Top 6 Best Podcast Microphones | A Buyers Guide Apr 2021

Best Podcast Microphones

Podcasting has never been so popular. As one of the most listened to mediums in the world, podcasting delivers everything from the weird and wonderful to the insightful musings of the sporting elite.

Are you ready to tell your story?

To record a decent podcast, you don’t need high-end cameras or wild locations. All you need is a well-designed podcasting microphone to hit record and edit in the comfort of your own home.

With that in mind, here are our top 6 best podcast microphones on Youtube perfect for the novice or the seasoned pro. Let’s take a look:


No. 1
Samson Technologies Q2U USB/XLR

Samson Technologies Q2U USB/XLR

Affordable, professionally crafted and easy to use, the Samson Q2U USB/XLR Dynamic Microphone is an excellent product for beginners. Background noise is suitably minimized with the dynamic microphone capsule.

If it’s a crisp, clear sound you want for your podcasts, then with the right set-up you’ll have your audience eating out of your hand!

The only downside comes with the flimsy stand and how you need to position your microphone precisely for good recording quality.

You’ll be hard-pressed to get as high-quality sound from other budget microphones on the market. For its price, the Q2U is a perfect entryway for getting into podcasting.

Pros
  • Versatile: Offers you the best of both worlds with USB digital output dynamic microphone and XLR analogue output for mixing
  • High-quality sound: Features a dynamic microphone capsule with the built-in cardioid pickup pattern
  • Podcasting perfection: Ambient sounds and other room noises are minimized and live performances feedback reduced
  • Zero-latency monitoring: You can hear yourself without delay and mix your computer audio playback with the onboard ⅛” headphone jack
  • Built to last: Made from a solid, die-cast construction and heavy gauge mesh grille
  • Plug & play: Simply connect to your computer, load your favorite audio software and hit record
  • Quality extras: Mic clip, extended desktop stand, pop-filter to minimize plosives and USB and XLR cables
Cons
  • The stand: A little flimsy compared to the craftsmanship of the product as a whole
  • Positioning: Place near to your mouth when recording for fewer gain issues.

No. 2
Rode SmartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier

Rode SmartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier

Simple to use and offering high-quality recordings, the Rode SmartLav+ is a perfect addition to any serious podcasters arsenal.

Small and discrete, you can easily clip the Lavalier mic to your clothes to produce broadcast standard recordings and plug into your phone, tablet or notebook.

The one bugbear you may find is the additional cost of the Rode App. Unfortunately, it’s an essential purchase if you want the best out of this mic. For its price, the Rode SmartLav+ is not going to break the bank.

Pros
  • Compact: Features a discrete 4.5mm miniature microphone
  • High-quality sound: Uses a superior omni-directional condenser capsule for broadcast quality recordings
  • Design: Offers a professional-grade Lavalier mic and TRRS Jack
  • Strong & durable: The cable is reinforced with Kevlar to reduce risk of snaps and tears
Cons
  • Additional costs: You will need to purchase the Rode App before use
  • Time: You will need to take your time with the set-up to get the best results

No. 3
Rode NT-USB

Rode NT-USB

There is so much to like with the Rode NT-USB Condenser Mic. From its simple plug and play feature to giving you the power to mix your recording directly, it’s a great microphone.

For the at-home podcaster, you will need to take care as this mic is overly sensitive. Although you may not hear a car door closing, your mic will pick it up. Aside from this, the Rode NT-USB will make your podcasts sound like the pros.

When set-up well, you will experience crystal-sound cutting edge recordings you will struggle to find elsewhere. With its mid-range price, the Rode NT-USB is undeniably worth a look.

Pros
  • Convenient: Powered by USB connectivity, you can simply plug and play
  • Direct mix control: You can control the mic input and source input as you mix
  • Zero-latency monitoring: Listen as you record through the 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
  • Great accessories: Pop shield to minimise unwanted plosives, tripod desk stand, ring mount, easy to store pouch and 6m USB cable included
  • Compatible: You can hook the Rode NT-USB straight to your Apple iPad
Cons
  • Incredibly sensitive: The condenser mic will pick up sounds the human ear cannot

No. 4
Blue Yeti USB Mic

Blue Yeti USB Mic

Dictation is one of the most overlooked things in the podcasting world. The Blue Yeti USB Mic manages to capture this head-on with its innovative tri-capsule array.

Its multiple pattern selection gives you a warm, rich sound that makes your voice sound like you’re in the room with your listeners.

Creating crystal clear sounding recordings for those on a budget is made possible with the Blue Yeti. Simple to set up and use, you can hit record and relax within minutes. Why not check it out?

Pros
  • Versatile: Uses an innovative tri-capsule array to record in most situations
  • High-quality sound: Features a multiple pattern selection for capturing the best range of sound. Frequency response can reach up to 20kHz
  • Control: Gain control, built-in mute button and zero-latency headphone output give you control
  • Highly compatible: Works well with most operating systems and recording applications
  • Let’s you experiment: Great for podcasting, vocals, interviews, field recordings and more
Cons
  • Not very MAC friendly 

No. 5
MXL 990, XLR

MXL 990, XLR

Smooth, crisp and offering rich tones, the MXL 990 is a podcaster’s dream. It has an incredible “warm” tube amped sound that produces broadcasting-quality recordings from your own home or recording studio.

At the lower end of MXL’s XLR range, the 990 packs a punch for those with a limited budget. From the broad diaphragm that highlights the resonance in your voice to the beautifully balanced sound, the MXL 990 is definitely worth a look.

Pros
  • Beautifully balanced sound: Features a FET preamp that captures the silky sweet high end while retaining a crisp, solid low and midrange reproduction
  • Stylish design: Eye-catching vintage body style to make your fellow podcaster’s swoon
  • Versatile: Perfect for podcasting, streaming, music and more
  • Great accessories: Includes a custom shock mount, mic stand adapter and carry case
Cons
  • Made from cheap components
  • Pop filter not included

No. 6
Shure SM58-LC

Shure SM58-LC

One of the world’s leading brands, Shure has designed another corker to add to their repertoire with the SM58-LC.

Dynamic and producing bright, clear sound, this mic is a welcome addition to any podcast enthusiast.

The innovative uniform cardioid pattern pickup works well at minimizing background noise too. Matched with the built-in spherical wind and pop filter, you will create plosive free recordings.

Incredibly affordable, you get a lot for your money in terms of sound quality from the SM58-LC. Unlike some of the other microphones in this article, you will need to invest in other kits to get the most out of the SM58-LC.

Pros
  • Tailored frequency response: Proximity effect is minimized with brightened midrange and bass roll-off
  • High-quality sound: Crystal clear sounding vocals
  • Minimal plosives: Built-in spherical wind and pop filter
  • Handling noise reduced: Handy pneumatic shock-mount system included
  • Uniform cardioid pickup pattern: Isolates primary source of sound while minimizing background noise
Cons
  • No on and off button
  • Additional kit and accessories needed

FAQs for getting the most out of your Podcast Microphone

What should I look out for when buying a podcast microphone?

Budget, experience and user-friendliness are all things to consider before investing in a podcast microphone. From the budget-friendly Samson Q2 to the higher-end Blue Yeti, there is a wide variety of mics suitable for your needs.

Any serious podcaster will look out for microphones that offer a good pop filter to minimize plosives and well-designed supporting equipment. Looking for products that come with additional stands, tripods or arms are worth a look to keep costs down.

If you want to simply plug & play, look at USB mics. For a richer sounding, condenser microphone, you should look towards XLR products.

How do I set up a podcast microphone?

Audio quality should be at the top of your list when preparing to record a podcast. You will need to position your microphone where it can clearly pick up your voice, and not pick up any unwanted background noise.

Using a stand or arm will allow you to position your mic in the best place. If you are using a Lavalier mic, make sure your clothes aren’t causing unnecessary noise.

Want to add more to the party? Look for mics with an XLR or USB connection for easy recording.

What type of microphone is best for podcasting?

The following mics are the best ones for podcasting:

1. Samson Technologies Q2U USB/XLR
2. Rode SmartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier
3. Rode NT-USB Versatile
4. Blue Yeti USB Mic
5. MXL 990, XLR
6. Shure SM58-LC

How do I choose a microphone for my podcast?

You should look for the following:

Noise Reduction: Cardioid mics are considered best for reducing background noise. If you are focused and love to do your podcasts in one shot, sitting in one place, you can even use super-cardioid or shotgun mics, which are even better at eliminating external noises.

Popper Stopper: A pop filter or foam meant for reducing the pop when you are podcasting is essential. Many mics come with inbuilt popper stoppers, so look for those. 

Shock Mount: Low-frequency vibrations are inaudible to the human ear but impact what the microphone picks up. These shocks can come from anything- like bumping the table or even typing on a keyboard. Rubber isolation around the suspension mount will help you reduce shocks. Another thing to look for is a high-pass filter on the mic. 

Modulation: Audio recordings can be cruel. You may realize that your voice is not the lion’s roar you always imagined it to be, but more like a mouse’s squeak. Therefore voice modulation has to be an integral part of the mic that you are working with. 

Do you need two microphones for a podcast?

If your podcast includes multiple people, then definitely, yes, you should use two XLR condenser mics if it’s just you; a single mic is good enough.

Are Blue Yeti mics good for podcasting?

The Blue Yeti is often considered an excellent mic for beginner podcasters. Some will point out that it is a condenser mic, which can pick up vibrations, background noises, and other things far too easily. So it might be an excellent mic overall but may not suit your podcasting need. Ultimately, it’s up to personal preference and the way you set up your podcasting station.

Do podcasts make money?

Yes, of course. But it does require a lot of effort and genuinely interesting content. First, you have to build a dedicated audience, which takes time, patience, and a bit of marketing.

On average, a podcast with about 10k downloads per episode will make anywhere between $500 – $900 through affiliate sales. Of course, there are many other monetization routes as well.

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