So, you’ve got a great podcast idea.
You’ve done your research, prepared your script and lined up a killer interviewee.
You’re about to unleash your brilliance on the podcasting universe. But, how are they going to receive your message?
Unless you’re speaking into a top of the line microphone, your audience is going to hear a muffled, unclear shadow of the message you’re trying to convey.
And, believe me, they won’t stick around. That’s why your choice of podcasting/ streaming microphone is so important – after all, you only get one chance to make a first impression, right?
In this article, we go in-depth to discover the 5 best podcast/streaming microphones for the everyday budget.
We’ll also provide you with an invaluable podcast sound guide along with the answers to your most pressing podcast sound questions. In short, we’ve got the definitive guide to podcast sound!
Podcast Microphone Reviews & Recommendations For 2021
Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Blackout Edition
The Blue Yeti USB Microphone is a premium quality mic that delivers excellent sound reproduction.
It makes use of Blue’s proprietary tri-capsule technology to deliver studio-quality sound. You bet four different patterns settings – cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional & bidirectional.
The Blue Yeti USB Microphone has physical buttons. Pressing these buttons may create some noise that may be picked up by the microphone.
The Blue Yeti USB Microphone provides you with controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute and microphone gain, to give you total control of your in-studio experience.
The Gain Control setting allows you to adjust the microphone’s sensitivity. There is also an instant mute button if you want to take a break midway through your podcast.
The Blue Yeti USB Microphone hs a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the front of the microphone is a headphone adjustment.
Once the microphone is set to the ideal angle, you can quickly secure it in place.
The Blue Yeti microphone can also be taken off the stand and mounted to the Radius III shockmount and/or the Compass desktop boom arm.
The Blue Yeti USB Microphone provides you with a sleek, classic look and a very high level of performance.
It has an excellent build quality and is available at a pretty sharp price point. It has a simple plug and play design, four varying audio patterns, and user-friendly control settings. This is our favorite because it delivers pristine sound for a great price.
MAONO AUA04TC USB Microphone Kit
The MAONO AUA04TC USB Microphone Kit provides you with a complete system that arrives in an aluminum case.
This is a nice touch as it allows you to safely carry your gear around. Contained in the case are an adjustable desk stand, a shock mount, foam windscreen, gooseneck pop filter, and the USB cable.
The MAONO AUA04TC USB Microphone Kit only has a single sound pattern – cardiid. That means that you only speak into it from one side. You will not be able to use this microphone to conduct cross the table interviews.
The padding of the stand on the MAONO AUA04TC USB Microphone Kit is not thick enough. It may, therefore, scratch the surface of your desk.
The MAONO AUA04TC USB Microphone Kit provides you with an all-metal microphone that is robust but relatively simple.
A woven metal grill protects the capsule. Unlike the Blue Yeti microphone which provides four options, this mic only allows for cardioid pattern recording.
The stand that comes with the MAONO AUA04TC USB Microphone Kit is of high quality. It is able to be extended further six inches in order to bring it right up to your mouth if that is what you want.
The MAONO AUA04TC USB Microphone Kit is a very good package deal that arrives in a heavy-duty aluminum case.
The microphone is quite basic but still delivers aa very good sound. It is not as versatile and functional as the Blue Yeti but considering everything that you get, this is still n exceptional package.
Marantz Professional MPM1000
The Marantz Professional MPM1000 microphone is a large microphone condensed mic that is available at a very sharp price point.
It provides professional-level quality for the everyday podcaster who is trying to get started on a shoestring budget. It comes with a custom windscreen, along with a desktop tripod stand.
The Marantz Professional MPM1000 does not provide you with USB connectivity.
Because the microphone cuts out noise from behind it is not suitable for musical recording.
The Marantz Professional MPM1000 provides you with shock mounts to ensure that the mic itself doesn’t get damaged. You also get a standard XLR cable for connectivity.
This mic has a standard cardioid pattern that cuts out all sound behind the microphone.
The Marantz Professional MPM1000 provides you with a high-frequency response that ranges from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
The Marantz Professional MPM1000 is a high-quality microphone that comes in at the best price point that we have found.
It’s not s high spec as the Blue Yeti, but if you are only going to have a single speaker into the microphone, then the Marantz Professional MPM1000 is a smart choice.
The Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB is a plug and play USB condenser mic that is designed for podcasting.
Your purchase comes with a table stand, mic clip and USB cable.
This is a cardioid microphone, so it cuts all noise from behind the speaker.
The Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB does not come with a rigid microphone stand. It only records up to 48 k Hz.
The durable metal construction of the Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB makes for a durable unit. A built-in headphone jack allows for direct monitoring from your microphone.
The front of the mic contains easy to use controls.
This unit provides you with a high-quality AD converter with 16 bit with a 44.1 / 48 kHz sampling rate.
The Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB is compatible with both Mac and Windows personal computers.
The low mass diaphragm provides excellent frequency response.
The Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB is a smart choice for podcasters who are going to be speaking directly to their listeners without interviewing.
It lacks a little at the bass end but will work well for the majority of podcasters. It is very well priced.
HyperX QuadCast - USB
The HyperX QuadCast – USB is a very cool looking microphone with its distinctive red and black color scheme.
Your purchase comes with a desktop stand and shock mount, a braided USB cable and an adapter to allow you to connect the shock mount to an aftermarket boom arm.
Because the HyperX QuadCast – USB sits low on the desk you have to sort of hunch over if you want to get up close and personal with the mic. You get the best sound when the mic is close to your mouth, so you will probably want to purchase an aftermarket arm as an accessory.
The HyperX QuadCast – USB is a lower than usual mic but it does sit lower to the desk than most competitors. This is a thin, lightweight microphone the durable metal body will last for years.
The top and bottom of the mic cylinder are covered with fingerprint-resistant rubber. The op of the unit cts as a touch-sensitive mute button.
When the mic is live and recording it emits a bright red glow. When you tap the top of the unit to mute the mic this will also turn off the light.
The HyperX QuadCast – USB is more expensive than many of its competitors. However, this is the most stylish microphone on our list, with plenty of cool features.
It provides a very clear audio capture. This one is definitely worth the extra expense if your budget can stretch a little.
Guide to Podcast Sound
The first step to creating the perfect sound for your podcast is to find the ideal microphone for your budget and your needs.
Check out the FAQ below for our tips on how to do that. The next step is to consider whether you need a mixer board. This is a good idea if you are going to have more than one person speaking on the podcast, such as when interviewing people.
A mixing board allows you to plug in more microphones, record acoustic instruments and balance out your sound to emphasize a voice-over another or balance voices evenly. Expect to pay between $200-300 for a quality mixing board.
Once you’ve got your microphone and mixer set up, its time to start accessorizing your audio suite. You’ll want a quality pair of headphones.
This will help you to monitor yourself as you speak. As a result, you will be able to pick up slurred words, mistakes or unwanted noises before playback. Start with a pretty basic set of headphones at around twenty dollars.
You will want to also invest in a microphone stand.
Many microphones will not come with a stand, so you will have to choose your own.
Not surprisingly, there are many options to choose from. The prices range is from around ten dollars for a simple desktop mic stand to a boom mic stand for around a hundred bucks. A boom stand frees up space on your desk and allows for more precise positioning.
You should also consider purchasing pop filters and windscreens. These devices will help you to soften harsh consonants and reduce ambient room noise.
Once you have assembled your podcast recording equipment, it will be time to focus on your audio-editing software. Your options range from equipment that is free to stuf that will set you back close to a thousand dollars.
Your best budget option is Audacity.
It is free, easy to use an available for downloading immediately. It allows for the editing, mixing and exporting of audio. Many podcasters consider Audacity to be an indispensable tool in their arsenal. Here’s what Audacity will allow you to do:
- Record live audio through microphones or mixed channels
- Record up to 16 channels at a time
- Import various sound formats for editing and remixing
- Export final projects to WAV, AIFF, AU and MP3
- Have unlimited Redo and Undo commands
- Remove static, hiss, hum and other constant background noise
- Use a wide variety of effects to manipulate your audio
- Record at an audio quality of 96 kHZ
Once you’ve got your audio suite all set up, you will have to find a host for your podcast where you can house your medo files, RSS feed and show notes.
Podcast files are very big so you need to take your time to find the right host. Here are a couple of things to consider:
How many podcasts do you want to keep online?
How much server space do you need to host your blogging software, database, text and image files.
Let’s round out this section with a few tips on how to get the best recording voice result. Here are some common mistakes that people make when recording:
- Talking too fast
- Ignoring commas
- Smacking their lips
- Heavy breathing
- Word whiskers
Here are three tips to creating pitch-perfect podcasts:
- Play around with the rhythm of your voice, adjusting your pitch pave and power to suit the content
- Speak clearly by opening your mouth wider
- Speak Confidently and withy Conviction
- Develop a unique podcasting personality
Podcast Microphones FAQ
Do you need a microphone for a podcast?
Yes, you do need a microphone for a podcast.
Even though your computer more than liley has a built-in microphone, it will not provide you with the quality of end product that your potential listeners deserve.
When it comes to buying a microphone, you get what you pay for.
There are plenty of cheap mics available, Shop around to find the best quality for your budget. Our top 5 review above is a great place to start.
How many microphones do you need for a podcast?
If you are going to be the only person talking on your p0odcst, then you only need one microphone.
However, if you have a co-host you will want to have a microphone each. If you are going to be interviewing guests in your podcast studio, then you will also need to have a second microphone. If you have more than one mic, you’ll need to invest in a mixer also.
Which microphone is best for speech?
The best microphone for speech is most definitely the Blue Yeti, which we have ranked as our best overall microphone.
What are the four types of microphones?
The four types of microphones are:
- Super cardioid
- Figure 8
A Cardioid microphone captures everything that is in front of you and blocks out everything that is behind you and to the sides. This is great for live performances where noise reduction is imperative.
Super-Cardioid microphones are more focused than a standard cardioid mic, meaning that they have a narrower area of sensitivity. They are ideal for loud sound sources, or noisy stage settings.
An omnidirectional microphone captures sound from every angle. They will capture a more natural sound. They are great in places like old churches that have great acoustics. However, they lack background noise rejection.
Figure-8 microphones have a sound pick-up pattern that looks like a figure 8. It will capture the noise from the front and back but cut out any that comes from the sides. They are perfect if you are wanting to capture two instruments at the same time.
Should You Wear Headphones when Podcasting?
Yes, you should wear headphones when podcasting.
Headphones allow you to clearly hear your own voice. This gives you the ability to adjust and control your volume on the run.
Wearing headphones will also help you to improve your microphone technique.
The immediate feedback that you receive when you pronounce hard consonants allows you to make immediate improvements in the way that you speak.
What is the difference between a condenser and a dynamic microphone?
The basic difference between a condenser and a dynamic microphone is that dynamic mics are designed for on location recording while condenser mics are best suited for in-studio recording.
Dynamic microphones are the type that you see on the news every night when reporters shove their microphines into the faces of politicians. They work like a soeaker in reverse. If your podcast is going to be out on the treet then you will want to invest in a dynmic mic.
Condenser microphones ae designed in for studio use and are much better t picking up the subtle nuances in voice quality.
Cindeneser mics produce what we could clal a delicte sound. The microphne is, therefore, more delicte than a dynamic mic and needs to be treated with more care. It should always be transported in a case.
What is the best day of the week to load a podcast?
Research shows that the best day of the week to drop a podcast is Tuesday. It is interesting to note that Tuesday is also the day when new music is posted on iTunes, so it is logical that more visitors to the iTunes store will result in more people seeing and watching podcasts.
What can I do to reduce ambient noise when podcasting?
The best thing you can do to reduce ambient noise is to get a microphone that cuts out noise from behind you.
Here are some other things you can do to cut out ambient noise:
- Put towels under the door
- Keep the mic as far away from your computer as possible
- Turn off ceiling fans, floor heaters, air conditioners and room ionizers
- If ambient noise interrupts your podcast, wait a few seconds and then pick up a few lines before the interruption so you can edit later
The best podcast / streaming microphone on the current market is the Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Blackout Edition.
Our runner up is the MAONO USB Microphone Kit. Rounding out the top best podcast microphones is the Marantz Professional MPM1000.
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