The 6 Greatest Podcast Microphones + Choose Yours [2021] – Good Passive Earnings

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 relating to tech, a very powerful $$ you plunk down can be in your podcast 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 when you’re available in the market in your first one. Learn on for a information to a number of the finest podcasting mics at completely different value factors to assist making a decision in your subsequent recording tech funding.

Earlier than we get began, although, a pair issues to bear in mind!

First off, it is not possible to assessment each mic on the market, so I’m simply going to deal with a couple of of the most well-liked ones at completely different value factors.

Second, one wonderful thing about podcast microphone buying is that it’s straightforward to pay attention and comparability store from the consolation of your private home workplace: simply hop on-line and seek for audio samples! I’ve included a couple of on this article from Pat’s YouTube microphone opinions.

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

[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 in all probability knew this, however it bears saying: even a terrific 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 may 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 lately. Fortunately, except your price range is de facto 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 along with your cellular phone or that headset you used for convention calls again in 2012 ain’t gonna minimize it.)

If that is your podcasting setup, I really feel unhealthy for you, son. Contemporary 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 opinions 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 CAD u49 ($40) and the Samson Q2U ($60 to $70).

CAD u49

The CAD u49 is our new entry-level podcast mic advice (on the suggestion of indie podcast producer Marcus dePaula. Thanks for the tip, Marcus!). The mix of sound high quality and value is de facto laborious to beat, and vaults the u49 above our earlier entry-level mic advice, the Blue Snowball Ice.

Mic kind: Condenser (cardioid), USB.

Professionals: Wonderful worth for cash relating to sound high quality. Features a headphone jack, tripod, and windscreen.

Cons: Constructed-in echo management could be of doubtful utility. The tripod stand is not height-adjustable.

So… what concerning the Blue Snowball Ice?

The Blue Snowball Ice was our earlier advice for a starter mic, however we expect the CAD u49 is a a lot better worth. The Ice just isn’t going to blow your socks off, and whereas it will be apparent to your viewers that you simply’re not utilizing your laptop computer’s built-in mic, for a similar money you might seize a better-sounding CAD u49, and have a couple of bucks left to spend on, I dunno, Pokémon playing cards.

Mic kind: Condenser (cardioid), USB.

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

Cons: It is advisable to be near the mic to get the most effective 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 just isn’t adjustable when utilizing the included stand. Some customers report construct high quality points.

In case you’re nonetheless fascinated by how the Ice stacks up, take a look at our comparability of the unique ATR-2100 with the Ice and the Samson Q2U:

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

Samson Q2U ($60)

Talking of the Samson Q2U, it is a shut second to the u49 for the most effective podcast mic worth on the market. So why spend the additional $20? The reply is the Q2U’s XLR output, which supplies you extra versatility when it comes to the varieties of interfaces you possibly can join the mic to.

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

Professionals: Stable sound high quality. 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 under), these equipment are fairly sturdy.

Cons: None, actually. It gained’t blow you away, however is that what you’re on the lookout for at this value level?

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

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

The Samson Q2U is nice. It’s truthfully laborious to beat at its value 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 just a little one thing additional within the audio high quality division. Fortunately, there are alternatives that offers you the increase you’re searching for with out breaking the financial institution. 

ATR2100x-USB ($99)

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

Professionals: 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 should not so nice.

New ATR 2100x USB-C (Mic Take a look at & Evaluate) – Audiotechnica ATR-2100 Alternative – Podcast Gear

Blue Yeti ($130)

The Blue Yeti is without doubt one of the hottest podcasting mics round, and for good cause. It presents strong sound, sturdy construct high quality, and flexibility in a classy bundle. It’s pricier than the ATR2100x, however it presents extra choices when it comes to polar sample, so you should utilize it for solo recording, one-on-one interviews, and even roundtable discussions.

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

Professionals: 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 when you use it with the desk stand (get that growth arm!).

The Podcast Mics for Taking Issues to the Subsequent Degree

In case 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 costlier, each when it comes to the microphone itself and the extra gear you’ll must make it work along with your podcasting setup. Any XLR mic goes to wish an extra 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-about probably the greatest dynamic microphones you will get at its value level. It’s additionally a really quiet mic, which might be good—it gained’t add a lot if any hum to your recordings—and unhealthy—you will have to spice up the sign with a preamp or mixer to acceptable ranges, and it could choose up extra ambient noise in consequence.

Mic kind: Dynamic (cardioid), XLR.

Professionals: 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 increase to get loud, and a sound-treated setting to keep away from selecting up room noise.

Shure SM7B ($399)

The Shure SM7B is one other well-built, fantastic-sounding mic, however it does are available in at a value 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 extra sound high quality advantages from utilizing a mic activator (basically an amplifier simply in your microphone), however that’ll add one other $60 to $200 to your buying cart.

Mic kind: Dynamic (cardioid), XLR.

Professionals: Lauded for its vocal copy (which is nice when you’re podcasting!). Affords three frequency response modes. Comes preinstalled with a pop filter. Nicely constructed.

Cons: Pricy. Heavy.

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

Earlier than we go away, let’s cowl some technical terminology it’s best to know to assist in your seek for the proper podcasting mic.

  • Growth arm: an adjustable arm that attaches to the mic and provides you flexibility in inserting it
  • Condenser mic: also referred to as a capacitor mic, generally used to seize vocals and excessive frequencies resulting from its better responsiveness to the nuances of sound waves. Condensers are typically 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 strong than condenser mics.
  • Frequency response: the vary of audible frequencies, from low to excessive, {that a} microphone will choose 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 kind 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 can be picked up by the microphone from completely different instructions
  • Pop filter/windscreen: a meshed filter that reduces extreme pressures on the mic from the breath and vocal plosives (“p,” “b,” “ok,” and so forth. sounds)
  • Preamp: brief for preamplifier, a tool that amplifies low-level indicators (corresponding to these from an XLR mic) to “line” degree to be used in recording
  • Shockmount: a mount that dampens vibrations that could be picked up by the mic
  • USB: Common Serial Bus, a connector that permits you to plug your podcast mic immediately into your pc (“plug and play”)
  • XLR: a three-pronged connector typical in studio/stage microphones that requires an extra interface (corresponding to a mixer or preamp) to make use of the mic along with your pc

Sound Even Higher with Your New Podcasting Rig

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

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

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

Podcasting is without doubt one of the strongest methods to construct your model and viewers. Listed below are ten 10 recording ideas for producing skilled, partaking episodes that may hold your listeners coming again for extra.

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

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

Discovering the Proper Match For You and Your Podcast

We’ve solely scratched the floor of what’s on the market relating to podcast mics, particularly when you’re able to enterprise into the world of XLR and preamps. Once 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 loads of tweaking mic placement and enter ranges to make issues sound excellent.

So who is aware of, possibly subsequent time (Flops season 2? ¯_(ツ)_/¯) I’ll choose up one thing just a little extra plug and play. The Samson Q2U, maybe? Time will inform. In any case, I hope this submit has helped making a decision about your first (or fifth) podcast microphone!

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