If you look at the podcasting market you will see that over the last few years it has seen growth unlike many other content creation markets (short of YouTube, that is). It has found a footing for a couple of simple reason and that is the ease of creation and the fact that you can connect and find your tribe easier.
If you are thinking about getting into podcasting, you will need some equipment and one of the most important pieces of equipment is your microphone. Now there are many types out there and many brands, so we know that you are pulling your hair out trying to decide which one you should get. Which one will meet all your needs and still give you an awesome sound?
In this guide, we are going to help you out with that. We will look at some of the best podcast microphones of 2019 as well as give you a breakdown a few of the key features to look at when researching just which of the vast choice of podcast microphone will be best for you and your podcast.
So, let’s jump right into the microphone reviews of some of the best available on the market today.
Best Podcast Microphone Reviews
Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone
This USB cardioid microphone from Blue Snowball is a great choice for the podcaster on a budget. It comes with the features needed to record good-quality sound, and is one of the favorites of many YouTubers and podcasters alike.
The iCE Condenser mic from Blue Snowball is a budget-friendly option that comes with high-quality features like:
- Built with a custom condenser capsule for crisper audio
- Enhanced frequency response (40 – 18 kHz)
- Designed to be plug and play
- Included in the box: adjustable stand, USB cable
What’s to like about the Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone
If you are a podcaster on the go and on a budget, the iCE from Blue Snowball could be a great choice for you. Easy to carry with its compact design, you can bring your own mic on the road and podcast from anywhere. It allows you to be able to maintain that high-quality sound that your audience is used to from your home studio anywhere you go.
What’s not to like about the Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone
There are drawbacks to this microphone we need to discuss. First, it offers great quality sound but nowhere near a professional level and that means it also does not come with a lot of extra features like a mute button. The condenser is also a little sensitive, so although it does offer great noise reduction, in some aspects it also has a tendency of picking up some unwanted sounds as well.
The bottom line is that if you are looking for a great mic to get started, this microphone from Blue Snowball could be exactly what you are looking for.
Rode Procaster Dynamic Microphone
Our next entry is a top-of-the-line dynamic mic from one of the biggest names in audio, Rode. This Procaster broadcast quality mic will bring a lot to your podcasting game.
The Procaster from Rode mics is a high-quality dynamic mic that has been built with the features you need to produce a quality product. These features include:
- Polar pattern is built to be tight to produce a perfect vocal response
- Crafted with high-grade durable materials
- Built-in shock absorption mount and pop filter for a purer sound
- Included in the box: stand mount, adapter, and protective pouch
- Improved impedance output
What’s to like about the Rode Procaster Dynamic Microphone
With a rich, crisp sound your podcast will sound like it has been professionally recorded even if you are sitting in your home studio. With every feature purposely crafted to give you the best sound quality, the Rode Procaster is a great choice for any podcaster looking to make this more than just a hobby.
What’s not to like about the Rode Procaster Dynamic Microphone
If you want quality, sometimes that means a steeper price tag and that is the case with the Rode Procaster. In fact, if you look at the price tag and think you should be getting a full setup, that would be a miscalculation. This mic comes with a few accessories, but a mic stand is not one of them and when you are setting up a new studio or recording station, that stand is very important.
In the end, if you are not dealing with a tight budget and want the best quality audio you can get then investing in the Rode Procaster is a great choice.
MXL 990 Condenser Microphone
This simple cardioid condenser mic from MXL is a great choice for anyone looking to get started with a quality mic.
Not one for a lot of frills, this mic still comes with some amazing features that ensure you achieve an optimal sound as you record your podcast. Some of these features are:
- Designed to be compact and durable with high-grade materials
- Crafted in a vintage style for a nice aesthetic
- Enhanced frequency response (30Hz – 20kHz)
- Increased SPL sensitivity (130dB)
What’s to like about the MXL 990 Condenser Microphone
Not a lot of extras with this model from MXL but it does offer excellent sound quality at a good price and it looks cool too.
What’s not to like about the MXL 990 Condenser Microphone
There isn’t much to complain about with this bare offering. There is the lack of features that you may be able to take advantage of with other models and there have been some issues with the pickup response being just a hair too sensitive.
If, however, you are looking for a great mic that gives you good sound with a budget-friendly price, then looking at the MXL990 is an option that seems like it just might be perfect for you.
ZINGYOU Condenser Microphone
Ready to save some money and get a mic that offers you high-quality sound? Then the ZINGYOU condenser microphone with bundle is one option you should definitely consider.
This mic comes in a bundle that will have you ready to start recording as soon as you are set up. The mic itself offers nice audio and the following features:
- Designed with a sensitive capsule for superior sound
- Enhanced frequency response (20 – 20,000Hz)
- Improved SNR for less distortion
- Decreased noise from shock absorption mount
- Included in the box: a mic stand, shock mount, pop filter, foam wind cap, power cable, sound card
What’s to like about the ZINGYOU Condenser Microphone
When you are looking to get started, or set up your own home studio, you want the most bang for your buck and being able to get almost your full setup in one box is a great benefit. This microphone form ZINGYOU comes with it all and on top of that, you get a microphone that has a sensitive pickup and gives you great high-quality sound. What more can you ask for?
What’s not to like about the ZINGYOU Condenser Microphone
Well, you could ask for some more durability. That is the chief complaint when you ask people what they think of this microphone. Not only the mic itself but the accessories it comes with suffer from a lack of durability and that could be a bad thing.
Perhaps that doesn’t bother you and you just want to get started and hit that record button rather than having an entire setup at your disposal; if so, this one may just be the push you need to get your podcast started.
Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
Our last entry is from a big name in the audio world, Shure. This company has been one of the top names in this industry for decades and focuses on bringing high-quality products that answer all your audio needs. With SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Mic it does just that.
Built to be a high-grade professional microphone, the Shure SM7B is equipped with many features that make this by far one of the best options on the market today. Features like:
- Elevated frequency response for clean and crisp audio
- Bass and mid-range control w/ a graphic response display
- Enhanced noise reduction
- Built-in shock absorption
- Designed with a pop filter for better plosive protection
What’s to like about the Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
When you invest in a Shure mic you will undoubtedly be getting a piece of equipment that offers you professional-grade sound with exceptional features to support that. With this model, you also get a durable and easy-to-set-up a mic.
What’s not to like about the Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
If you are going to blow your budget on one thing when you are setting up a podcast it should be the microphone. We are sure you are looking for a great-quality mic on a budget, so the Shure SM7B is may not be the mic for you. It has a hefty price tag compared to other models and has a few other small issues as well.
The first is that if you are a podcaster living a nomadic lifestyle, the fact that the model is not easy to transport may mean that you need to look at something just a little more portable. The other common complaint is that unlike other mics available you do have to be rather close to the mic when you record to get the best sound possible.
If none of these issues seem to fit your podcasting worries, then making an investment by getting a mic from one of the leading names in audio may not be a bad idea.
Now you have some ideas about the options you have available, but what should you be looking for to ensure you get the best microphone for your specific needs? This is a great question and there are many factors that you should consider and below we will look at several of them. By using this guide, you will be better able to make your decision without potential regret or disappointment.
This spec is usually clearly denoted somewhere on the box and plays a vital role in making sure that you get the right sound for the right audio. When you are looking at your options you want to keep in mind what you will be recording.
If you are a podcaster that intends to record music as well, you will need a mic with a high-frequency response. Now if your music or voice has a lot of bass, that will change, and you will need a low-frequency response to better capture the richness of the low end of the audio range.
Everything you purchase should be put through the durability filter. After all, you don’t want to buy an expensive piece of equipment only to have to replace it after using it for just a short time.
A good thing to understand is that dynamic mics will be far more durable than the much cheaper USB version that is popular among many podcasters. So, considering the construction and materials used in that construction should be one of the first things you think about when making your decision.
You will want to look at the audio receptiveness, or impedance, of the mic you go with. For podcasters, you want something around 600 ohms or below. This will capture and retain more of the audio quality.
USB vs. Analog
This is really a preference, and each has its own advantages and benefits. With a USB, you will be able to plug and play right into your computer. They also tend to be easier to use and a little cheaper.
With the analog version, you will need some external equipment to be able to hook it up to your computer. The good thing with analog is that it often gives you a richer more professional sound. In the end, this is up to your preference, as we said.
You don’t want to be laboring at your setup forever, right? So, paying attention to what you need, the details and difficulties of your mics setup process could be something that makes a good mic a little less appealing. It’s better to know than to wander in blind, so make sure you check out the setup process before making that final decision.
Now you have a better handle on what to look for and some potential options, but as you were reading this, we are sure some questions popped into your mind. That is why we have curated some of the most commonly asked questions and hope to be able to answer a few of them so you feel a little more prepared to jump into that podcast.
Can I record a podcast on my iPhone?
The basic answer is yes. Your iPhone or any mobile device can record a podcast. You just need a few things to get started. The first thing you will need is an external mic. These plug right into your headphone jack and offer a better audio quality than simply using your phone’s mic.
The next thing you will need is to download an app specifically designed to record and upload your podcast to whatever service you intend on using. Some of these include Anchor or Podbean. Once you have these two steps in place, all you need is your content ideas and a quiet place.
Do I need an audio interface to record vocals?
If you want good quality audio the answer is yes. Though most laptops and computers come equipped with a builtin interface, they are never really the greatest. So, make sure you have a good quality interface like the Blue Yeti USB mic or some such USB audio interface. This will ensure that you get the best quality sound as you sing your heart out.
What does an audio mixer do?
An audio mixer (sometimes called a soundboard) is a mechanism that can record, mix tracks and monitor audio as it is being recorded or edited. These audio mixers are available in digital and analog forms.
The analog ones are even available in smaller versions great for building a home studio in a limited space, but many sticks with the digital version which obviously takes up less room. These come in the form of programs like Adobe Audition or ProTools.
What’s the difference between condenser microphones and dynamic microphones?
The difference between these two types of mic is very simple and quite complicated. Sound weird we know but it is true. Without going into how these mics are constructed we will just give a few basics. First off each is good for different type so settings. The dynamic mic is great for recording vocals and music in live settings.
With a condenser mic, it is better suited for capturing softer and higher frequencies, which makes it perfect for studio work. The dynamic microphone is the older of the two and that means it is a little less frill-oriented. In the end, the biggest difference is the fact that a dynamic mic, due to its construction, does not need the power to work but a condenser mic does.
How many microphones do you need?
This is kind of obvious but the minimum amount you need is one. If you are podcasting and you are the only one in the room, that is the bare minimum. Now if you are recording multiple people or intend on doing other audio work, you may need more.
When you set out to decide which microphone you want to capture all the wonderful podcasts you have laid out in your content calendar, you will want to make sure you get the best one for your needs. That can be a daunting task when you scroll through the vast options available on the market.
That’s why we hope that by building this list and guide we have helped make this process a little easier and less stressful for you. Now you are armed with the knowledge you need to make this important decision and once you have your equipment, you can get started producing awesome podcasts and building your tribe.
Now that we have taken a look at the 5 best podcast microphone options, as well as the features that you should consider when buying a podcast microphone, we have to say that our absolute favorite and top recommendation has to be the Rode Procaster Dynamic Microphone.
Although it is a bit more pricey than some of the other options, it is worth every dollar. It offers a rich, crisp sound, a built-in pop filter and shock mount, and a headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring. What more could you ask for?