Best Podcast Equipment: Ultimate Guide to Podcasting and Recording

Best-Podcast-Equipment

You had an idea and you want to share it with the rest of the world. Be it having fruitful debates, educating others or simply to have a laid back conversation with your audience, you are looking to start your own podcast.

While starting out, getting the best podcast equipment together is the first major step. All you really need is a microphone to record the speech, if you are looking to get serious, you will likely have to invest in more high quality equipment in order to enhance your audience’s experience as they listen to your podcast.

The recording process can range from a simplistic one to a complex one, whereby whichever you choose is based on your preference. These equipment can range from items such as a condenser microphone, a mixer, headphones as well as post-production software to edit out any mishaps or blurs.

This guide will give you a rundown on gear that you can consider investing as you move along in starting your very own podcast.

List of Podcast Equipment

Having good and essential podcast equipment can help to enhance the quality of your podcasts, and provide your audience with a better experience as they listen to your podcast. Usually, the common equipment you will need would be a microphone to record your voice as well as a computer to put together your recordings. However, you can extend this list to a couple more items.

Microphone

Having a microphone is absolutely crucial in podcasting as you have to record your voice. It is the gateway that allows you to send your message across to your audience, and depending on which microphone you use, the sound quality you offer will vary. There are plenty of different types of microphones available on the market that you can choose from, so choose wisely as it is an important investment in your career as a podcaster.

Recommended USB Microphone for Podcast:

Audio-Technica-AT2020USB-Plus-Cardioid-Condenser-USB-Microphone

The Audio Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone as well as the ATR2500x-USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone are fantastic choices for a USB Microphone. With Audio Technica having one of the best sound quality of its devices, you are assured that your voice will be captured crystal clear.

It features a built-in headphone jack with a volume control that allows you to directly monitor your microphone signal without any delay. It also has a smooth, extended frequency response, making it perfect as a condenser microphone for your podcast. It is also fairly priced, which is great for those starting out as it will not require you to fork out large sums of money just to start a podcast. As such, these are great choices especially if your main device is your computer.

Recommended XLR Microphone for Podcast

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If you are looking for an XLR Microphone to cater to your mixer, perhaps you can look into the Audio Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone as well as the AT2035 Condenser Microphone . They both offer great sound quality, and guarantee that your podcast is clear for your audience.

The AT2035 has a switchable low frequency rolloff at 80 Hz, which will help reduce or eliminate the low end rumbling you get in your mic. Between these two, the AT2035 has a slightly better noise at 12 dB SPL compared to 20 dB SPL of the AT2020. Moreover, the AT2035 comes with a shock mount where the AT2020 does not. Finally, the AT2035 is a large diaphragm condenser mic while the AT2020 is a smaller diaphragm condenser.

Large diaphragm condenser mics are (in general) better for vocals while small diaphragm condenser mics (in general) are better for instruments. Lastly, both of them have the same frequency range.

Audio Interface

Having an audio interface allows you to expand and improve the sonic capabilities of a computer. With one, it allows you to connect your microphones, instruments and other kinds of signals to a computer, and output a variety of signals as well. Having an audio interface also enhances the quality of your sound.

Recommended USB Audio Interface for PC and Mac

We have narrowed down to three USB Audio Interfaces that we think will offer you the best sound quality for your podcast.

Audient-EVO-4-USB-Audio-Interface

The first audio interface is the Audient EVO 4 USB audio interface, which offers two channels for you to input your microphone, alongside an instrument input and a headphone jack. It also houses a monitor mix and monitor pan, which allows you to blend between your output and input, as well as minimise latency when you are recording. It comes with free professional software to start your recording. It is simple to use, and is fairly priced.

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The second recommendation will be the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, which has a slightly more advanced interface in comparison to the EVO 4. Also housing two channels, the Scarlett 2i2 allows you to toggle with the gain, as well as an INST button that detects for a hi-Z input source as well as an AIR button which emulates the famous boost in the mid-high frequency range. There is also a direct monitor which allows you to listen to the input signal of the interface with near zero latency. It is priced more steeply, but definitely allows you more autonomy with regard to the quality of your podcast.

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Lastly, the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 has made the list. It is similar to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, whereby it also allows you to toggle manually with your inputs. What is more, it comes equipped with Studio One Artist to provide you with a complete recording solution right out of the box.

USB Sound Mixer with Audio Interface Capabilities

A USB Sound Mixer with Audio Interface capabilities is essentially a mixer that can be doubled as an audio interface should it be equipped with an audio interface. In comparison to a regular audio interface, a mixer sends a single track to your computer while an audio interface sends separate tracks which allows for individual editing. Do note that you are able to get either an audio interface or a USB sound mixer with audio interface capabilities, but should choose the latter if you wish to expand your setup.

Recommended USB Sound Mixer for PC and Mac

Zoom-LiveTrak-L-8-Portable 8-Channel-Digital-Mixer-Top-View

The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 is a mixer that offers an input of 6 mics or lines, and 2 lines. As a mixer, it has a sound pad that provides you with a multifunction of creating music as well as recording your podcast. There are also four headphone outputs for you to hear yourself, as well as perhaps your counterpart or guest on your podcast. The mixer can run for up to 2.5 hours with just four AA batteries or on a USB battery, so you are able to podcast anywhere.

The Mackie ProFX8v2 Effects Mixer has unmatched sound quality which provides you with crystal clear sounds for your podcast. Its sound quality houses extremely low-noise Mackie Vita mic preamps, creating podcasts that are high-definition. The mixers within the series range from having 2 mic inputs to 24 mic inputs, allowing you for a multifunction for both podcasting as well as creating music.

You may also consider the Yamaha AG series, especially the AG06 multipurpose mixers with high resolution sound quality. They house “D-PRE” studio quality mic preamps with high gain and low noise, which Yamaha products pride themselves on. It is also compatible with iPad, which allows for greater convenience for portability.

Sound Mixer without Audio Interface Capabilities

A sound mixer without audio interface capabilities allows you to expand the setup if more inputs are required. The sound mixer allows you to combine, process and monitor audio.

Recommended Analog Sound Mixers

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The Yamaha MG series provides an array of sound mixers without audio interface capabilities.  The Yamaha MG series has a variety of channel mixing consoles, from 6 channels to as many as 20 channels. For a small to medium setup, the Yamaha MG10XU is a highly popular excellent quality sound mixer for podcast setup. They offer the “D-PRE” mic preamps with an inverted Darlington circuit, which provides great sound quality. It also includes Cubase Al DAW software download version.

Studio Headphones

Being able to hear what you are saying, and how you sound is absolutely important as you have to be able to like hearing what is being said in order for your audience to do the same. As such, investing in a good quality pair of studio headphones is crucial in creating your podcast.

Recommended Studio Headphones

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Perhaps you may consider the Audio Technica ATH-M40x Professional Monitor Headphones which delivers accurate audio and outstanding comfort. It is made with pro-grade materials, which ensures durability. It is also flat out all across frequencies, which provides good quality of sound. It has a detachable wire cord, and professional grade earpads for maximum comfort. Moreover, it is priced very reasonably, ensuring that you do not break a bank for a good quality pair of headphones.

If you are looking for a more budgetable option, you can consider the Audio Technica ATH-M30x. While it does pale in comparison to the aforementioned pair, it does have an excellent mid-range definition.

Studio Monitor Speaker

A studio monitor speaker as opposed to regular offers you more accurate sound as you create your podcast. Without a good quality studio monitor speaker, some details within your edits may be missed, which may result in an imbalance mix.

Recommended Studio Monitor Speaker

PreSonus-Eris-E3.5-BT-Studio-Monitors-Speaker-Bluetooth-front

The PreSonus Eris E3.5 BT Studio Monitor is a good studio monitor which has a low-frequency driver. Its controls are easy to toggle with as well. It also has Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to go wireless and conveniently connect to your computer. You are also given the option of having a wired connection if you choose to. This is a wonderful monitor speaker which provides you with optimum sound quality to review your podcasts and ensure that your audience gets the best content as well as quality.

In addition, there is also the PreSonus E3.5 Studio Monitor which offers all the features that the former provides, just without the option of Bluetooth connectivity. The interface for both of these monitor speakers are very intuitive and offer plug-ins of headphones and aux cord.

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Another studio monitor speaker you may consider is the Kali Audio LP-6 Studio Monitor which offers 112 dB and Class D Power of 80W. It offers 3-dimensional sounds, a large diameter voice coil for low distortion and high dynamic range as well as a powerful bass without port noise. With the LP-6, you can be assured of high quality sounds at a low price.

Microphone Shock Mount

A microphone shock mount is the object that surrounds your microphone, usually a condenser and is generally perceived to hold your microphone and prevent it from damage. However, it also has the function of isolating your microphone from mechanically transmitted noise.

Recommended Microphone Shock Mount

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A microphone shock mount should be one that is compatible with the type of microphone you are using, and hence it is best to consider which microphone you will purchase or already have. If you will be considering the aforementioned microphones we have recommended, then the Audio Technica AT8458a shock mount is a good choice. It attenuates noise, shock and vibration transmitted through mic stands, booms and mounts. It gets the job done, and it essentially minimises any floor vibrations, or handling noises.

Microphone Stand

A microphone stand, as the name suggests, allows the microphone to be positioned where you want it and have a hands-free experience as you record your podcast.

Recommended Microphone Floor Stand

Samson_BL3_Ultra_Light_Boom_Stand

If you require a long microphone stand, perhaps you may consider the Samson BL3 Microhpone Stand. It is a collapsible tripod boom stand made of a solid steel construction. It is lightweight, and has a length of 31.3 inches. The microphone stand has a black glossy finish, which is sleek and professional for your podcast setup.

Recommended Microphone Desktop Stand

Samson_MB1_Mini_Boom_Stand

Perhaps you will be sitting at your desk, by yourself, we recommend the Samson MB1 Desktop Microphone Stand, a mini boom stand. It is made of a solid steel construction, and has a black glossy finish. It is the ideal, low profile microphone that you can easily set up at your workspace to start recording your podcast.

Recommended Microphone Desktop Boom Arm

samson-microphone-boom-arm-mba28-with-sample-mic

A desktop boom arm, is a different type of microphone stand which sits at the edge of your table and hangs above the table. If that is something you prefer, maybe consider the Samson MBA28 Desktop Boom Arm. It has a horizontal/vertical arm reach of 28 inches, which is great if you have a long table, giving you flexibility and convenience. There are two mounting options, clamping on the table temporarily or a permanent fix with the flange mount.

Popfilter

A pop filter is a noise protection filter for a microphone. It helps to minimise any popping sounds caused by the mechanical-impact of fast moving air on the microphone. It is attached right in front of the microphone.

Recommended Pop Filter

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Having a pop filter can make a whole lot of difference. As such, you can consider the Samson PS04 and the PS05, which both help to minimise the popping sounds. They both have a dual-layer 4.75″ nylon mesh screen and can be easily attached by clamping with the C-clamp mount. The main difference is that the PS05 has an extra durable 7.25 inches gooseneck for positioning, while the PS04 is at 8 inches. Also, the PS05 offers a 360 degrees filter rotation.

Microphone Cable

Different microphone cables make a difference to the quality of sound. Having a good quality pair of cables ensures that your podcasts are of optimum sound quality, providing your audience with crystal clear sounds.

Recommended XLR Male to XLR Female Microphone Cables

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A possible XLR Microphone cable you can consider investing is the Samson Tourtek Microphone Cables. It combines genuine Neutrik connectors and durable low-noise wire with solid build construction. The wires prevent noise and offer superior sound quality due to its premium cable. What is more, no matter the length you require, the Samson Tourtek cables come in all sizes. They are available in 3, 6, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50 and 100 feet in length.

List of Equipment for Mobile Podcast Setup

If you want to start a podcast, but you are simply looking to have some fun, or not looking to take this podcast to a professional level, you can always do so through a mobile recorder. Having a mobile recorder allows you to have great sound quality, while also at the same allows you to record your podcasts on the go and for easier convenience of setting up and bringing your equipment around.

Digital Recorder for Mobile Podcast

A digital recorder, allows you to record your voice for your podcast, as opposed to using the built-in microphone on your mobile phone. Doing so not only yields a better sound quality, you are also able to easily access your recordings without confusing your personal with that of your work as a podcaster.

Recommended Digital Recorder

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The Zoom H4n Pro Handy Recorder is a 4 track recorder that is suitable for those looking to start our podcasting on their hand phone. It has professional grade preamps for optimum sound quality and noise cancellation, and a USB audio interface that can also be directly recorded to your computer. There are 3 modes: the stereo mode that can be used with external microphones, the 4-channel mode which can be accompanied by other external inputs, as well as the MTR mode for overdub functions of previously recorded audio. There is also a free downloadable software of Cubase and Wavelab to make any edits of your audio.

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The Zoom H5 Handy Recorder is a flexible recorder for versatility, due to its ability to simultaneously record and interchangeable mic capsules. It is able to handle immensely loud audio up to 140db SPL, and a cleaner audio due to its rubberised housing and shock-mounted microphones. The recording features also include a pre-record for unexpected starts, an auto-record for automatic starts as well as back-up records for a duplicate set. It has a fifteen hour recording time on 2 double A batteries and indefinitely with the optional AD-17 AC adaptor.

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There is also the Zoom H6 Handy Recorder, which is a versatile recorder with 6 interchangeable input capsules, perfect for podcasting. Not just that, you may connect it for video, film and music purposes. It allows for continuous recording of up to 20 hours, and indefinitely with the optional AD-17 AC adaptor. It also has a multi-channel audio interface, which is for your laptop and tablet. You can connect four mic/line inputs for podcasting purposes, and it offers built-in effects and a free downloadable software of Cubase and Wavelab to make any edits of your audio.

Interview Microphone Mobile Podcast

An interview mobile microphone is for those looking to interview others for their opinions or comments. It is handy, and usually has the ability to cancel out any noise due to the nature that interviews are usually held in public spaces. You may also choose to opt for one if you will be having guests on your podcast.

Recommended Interview Microphone

audio-technica-bp4001-interview-microphone

An interview microphone that you may opt for is the Audio Technica BP4001 Interview Microphone , which is perfect for on-location interviews due to its extended handle that will be able to accommodate microphone flags. It houses a high level internal shock mount which prevents any noise from being recorded as well as an internal windscreen to protect against wind.

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Another option is the Audio Technica AT8031 Cardioid Condenser Handheld Microphone, ideal for close-up interviews due to the cardioid pattern that reduces the pick up of sounds from the side or rear. It also has a large protective screen for when there are “popping” sounds or sibilant distortion, to ensure that your interviews are crisp and clear.

Memory Card

A memory card allows you to store all of your audio recordings, and they come in varying formats and sizes. It is crucial as depending on the duration of your podcast, getting a larger size allows you to store your audio safely and ensures that you do not run out of space in the middle of a recording session.

Recommended SD Card

An ideal SD card will be the SanDisk Ultra Class 10 SDXC UHS-I Memory card which records up to 80MB/s. It comes in varying sizes, from 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB depending on how much storage you need. It is WaterProof, temperature Proof, X ray Proof, magnet Proof, shockProof which ensures that it is nearly indestructible. It is twice as fast as compared to regular SD cards which also allows you to transfer your files very quickly.

Podcast Editing Software/ Digital Audio Workstation

Having an editing software/digital audio workstation allows you to make edits to your audio, and perhaps any mishaps they may occur within the recording. It also allows you to piece together your recordings, depending on the format of your podcast. If you have purchased audio equipment, most of the time it comes with an audio downloadable software.

Recommended Local-Recording Podcast Editing Software

Audacity is a free, open source, cross-platform audio software to edit your software. It has easy audio editing, and supports 16-bit, 24-bit and 32-bit sound quality. There are also effects available, which allows you to tweak your recordings. It is compatible for both Windows and Mac.

If you are looking for something more complex, you can opt for the Adobe Audition, which is a professional audio workstation. There are features such as the Essential Audio panel that allows you to spruce up your recording into a professional one, as well as repairing and restoring the audio.

Recommended Cloud-base Podcast Editing Software

For a cloud-base editing software, Cast is a subscription service software, which allows you to record, edit and publish. Purchasing the PRO allows you 100 hours of recording time, unlimited editing and mixing as well as podcast hosting.

Zencastr is a subscription recording and editing software for studio quality recordings. The Professional option, allows unlimited guests and recordings, a live editing soundboard and 10 hours automatic post production per month.

Podcast Web Hosting

Once you have created a podcast of your own, you need a platform to share your podcast and grow your audience. As such, utilising a podcast web hosting allows you to easily share your podcast on varying platforms.

Recommended Podcast Hosting

Buzzsprout is a podcast hosting website that is the easiest way for you to start podcasting. It helps you to list your podcast on all the top podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and iHeart. It also provides you with advanced statistics to track your progress.

Podcast hosting website Podbean offers the same service of podcast publishing. It also offers features such as scheduled publishing, unlimited hosting as well as publishing from your mobile phone. There are also various monetisation methods for your preference. Moreover, you can expand your audience through live streams to engage your audience even further. Podbean is mobile-friendly, as there is a Podbean mobile application that allows you to use it conveniently.

Custom Podcast Equipment’s vs Podcast Recording Bundles

There is custom podcast equipment that you are able to purchase or a podcast recording bundle, and as such may be a difficult decision when you choose what to purchase.

Having custom podcast equipment allows you to choose which equipment you prefer, while a recording bundle provides you with everything at a net price. If you do not want to be overwhelmed, you can consider purchasing the all-in-one bundles as it has everything that you need.

Recommended All-in-one Podcast Recording Bundles

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio has everything you need to record your very first podcast. It comes with the Scarlett USB interface, the CM25 MKIII condenser microphone, the HP60 MKIII headphones as well as XLR and USB cables. Not only that, it also comes with one of these editing softwares you can choose from such as the Avid Pro Tools, Softube Time and Tone bundle, the Ableton Live Lite and more.

The PreSonus AudioBox 96 Studio is a simple, reliable and portable bundle. It comes with the AudioBox 96, the Studio One Artist Software, an M7 Microphone as well as the HD7 Headphones. The AudioBox allows 2 combo mic inputs, and is compatible for both Windows and Mac.

Review Summary

This guide provides a full rundown of how you are able to start your own podcast. From audio equipment, to software for editing and hosting, you can easily get the gist of what you need if you are looking to start your own podcast. Microphones are easily one of the most crucial parts, as they provide you with optimal sound quality.

Other equipment you may also need are an audio interface or that of a sound mixer with or without audio interface capabilities. You can also expand your workspace with speakers, and also add accessories for your microphone such as the stand and the pop filter. Mobile equipment is also possible, with a recorder and also for having interviews.

For post-production, there are different podcast editing software you can purchase on the market and also for podcast promotion.

Once you have looked up the equipment you need to purchase, you are ready to start podcasting.