Want your podcast to sound the best it possibly can?
You're going to need the correct microphone for recording it.
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Listen to an episode of my podcast that offers more insight into the differences between microphones.
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So, what microphone IS best for podcasts?
One of the most common questions I get asked myself, or see people asking on the internet is “what microphone is best for podcasts?”
And every day I see the same advice being repeatedly peddled by amateur podcasters who bought their own first choice and pay that recommendation forward because they don’t know any better.
“Hey fellow Facebook group podcasting fans! What microphone is best for recording my podcast?” they excitedly ask.
“Buy a Blue Yeti, they’re great!” they’ll see responded back to them.
Without even a hint of irony.
I’m a podcast producer with a reputation for pushing my podcasters to produce the highest quality results.
I’m not satisfied with recordings that are made on mobile phones or on laptop internal microphones.
So as you can imagine, I have a favourite microphone.
However, as is commonly misunderstood by the many so-called podcasting experts on YouTube and Facebook groups, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution for your microphone needs.
Most of these people who pass themselves off as podcasting coaches and mentors are simply funneling you into their system.
They don’t actually care about the quality of the podcasts you’re putting out.
There’s no intention of shouldering any accountability and moving along with you on your journey.
All they want from you is your thumbs up on their video, or the follow on their page.
Believe it or not, I actually care about how your podcast sounds.
I want you to get results.
I want you to feel motivated to continue producing episodes, thanks to a regular audience of engaged listeners.
The only way you’re going to get that, is to make what you’re putting out there, listenable.
This is why we’re going to take a look into what microphone options there are for you, and help you decide for yourself.
Don't buy a Blue Yeti!
The microphone that I personally swear by, might be the worst possible microphone you could buy for your own circumstances.
This is because everyone’s set up is different, and every microphone is designed to work effectively in very different situations.
This is why I always find it so ridiculous that people will just blindly recommend the seemingly popular Blue Yeti microphone without asking any questions about the intended use.
See, the Blue Yeti is a condenser microphone.
This means it’s best suited to quiet, sound-treated environments.
You know that podcast you listen to that has a lot of hiss and room echo on it? That’s because it’s been recorded using a Blue Yeti microphone, by someone who doesn’t know how to use it.
My own microphone of choice is the Rode NT1A. This is also a condenser microphone that brings out the bassier tones in my voice and makes my recordings sound similar to a traditional radio broadcast sound that I’m used to from my years spent on the air on FM radio.
I use this in my professional podcast studio here at Podknows.
This is because it works best in a properly sound treated space.
This microphone wouldn’t be much good to you, if your set up is in your garage, or in a very open office with lots of windows
But again, one of the most popular microphones you can buy is the Blue Yeti.
And it’s purchased by a lot of podcasters who are just starting out who don’t even realise what kind of microphone it is.
Going by the positive reviews and the constant recommendations the microphone gets from clueless amateurs on social media, you’d think this was the best podcasting microphone ever.
It’s not. It’s quite the opposite in fact.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent enough microphone if you know how to use it correctly, and you’re set up with a very good studio space with brilliant acoustic treatment.
My guess is that if you’re reading this, you probably are not.
So, you’re probably going to need my suggestions for what kinds of microphones you want to be investigating.
You need a dynamic microphone
Although I wouldn’t ordinarily blindly recommend any kind of microphone without knowing exactly what your space looks and sounds like, I’m going to take a gamble here; you will definitely want a dynamic microphone.
How can I say this with such conviction?
You’re reading an article entitled “What microphone is the best for recording podcasts?”
The chances are if you’re reading this, then you’re probably not sitting in a wonderfully sound-proofed and acoustically perfect setting.
This means, you’re definitely going to want a dynamic microphone, as these are the best at eliminating unwanted sound.
So now we’ve established that you’re wanting this specific type of microphone, the good news is we’ve nicely narrowed down your options to just a few hundred.
I can help you narrow it further.
The best news of all is that you absolutely will not be buying the Blue Yeti, as that is not a dynamic microphone.
I’m going to take another wild guess here.
You probably don’t have any kind of mixer or digital audio input device.
If that’s true, then scroll down for my USB based podcast microphone suggestions.
If I’ve got that wrong, then you’re going to want to look into an XLR microphone.
These are better, because you have more control of the microphone’s sound ‘going in’, in terms of EQ, tone, warmth and other factors.
The good news is, I have just the microphone for you.
It’s the Rode Podmic (Affiliate link. Pictured below)
I’m not just suggesting this microphone because I get a tiny share of your payment if you decide to purchase.
I’ve been suggesting this microphone to podcasters long before I had any kind of affiliate arrangement set up.
I also use this microphone myself, for some of my home-based projects.
Again, this microphone is an XLR microphone, meaning you’ll need a mixer or something like the Rodecaster Pro to use it. (Affiliate link – and the cheapest available price for this device)
These are both available as a bundle, and this would be the easiest and most exciting possible set up for recording your podcast.
This is because the Rodecaster will allow you to also record your podcast directly into your recording software using the unit’s provided ASIO driver.
Let me know if you need any help with this in your Adobe Audition software.
I’m always happy to talk people through this.
If you’re absolutely not wanting to work with XLR (ugh, cables!) then read on, as I have some USB solutions for you.
(In the tune of Salt 'n' Pepa) Let's talk about USB...
There’s no subject of an article that can’t be improved with a Salt ‘n’ Pepa reference.
I firmly believe that.
But anyway, let’s get on with these microphone recommendations.
So here we are.
You’re a USB kinda person.
I knew it.
Far be it for me to ‘make an ass of u and me’ though.
Also, this would have been a really short article if I’d titled it “What USB microphone is the best for recording a podcast?”
My website person Tom would have been straight into my emails saying “Neal, do you WANT Google to think Podknows is a credible website for podcasting information or NOT?!? Exactly, so write more than thirty words will ya?!”
Back to business.
There are a couple of USB dynamic microphones you can go for.
Which one you choose depends entirely on your priorities.
Do you want the best possible sounding microphone for your money?
Or do you want the cheapest possible microphone that will sound the best for that price range?
Let’s assume you’re exactly the person that I’m hoping I’m talking to with this post.
You’re reading it because you’ve heard about my reputation for helping and encouraging podcasters to sound as good as they possibly can, and you also want to.
And you want me to be very proud of you, don’t you?
Of course you do.
In which case, you’ll be wanting the Shure MV7. (Affiliate link. Pictured below)
The best thing about this popular podcasting microphone is that it also allows for an XLR connection, so if you do eventually decide to upgrade with something like the Rodecaster Pro, you’re future proofed.
If you’re wanting the next best sound, but for a little less outlay, then this is your ideal solution.
The great thing about the Samson Q2U is it offers solutions for your future as well as your present.
The ultimate bargain!
Look, I’m a realist.
We both know you’d love to get a Podknows gold star for taking your podcast seriously, and reaching the standards I expect and push my podcasters to aim for.
I mean, that would be nice, but the truth is, at the end of the day, you found this article by chance.
You don’t even really know me that well yet, and, well frankly, you feel like you owe me nothing.
I get it.
You want a bargain.
It just so happens this is your lucky day.
I’m going to get you set up with a decent dynamic microphone for the cost of a decent pub meal.
Introducing; the t.bone MB88U Dual. (Affiliate link)
I’m not bothering with a picture because it’s not the prettiest microphone you’ve ever seen.
Again, you can plug it into an XLR mixer if you decide to use that connection after all, but to be honest, if you’re wanting to spend the money on a mixer or Rodecaster at any point in the near future, then why would you buy this microphone?
Will it sound as good as the Shure microphone?
Will it make your podcast sound good enough to attract lots of listeners, potential clients and sponsorship opportunities?
Will it sound better than your laptop or a Blue Yeti in an open plan office with absolutely no sound absorption?