Podcasting has blossomed from a simple hobby into a very lucrative industry. And if you want to be a major player in this niche, you’ll need to get yourself the best podcast microphone. Seems easy enough, right?
But finding the best podcast microphone is no easy task for many. There are just so many to choose from. Fortunately for you, we’ve done all the legwork for you and distilled all the best microphones you need to know down into one single post.
Best Podcast Microphone Comparison Table
Qualities to Look for in a Podcast Microphone
How do you go about looking for a podcast microphone? How will know if you find the right one? As with many things in life, getting the best podcast microphone hinges on your personal preferences and needs. But to narrow the search down, you will have to answer a couple of questions.
Dynamic or condenser?
What’s the difference? Basically, dynamic mics are usually more focused and have a warmer tone. Condenser mics have a brighter sound that makes for a "live" sounding recording. But because they are not as focused as their dynamic counterparts, they are more prone to picking up ambient noise. Choosing between the two is a matter of trying out a couple of them and settling for the one that sounds better to you.
XLR or USB?
USB mics are very popular among podcasters for one simple reason -- they are simple to use. Not only is the simplicity obvious in their plug and play nature, but it’s also seen in how they reduce the amount of equipment you need. The only drawback with USB mics is that your mic choice is more or less limited to the condenser type as most USB mics are condensers.
Going with the XLR connection means going through a preamp or mixer, but it gives you a wider choice of mics. If you want to connect multiple mics for your podcast, this is where going the old school (or XLR route) will be of great benefit. However, it has also become easy to use an XLR mic on your computer. All you need is a USB adaptor, and you’re good to go.
The Best Podcast Microphone -- Your Questions Answered
As you put the final touches on your podcasting equipment, you probably have a few questions concerning which mic best suited for you. Let me answer a few of those questions before we continue.
Can I use any microphone for podcasting?
It is advisable that you use a mic with a cardioid polar pattern. The simple reason is that these are designed to pick sound from one end and eliminate sound from the sides and the rear. This ensures that your recording is crisp and clean. But regarding dynamic or condenser, it's up to how each type of mic sounds to you.
How much should I expect to spend on the best podcast microphone?
Getting a podcast mic needn’t scare you as you can find some good ones at every price point. You can get a good one from as little as $20 and going all the way up to $1,000.00.
How We Reviewed Each Podcast Microphone
So why should you trust our review? It’s simple really. We took care to ensure that we present you with the best podcast microphones on the market. First of all, we looked at the technical specifications of each microphone. Secondly, we got user feedback in the form of reviews -- both positive and negative.
By doing this, we got to see not just what the manufacturers claim about their microphones, but also how they perform. That is why you will find that all the mics on this list have high user ratings.
The Best Podcast Microphone -- 7 Mics to Help You Deliver Your Message
Ready to woo the world with your voice as you share your valuable ideas and lessons? Then let’s get you the best podcast microphone so that you can get started. Please note that this list is not in any particular order.
Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500
- Cardioid characteristic with excellent feedback suppression
- Shock mount system reduces handling noise
- Two-stage pop filter minimizes breath and pop noises
- 50 Hz to 15 kHz frequency response
- Sturdy, reliable metal construction and electromagnetic shielding.Sensitivity: -70dB
We start this list with the best podcast microphone for those looking to test the waters of podcasting -- the Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500. This is a dynamic cardioid XLR mic that was specifically built for recording speech and is thus perfect for podcasts.
Featuring a cardioid polar pattern, the Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500 does a good job of capturing your voice while blocking out ambient noise. The XM8500 provides an amazingly wide frequency response of 50 Hz to 15 kHz allowing it to afford brilliant voice projection.
As for the build quality, it’s exceptional for a budget mic. Built with a tough metal construction and a steel windscreen, you can undoubtedly expect years of service from this mic. And for the cherry on top, it comes with a two-stage pop filter to ensure every word comes out clean.
No wonder it has a 4.3 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon. Making it perfect to experiment with as you find your footing.
- Broadcast sound quality
- 28mm dynamic capsule
- Windows and Mac compatible
- Tight Cardioid pattern for superior off axis sound rejection
- Includes a 10 foot USB cable and stand mount
The Rode Podcaster is one mic that is wooing many a podcaster with its exceptional sound quality. The slim cylindrical design enhances the efficiency of the cardioid polar pattern in capturing your voice. As for ambient noise from the side and the rear? It's non-existent as far as the Rode Podcaster is concerned. This is an amazing little mic that offers 18-Bit resolution and an 8 to 48 kHz sampling rate, affording you exceptional sound capture and recording.
Apart from the benefit of being a USB mic (thus easy to set up), the Rode Podcaster also comes with a very handy headphone jack. This is helpful for latency-free monitoring. And just so you’re sure the mic is plugged in, there’s a little green indicator light that lights up when it’s on and working. Speaking of plugging it in, the Rode Podcaster is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Build quality is also excellent as can be expected from any Rode product. But the compromise is that it is also a heavy mic. This necessitates the need for a sturdy mic stand or boom arm. Sadly, it is not part of the package. Apart from that flaw, the Rode Podcaster is definitely deserving of its 4 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.
- Handheld dynamic microphone with USB digital output and XLR analog output
- USB output connects to your computer for digital recording, while the XLR output connects with your sound system conventional microphone input for use in live performance
- Smooth, extended frequency response ideally suited for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, voiceover, and on-stage use
- Built-in headphone jack allows you to directly monitor your microphone output without audible delay
- Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of unwanted sounds from the sides and rear. System requirements- Macintosh MAC OS X, USB 1.0 or 2.0, 64 MB RAM minimum, Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7, USB 1.0 or 2.0, 64 MB RAM minimum
The Audio-Technica ATR2100 is probably the best podcast microphone in its class as it is a feature-rich mic. One of those features, and possibly the best one, is that it can work as a USB mic or an XLR mic. And yes, it does come with both cables -- and a convenient desk stand. One of the biggest advantages of the ATR2100 using both USB and XLR is that it can fit in anywhere. If you travel with your equipment, you'll find this duality especially useful.
Being a dynamic mic, the ATR 2100 is more forgiving in louder environments and does a great job of projecting a nice and rich voice. And because of the cardioid polar pattern, you’re ensured of crystal clear, clean sound every time you record your podcast. It also sports a headphone jack that allows you to monitor the sound from your mic in real-time.
With Windows and Mac compatibility, this 4.2 out of 5 stars rated podcasting mic is an investment you won’t regret, especially with its budget-friendly price tag.
- Tri-capsule array - 3 condesner capsules can record almost any situation
- Multiple pattern selection - cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo
- Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output
- Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls
- Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 (including 8.1), Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher), and requires a minimum of 64 MB of RAM(remove existing and upload)
If ever there’s a podcast mic that’s stealing the show, it’s the Blue Yeti. This much-loved mic is another great USB microphone that defines plug and play.
The Blue Yeti features a unique tri-capsule technology and four different pattern settings. This means you can easily switch between cardioid, omnidirectional, stereo, and bi-directional. All it takes to switch is the click of a button. This, for you, means your podcast recordings will be rich and detailed -- voice-wise that is.
With the Blue Yeti, you get studio-like control of your podcast recordings. This is because it has an excellent headphone jack with volume control and other controls such as instant mute and microphone gain.
This plug and play USB mic just might be the best podcast microphone for beginners and those who are not tech savvy. And to cap it all off, this 4.3 out of 5 stars rated podcasting mic will only set you back for not more than 200 dollars. Oh, and it’s one of the few mics that comes in some colors to choose from.
- Frequency response tailored for vocals, with brightened midrange and bass rolloff to control proximity effect
- Effective built-in spherical wind and pop filter. Frequency response: 50 to 15,000 Hz
- Pneumatic shock-mount system cuts down handling noise.
- Uniform cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main sound source and minimizes background noise
Any list of the best microphones would be incomplete without a Shure microphone in the mix. That’s because Shure is a legendary brand that has helped create legends. One such legend maker is the Shure SM58-LC vocal microphone.
The SM58 was designed for professional vocal use, so yes, it will help you record a professional sounding podcast. That is all thanks to the way it is engineered and the excellent cardioid pattern that is fine-tuned to pick only the sound you want to record. For the times you may want to hold the mic as you are using it, you’ll find that the pneumatic shock-mount system does an excellent job of cutting down handling noise. A built-in pop filter also helps you record clean speech as it filters out plosives very well.
Shure did a great job on the 4.7 out of 5 stars rated Shure SM58-LC. And if you thought it would cost you an arm and a leg, you’ll be surprised to find that you wont.
- Generating element: Copper-wound dynamic with neodymium magnet structure
- Body: Steel body with zinc die-cast bottom ring
- Frequency response: 28Hz to 18kHz
- Impedance: 600 ohms balanced
- Output level: -53.9dB @ 1,000 Hz
Heil has been an industry leader in providing premium audio solutions for many years. The Heil PR-40 is one such example.
This is one mic designed for commercial broadcasting, live sound, and other recording projects that call for crisp, clear sound -- like podcasting. With one of the most extensive frequency ranges found on any mic, the Heil PR-40 outperforms most of the condenser mics on the market. That says a lot seeing as it’s a dynamic mic.
As for sound, the cardioid polar pattern does an excellent job of picking sound from the front while blocking ambient sound from the side and rear. This, coupled with the other powerful features, results in a rich, velvety sound that will sound like music to your audiences’ ears.
One good thing about the Heil PR-40 is that it looks professional, making it great for you to use not just for audio recordings but video as well. Speaking of professional, because this is an XLR microphone, you may need to know a few microphone basics as you will have to pass it through a preamp. But besides that, this 4.2 out of 5 stars rated microphone will make a great addition to your podcasting equipment.
Blue Snowball iCE
- Custom condenser capsule offers crystal clear audio for Skype, Messages and FaceTime
- Record vocals, create podcasts, and add narration to your home movies
- Add crystal clear audio to recordings for YouTube. Frequency Response: 40 -18 kHz
- Easy plug and play directly to your Mac or PC-no drivers to install
- Snowball iCE is a USB 2.0 device (USB 3.0 compatible as per USB 3.0 backward compatibility specification).Sample/word Rate: 44.1 kHz/16 bit
Another great offering for podcasters from Blue is the Blue Snowball iCE. Much like other products from this popular company, such as the Blue Yeti, the Snowball iCE boasts a gorgeous design and premium sound quality.
However, unlike the Yeti, this is one podcast mic that won’t cost you much, but don’t let that fool you. This unique orb shaped mic looks more expensive than other mics that command twice as much. And it performs equally well too. Especially for beginners, the Snowball iCE is the best podcast microphone you can get at this price as it is easy to use.
One of its strongest features is the cardioid polar pattern that gives it a bit more flexibility and thus enables the mic to easily capture sound. And with 44.1kHz frequency and 16-bit sampling rates, this microphone can afford you some pretty good sound as you record your latest podcast episode. If you’re shopping for the best podcast microphone, this 4.3 out of 5 stars rated mic just might be it as far as the budget is concerned.
The Best Podcast Microphone for Your Project
Getting the best podcast microphone for your new or ongoing podcasting venture need not be a nightmare. It can be difficult because there are so many to choose from. But if you know where to look, you’ll find it easy. And this post has taken a lot of the legwork out of your quest.
But if you are still stuck for choice on this short list, perhaps a bit of friendly advice will help. If you’re working on a tight budget, the Blue Snowball iCE will get you started on a good note. However, if you want to get an amazing podcast microphone that will offer you exceptional sound quality without straining your budget that much, then the Rode Podcaster is your best bet.
So go ahead, get yourself the best podcast microphone. The world is waiting to hear your message.