The power of podcasting is a beautiful thing, but without a podcast microphone it’s obviously not even possible to do. Nowadays with technology, just about everybody with a decent computer and solid internet connection can start up their own podcast, connecting with potentially hundreds, thousands or even millions of people at a time. I remember fantasizing how it would be to run my own radio station as a kid while I sat in the back of the car while my dad listened to funny talk radio. Today, it’s easier than being hired by an actual radio station or making it big — we can do it from our own bedrooms or garages thanks to the amazing internet. Let’s get you started with the best microphones for podcasting in the market today.
How to choose your microphone for podcasting
- Your budget – This is the most important factor when it comes to deciding which mic you need for podcasting. Fortunately, microphones are becoming more and more affordable. You see some for under $100, while others go higher (but obviously provide better quality and stability). We made sure to grab a few mics from each price point to give you some options — it really depends on the person, since we’ve heard of a few who use super cheap mics and still have amazing podcasts, while others want the best of the best. You may also need to buy two (we did when we first started, at least), so doubled price will be your decision.
- Connectivity – USB mics or a traditional XLR condenser microphones? USB microphones are a lot more convenient and a bit more cost-friendly — just plug them in to your Mac or PC and it’ll start recording right there into your software. XLR condenser mics on the other hand will take some ‘phantom power’ (a power source from an external piece of gear, such as a microphone preamp or audio interface). The benefits to this are pretty high, giving us some better recording quality (typically) in an XLR mic. You can also adjust gain and other settings of the mics using the preamp or interface for some more flexibility in what type of sound you get. Either way you’ll be fine. Our XLR vs. USB mics article can help if you need more info.
- What type device do you use? A large percentage of podcasters are on a computer or laptop, but as the trend continues to grow, more individuals are equipped with a smart device. If you are one of these on-the-go podcast lovers, check out our best microphone for smart devices to podcast with. Otherwise, keep reading.
- Additional accessories – You may need a mic stand, popper stopper, shock mount, or even a computer to accommodate your microphone to start your podcast. Some microphone packages come with a lot of these, so we made sure to note when applicable to save you some money.
Our picks for the 10 best podcast microphones
Below is our compiled list of the top 10 best microphones for podcasting in the market today. Although most of them run similar to our computer microphones or streaming microphones post, we made sure to include both budget-friendly and professional models within most price points, as well as a few other options when it comes to connectivity or packages. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions!
Blue Microphones Yeti
Here’s one of the most popular USB microphones for podcasting you’ll see in the market and for good reason. We think it’ll be dominating the niche for quite a few more years until something really comes along to compete with it in terms of overall quality, build as well as look of it. With the Yeti, Blue Microphones gives us a choice between four different capsule modes (stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, or bidirectional), which for podcasting cardioid is recommended;however, if let’s say you have a guest, you can choose to omnidirectional to have it pickup from both the front and the back, etc. Next it gives us a headphone jack within the mic itself, a USB port, an easy tilt mechanism to adjust it in front of you, and ultimately gives you semi-pro audio quality.
If you can afford it and want a USB mic for your desktop or laptop computer, we wouldn’t even recommend reading on but stopping here and grabbing the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. It’s one of the best microphones for podcasts, period. You may also want to check out the Yeti Pro if you want an upgrade that’ll cost a few more bucks.
Well, this one has the word “podcaster” in it, so you know it’s tailor-made for our particular use. Not to mention it’s a Rode microphone, which is one of our favorite brands of all time out there. This model features USB connectivity, a decent sized capsule at 28mm, very solid build, on-body volume control, some internal shock mounting and decent audio quality at 18-bit\48 kHz audio (pretty standard for this price point). The headphone out on the mic also helps with convenience, and if you can get this mounted near your screen you’re good to go, not to mention it just looks super slick. The picture shows what it comes with, so if you want a stand or shock mount you’ll have to buy those separately.
If you want to take a small step up as compared to the Yeti, grab the Rode Podcaster USB Microphone as it is in our opinion another one of the best microphones for podcasting in the market today.
Here’s one of our favorite budget-friendly mics for podcasts if you didn’t want to spend too much of your dough at hand. It’s well under the hundred-dollar mark, so if you’re looking to save some cash yet still provide a decent quality podcast, this is the mic to take a look at. The U37 brings us a large condenser microphone build with a relatively warm sound to it. The cardioid pickup pattern it has is great for isolating sounds around the source that is in front of it. You get a “bass reduction” switch for an additive (not necessarily a need), but our favorite part is the little desktop stand that comes with it.
Right out of the box you can plug it into your PC or Mac via USB and you’re good to go. We’ve linked you to the search results because there are some awesome bundles that give you other accessories you may need to save you some money, so be sure to check out those out. All in all, the CAD U37 USB Microphone is perfect for those looking for a cheaper alternative to running a podcast.
If you haven’t heard of Audio-Technica gear, it’s time you do. They’re becoming heavy hitters in the headphone game and although have been when it comes to microphones for quite a while, still remain a bit in the shadows when it comes to USB mics or the mainstream market (that’s definitely changing now). The AT2020USB is rated extremely positively, specifically for it’s extremely durable build of high-quality material, condenser mic make, wide frequency response and overall audio quality. The sample rate of audio is 16-bit/44 kHz, so it’s coming in right next to the Rode if you want to compare the exact specifications.
We’d grab this if you’re an A-T fan like us and want a microphone that’s hiking up there in terms of overall quality and neatly sit on your desk with a built-in stand. The Audio-Technica AT2020USB is one of the best mics for podcasting in that realm.
Here’s another one of the best podcast microphones many users compare to the Blue Yeti we listed first. However, it’s a bit cheaper in terms of price and although the quality is up there, it’s just a bit of a step down. We recommend it if you don’t want to spend as much for the Yeti yet want something in the middle. You have a little built-in desk stand (with rubber feet) so it’s more recommended for home\office podcast environments. There’s a headphone out and USB port in the back as well as a headphone volume or mic mute switch which is super convenient.
The Samson Meteor USB microphone is a solid option for podcasting as well, sitting right near you with it’s stand, albeit cheaper than the previous A-T mic.
Here’s another Rode mic that we absolutely adore. We’re still within the USB microphones in our list here, so keep that mind until a few more down below. With this model, a big plus is the app that comes along with it. If you’re using an iOS device, this could be a big plus for you (you’ll need a connection kit for it). With it, you can EQ your tracks, tweak some FX and more. You’re also getting a headphone monitor jack, level and mix control, a pop shield, desktop stand, zip case and USB cable (20″ — pretty long) included.
In terms of overall package and value, the Rode NT-USB microphone is one of the best mic for podcasts out there. It’s just a bit pricier than the others, but for good reason of course.
Samson Go Mic
This gives the CAD u37 a run for its money when it comes to a budget-friendly microphone for podcasting — it’s just a tad bit more expensive. However, it’s our top pick for those who podcast and travel, since it’s quite small in size and folds into a carry case for convenience. It’s almost the size of a wallet, so it can probably fit in your pocket (or laptop case for that matter). In terms of sound quality, you’re getting 16-bit, 44.1 kHz, which is just as much as many mics twice the price. That’s a bit better than CD audio quality.
In terms of a versatile mic for podcasting, the Samson Go Mic is one of the best, especially if you’re on-the-go (hence the name, we’ll see ourselves out…).
Now we’re getting into the microphone beasts. This is a studio-quality condenser microphone that’s so powerful you’re going to need an external source of power to use it. If you’re extremely serious about your podcasting, this will give you some of the best sound quality out there, especially if you pair it up with an audio interface to be able to adjust the gain, FX, and more. You can also go with a simple phantom power supply for cheap, but an audio interface gives you a lot more versatility.
Anyways, the Spark also comes with a wood box, custom shock mount as well as pop filter, you’ll just need a stand for it. If you grab the Blue Spark Condenser Mic, you’re going big — we’d buy this only if you have some extra cash laying around or if you plan on using your microphone for other uses, such as music as well.
Here’s another one of our top favorite professional-quality condenser mics for podcasts that will also need an audio interface and external power source if you can afford it. This model is quite famous around the mic realm and for great reason, mainly due to the warmth it provides for recordings and broadcasts. It’s a tad bit more expensive than the Spark, but the overall build, sound and ultimately reputation makes this one of our favorite mics ever. Even though it’s made specifically for recording vocals and instruments for music, using this for a podcast would put you up there and take any “quality” concerns out of the picture.
Take a look at the Rode NT1-A Microphone, it’s one we’ve loved for a very long time.
Focusrite Scarlett Studio Pack
To top off our guide of the best microphone for podcasts, remember when we were explaining the need for an external source of power for some microphones? Well, this is a bundle that has pretty much everything (and probably more) you need to get started with a podcast. Here’s what’s in the box: headphones, a microphone (condenser large diaphragm), audio interface (for power, of course), a mic cable, boom stand, pop filter and some plug-ins for extra pizzazz. It was rated very highly in our microphone bundles guide.
When you get this package at the door, you’re set to start that podcast up immediately. Take a look at the Focusrite Scarlett Studio Pack if you don’t want to bother with all of the extra purchasing and planning and are eager to start.