Are you searching for a new way to start earning money online? Do you wish to understand how to make a successful podcast? If yes, then this is the ideal guide for you.
Podcasting is the newest form of media that enables people to make and share audio content online. It has been continuously growing in popularity over the past few decades. In fact, recent research discovered that forty of the American population has been listening to a podcast.
They surely have plenty of options, with thousands accessible for download. More shows are being developed each month as innovative people discover this relatively new digital medium.
Are you interested in making your own podcast? Maybe you simply want to learn more about it. This guide will cover my recommendations for the best podcaster starter kit for one, two, three, and four-person.
If you’re ready, let’s get started!
Podcast Kits to Get Started Podcasting
Keep in mind that a great podcaster starter kit will help you get started right away without having to spend too much time looking around for information. That suggests you can concentrate all your energy on making amazing podcasts rather than wasting hours trying to know what equipment you need.
I have reviewed different models and now let’s take a closer look at every model in more detail.
One Person Podcast Starter Kit
1. Entry-Level Option for One Person
- Microphone: ATR2100
- Headphones: Shure SRH440
The Audio-Technica ATR2100 is an excellent entry-level podcast microphone that will offer you a high-quality sound. One of the best features of this mic, apart from sound quality, is that it has both XLR and USB outputs, so you can plug it straight into your computer or plug it into a mixer.
This is ideal for a newbie or intermediate podcaster, or even for business call purposes. For the headphones, I use the Shure SRH440, which features an all-plastic build. Everything from the ear cups to the headband is made of a shiny matte black plastic. It is quite comfortable, with all things considered. The earcups are made out of vinyl but are replaceable and can be effortlessly swapped out with SRH840 pads that feel far nicer.
2. Intermediate Option for One Person
- Microphone: Rode Procaster
- Headphones: Audio Technica ATH-M20x
- Boom: Heil PL2T boom
If you are looking for a more intermediate option, I would suggest Rode Procaster for the microphone. It is a broadcast quality dynamic microphone made to record professional sounding vocals. That makes it highly sought in the world of voice-over work and podcasting.
Despite being in the dynamic bracket, it does an excellent job at recording the nuances of a vocal performance. On top of that, that is supported by the fact that it is great art rejecting unnecessary sounds from around the mic.
It has a cardioid polar pattern, meaning it concentrates on the sound in the area of the mic. Also, it is an XLR microphone. That means you will need an extra piece of equipment such as a digital record, pre-amp, or mixer to run it.
I used the Heil PL2T boom arm to support my microphone. It’s a relatively simple and straightforward yet more versatile boom arm that’s available in the market. You will not find any tricky or technical things with this boom arm.
PLT comes with the standard C clamp mount, which makes it comfy to move around and fixed in the position. It also does have internal springs.
For the headphones, I would suggest using the Audio Technica ATH-M20x. If you cannot push your budget, this is one of the ideal options for studio-style headphones that are under fifty bucks. It could feel more comfortable for long sessions, and it does not have bass on tap. I appreciate the relatively accurate response from this set of over-ear cans.
Compared to other headsets for podcasting, a silver Audio Technica ATH-M20x does not adorn every ear cup on the M20x. The logo is present, but it is just a glossy black set against the matte plastic. In a niche full of costly headphones that skip the garish branding, the omission feels premium.
2, 3 & 4 Person Podcast Starter Kits
1. Entry-Level Option
- Microphone: Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500 Microphone
- Headphones: Samson SR850
A handheld mic can become your friend if you have a great voice and know how to control it with the best microphone. The Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500 Microphone is a dynamic cardioid entry-level handheld microphone for podcasting that serves the best purpose with great value for saving and offering quality podcast recording.
It has an excellent and well-built mic with durable construction. It features a metal-based body and reinforced connections. It is my personal favorite for a low-cost dynamic podcasting mic. There’s something awesome about this mic as it’s great all around.
And if you’re looking for a cheap pair of studio headphones along with your Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500 Microphone, the Samson SR850 must be among your top picks. For what you pay for those, they do quite well.
The headband has a hammock design and features a vinyl material stamped to make it look more leather. It puts pressure on the head and works well to balance the already light headphone. Also, the earcups are connected to the headband through double wires. There’s an elastic band on both earcups, serving as a self-adjusting mechanism that extends when I pull it for a good fit.
2. Intermediate Option
- Microphone: Rode Procaster
- Headphones: Shure SRH840
For the intermediate option, I would recommend the rode Procaster and Shure SRH840. Rode Procaster is a relatively low-cost podcast microphone that yet provides high-quality sound. It features a manageable and smooth response, making it ideal for podcasting. Furthermore, the mic eliminates a huge amount of room noise and lowers such effects as popping.
This mic is also sturdy and is built to last. It is a versatile microphone that can handle any type of voice you throw at it. How cool is that?
For the headphones, I would suggest the Shure SRH840. I love how it shines in the sound department. The company knows how to make neutral-sounding headphones. For this pair, the mid-range is excellently flat, even though for others I measured, it is a bit elevated. Still, the overall shape of the curve stays smooth without distinct dips or skips.
Remember that having a mixer will extremely improve your podcasting audio quality. The pre-amps will be better and will help your mic shine. Audio engineers get mixers for the sheer audio quality. However, podcasters purchase mixers for the control and options they provide, as well as the efficiency they could bring to their recording workflow.
Now, I will take a look at the different mixers you can consider for your podcasting needs:
- 2 XLR inputs: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface
The first gen of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has become one of the highly sought USB audio interfaces for under $150. The brand also claims it is the best-selling USB audio interface. However, the 2nd gen model enhances it in many ways and fixes the shortcomings by minimizing latency and adding more headroom.
I have been using it for the past few months, and it has turned out to be dependable. It works amazing, too, with two inputs and two outputs. The inputs are combo jacks, which could accept both ¼ inches instrument cables and XLR mic cables. With those two inputs, you can record two microphones at the same time.
I want to highlight that it does not have a SPDIF or MIDI inputs or outputs. It is only a basic interface with two balanced outputs for connecting the 1/4 inches TRS cables to speakers. One of the main upgrades of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is the 8 decibels increased headroom included in the instrument inputs for hot pickups. They fixed the clipping issues of the first-gen 2i2 and Solo models.
Other hardware upgrades with the 2nd gen models have improved surge protection circuits to the outputs and inputs, as well as updated converters supporting at least 192 kHz sampling at 24-bit.
4 XLR inputs:
- Mixer: Behringer Xenyx Q1202USB
- USB Interface: Tascam US-4×4
The Behringer Xenyx Q1202USB is an excellent budget mixer for four-person podcasting. I got this, and they sound awesome. I have a lot of extra space in my project studio. Each inch of workspace must produce. That is why I decided to use this mixer because it produces massive time results for less money.
The Behringer Xenyx Q1202USB has built-in compressors on the first four mic pre or line inputs. It also has a 40 kHz Klark Teknik effects processor, not to mention it doubles as a 48 kHz audio interface.
For the user interface, I would recommend the Tascam US-4×4. The build quality of this unit is excellent, particularly considering the cheap price: tilt stand and knobs, sturdy metal case, and switches for every basic function. The switches and knobs are reasonably sized as well, clearly labeled, and simple to use.
6 XLR inputs:
- Mixer: Behringer Xenyx X1222USB
- USB Interface: Tascam US-16X08
If you are looking for a premium mixer for your podcasting needs, consider the Behringer Xenyx X1222USB. It is a premium analog mixer designed for professionals with 4-phantom-powered xenyx mic pre-amps. Those pre-amps are extremely powerful, and they are compared to stand-alone boutique preamps, offering professional sound. I also want to highlight that it has 130 decibels of dynamic range.
The mixer features four professional compressors as well as LED control, allowing you to mix and get the sound you need. On top of that, the mixer comes with sixteen presets that you can tweak, such as delay, chorus, flanger, and reverb, among others.
For the USB interface, I would suggest Tascam US-16X08. It gets you a lot of channels and decent sound quality for an appealing price. With sufficient connection installed on the surface and a variety of extra features, Tascam has made it a worthy competitor to the most expensive eight-channel recording devices.
Tascam US-16X08 boasts a high A/D resolution of 24-bit/96kHz. On top of that, the eight analog XLR inputs are geared with Ultra-HDDA mic pre-amps, offering clean recordings. They also work with minimal noise and provide at least 56 decibels of gain.
Plugging an instrument straight into the inputs of the interface leads to a clean and transparent tone, as well. There is a gentle discoloration caused by the pre-amps, but it is by no means overpowering. To sum up, the Tascam US-16X08 rivals those high-end interfaces when we talk about sound quality. It also captures audio, whether through direct recording or microphones, cleanly and accurately.
As we have covered, there is no one-size-fits-all podcast starter kit, as podcast comes in different formats and styles. We wish you the best of luck setting up your first podcast show! I hope you find my guide informative and helpful at the same time.
Do you have more things you want to know about starting a podcasting show? Here are some of the answers to your frequently asked questions.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Start a Podcast?
If you would like to opt for the bare minimum, you can expect to spend at least $100 on a microphone, headphones, or a mixer. You should also consider the cost of podcast hosting. However, if you wish to begin a superior quality podcast, it might cost you around $500 to $1,000 to get started with the suitable equipment, on top of $30 to $50 every month for software and hosting subscriptions.
Q: Do Podcasts Make Money?
Yes, they are! Making money on your podcast is one of the dream goals for so many of the podcasters I meet. Monetizing your podcast could help you pay for the costs of post-production and hosting, not to mention it can work as some passive income to help save up some added money for the future.
Podcasters can make and earn money in different ways. The two main channels are affiliate sales and advertisements during the show or sponsors.
Q: Do I Need a Mixer for a Podcast?
Most podcasters without the luxury of studio equipment normally suggest an audio USB mixer to record and edit your podcast. Bear in mind that a good USB mixer will help improve the overall sound levels, gain, EQ, and overall offer you a better grasp of your audio output so you can continue making an amazing podcast.
Of course, you can always podcast without a mixer, but using one will enhance your audio’s quality. The pre-amps are better and will help your microphone shine brighter. However, if you have a decent microphone already, then that will not make as much of a difference.
Some of the features you need to look into a mixer include:
- Inline enhancement – Inline enhancement and multi-channel capability work together and are suitable for improving your audio. They could help you save money when doing the post-production. The capability to use gain, high-cut or low-cut filters, and equalization on every individual channel is wise.
- Multi-channel control – Without a mixer, you can only record on one channel. That indicates the quiet people will be quiet, and the loud people will be loud. Without one, you can turn up those quiet ones and turn down the shouters.
- Reliability and backup – Compared to digital records and computers, mixers don’t crash. A mixer will help you lessen noise and flakiness by cutting out the computer component altogether. On the other hand, you can record using software and the mixer as a backup recorder. The digital recorder can also get the second output.
- Mix minus – It comes in when working with a cost-host, allowing you to perform live production with someone who is not physically present but in a remote location.
Q: Can I Start a Podcast with My Phone?
Yes, absolutely! You can easily start podcasting with a smartphone, Android, or iPhone. Each smartphone has a built-in microphone, so all you need is a recording application. Moreover, you can even go with something podcast-specific like a Spreaker or Anchor that enables you to make episodes and upload directly from your phone. How awesome is that?
Q: Do I Need a Mic for a Podcast?
Well, of course. You certainly need a good microphone, especially if you like to begin a podcast. You will need one for each individual who will be speaking to your podcast show. Unluckily, the in-built microphone of your computer or laptop will not cut it unless you like your podcast to sound like you are broadcasting from a bathroom.
Q: How Do I Record a Podcast at Home?
There are some steps you need to do to start recording a podcast at your home. Make sure your room is optimized with acoustic treatment. That’s the most crucial part and is often ignored by many beginners.
To record a podcast, try using a USB mic first. Then, you can step it up when you are ready to use XLR mics. These do not connect straight to a computer through USB. Instead, you need an XLR cable and an interface.