosting Site

N.B.: Please note that not all of these items are one hundred percent crucial for you to create a podcast.

Now that you get the big picture on what you are going to need to create a podcast, let us dive in a little deeper and talk about why these pieces of equipment are so important, and which product specifically you should purchase for every equipment category according to your style, budget, and expertise.

Equipment number one: A Laptop

You probably already have a laptop, so you do not actually have to go and purchase a new laptop to start a podcast.

The best podcasting equipment- Laptops

However, if you are looking for a new laptop to purchase, then these laptops are great options to check out if you are a podcaster. The two laptops that I am going to talk about today are the following:

  1. The MacBook Pro 15 inch ( for people with bigger budgets)
  2. The Acer Aspire E 15 ( for people with a small budget)

The Macbook Pro 15 inch

If you have a big budget for podcasting and you want to get a premium laptop that is great for podcasting, then getting the MacBook Pro 15 inch would be the best laptop for you.

One of the best features that captured my attention in the Macbook Pro is how long its battery lasts. You can get in the zone and start recording and editing your podcast for three hours (3 hours) straight without the battery dying on you.

On the other hand, if you are just chilling ( watching YouTube or Netflix) or doing a bit of research on the internet, then you can expect your battery to last you between eight and ten hours (8-10 hours)

So, if you have a big budget and you are looking for a great podcasting laptop, then getting the Macbook Pro 15 is definitely the way to go.

Pros of the MacBook Pro 15 inch:

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

Cons:

  • It is a bit expensive.

Specifications:

  • Processor: 7th-gen Intel Core i7 processor
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • Storage:  512 GB SSD
  • Graphics card: Radeon Pro 560 4 G.B. (Dedicated)
  • Screen Size: 15 Inches
  • Weight: 6.4 lbs.
  • Operating System: macOS High Sierra

The Acer Aspire E 15

If you are interested in purchasing a new laptop for podcasting, but you do not have a big budget, or you do not want to waste a considerable amount of your budget on laptops, then you might be interested in the Acer Aspire E 15 laptop. This is considered to be one of the cheapest laptops that is great for podcasting.

If you are doing some heavy-duty work like recording and editing a podcast, then the battery could last you up to five hours (5 hours). This is almost two hours extra than when you get when you are using the Macbook Pro.

However, similarly to the MacBook Pro, if you are using the Acer Aspire E 15 to watch videos or to browse the web, then the batter could last you about eight hours ( 8 hours). However, it does not have the potential to last ten hours (10 hours) like the Macbook Pro.

The Acer Aspire E 15 is considered to be one of the best podcasting laptops that you can get for cheap. So if that is all your budget permits, do not worry because you are getting an outstanding podcasting laptop.

Pros of the Acer Aspire E 15 :

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

Cons of the Acer Aspire E 15:

  • This laptop is a little bit heavy.

Specifications::

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage:  256GB SSD
  • Graphics card: GeForce MX150 (dedicated)
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs
  • Operating System: Windows 10

Equipment number two: Microphones

One essential equipment every podcaster should get for their podcast is a microphone. With so many different types and many different companies having a vast variety of microphones, I get why getting a microphone could be a bit overwhelming.

A microphone

There so many terms used to describe the types of microphones, so I am going to explain four terms that are often used to describe microphones. These four microphone terms/ types that I am going to explain today are the following:

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

What are USB Microphones?

USB microphones are one of the most straightforward and most common podcast equipment, which you can easily plug directly into your laptop.

USB microphones are the best microphones for podcasting beginners, podcasters who run monologue styled podcasts, podcasters who often host online interviews for their podcasts.

What are XLR Microphones?

XLR microphones are a bit more complicated to use than USB microphones because you can not just plug them straight away into your laptop. They actually require specific additional equipment to be able to use them to record your podcast.

These specific pieces of equipment that you need to use an XLR microphone could be a mixer ( which I will talk about after I finish discussing microphones), a preamp, or a digital recorder.

You can get these pieces of equipment ( the mixer, the preamp, and the digital recorder) in the USB form to be able to connect your XLR microphone to your laptop indirectly.

If you are opting for better sound quality, higher production flexibility, and you do not want to be tied to your laptop all of the time, then you should get an XLR microphone.

What are Condenser Microphones?

Condenser microphones are microphones that add extra levels of depth to your podcast’s audio. Sounds magical, right? Well, as Rumpelstiltskin or Mr. Gold from Once Upon a Time says, magic always comes with a price!

So, what could that price be? No, I am not talking actually how much these microphones cost. Instead, I am referring to the fact that Condenser microphones are very sensitive microphones. Yes, you are getting better audio quality, but that depends on where and what you are recording.

The condenser microphone’s sensitivity means that the microphone can capture a lot of the background noise, so you have to be in a quiet environment to be able to have a higher quality audio output that is almost background noise-free.

Another downside to getting a condenser microphone is that it is fragile, so they should be carried around from one recording space to the next often.

One last disadvantage is that these microphones require external power. This external power typically comes from the phantom power supply of a mixing desk, a microphone’s battery, or a digital recorder.

What are Dynamic Microphones?

The alternative to Condenser Microphones is Dynamic Microphones. They are considered to be the polar opposite of condenser microphones because they are capable of recording narrower frequency ranges, which make the audio being recorded sound less rich than that of a Condenser microphone.

Dynamic microphones actually capture less of the surrounding noise, which is great, but it also means that you should always be very close to the microphone.

So if you are looking for a microphone that allows you to record your audio in not so good recording environments and be able to avoid capturing a lot of background noise, then you should go for the Dynamic Microphone.

So the USB and XLR microphones are categorized depending on how and to what they get plugged into to record your podcast, while the Condenser and Dynamic microphones are the terms used to describe the audio quality and the microphone’s sensitivity.

A microphone

For beginners and people on a budget, go for the Samson Q2U

A microphone that is great for beginners to get and use is the Samson Q2U because it is very versatile. It doubles as both a USB microphone and an XLR microphone, and it is a Dynamic microphone!

Why is that versatility so great?

Because it means that when you are just starting out, all you have to do is plug it in and connect your microphone to your laptop using the USB and simply record your podcast on free audio recording and editing software like Audacity.

As you progress, you might get a digital recorder or a mixer, which means that you can now use the XLR cable because that is the type of cable that most professional audio equipment use.

Overall, this is a very budget-friendly, but that does not mean that it is terrible in quality. At the very least, you will have a better sound quality when you record your podcast with the Samson Q2U when compared to that of internal microphones and cheap headset microphones.

For the professionals, get the Rode NT1-A (Condenser Mic)

The Rode NT1-A is a condenser and an XLR microphone. It is considered to be one of the most popular high-end microphones. It is not a cheap microphone, but for the quality of audio that it produces, it is considered to be underpriced for its real value.

The Rode NT1-A microphone offers you rich-sounding audio because it is a low noise XLR microphone. This microphone comes with its own shock mount and pop filter, two podcasting equipment that I am going to discuss later on in this post.

This is going to save you some money because all that is left for you to get are the headphones, a boom arm or a mic stand ( I will talk about that as well later on), and a mixer.

The infamous Blue Yeti (Condenser Mic)

I was only going to mention the Samson Q2U and the Rode NT1-A microphones in today’s post, but I could not talk about microphones in-depth without mentioning the infamous Blue Yeti microphone!

Even if you are new to the podcasting scene, you must have heard about or seen this microphone a few times.

The Blue Yeti microphone is easy to use and produces high audio quality. It has a couple of different polar pattern options, which are options that allow you to pick where the microphone picks sounds from.

A great mode to set it on while co-hosting or interviewing someone who is sitting opposite to you is the bi-directional mode.

Equipment number three: A Mixer

A mixer is not an essential piece of equipment that you have to purchase for your podcast setup unless:

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

But what exactly is a mixer?

You can think of a mixer as the bridge that connects your microphone to your laptop. Remember how I have earlier said that XLR microphones can not be directly connected to a laptop, but that could happen if you use a USB form of a mixer, the preamp, and the digital recorder?

Well, that is basically what a mixer is. It converts the microphone’s analog signals to the digital signals that a laptop can use.

Mixers allow you to have more control over many things related to an audio recording. If your podcast is going to have a lot of remote guests, then it is recommended that you get and set up a mix-minus line for them.

A great mixer that has four XLR inputs and that is perfect for live performances and recording is the Mackie ProFX8v2.

I will be honest; I am not still well versed when it comes to many podcasting equipment. 

My recommendations come from hours and hours of research, but mixers still sound a bit complicated to me so what I am recommending here is basically Podcast Insight’s recommendation because I trust them.

Equipment number four: Headphones

Many people do not think about how important wearing headphones is while podcasting, but the truth is that this piece of equipment is a vital one! It is essential for the monologue formatted podcasts and the interview styled podcasts.

A drawing of someone listening to music using headphones

Why?

Well, one should always be monitoring their recordings. Yes, even if they run a monologue styled/ solo podcast. When you are wearing your headphones, you will be able to listen to what is being recording while you are recording the audio.

Why is that beneficial?

This is going to make you to notice any recording issues right away, which is going to allow you to fix that issue immediately instead of discovering that issue later on when you are editing the podcast episode.

Headphones are also essential if you plan on interviewing guests online or even in the studio. You can also use them for the most apparent reason, which is listening back to the audio when you are editing it.

Today, I am going to share with you two different headphones to considers. One is a budget-friendly yet good in quality, while the other is a bit on the higher end. These two headphones are the following:

  1. The AKG K92 Headphones
  2. The GRADO SR325E Headphones

The AKG K92 Headphones

If you are on a tight budget, but you want to have a decent pair of headphones for your podcast, then check out the AKG K92 Headphones.

It is basically a great value headphone that offers its user a great listening experience, which is all that you need while recording or editing a podcast.

The GRADO SR325E Headphones

If you want to invest in some high-quality headphones, then check out the SR325e Headphones.

The SR325e Headphones have a padded leather headband and are considered to be one of the best headphones to use if you are going to use them to listen to and edit podcasts.

Equipment number five: Shock Mount

Shock mounts are not a piece of essential podcasting equipment, but before you skip this section, tag along and understand what it does. It might actually be vital for you and your podcast.

So, what is a shock mount used for?

A shock mount is used to isolate any shock and vibration; thus, it helps prevent the microphone from recording unwanted sounds like vibrations, typing, and even noises associated with microphone movements.

Keep in mind that you should always read the product description of the shock mount you plan on getting to see if it is compatible with your microphone.

Sometimes, you do not have to purchase a shock mount even if you have the budget for it because some microphones come with their own shock mount.

If your microphone does not come with a shock mount, then I recommend that you check out the Rycote InVision Shock Mount because it is considered to a universal shock mount, which means that it is suitable for most microphones.

Equipment number six: Boom Arm

If you are looking for something that helps you utilize your podcasting space more efficiently and allows you to adjust and move your microphone the way that you see most fit, then you should get a boom arm.

The boom arm is a piece of unessential podcasting equipment; however, most professional podcasters use it. They are a bit expensive, though, so if you really want one, but you have a tight budget, then you can purchase a mic stand instead.

Be aware that some boom arms and microphone stands need microphone clamps or clips; however, these clips and clamps sometimes do not come with the boom arm or mic stand you have purchased. That is why you should always read the description section of any product that you plan on purchasing.

A good boom arm to invest in is the Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead Broadcast Boom. What makes this boom arm so great is that it allows you to rotate it three hundred and sixty degrees ( 360 degrees) while holding your microphone steadily in any position that you want.

It is also incredibly easy to set up; all it takes is two minutes and two simple steps.

  • Step one: Tighten the vice to your podcasting desk.
  • Step two: Slide your Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead Broadcast Boom Arm into the hole.

You can even hide your mic’s cable using the channel that can be found on top of the boom arm.

If you are wondering whether this boom arm is strong enough to hold your microphone, the answer is yes.

The Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead Broadcast Boom arm is strong enough to the Blue Yeti and its Blue Radius II shock mount in place, two pieces of equipment that are considered to amongst the heaviest, so you should be okay.

Equipment number seven: A Windscreen or a Pop Filter

This is another equipment that is not essential, but it is great to have for professional podcasters. But, what is windscreen or a pop filter used for?

A microphone on a shock mount and with a pop filter

A windscreen or a pop filter is used to reduce the amount of harsh noises a microphone ends up recording. What kind of harsh sounds does it reduce, though?

Do you know that popping sounds that happens, which is the sound of the bursting air, when you say certain letters like P and B and can be reduced when you use a Windscreen or a pop filter?

If you are interested in getting a pop filter that is going to allow you to control certain aspects that are related to your podcast’s audio levels, then check out the Stedman Corporation Proscreen XL and minimize the amount of editing that needs to get done.

This is not a piece of essential equipment for your podcast, but if you can afford it, then get one because it is going to aid in controlling your podcast’s audio levels.

Other questions related to what is the best podcasting equipment

How Do Podcasts Make Money?

Podcasters can monetize their podcast in a variety of ways. Four of them include the following:

  1. Selling merch
  2. Starting a Patreon page
  3. Using Affiliate links
  4. Getting their podcast sponsored

You can learn more about more methods and about these methods in detail by reading my How Do Podcasts Make Money blog post.

How to Get Your Podcast Sponsored?

Typically, to get your podcast sponsored, your episodes should be receiving more than a few thousand listens per month or five hundred listens per episode per month if you are running a niche podcast. Then, you should decide which format of sponsorships you want to do and start searching for one.

Learn about how you can get your podcast sponsored by reading my step-by-step guide here.

That’s it for today’s post. You should now have a guide that you can use to help you choose all of the podcasting equipment you need according to your budget, podcasting style, and expertise.

If you still have any questions related to what equipment you should get for your podcast, then feel free to email me at podcastingdiaries@gmail.com.

If you are a podcaster and you are interested in talking about your podcasting journey and tell us a little bit about what equipment and services you do, then email me at podcastingdiaries@gmail.com. We can work on a guest post or an interview on the podcasting diaries site!

My Sources

Till next time,

Ayah

Ayah Assem

I am a creator and a consumer of many forms of artistic content. With podcasting leaving its mark and declaring its significance in the current content world, I have decided to learn everything related to how to create a podcast. Who knows, maybe in the near future I will start uploading and sharing my creative work in the audio format. Join me on my journey of understanding the podcasting world, as I will be sharing with you all of the information that I am going to learn. Feel free to share with me your podcasting journey at podcastingdiaries@gmail.com and keep an eye on all of the music, books, podcasts, movies, tv shows, and YouTube channels that I always reference.

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