Podcasting is an audio based medium and using the best possible microphone for your budget should be of prime importance. Best podcast microphones require to have very good vocal sound quality and also need to be versatile to be used with various kind of recording equipment.
There are 2 main type of microphone technologies, dynamic and condenser. There are also 2 ways to connect to recording equipment such as your PC , Audio interface or mixer. These two ways are USB and XLR.
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You need to select the right combination to suit your purpose. If you are new to podcasting go with a dynamic mic with USB connection. This is best suited for someone wanting to record alone on a PC or laptop.
If you are more serious and want scalability and better quality , then go for a condenser microphone with XLR connection.
Which podcast microphone is the best ?
Samson Q2U is the best budget podcast microphone. The Samson Q2U/ Audio Technica ATR2100 is a great starter microphone for podcasters and can grow with you. The Rode Podcaster is a better option for a higher budget and a higher quality podcast. If you are a pro podcaster , the Shure SM7b is the best choice.
Why a Good Podcast Microphone is Important ?
Although it seems obvious, it is a pertinent question: Why bother investing in a quality podcast microphone?
Many Podcasts record with people from different places using tools such as Skype or Google Hangouts. This means that connection quality is just as important as the microphone. Some podcasts are recorded in-person. This means that environment and microphone technique can play an important role. No matter how you record, it’s clear that podcasts recorded with a high quality microphone are far more professional than those recorded using a headset mic.
It’s the microphone that records your voice and converts it into digital bits and bytes. Although a good microphone can be expensive, there are many more affordable options.
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Best podcast microphone to buy in 2021 for all budgets.
Below is the list of best mics for podcasting in 2021 , we have tried to cover all budgets and the list includes best budget podcast microphone , best mid-range podcast microphone and the best quality podcast microphone as well.
- Audio Technica ATR 2100 : Best Budget podcast microphone under 100$
- Blue Yeti : Best condenser podcast microphone under 200$
- Rode Podcaster : Best dynamic podcast mic under 300$
- Rode Broadcaster : Best condenser podcast mic under 400$
- Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone : Best dynamic podcast mic under 400$
- HEIL PR 40 : Best sounding podcast microphone under 500$
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Audio Technica ATR 2100 : Best Podcast microphone under 100 USD
This is by far the most recommended microphone for anyone starting out. You will never go wrong with this best podcast microphone under 100 USD.
The ATR2100-USB is designed to take you from the stage to the studio and beyond.
This rugged handheld microphone offers two outputs, USB output for digital recording, and an XLR output that connects with a sound system’s conventional microphone input for use in live performance.
The microphone plugs right into your computer’s USB port, and functions seamlessly with your favourite recording software. The ATR2100-USB also offers a quality analog-to-digital converter for excellent fidelity, and a headphone output with level control for monitoring. Its cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of unwanted sounds from the sides and rear.
The microphone is ideal for live performance, podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, and voiceover use.
Audio-Technica ATR 2100-USB Microphone Features
- Handheld dynamic microphone with USB digital output and XLR analog output
- USB output connects to your computer for digital recording, while the XLR output connects with your sound system’s conventional microphone input for use in live performance
- Smooth, extended frequency response ideally suited for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, voiceover, and on-stage use
- Built-in headphone jack allows you to directly monitor from your microphone
- Adjust headphone volume with easy-to-use controls on the bottom of the microphone
- High-quality AD convertor with 16 Bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate
- Compatible with Windows and Mac
- Low-mass diaphragm provides excellent frequency response
- Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of unwanted sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source
- Tripod desk stand with folding legs for secure and easily portable tabletop use
- Threaded stand clamp attaches securely to the supplied tripod or to a conventional microphone stand
- USB and XLR cables included
- Durable metal construction for long-lasting performance
- On/off switch functions for both USB and analog operation
Blue Yeti : Best Podcast microphone under 200 USD
Yeti is a multi-pattern USB microphone . It can be used as a plug and play USB microphone. It connects directly to the USB port on your laptop or desktop computer and without having to download any other software will work with your favourite recording program.
Blue Yeti is one of the most popular microphones among podcasters and has a great vocal recording performance.
Blue Yeti Features
Whether you’re recording to GarageBand or audacity, podcasting, dictation or even Skype. Yeti features three condenser capsules. A condenser capsule delivers that rich detailed audio you typically find in studio recording.
Yeti features some studio controls directly on the mic on the back above your or pattern selection You have analog gain control which allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the microphone. You can also plug headphones directly into Yeti for zero latency direct monitoring, which is great for multi-tracking or just being able to hear exactly what you’re recording without any echo or delay.
Yeti features headphone volume control on the front as well as a mute button in case you have to pause in the middle of a podcast. Yeti comes with a desktop stand, but also has a standard thread for attaching to a traditional mic stand or the Radius, which is yetis custom shock mount sold separately.
Blue Yeti is a really well built and heavy microphone with really good asthetics.
Recording Polar Patterns
As a multi-pattern microphone Yeti offers four Polar pattern options or directions in which the mic will pick up sound.
- Yeti will record in cardioid, which is directionally to the front, great for instruments or single person podcast.
- Yeti will also record an omnidirectional which is 360 Degrees around the mic. This is great for band practice of Chorus or multi-person podcast.
- Yeti will also record in Stereo which is right and left. This is great for instrument recording to get your right and left separation or for voice and vocals. It gives you an open natural room sound.
- Yeti will record in figure of eight or bi-directional which just means front and back. This is great for Duets or interviews.
Blue Yeti Technical Specifications
- Power Required/Consumption: 5V 150mA
- Sample Rate: 48 kHz
- Bit Rate: 16-bit
- Capsules: 3 Blue-proprietary 14mm condenser capsules
- Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Max SPL: 120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz)
- Dimensions (extended in stand): 4.72″ (12cm) x 4.92″(12.5cm) x 11.61″(29.5cm)
- Weight (microphone): 1.2 lbs (.55 kg)
- Weight (stand): 2.2 lbs (1 kg)
Rode Podcaster USB Microphone : Best podcast microphone under 300 USD
The Rode Podcaster is a dynamic, USB microphone that combines broadcast-quality audio with the simplicity of USB connectivity. It can record direct to a computer without the need for an additional digital interface.
Rode Podcaster Features
It includes 18-bit resolution, 48kHz sampling A/D converter, the Podcaster processes all of the analogue-to-digital conversion internally, thus bypassing the computer’s lower quality on-board sound controller and giving a much better sound quality.
A headphone output on the microphone body provides zero-latency monitoring, so the user can hear exactly what is being recorded, free of delay or echo.
The Podcaster features an internal pop filter, designed to minimise plosives sounds , this means that you do not need an additional POP filter.
It is fully compatible with Windows and MAC. The Podcaster is ideal for podcasting, videos, YouTube, voiceover, any production application that requires a simple yet professional microphone.
It can also be used as an iPad microphone for the Apple iPad (in conjunction with the iPad Camera Connection Kit and a powered USB hub) to provide high quality recording to various iPad audio applications such as Garageband.
The Podcaster includes a sturdy RM2 microphone ring mount.
Rode Podcaster Technical Specs
- Acoustic Principle: Dynamic
- Active Electronics: Analogue signal conditioning + A/D and USB interface
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Resolution: 24-bit
- Sampling Rate: 44-96kHz
- Address Type: End
- Frequency Range: 40Hz – 14kHz
- Maximum SPL: 115dBSPL
- Sensitivity: -51.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (2.80mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
- Power Options: USB bus powered
- Weight: 655.00g
- Dimensions: 215.00mmH x 56.00mmW x 52.00mmD
- Output: USB
Rode Broadcaster : Best Condenser podcast microphone under 400 USD
Specifically designed for On-Air applications, the Rode Broadcaster Studio Condenser Microphone is perfect when wide frequency response and low distortion are demanded.
Winner of the Radio World/US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) What’s Cool award in 1998, the Broadcaster has become an industry standard when studio sound quality is required for on air applications.
Utilizing an Australian designed and manufactured Rode 1 inch externally biased condenser transducer, the Broadcaster features a switchable high pass filter to remove low frequency rumble, voice tailored low-cut feature, ultra low noise and a rugged stainless steel body.
A unique On-Air LED indicator can be switched on or off by shorting contacts on the 5 pin audio connector. This feature allows console operators to warn the Talent that the mic is live. Plus, the Broadcaster includes a full 10 year warranty, stand mount and zip pouch.
Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone : Best Dynamic Podcast microphone under 400 USD
The SM7B dynamic microphone has a smooth, flat, wide-range frequency response appropriate for music and speech in all professional audio applications.
It features excellent shielding against electromagnetic hum generated by computer monitors, neon lights, and other electrical devices.
The SM7B has been updated from earlier models with an improved bracket design that offers greater stability. In addition to its standard windscreen, it also includes the A7WS windscreen for close-talk applications.
Shure SM7B features
- Flat, wide-range frequency response for exceptionally clean and natural reproduction of both music and speech
- Bass roll-off and mid-range emphasis (presence boost) controls with graphic display of response setting
- Improved rejection of electromagnetic hum, optimized for shielding against broadband interference emitted by computer monitors
- Internal ‘air suspension’ shock isolation virtually eliminates mechanical noise transmission
- Highly effective pop filter eliminates need for any add-on protection against explosive breath sounds, even for close-up vocals or narration
- Now shipping with the A7WS detachable windscreen, designed to reduce plosive sounds and gives a warmer tone for close-talk vocals
- Yoke mounting with captive stand nut for easy mounting and dismounting provides precise control of microphone position
- Classic cardioid polar pattern, uniform with frequency and symmetrical about axis, to provide maximum rejection and minimum coloration of off-axis sound
Heil PR40 : Best Podcast microphone under 500 USD
This is one of the best microphones money can buy.
The PR 40 Dynamic Cardioid Studio Microphone from Heil Sound is a high-performance dynamic microphone ideal for use as a vocal mic for talk-show hosts and other voice-over applications.
The large dynamic element produces a smooth response with an articulate and natural midrange. The size of the diaphragm, combined with a low mass and an efficient NdFeB magnet structure, allow the microphone to achieve a wide dynamic range and capture high SPLs, making it a great kick drum mic as well.
This front-address microphone has 4 rear ports to reject off-axis noise, resulting in a smooth, tight cardioid pickup pattern with reduced proximity effect.
The steel body and internal humbucking coil shield the microphone, making it safe for use near video monitors and noisy lighting fixtures. An internal Sorbothane shock-mount decouples the microphone’s dynamic element from the body to reduce the effects of handling noise.
Below video summarizes the best podcast microphones for all budgets.