From TV recap shows and comedy specials, to history lessons and even cooking classes, there is something for everyone in the wonderful world of podcasting, and with a staggering 73 million Americans identifying themselves as regular podcast listeners, they are definitely a good way to get yourself and your opinions out there.
Podcasting has become an increasingly popular form of entertainment, and each year more and more people have taken the plunge and created their very own podcasts. But, if you’re thinking about creating a podcast, then you should know there is a technical side to it as well.
Having the content is just one side of the battle - you also need to make sure you’ve got the correct equipment for getting your voice across, and the best way of doing this is with a microphone that has been designed to capture vocals clearly and concisely whilst reducing any unwanted background noise.
However, when it comes to finding the perfect microphone you can find yourself lost in a jungle of technical jargon and reading through features that don’t really explain what they mean.
That’s why we’ve taken the time to simplify things down for you, and have created a list of some of the best podcast microphones available, along with a useful buying guide that explains these confusing features in simpler terms and will help you find the best microphone for your podcast the first time around.
Top 5 Podcast Microphones
OUR TOP PICK
Taking all of the technical jargon out of recording crystal clear sound, the Plug & Play USB Recording Microphone from FIFINE couldn’t be easier to set up and simply connects to your computer via the USB port, making it perfect for the less technologically-minded podcaster.
This simplicity of this microphone also means that it works with any recording programmes or communication platform without requiring any additional software, allowing you to get on with recording your podcast even faster.
It features a cardioid condenser that produces clear, crisp sound without any static noise, as well as being able to separate your own voice from any background noises and simultaneously drown them out.
It’s super solid, sturdy metal construction ensures durability and it comes with a tripod stand, so you can rest assured that it’ll hold firmly in place throughout your recording session.
There is also an additional volume knob built directly onto the side of the microphone, which gives you quick and easy access to volume control whilst you record without having to reach for your mouse. Super easy to install and use, and with a generous 5’9ft cable, this podcast microphone comes complete with a two year warranty.
- Really easy to install by simply plugging into your computer’s USB
- Is compatible with all sound recording platforms without requiring any additional software
- Features a cardioid condenser that ensures you’re recording super clear sound whilst drawing out background noise
- Has an additional volume knob on the side of the microphone that allows you to quickly and conveniently adjust sound levels
- Comes with a tripod stand for extra stability and a two year warranty
- Although the 5’9ft USB cable is generous, it may be slightly too short if you’ve got a particularly large podcasting set up
Ideal for amateur and home-recorded podcasting, the AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone from Audio-Technica combines style and performance to provide you with the best sound recording quality possible whilst still being really affordable.
As you might have guessed by it’s name, this podcasting microphone features a cardioid condenser that helps to isolate your own vocals (or those of your guest) whilst simultaneously drowning out any background noise to ensure you get super clear sound.
It also features a custom engineered low-mass diaphragm that provides extended frequency response which further ensures high-quality sound recording and allows for the difference in vocal octaves, so you won’t have to worry about adjusting your levels too much between guests.
This podcasting microphone has been designed in a stylish, classic style that won’t look out of place and will fit seamlessly into your studio set up and it also has a sturdy, pivoting thread mount that allows you to securely attach it to your microphone stand and get precise placement that holds steadily whilst you’re recording.
- A fantastic microphone for home recording and amateur podcasting, or for anybody on a budget
- Features a cardioid condenser that delivers super clear vocal recording without picking up background noise
- Also features a low-mass diaphragm for extended frequency response that adds to it’s crystal clear vocal recording qualities
- Has a pivoting thread mount for easy placement and to ensure the microphone is kept steady whilst you’re recording
- Designed in a classic style that will fit effortlessly and stylishly into any studio set up
- This microphone doesn’t include the XLR cable you need to connect it to your computer, however this can be purchased as an additional accessory
The NW-800 Professional Condenser Microphone from Neewer is designed to provide you with a total sound-recording set up, and comes complete with a shock mount, an anti-wind foam cap and a power cable making it one of the best value for money choices available.
It’s cardioid condenser makes sure that the microphone is picking up the clearest vocals possible whilst helping to mute out any background noises, and is paired with a precision electronic circuit that helps to eliminate both crossover and harmonic distortion.
This combination of features ensures that you’ll be able to record crystal clear vocals without spending too much time adjusting levels.
The included anti-wind cap also adds to the sharpness of this microphone’s vocal recording capabilities, and is designed to reduce any breath sounds in between sentences, as well as giving you the opportunity to record outdoors without your sound being affected by any wind noise.
Meanwhile, the shock mount helps to keep your microphone steady whilst you’re recording and will help it to isolate and reduce any noise or vibrations that come from walking, whilst the very generous 8’2ft cable allows you to set up the microphone easily without worrying about it overstretching or having to rearrange your studio.
- A complete microphone kit that comes with three accessories to help you get the clearest vocal recording possible
- Features a cardioid condenser that isolates your vocals and simultaneously reduces background noise
- Also features a precision electronic circuit that helps eliminate crossover and harmonic distortion
- The included anti-wind cap reduces any breath sounds and allows you to record outside without wind sounds ruining the sound quality
- An included shock mount helps keep your microphone sturdy whilst you record, and the generous 8’2ft cable allows you to set it up with ease
- Some people that previously purchased this microphone noted that it is quite heavy, however the included mount and will support this weight when you’re recording in the studio
With no additional software or sound card required the TC-777 USB Gaming Microphone Kit couldn’t be easier to use and simply requires plugging into your laptop or desktop computer, allowing you to start recording your podcast in lightning quick time.
It’s cardioid pickup pattern helps to pick up sounds placed directly in front of the microphone whilst simultaneously reducing any background noise for the clearest vocal recording possible, whilst the included foldable tripod and shock mount ensure that your microphone is kept steadily in place whilst you’re recording as well as being super easy to install.
Amongst the many accessories, you’ll also receive a pop filter with this microphone that helps to reduce any breathing sounds and keeps the quality of the vocals clear and concise throughout recording, and the 1.5m cable gives you a good amount of flexibility when you’re setting it up.
The included shock mount is also really versatile and can even be unscrewed and securely attached to a boom stand, giving you the opportunity to change your studio set up with ease. Topped off with a 2 year warranty, this podcasting microphone and it’s array of accessories is built for both quality and durability.
- Super easy to install by simply plugging into your computer’s USB port, and doesn’t require any additional software
- Uses a cardioid pickup system that focuses on sounds directly in front of the microphone whilst reducing any background noise
- Comes with a variety of accessories including a foldable tripod and versatile shock mount to keep the microphone steady whilst recording
- Also includes a pop filter that reduces breath sounds and keeps vocals clear and crisp
- The 2 year warranty covers you for repair or replacement, and is a testament to the quality of the microphone
- Although compatible with all MAC OS, Windows and Linux systems, this microphone cannot be used to record with phones, iPads or Xboxes.
Another microphone that comes with everything you need for capturing perfect vocals is the USB Microphone Kit from MAONO and connects to your computer via USB, taking away the need for complicated cables and expensive extra equipment.
Built using a professional sound chipset and cardioid condenser, this microphone has an extended frequency response that perfectly captures vocals and delivers smooth, clear sound without letting any background noise interfere with the recording.
It also has a 16mm electret condenser transducer and magnetic ring, which work together to provide you with a strong bass response and further improve the anti-inference capabilities of this microphone. There’s also an included pop filter and foam microphone windshield that eliminates breath noise, keeping sound clear and clean during those momentarily periods of silence.
This microphone also comes with a fully adjustable scissor arm stand and a metal shock mount that will help to ensure that it is kept as steady as possible whilst you’re recording, and has also been specially designed to use less power than some other microphones when in use, so you won’t need to worry about it draining your computer’s battery.
- Connects to your computer via a USB cable, and comes complete with a range of accessories that makes recording vocals quick and easy
- Built using both a cardioid condenser and a sound chipset that work together to produce super clear vocals whilst reducing any unwanted background noise
- Also features a 16mm electret condenser transducer and magnetic ring that improves bass and provides even more anti-interference when recording
- The included pop filter and foam microphone windshield help to eliminate any breath sounds
- Can be securely held in place with the included adjustable scissor arm stand and metal shock mount
- Some previous customers found that the scissor arm stand become slightly loose over time, however this was easily fixed by tightening the screws
A weak microphone or one that isn’t able to isolate vocals from background noise will leave you with a messy sound recording that will be impossible to edit, which is less than ideal when you’re creating a podcast!
That’s why it’s really important to make sure that you’re getting the right microphone for the job. Below, we’ve outlined some key points that you should consider when you’re shopping for a podcasting microphone, and that will help you make sure you’re getting the best model for your individual needs.
One of the most important things to look out for when you’re researching microphones is how they connect to your computer, soundboard or other recording equipment. If the connection isn’t compatible with then you’ve set yourself up for failure before you’ve even begun.
The easiest connection available is the ‘Plug & Play’ USB style, which simply plugs into your computer’s USB port and doesn’t require any specific cables or adapters to start working. This type of connection is perfect if you’re looking to get up and running as soon as possible without any extra technical effort, or if you’re a bit of a technophobe and need the simplest way of recording possible.
Some microphones connect using an XLR cable, which some people prefer as they have a longer signal to noise ratio which in turn can provide you with a clearer sound. However, this is widely disputed and the sound difference is so little that you’d be hard pressed to really notice it.
Ultimately, the type of connection you choose will come down to personal preference, however the one thing you’ll definitely want to be certain of is that the cable length is enough to reach from your recording device to the place that you wish to set up your microphone.
Cable lengths can vary quite dramatically depending on what microphone you choose, so it’s always worth getting your tape measure out and making sure it’s the right length for your needs.
Once you’ve decided which connection type you prefer, you’ll need to make sure that the software your recording equipment has is compatible with your chosen microphone as well.
Generally speaking, most microphones are compatible with a wide range of programmes and software including Windows, MAC OS and Linux systems. However, one area that is seldom catered for with podcasting microphones is phones and tablets.
This is most likely because these are used for editing more than actually recording, however if you do prefer to record on a phone or tablet there are additional accessories available across a range of microphones that will allow you to do this.
Another thing that you’ll want to look at when considering compatibility is whether your potential microphone requires any additional software in order to work with your recording equipment. This is when USB style ‘Plug & Play’ microphones come in as the most popular, as they are usually compatible with any software without needing any additional downloads themselves.
The quality of your recording will ultimately impact how your podcast will sound, so you need to make sure that your microphone is up to the job. However, there are a lot of technicalities and jargon around the different components of a podcasting microphone that can make finding the best one a little confusing.
So, we’ve taken some time to break these down for you into less technical terms, explaining exactly what each thing does and why it’ll help you get the best vocals for your podcast.
One feature you’ll see time and time again is a cardioid condenser. This is a really good thing to look out for as it ensures that the microphone concentrates on the sound placed directly in front of it, whilst reducing and muting-out any background noises.
A low mass diaphragm is another feature you’ll find in a lot of microphones designed for podcasting and this helps to deliver an ‘extended frequency response’ which, put simply, picks up a greater range of octaves and further improves vocal sound quality.
Some microphones have a feature called a precision electronic circuit, and this is designed to eliminate crossover and harmonic distortion. (that high-pitched screech that can come from two microphones being in too close proximity to each other).
Another thing to consider when you’re looking at the recording quality of a microphone is what it can do about breath noise. This is something that is often overlooked, but by reducing the sound of breathing in the moments of silence you’ll be able to capture clear and consistent vocals without the microphone focusing on the wrong thing.
Any microphone that comes with a pop filter or a foam shield will be great for achieving this, as each will absorb the sound of your breath before it’s able to reach the microphone. This is a really good feature to look out for if your podcast is recorded outdoors whilst you’re on the move, as it’ll really help to reduce the sound of any breathlessness.
If you do have an outdoor-based podcast (such as a running blog or a dog walking podcast) then another good feature to look for is the addition of an anti-wind cap amongst your microphones’ accessories. Much like a pop filter or foam shield, this will help to reduce any wind noise you may encounter when you’re out and about.
You also need to make sure that your microphone is kept steadily in place throughout the episode you’re recording, and one way to do this is by looking for a podcasting microphone that comes with additional accessories designed exactly for this task.
Adjustable scissor arms stands are a favorite amongst podcasters, as they can be directly placed in front of you or your guest without any need to bend down or angle yourself awkwardly, all the while securing the microphone in place and ensuring a steady-hold that won’t cause the microphone to shake and distort the recording quality.
Tripods are also great for holding your microphone firm and steady whilst you record, and are generally much smaller in size than scissor-arm stands so can be placed on a desk. This is perfect for smaller studios or portable set-ups.
Although the style and appearance of your microphone isn’t going to have a great impact on the recording quality, it’s always nice to have your studio looking professional and in line with your own personal taste.
Most microphones are designed in the classic, black style that has become synonymous with what everybody pictures in their head when they think of a microphone. But there are some other really fun options out there too, from gold metallics to really bright colors, so have some fun with it and find one that matches your personality as well as provides you with amazing recording quality.
Finally, you should make sure that your podcasting microphone includes some form of warranty or guarantee. They can be a pretty expensive investment, so the more covered you are for repair or replacement the better.
Most microphones have a warranty of around two years, however there are some that will cover you for much longer, so take the time to look at the details and find one that will keep you covered for as long as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best podcast microphone?
The best type of microphone for podcasting will be one that can isolate your vocals, capturing them clearly and concisely whilst simultaneously reducing any background noise.
A microphone that has a cardioid condenser is best for achieving this, however there are some other features that will help you get the best sound quality possible. Check out our buyer’s guide above for a more comprehensive breakdown.