If you are looking for the best microphone for your podcasting endeavor, we have created this definitive guide to the best mics around for every budget and level.
Why You Need a Good Microphone for Podcasting
If you want to have a chance of succeeding in your podcasting journey, you are going to need a good microphone. A good microphone plays an important role in the sound quality of your podcast and the better the quality of the mic the more professional your podcast sounds. No one will listen to your podcast if the sound quality is poor.
What to Look for in a Microphone
To buy a good microphone for your podcast, you need to understand what a good microphone is made of. You need to understand what is needed in a microphone to make your recording sound awesome.
Here are a few things to look for in a microphone to ensure you buy the best one for your podcasting.
Under this feature, we have four categories:
Omni-directional: These microphones can pick up sounds from almost any direction, thus can pick up even unwanted noises.
Bi-directional: This mic can pick up sounds from opposing sides, and is thus not ideal for podcasting.
Cardioids: In the case of cardioids microphones, they only pick up sounds from the front direction as well as little sounds from the side.
Shotgun: These are highly directional, cardioid polar patterns and produce the sharpest and most accurate sound for podcasting.
In microphones, impedance refers to its receptiveness ability, particularly to AC or a sound signal. As a result, the impedance of a mic is usually expressed in Ohms.
Bets microphones have an impedance rating of at most 600 Ohms.
Most microphones will display the frequency response on the label. It refers to the range of frequencies at which a podcast microphone can detect audio sounds.
Durability is also an important factor to consider when buying a podcast microphone. We recommend investing in a heavy-duty microphone that can endure frequent dropping or regular abuse.
Dynamic Microphones vs. Condenser Mics for Podcasting
Dynamic and condenser microphones are designed for different uses and functions. Both types have pros and cons, but dynamic mics tend to be more durable and can endure daily use without any distortion. Condensers on the other hand are often able to record crisper and more detailed audio.
When it comes to choosing between the two, it all comes down to your preference and needs. Either will work perfectly!
Basic Set Up of Microphones to Start Recording
You can have a basic set up of a microphone to get started with the following simple items:
- A laptop/computer
- DAW/Audio interface combo
- Studio monitors
- One or two mics
- A pop filter
- Some cables
- Ear training software
With these items, you can set up a basic working, perfect for starting out with your home recording.
Best USB Podcasting Mics
Here is our best pick for the best USB podcasting mics.
This is mic is known for being the best USB option for those taking podcasting with all seriousness. It is a true powerhouse in the world of the podcast and worthy of all the plaudits it gets.
It was introduced in 2010 and is compact enough to last for many years. The mic is ready to deliver right out of the box.
A dynamic interface is packed in a sturdy, studio-quality casing and fitted with great features such including volume control, built-in leveling, ad equalizing.
This mic is designed to be the focus of all sorts of recording, vocal production rig, and live streaming.
- Genuine versatility
- High-end build and design
- Good sound quality
- It is quite expensive
Blue Microphone Yeti USB
The Blue Yeti is another great USB microphone to consider purchasing as it is designed for podcasting.
It is affordable and requires very little effort in terms of setup. One of the most stand-out features of this mic is the USB connectivity. Just plug it into your PC and go.
It is this simplicity that makes the Blue Yeti convenient for you to get started. But it also has a lot of other great features including stereo, cardioid, polar pattern modes, and omni and bi-directional.
- Decent sound quality
- Multiple pick-up patterns
- Great simplicity
- It is expensive
This USB mic is designed with speech in mind. It is part of the collection of mics from the manufacturer aimed at broadcast and podcast creators.
The Rode Procaster is a dynamic mic featuring a cardioid pickup pattern to ensure quality sound for solo speech. It shares many features as other mics from the same family, but the only major difference is that the Rode Procaster uses a USB connection rather than the XLR connection.
If you have no choice but to record your episode in a noisy environment, this mic can be of great help when it comes to filtering out unnecessary noise.
- Ideal for various recording setting
- Comes with ring-mount
- Attractive price for beginners
- It is power-hungry
The NT-USB is among the best-selling Rode USB microphones and is loved by many podcasters, gamers, and YouTubers. It is designed for home recording setups, at least due to its bulky nature.
It offers the same sound quality as other Rode USB microphones. The mic package includes everything you need to get started with your home recording, including a long SUB cable. The 6 meters cable is ideal for when you want to move away from your desk and into your home studio.
- Excellent sound quality
- Compatible with iPad
- It is versatile
- One of the costliest SUB mics
Best XLR Podcasting Mics
Aside from USB-only, you can also use XLR for your podcast recording. The best XLR mics on the market in 2021 include:
The Rode PodMic is one of the most affordable desktop mics on the market today. Considering its great feature and price, one can argue that it is an absolute steal.
If you are looking to set up multiple microphones in your recording studio, you can never go wrong with under $100 a pop for each Rode PodMic, though it doesn’t come with a mic stand.
With an all-metal design, this mic looks great and is robust enough to last you several years.
- It is affordable
- Sleek design
- Doesn’t come with a mic stand
The Rode Procaster is another option for XRL mics for podcasting. It comes with a 75Hz and 18 kHz frequency response as well as an internal pop filter and a stand to support the adaptor. It is not recommended to hold the mic in your hand, and thus you should get a boom or stand.
The model is a cardioid dynamic, making it ideal for a 2 to 4 person studio to avoid picking up each other speaking.
But I would recommend that you use a separate microphone preamp to avoid having to raise your sound levels in the post, which can also raise your noise levels.
- Sturdy construction
- Excellent broadcast sound
- Great price and value
- Requires a boom and audio interface
For many recorders, the Heil PR-40 is Heil’s response to the SM57. This mic has some wonderful reviews from the recording community online and it is not hard to see why.
The mic was designed to be extremely quiet compared to others on the market and it represents a new dynamic of XRL microphone technology. The makers intended the mic to be used in an array of professional applications including sophisticated recording, commercial broadcast, and live sound broadcast.
The PR-40 produces some of the widest frequency range you will find in a dynamic mic and it outperforms the majority of condenser mics.
- Quite a microphone
- Wide frequency range
- Can be used in a range of application
- Not ideal for PC input
The Shure SM7B has genuine peers on the market and is nearly universally rated and glorified as being one of the best at what it does. As a pro-grade dynamic mic, the Shure SM7B is designed virtually entirely with vocal performance and recording speech in mind.
It can be used for streaming, voice-overs, and podcasts. Many users dabbed this mic as their go-to gear for content creation.
Perhaps its popularity is a corollary of its simplicity because it only needs an XLR connection. The shock mount and an integrated pop shield eliminate the need for extra peripherals, other than a boom arm or stand on which you will require to mount it.
- Solid mic for recording
- Comes with on-mic filtering
- Incredible off-axis noise rejection
- Requires preamp or good interface to get desired results
Mobile Podcasting Mics
If you are in for mobile podcasting, there are great options on the market for you in terms of microphones, including:
Samson Go Mic
The Samson Go Mic is one of the most inexpensive microphones you will find in the market. It features an innovative design that can be used clipped to the top of your laptop screen or sued with the integrated clip stand.
It offers a strong signal that can improve the quality of your audio and serves as a basic, easy-to-carry portable mic.
The mic is quite easy to assemble and use and it is also very easy to monitor using your computer’s output. If you switch to cardioid mode, you will find that the quality of the audio is still impressive.
- Solid and sharp signal
- Easy to set up
- No gain knob
IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD 2
There are plenty of reasons you would want to get a dedicated microphone. If you are podcasting, it is a must-have item and with the IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD2, you might get the best of the group.
While it has its own drawbacks, the mic has a very solid reputation within the recording community. The original model was also a fan favorite because it was designed almost entirely to be a content creation powerhouse, enabling podcasters to use their mobile phones to record quality audio without any issue. The IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD 2 maintained most of these features, but instead of a plastic cover, it features a metal design to increase durability as well as give it that pro feeling.
- Easy to use
- Ideal for a variety of uses
- Well designed and built
- Micro USB is not rigid enough
This mobile podcasting mic provides a stylish way to outfit your PC or Mac with a great external USB mic. It is a professional quality easy-to-carry microphone that blends USB powered capsule with a compliant design to make it one of the best plug-and-play mics on both PC and Mac.
Its ultra-compact design means you have the freedom of unspoiled sound on the go. The case of the mic serves as a laptop clip or a desktop stand, making the Blue Snowflake mic a natural fit for almost everything, from calling over the web to podcasting.
- High-quality mic
- Ultra-compact design
- Integrated digital converter
- It is a bit too heavy
Entry Level Mics
Entry: Samson Q2U
When it comes to entry-level mics, the Samson Q2U provides the best of both worlds – professional handheld dynamic mic with USB output for easy connecting to a PC and XRL analog output for hassle-free connecting to a mixer, portable PA system, or audio interface.
It features a cardioid pickup pattern that captures sound from the front of the mic and less from the rear and side, reducing ambient sounds as well as other room noises for quality podcasting.
- Easy to use mic
- Pack useful accessories
- Great value
- Unclear warranty
Another alternative for the entry-level mic is the ATR2100, which is a handheld dynamic mic with USB-C digital output as well as XLR analog output.
The metal construction means it provides durability and long-lasting performance with the sleek, extended frequency response that you want in a podcasting microphone.
USB out allows you to connect to your PC or Mac while the XLR output enables you to connect with sound systems.
- Both USB and XLR connection
- Integrated headphone jack
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Support system is poor
Entry: Rode Smartlav+
This mic is designed for use in a range of applications including podcasting, film, television, or wherever broadcast quality is needed in a discreet, portable format without the issues of additional equipment.
You just have to mount the mic on the talent, link it to your mobile or tablet headset jack and start recording your audio.
- Top-quality omni-directional condenser capsule
- High broadcast quality
- Compatible with select Android and iOS devices
- You need Rode’s app to use the mic
Final Pick: Best Microphone
The best USB mic for podcasting is the Shure MV7. If you want to take your podcasting to the next level, this mic is a must-have.