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The best podcast microphones for beginners to professionals

Whether you are an experienced podcaster or a complete beginner, a good podcast microphone should always be part of your equipment to ensure that the sound quality is convincing to your listeners. What is important for podcast mics and which models are worthwhile.

The podcast as a medium has been experiencing a real hype for several years. Free or inexpensive software such as Audacity or Anchor make it easy to get started, even for the inexperienced. You don’t need a professional recording studio to record a podcast. However, it should not crackle, rustle or hiss – after all, listeners want to immerse themselves undisturbed in the world of the podcast. The prerequisite for this is a good recording device. atechbook presents the best microphones for podcasts.

Recommendations for podcast microphones: What is important?

If you’ve ever looked around in a specialty store or on the Internet, you’ll quickly realize: the selection of microphones is huge. Depending on the criteria, a recording device is more or less suitable for a podcast. The following points play a role in choosing the right mic.

Dynamic microphones and condenser microphones

Dynamic microphones record sound head-on. They register less room noise because they are not as sensitive. Those who record the podcast in an environment with background noise will do well with these.

If you are recording the podcast in a professional studio or acoustically shielded room, go for condenser microphones. These are more sensitive and pick up voices in particular detail – but possibly also unwanted ambient noise.

The directional characteristic: Which microphone is suitable?

The directional characteristic indicates from which direction the microphone sensitively records the sound and from which range it tends to attenuate or fade out the sounds. For podcasters, the so-called cardioid polar pattern makes the most sense: sounds coming from the front are recorded finely by such models. Sounds from the side or rear, on the other hand, are attenuated.

Alternatively, the figure-eight polar pattern is also suitable for a dialog podcast or interviews. These models are sensitive in two directions, so that the speakers can sit opposite each other at one microphone. Occasionally, you can also find devices that have several selectable polar patterns.

The connection: USB or XLR?

USB microphones can be connected to the computer via the port. The setup therefore works without accessories and is quite easy to do. Thus, these variants are ideal for beginners and for use on the road. However, they are only suitable for recording one person.

XLR microphones, on the other hand, are also recommended for more professional multi-setups, i.e. recording through multiple mics. The sound is also slightly better than USB models. Here, in any case, an audio interface is needed as an interface to connect the mic to the PC. These mics are more flexible in their application possibilities, but they do not qualify as well for use on the go.

The best microphone for podcasts: RØDE NT-USB

RØDE’s microphone is a super mid-range model that is a good choice for both beginners and experienced podcasters. It consistently earns positive reviews online, and is one of the customer favorites and best recommendations in this price range. With a USB connection, the microphone is ready to use thanks to plug-and-play and does not require an additional driver. It can even be used with iPads via an adapter – but then an additional app like Garageband or RØDE Rec is required.

The headphone jack is particularly practical: If headphones are connected to the microphone, you can hear yourself during the recording without delay and can adjust the sound quality optimally. To adjust the monitoring level, there is a rotary control on the side of the device. The second knob is used for mixing between the computer signals and the mic. The model is a condenser microphone with cardioid polar pattern – so it is quite sensitive. On the other hand, it records not only speech, but also vocals and instruments in detail.

Advantages

  • with table stand, pop filter and 6-meter cable
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Controls on the microphone
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack

Disadvantages

  • Only one directional characteristic

Good complete set for podcast beginners: Tonor Q9 with accessories

If you’re new to the world of podcasting, you don’t need expensive studio equipment right away. A beginner’s set like the one from Tonor is enough to get a taste of what it’s like to be a producer. This offers everything that is important for the first equipment at a top price-performance ratio: In addition to the microphone, there is a microphone arm including table mount, a spider, two filters and a cable. The all-metal microphone spider prevents unwanted noise and vibrations from being picked up. The pop filter and foam cover filter out noise. Top: This accessory can also be reused for other microphones.

Volume buttons on the front control the gain. What other devices control via a separate mute button, Tonor solves via a longer press on the volume down button – a bit awkward in practice.

Advantages

  • Complete set with microphone arm, spider, table mount, pop filter, foam cover and cable
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Volume buttons on the microphone
  • Equipment can be used for other microphones

Disadvantages

  • Mute switch on the microphone a bit fiddly
  • Microphone arm with 70 cm somewhat short
  • only one directional characteristic
  • no headphone jack

Best podcast microphone with XLR connector: Shure MV7

The Shure MV7 is also one of the best podcast mics. It is a dynamic mic, making it ideal for recording outside of recording studios. The model earns its place in the list mainly thanks to the dual connector: at the bottom of the microphone are an XLR and a micro USB output. Thus, analog and digital recordings are possible. XLR use requires an audio interface port, which is not included.

On the illuminated touch panel on the top of the device, you adjust the volume by touch. The operation is cool – but not as intuitive as buttons and therefore takes some getting used to at first. Ideally, the model has an integrated pop filter. Why is that so important for a podcast? An internal or external pop filter catches plosive sounds when speaking (with sounds like “p” or “b”) as well as breathing noises and thus ensures a harmonious and consistent sound.

Advantages

  • Dual connection: USB and XLR
  • Touch volume panel with mute function on microphone
  • Shure MOTIV program for multiple settings
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • With two USB cables (type A and type C)

Disadvantages

  • quite small frequency response: 50 Hz to 16 kHz
  • no microphone stand

Optimized microphone for podcasts: PodMic from RØDE

With the PodMic microphone, manufacturer RØDE has a model in its portfolio that is specially designed for podcasting. With dynamic alignment and cardioid polar pattern, it picks up spoken words clearly even in turbulent environments – ideally, the distance to the microphone is no greater than 15 centimeters. Additional sound quality settings can be made via an XLR connection using an interface and suitable software. This ensures that the listeners only hear what they are supposed to hear.

Because this model is optimized for voice recordings, it is mainly suitable for podcasting, streaming or virtual meetings. If you want to use your microphone for other purposes, you should go for a more universal device.

Advantages

  • optimized for voice recording – ideal for a podcast
  • integrated pop filter
  • frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz

Disadvantages

  • no microphone stand
  • only one polar pattern
  • no headphone jack

With four directional patterns: HyperX QuadCast S

Most podcast mics work with a cardioid polar pattern and are therefore suitable for a solo podcast – or each speaker needs their own mic. HyperX’s QuadCast S, on the other hand, can do a lot more: podcasters can choose from four different polar patterns (cardioid, omnidirectional, figure-eight, or stereo). For easy operation during recordings, there is a mute button on top of the model. The volume can be controlled via the rotary wheel at the bottom.

HyperX’s model not only makes for an out-and-out listener, but also an eye-catcher: the individually adjustable RGB lighting enhances the set-up. Especially in a video podcast, the colorful glowing microphone makes quite an impression. And those who not only want to record their podcast with the device, but also like to gamble from time to time, will benefit from the certification for Discord and TeamSpeak as well as the compatibility with the PlayStation 4.

Advantages

  • four directional patterns
  • with table stand, integrated pop filter and cable
  • RGB lighting
  • frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack

Disadvantages

  • Manufacturer software only for lighting effects (no sound settings)
  • Surcharge for RGB lighting

Blue Microphones Yeti Pro

The all-rounder among the podcast mics can also be used for game streaming or YouTube broadcasting and completely covers the transmission range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The microphone offers USB connection, headphone jack (3.5 mm jack), XLR connection (mainly used in studio technology) and is suitable for both PC and macOS – thanks to simple Plug&Play. Four polar patterns are operated: Cardioid, Omni, Eight and Stereo. The sound resolution is four times higher than with CDs. This is made possible by the integrated A-D converter. Especially important: The Yeti Pro processes audio signals extremely fast to digital signals. It is available in two versions (silver/black).

Advantages

  • suitable for vocal recordings
  • versatile USB connection
  • very good sampling rate
  • table stand included
  • connection to audio mixers and high-end preamps possible

disadvantages

  • portable bag for on the road not included
  • no windscreen

Shure MV88

Shure, founded back in 1925 in Chicago, has always been completely focused on manufacturing audio technology. The MV88, on the market since 2016, is considered a mobile classic in the microphone market. While Shure’s headphones work via a jack plug, the MV88’s Lightning connector (USB is missing) makes it convenient for iPhone and iPad owners, and it delivers an amazingly clear sound when paired with the free app. The built-in windscreen and the ability to swivel and rotate in all directions make the robust microphone a stable companion for generating good stereo recordings indoors and outdoors (for field recording). However, an XLR connector is missing.

Those who also want to make video recordings can fall back on the newer and improved Shure MV88+. Here, in addition to the microphone, a VideoKit is also included, which includes a tripod, the matching connection thread and a cell phone mount.

Advantages

  • also suitable for video blogging
  • Plus model available with upgrade functions
  • Plug&Play for quick start of recording
  • certified by Apple (MFi)
  • free iOS app included
  • windshield and headphone adapter included
  • Micro does not need to be charged

Disadvantage

  • not compatible with PC and macOS

auna MIC-900B

The auna brand belongs to Chal-Tec, a company founded in Berlin in 2005, which sells a total of 13 own brands – including the popular Klarstein brand of household appliances. Products of the auna brand have been sold since 2007. Those who are not yet sure whether they want to record podcasts regularly are initially looking for a device to try out at a low price with a good entry-level microphone. In terms of price/performance, the auna MIC-900B is the best option here, even if it is rather out of the question for permanent professional use. auna relies on USB compatibility. The frequency range (30 Hz to 18 kHz) is easily sufficient for speech (and vocals) when taking the first digital steps.

Advantages

  • Thread size variable thanks to included adapter
  • Plug & Play for PC and macOS
  • weighs only 295 grams (microphone spider additional 200 grams)

Disadvantages

  • Tripod is not included
  • Nylon covering can’t eliminate all background noise
  • Inherent noise is more pronounced than in the high-priced top models
  • No headphone output available

Samson Meteor Mic

Samson is a traditional US company based in Hauppage, it was founded back in 1980. Among the reliable podcast mics on the market, the Samson Meteor is an affordable model with a large condenser capsule. The mic has been on the market since 2011 and is constantly popular, of course, due to its low price. Studio quality is not to be expected, however. At 15.2 x 7.6 x 12.7 cm, it is very compact and portable. The manufacturer offers tips and tricks in its German manual so that the first recordings succeed quickly.

Advantages

  • modern look
  • stand is included and can be folded for better transport
  • headphone jack (3.5 mm)
  • flexible thanks to USB connection
  • carrying bag included in delivery
  • available in silver or black
  • compatible with the versatile audio software Audacity

Disadvantages

  • with “cardioid” only one polar pattern (more expensive models offer up to 4 polar patterns)
  • enclosed cable with only 2 meters length a bit short

Crime scene travel – the true crime podcast from our colleagues at TRAVELBOOK! Take a listen.

These are the best podcast microphones

Which is the best microphone for the podcast depends on the need: Is it a solo project or an interview conversation? What is the recording environment like? Is the microphone perhaps to be used away from the podcast? Last but not least, budget also plays a role. The best podcast microphones don’t have to cost a fortune: There are good models in every price range.

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