The best microphones for podcasting will capture high-quality audio, be able to handle a variety of recording environments and come with a boom arm or other custom stand. The best podcast mics will also have a built-in pop filter to eliminate pesky plosives and humming.
There are a variety of great options to suit the needs of any podcaster. XLR microphones offer the highest quality sound but require a mixer and interface to use.
For content creators looking for a rugged microphone that will stand up to the rigors of everyday use and abuse, dynamic mics are the perfect choice. They are designed to withstand higher sound pressure levels than other microphone types, so you can be loud and proud with your podcast without fear of distortion. Plus, they are typically less expensive than condenser microphones.
In addition, dynamic microphones are designed with a directional polar pattern that is most sensitive to sounds coming from one direction and rejects background noises from other directions. This is particularly important for podcasting, as you want your listeners to hear your voice without having to compete with distracting ambient sounds. This is especially important if you record your podcast in a less than ideal environment.
Another benefit of dynamic mics is that they can withstand high sound pressure levels without distorting or breaking. This is a great feature for podcasters who enjoy using their microphones to shout or sing during podcast episodes. In fact, this is the exact type of use that most dynamic microphones are built for.
There are many good dynamic microphones available on the market for content creators on a budget, including the Audio-Technica AT2005USB and the Electrovoice RE-20. Both have a cardioid build that helps minimize proximity effect and the bass roll-off, as well as both USB and XLR connectivity.
With a condenser microphone you will get more detail and a wider dynamic range, meaning your voice will stand out more. With this clarity, your podcast will sound natural and warm.
A common choice for beginners, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x is an affordable and well-built mic that can be used for a variety of recording scenarios. Whether you’re recording at the dining room table or in your basement studio, this USB podcast mic can help your voice shine and minimize room noise.
The ATH-M20x also includes a shock mount to reduce vibrations that could cause noise in your recordings. This little accessory is essentially made of tiny bungee cords that suspend the mic in the air and prevent it from vibrating against the stand.
Some models have a cardioid or super-cardioid polar pattern that is more sensitive to sounds coming from the front of the microphone and rejects unwanted noise from the rear or sides. This is perfect for recording with multiple co-hosts where you want each person’s voice to be clearly heard.
If you’re looking for a quality USB podcast mic with more features, check out the HyperX QuadCast S. While the mic was originally designed for streaming and gaming, this large-diaphragm condenser microphone is also a solid option for podcasting. The QuadCast S has a direct USB connection for ease of use, as well as XLR inputs and 48V phantom power for professional-grade recording.
Whether you’re recording at home or on the road, you’ll want a podcast microphone that’s easy to take with you. Luckily, there are plenty of options that don’t require a separate audio interface and can plug directly into your computer.
For instance, the Rode Podcaster is a great option for those looking for a basic USB mic that delivers excellent sound quality. It’s a dynamic mic with a cardioid pickup pattern and low self-noise, and it comes with a handy travel pouch.
More serious podcasters may need to invest in a larger, more sophisticated mic. The Blue Yeti is a solid choice, and it’s especially well-suited for recording with multiple people because it offers four different pickup patterns. This includes cardioid, which concentrates on sounds that are straight ahead and rejects noise from the sides, as well as stereo, which records sound from the left and right channels simultaneously to give a more realistic impression that listeners are in the room with you.
Another great option is the Shure MV7, which is modeled on the popular SM7B and offers both XLR and USB connections so you can connect it to an audio interface when needed. It’s also the priciest mic in this list, but it has a lot to offer for podcasters looking for top-notch audio quality and simplicity of use.
For podcasters who have a little more money to spend, XLR microphones provide an amazing quality of sound for recording vocals and other sounds. They use three-prong male and female connectors and are the standard in the industry. They’re used by rock bands, radio stations and pro audio gear everywhere. They’re also typically more expensive than USB mics.
When choosing an XLR microphone, the most important thing is to be aware of the environment in which you will record your podcast. Because XLR microphones are balanced they pick up less of the room noise and interference that can be distracting to listeners. They also have a more cardioid polar pattern which helps to minimize background noise.
If you want to get started with an XLR microphone for podcasting, we recommend the Shure SM7B. This microphone is highly recommended by many professional podcasters and performs well in blind tests. It’s a great choice for any podcaster and has the features you need to produce a high-quality podcast.
Another option is the Blue Yeti Pro, which was designed specifically for podcasting. It has a built-in headphone jack, which allows you to monitor your recordings in real time and hear what your podcast will sound like before it goes live. It’s also relatively affordable for a high-quality XLR microphone. Finally, the HyperX ProCast is a nice-sounding debut XLR microphone that plays it safe design-wise. It’s also fairly affordable and a good choice for beginners.