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What are the best podcast microphones?

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What are the best podcast microphones?

My top podcast microphone recommendations…

When you’re kick-starting your podcast it can be hard to know what equipment to buy because there’s so much out there. Particularly when it comes to one of the most important items in your kit…your podcast microphone.

So, here are a few of my top podcast microphone recommendations…

Apple Google Spotify

But before we get to that…think about where you record

Before we get into the recommendations it’s important to point out that your recording environment has a HUGE impact on the quality of the audio you record.

You could have the best microphone in the world but if you’re recording in an echoey space, or somewhere with a lot of distracting room or background noise it’s going to sound rubbish.

When you’re recording your podcast you want to avoid rooms with reflective surfaces like tiles, windows or high ceilings.  This is because your microphone will pick up the noise of the room you’re in so if you’re in an echoey space there’ll be a lot more ‘noise’.

That will not only be distracting, but you’ll also sound a million miles from your audience (which isn’t a good thing).

How to record high-quality audio at home

Read

What’s the difference between a condenser and a dynamic microphone?

If you’ve been researching podcast microphones you might have come across these two words – condenser and dynamic.

A lot of articles go into more detail than you’d ever need so here’s what you need to know…

Condenser microphones

These give a “richer” sound, which sounds like it would be better but actually, these microphones work best in a professionally soundproofed environment.

And this often isn’t the kind of space most podcasters are recording in.

If you’re podcasting in your home office or loungeroom these mics aren’t great because they’ll pick up a lot more background noise than you want.

You’d be forgiven for thinking “well they’re more expensive so they must be better!”

But when you’re starting out a dynamic mic will usually be the best way to go.

Dynamic Microphones

These are great if you’re recording in a space that isn’t soundproofed because they produce high-quality audio but don’t pick up as much background noise.

You still need to make sure your space is as good as it can be though.  So don’t think you can get away with recording in your kitchen just because you’ve got a dynamic microphone.

(Please never record in your kitchen).

What’s the difference between USB & XLR podcast microphones?

Read

My top podcast microphone recommendations

Audio Technica ATR 2100/2100x

Note: Audio Technica have discontinued the 2100 model and the new version is the ATR 2100x which has a USB-C cable as well as USB and is slightly more expensive.

This is the podcast microphone I pack with me when I’m travelling and I don’t want to take my full kit. It can be connected via USB/USB-C or XLR cable which means you can plug it directly into your computer or an external recording device/mixer if you want to record that way.

To hear this mic in action check out this episode of a podcast I hosted called Bach Chat (yes, I once got paid to talk about the Bachelor).

This was recorded in a hotel room on the ATR 2100.

Samson Q2u

This mic looks almost identical to the ATR2100x and is also a USB and XLR microphone but it’s slightly cheaper.

I’ve had a lot of people say they prefer this to the ATR 2100x but it’s all about personal preference.

Shure PGA58

This is the microphone I’ve used for years and I absolutely love it.

It’s an XLR microphone so you can’t plug it directly into your computer but if you’ve got a portable recording device like a Zoom H6 or another audio interface you can use that as the middle-man between your mic and your computer.

These mics are also great to take out on the road and I’ve recorded interviews for my show, You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere in hotel rooms and echoey spaces and the result has been fab.

Shure MV7

This mic is slightly more expensive but does record really high-quality sound.

Again, where you record will be really important but this is usually my go-to mic to send out to remote podcasters who are recording shows for Nova Podcasts where I’m Head of Podcasts.

Which mic you go with will always depend on your budget and your personal preference so make sure you choose the one that’s right for you!

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help? Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

13 Comments
  1. Tracy Daniel says:

    Hey
    What’s a zoom recoder?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Tracy, It’s confusing because of the video conferencing software, Zoom. But a Zoom recorder is a brand of portable recording device. This is the one I use, the Zoom H6. Hope this helps, Rach.

  2. Obehi says:

    Please is there any mic I can connect to just my iphone
    without having a computer can I use mics?

    1. rcorbett says:

      I’ve got some listed on my resources page…https://rachelcorbett.com.au/resources/

  3. Ashley says:

    Hi, what do you think about the Shure MV5? And do you know if I need headphones with it or if AirPods would work?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Ashley. I haven’t used that specific microphone but Shure are a good mic brand. Rach

  4. Zara says:

    Hey!

    What’s your thoughts on the Stadium Sydney USB Microphone for podcasting?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Zara, I haven’t used that one so I can’t give a recco on it but would be interested to know your thoughts if you try it. Thanks, Rach

  5. Steve says:

    What would you suggest if I am going to be a weekly guest on a podcast?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Steve, Any of these microphones would work. Rach

  6. Schley Hadessa says:

    Thank you

  7. Elijah says:

    Hi there,
    What would be the mic you recommend if I’m planning to interview people (face to face, sitting next to me)? Can any of the mics you listed be connected to a phone if I want to do a video podcast?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Elijah! If you’re planning to interview people face to face my recommendation would be you get two Shure PGA58 microphones and a Zoom recorder. That’s how I record all my interviews face to face and it’s a perfect set up. None of the mics in this post will connect to a phone but I’ve got a podcast guide that gives some recommendations for phonemics, even though recording on your phone isn’t something I recommend for longer podcasts. You can find that at… http://podcastguide.com.au. Hope that helps.

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