Methods to Choose a Podcast Microphone That Works for You – Sensible Passive Revenue

As we run profitable boot camps with aspiring podcasters and develop our personal podcast household right here at SPI, the subject of podcasting tech has by no means been extra well timed. And on the subject of tech, an important $$ you plunk down will likely be in your microphone. There are extra podcasting mics on the market than you possibly can shake a pop filter at, and it’s straightforward to get overwhelmed, particularly if you happen to’re available in the market in your first one. Learn on for a information to a few of the hottest podcasting mics at totally different worth factors to assist you decide in your subsequent recording tech funding.

Earlier than we get began, although, a pair issues to remember!

First off, it is unimaginable to overview each mic on the market, so I’m simply going to deal with just a few of the most well-liked ones at totally different worth factors.

Second, one beauty of podcast microphone buying is that it’s straightforward to pay attention and comparability store from the consolation of your house workplace: simply hop on-line and seek for audio samples! I’ve included just a few on this article from Pat’s YouTube microphone critiques.

Okay, right here’s what to anticipate on this publish:

  • A Good Mic Is No Excuse for a Dangerous Podcast (However It Helps)
  • The Podcast Mics for Getting Began and Sounding Good
  • The Podcast Mics for Getting Severe and Not Breaking the Financial institution
  • The Podcast Mics for Taking Issues to the Subsequent Stage
  • Mic Test, Higher Perceive Your Mic Tech: Podcast Microphone Phrases and Options
  • Sounding Even Higher with Your New Podcasting Mic

[Note: This post contains affiliate links. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.]

A Good Mic Is No Excuse for a Dangerous Podcast (However It Helps)

You most likely knew this, nevertheless it bears saying: even an incredible mic gained’t save a mediocre podcast. 

As podcaster extraordinaire Randy Wilburn mentioned in his interview on the weblog in 2020, “If you do not have nice content material, I do not care. You possibly can have fifty Heil PR 40s in your workplace. It’s not gonna matter as a result of no person’s gonna pay attention.”

And he is proper. That mentioned, the bar for audio high quality on podcasts has been raised in recent times. Fortunately, until your price range is admittedly tight, there’s no cause you possibly can’t sound fairly darn good. And sounding fairly darn good begins with—you guessed it, a high quality podcasting microphone. (Meaning, no, the headphones that got here together with your cellular phone or that headset you used for convention calls again in 2012 ain’t gonna reduce it.)

If that is your podcasting setup, I really feel dangerous for you, son. Recent apple, although.

With that out of the best way, learn on as I cowl some strong podcasting mic choices from $50 to $300+. I’ve additionally embedded Pat’s video critiques of a number of of the mics so you possibly can truly hear what they sound like and make up your individual thoughts.

The Podcast Mics for Getting Began and Sounding Good

We’ll begin off with two favorites that are available in effectively beneath $100: the Blue Snowball Ice ($50) and the Samson Q2U ($60 to $70).

Blue Snowball Ice

The Blue Snowball Ice is a strong starter mic. It’s not going to blow your socks off, nevertheless it’ll even be apparent to your viewers that you just’re not utilizing your laptop computer’s built-in mic. Should you’re on a price range, the Ice could possibly be simply the ticket.

Mic kind: Condenser (cardioid), USB.

Execs: Reasonably priced. Undoubtedly a step up audio quality-wise out of your inside mic or an affordable exterior one.

Cons: It’s good to be near the mic to get one of the best sound—however look ahead to distortion, too. Minimal choices (no acquire management, headphone enter, or mute button). Solely captures 44.1kHz/16-bit audio. Placement will not be adjustable when utilizing the included stand. Some customers report construct high quality points.

Greatest Podcast Microphone 🎤 (Beneath $75 + USB) (ATR-2100, Samson Q2U, Snowball Ice)

Samson Q2U ($60)

The Samson Q2U is perhaps one of the best podcast mic worth on the market. Should you’re wanting on the Blue Snowball Ice, I strongly advocate you take into account throwing down one other few clams to get the Samson. 

Mic kind: Dynamic (cardioid), USB/XLR.

Execs: Contains USB and XLR outputs, plus a headphone jack. Comes with a desktop tripod stand, extension piece, mic clip, windscreen, and USB and XLR cables. And in contrast to the ATR2100x’s (see beneath), these equipment are fairly sturdy.

Cons: None, actually. It gained’t blow you away, however is that what you’re searching for at this worth level?

Which Mic is Greatest? Battle of the USB/XLR Combo Mics (Beneath $100) for Podcasting & Reside Streaming (ATR-2100, ATR-2100x, Samson Q2U)

The Podcast Mics for Getting Severe and Not Breaking the Financial institution

The Samson Q2U is nice. It’s truthfully exhausting to beat at its worth level. However as your podcast begins to take off and also you get extra recording reps beneath your belt, you would possibly end up wanting slightly one thing additional within the audio high quality division. Fortunately, there are alternatives that gives you the enhance you’re searching for with out breaking the financial institution. 

ATR2100x-USB ($99)

This subsequent mic is admittedly near the Samson Q2U when it comes to audio profile. I feel the ATR2100x sounds slightly higher—it’s as much as you to determine if it’s value the additional $40. It additionally comes with an adjunct equipment, however let’s simply say the equipment don’t appear to have been constructed with robustness in thoughts.

Execs: Delicate however noticeable sound high quality enhancements over the Samson Q2U, and a strong improve over its beloved predecessor, the ATR2100. Connects through USB-C and XLR.

Cons: Prices $30-$40 greater than the Samson. Equipment will not be so nice.

New ATR 2100x USB-C (Mic Check & Assessment) – Audiotechnica ATR-2100 Alternative – Podcast Gear

Blue Yeti ($130)

The Blue Yeti is likely one of the hottest podcasting mics round, and for good cause. It affords strong sound, sturdy construct high quality, and flexibility in a trendy package deal. It’s pricier than the ATR2100x, nevertheless it affords extra choices when it comes to polar sample, so you need to use it for solo recording, one-on-one interviews, and even roundtable discussions.

Mic kind: Condenser (cardioid, omnidirectional, determine 8, stereo), USB.

Execs: Sturdy. Contains acquire management, headphone enter (with quantity management), and mute button. 4 recording modes provide you with appreciable versatility.

Cons: USB solely. Pricier than the wonderful ATR2100x. Susceptible to desk bumps if you happen to use it with the desk stand (get that increase arm!).

The Podcast Mics for Taking Issues to the Subsequent Stage

Should you’ve been podcasting for some time and are able to up your audio high quality recreation, then it’s time to enter the realm of XLR mics. That is the place the worlds of podcasting {and professional} audio intersect and your choices widen much more.

That is additionally the place issues get dearer, each when it comes to the microphone itself and the extra gear you’ll must make it work together with your podcasting setup. Any XLR mic goes to want a further interface to amplify the mic’s sign in order that it’s loud sufficient to truly work with.

Heil PR-40 ($329)

The Heil PR-40 is just a great-sounding mic. It’s generally thought of among the best dynamic microphones you will get at its worth level. It’s additionally a really quiet mic, which could be good—it gained’t add a lot if any hum to your recordings—and dangerous—you might have to spice up the sign with a preamp or mixer to acceptable ranges, and it could decide up extra ambient noise because of this.

Mic kind: Dynamic (cardioid), XLR.

Execs: Designed to be used with spoken phrase, with a wealthy low-end frequency response. Quiet—the PR-40 introduces little or no self-noise.

Cons: Pricy. Wants an influence enhance to get loud, and a sound-treated surroundings to keep away from selecting up room noise.

Shure SM7B ($399)

The Shure SM7B is one other well-built, fantastic-sounding mic, nevertheless it does are available in at a worth tier above the Heil, and also you’ll clearly must think about the price of a preamp. The preinstalled pop filter is a pleasant contact, although. Some customers report further sound high quality advantages from utilizing a mic activator (primarily an amplifier simply in your microphone), however that’ll add one other $60 to $200 to your buying cart.

Mic kind: Dynamic (cardioid), XLR.

Execs: Lauded for its vocal replica (which is sweet if you happen to’re podcasting!). Provides three frequency response modes. Comes preinstalled with a pop filter. Effectively constructed.

Cons: Pricy. Heavy.

Mic Test, Higher Perceive Your Mic Tech: Podcast Microphone Phrases and Options

Earlier than we depart, let’s cowl some technical terminology it’s best to know to help in your seek for the right podcasting mic.

  • Growth arm: an adjustable arm that attaches to the mic and provides you flexibility in putting it
  • Condenser mic: also referred to as a capacitor mic, generally used to seize vocals and excessive frequencies because of its better responsiveness to the nuances of sound waves. Condensers are usually extra delicate than dynamic mics.
  • Dynamic mic: dynamic mics use magnets to show sound waves into electrical indicators (mainly, the other of a speaker). They’re typically much less delicate however extra sturdy than condenser mics.
  • Frequency response: the vary of audible frequencies, from low to excessive, {that a} microphone will decide up.
  • Mixer: a console that permits you to enter audio from varied sources, then mix, course of, and monitor the audio from these sources
  • Mic activator: a sort of amplifier designed so as to add acquire to the sign from a low-output microphone
  • Polar sample or mode: how a lot audio sign will likely be picked up by the microphone from totally different instructions
  • Pop filter/windscreen: a meshed filter that reduces extreme pressures on the mic from the breath and vocal plosives (“p,” “b,” “okay,” and many others. sounds)
  • Preamp: quick for preamplifier, a tool that amplifies low-level indicators (akin to these from an XLR mic) to “line” degree to be used in recording
  • Shockmount: a mount that dampens vibrations that is perhaps picked up by the mic
  • USB: Common Serial Bus, a connector that lets you plug your podcast mic immediately into your pc (“plug and play”)
  • XLR: a three-pronged connector typical in studio/stage microphones that requires a further interface (akin to a mixer or preamp) to make use of the mic together with your pc

Sounding Even Higher with Your New Podcasting Rig

Talking of podcasting tech, I positively advocate selecting up just a few equipment in your mic to make your podcast recording go smoother, particularly: a increase arm to simply place the mic, a shock mount to cut back undesirable vibrations, and a pop filter or windscreen to cut back breath blasts and plosives. Listed here are some strong choices:

Lastly, recording together with your new mic isn’t nearly plugging it in and hitting document. Listed here are some ideas and methods that will help you take advantage of out of your new funding.

High 10 Podcast Recording Tricks to Sound Like a Podcasting Professional—UPDATED!

Podcasting is likely one of the strongest methods to construct your model and viewers. Listed here are ten 10 recording ideas for producing skilled, participating episodes that may preserve your listeners coming again for extra.

AP 0797: How Can I Enhance How I Sound on a Microphone?

Listed here are some nice ideas for sounding higher with what you’ve acquired. (Spoiler: follow.)

Discovering the Proper Match For You and Your Podcast

We’ve solely scratched the floor of what’s on the market on the subject of podcast mics, particularly if you happen to’re able to enterprise into the world of XLR and preamps. After I was recording for Flops, I used a Sterling Audio ST55 XLR mic right into a Behringer U-Phoria UM2 USB interface. I like the general sound they produced, however the combo of a finicky condenser mic and adjustable preamp meant numerous tweaking mic placement and enter ranges to make issues sound excellent.

So who is aware of, perhaps subsequent time (Flops season 2? ¯_(ツ)_/¯) I’ll decide up one thing slightly extra plug and play. The Samson Q2U, maybe? Time will inform. In any case, I hope this publish has helped you decide about your first (or fifth) podcasting mic!

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