Planning to start a podcast? Well, before you get started you should consider getting the most important piece to the puzzle, the microphone. Having a high quality microphone is going to make a huge difference to the sound quality of your recording.
There are two factors to consider before buying a microphone. First, you should know your exact budget. Second, you should have a good idea of where you plan to record (big room, small room, noisy background, etc.). As with many other things in life, the more money you spend, the better quality you’ll get.
If you don’t have the money right now, don’t sweat it. As you become more successful you will be upgrading your gear as you go. The goal here isn’t to spend hundreds of dollar an a microphone. The goal is to find something within your budget that you can use on a regular basis.
Today I collected some of the top entry level and professional microphones for you to consider. This list is the result of reading reviews from customers, industry professionals, and credible technology websites. Below you will find microphones aimed at different budgets. Good luck!
Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Condenser USB Microphone
This USB microphone plugs directly into your laptop or desktop (Windows and Mac compatible). This mic is easy to use and should function seamlessly with almost any recording software. The AT2020 is a great choice it you’re just starting out. It’s perfect for home studio recording, field recording, podcasting, and voiceover use. The only downside is that it lacks gain control and a headphone input.
This microphone provides a very natural sounding voice while you speak into it. Because the microphone is so small, it works well in reducing noise around you while you speak into it, and the polar pattern allows for less interference as well from pesky background noise. This is a very inexpensive option for someone who is just starting out, or doesn’t produce too many podcasts.
Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone
If you were to ask any professional podcaster or radio broadcaster about this microphone, I can guarantee you that they would have good things to say about the PR 40. This dynamic microphone delivers rich and full sound, allowing your voice to sound vibrant and organic.
It is also great at reducing the amount of noise that can be heard in the background. Producing the widest frequency range available in a dynamic microphone, the PR 40 outperforms most condenser microphones, and can withstand huge amounts of SPL. At the same time, it maintains the 25 year Heil Sound tradition of superbly natural voice articulation.
Rode Podcaster Booming Kit: Podcaster, PSA1 Arm, and PSM1 shock mount
The Rode Podcaster is a dynamic USB microphone that combines broadcast quality audio with the simplicity of USB connectivity, no pre amps or other equipment needed. This kit was specifically designed for podcasters. They’ve included everything you need to get started. Simply plug it in and start talking.
This microphone processes all of the analogue-to-digital conversion internally (bypassing the computer’s lower quality on-board sound controller altogether), has a headphone output on the microphone body (which provides zero-latency monitoring), and has a built in pop filter (designed to minimize plosives sounds).
MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount
If you’re in the market for professional sound quality in both digital and analog recordings, then you should consider the MXL 990. Don’t let the low price fool you, this mic serves all the purposes without sacrificing quality. If you wish to plug it into your PC or Mac you will need a XLR-to-USB converter. Custom shock mount, mic stand adapter, and a case are all included with the mic.
Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Silver Edition
Disclosure: I own this microphone.
The Yeti USB microphone comes with 4 different pattern modes;
Stereo mode: The stereo mode uses both the left and right channels, and is ideal for capturing a realistic, general sound image.
Cardioid mode: Well-suited to podcasts, sung vocals, and other voice work, cardioid mode records sound sources that are directly in front of the microphone. It delivers a rich, full-bodied sound.
Omnidirectional mode: Omnidirectional mode picks up sound equally from all directions. It is best used in situations when you want to capture the ambience of “being there”–like a live recording of a band’s performance.
Bidirectional mode: Bidirectional mode records from both the front and the rear of the microphone. It is ideal for capturing the nuance of a musical instrument, or recording an interview between two people.
Its aluminum body has a mute button, volume knob, gain knob, pattern knob, a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack, and USB port. This microphone is very easy to set up and start recording. It works with MAC and PC. The Yeti is useful for almost every recording situation. If you need to sneeze or cough, simply press the mute button. If you’re experiencing distortion or feedback, simply adjust the gain. If you want to listen to the recording in real time without latency, plug in your headphones.