Podcasts have become to the early 21st century what radio was to the early 20th. The difference is that anyone can make a podcast and put it on the Internet if they want. All you need is a connection, a device, and the best microphone for podcasting that you can get.
Table of Comparison
Podcast Microphone FAQ
1. What Is a Podcast Microphone?
The best microphone for podcasting will connect to whatever recording device you're using—often a computer or mobile device—and allow you to get clear sound free of distracting ambient noise or recording snow.
2. Are All Podcast Mics the Same?
Not at all, and that's part of the issue when it comes to choosing the best microphone for podcasting: it depends on how you podcast.
If you're recording on your own, you have to consider questions like these:
- Are you the only speaker or do you regularly need a hook-up for multiple mics?
- Do you have a dedicated studio or do you record on the go?
- Do you need a mic stand or can you use your mic on your desk?
- Do you have a mixer?
- Is your hookup via USB or XML connectors?
- How much money do you have to spend?
3. What Makes the Best Microphone for Podcasting?
You should look for a few things in any mic you get regardless of style or where you record. First, you need a pop filter. This is anything that sits between the actual end of the mic and you: it could be mesh or a foam cover. This keeps your “p” sounds from coming out with pop.
Second, you need a cardioid pickup pattern. This means that the mic is picking up sounds mostly from directly in front of the speaker. This means you don't have to worry so much about accidentally recording the dulcet tones of your arguing children from two rooms away.
Third, you need a mic that lets you customize the sound in some way. There's a reason that only certain people became radio stars back in the day: not many of us have the ideal radio voice.
Finally, the best microphone for podcasting will come with a shock mount. This can come in all kinds of configurations, but its basic job is just to keep your microphone from picking up vibrations.
4. How Do I Make My Space Right for Recording?
in addition to getting the best microphone for podcasting, your best bet is to record in a room with some soft furniture and carpeting. These keep the sound waves from your voice from echoing back and making you sound like you're in a big box. You should also get rid of as many noise sources as possible. Computer fans, appliances, and vents make whirring sounds that our brains normally tune out, but they will get recorded into your podcast.
How We Reviewed
In our quest to help you find the best microphone for podcasting for your setup, we've looked at the recommendations and the favorite mics by some of the best podcasters. We considered their key features and let you know the price and what type of podcasting setup each is best for.
Overall Price Range
Prices for the mics we looked at range from about $80 to $230. On the cheaper end, you'll get a basic mic that will do the job. You won't be able to adjust much and you will need to be careful to use these mics in very controlled sound environments. On the high end you'll get adjustable and forgiving mics or ones will work with more types of connections and perform well in a wider variety of podcast recording situations.
Best Microphone for Podcasting
- Tri-capsule array - 3 condenser 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.Signal to Noise: 100dB
- 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).
The Blue Yeti is a USB mic that comes in 13 different colors to match any decor. Costs will vary depending on the color you want, and in some cases you can get it bundled with games or other useful software. The mic features three condenser capsules, gain control, and gives you the ability to change the pick-up pattern from cardioid, to stereo, omnidirectional, or bidirectional. It works with Mac and Windows.
Best For: Quiet Environments
This is the best microphone for podcasting in quiet rooms or where there's no need to use too much gain.
- Designed for professional vocal use in live performance, sound reinforcement, and studio recording
- Frequency response (50 to 15,000 Hz) tailored for vocals, with brightened midrange and bass rolloff
- Dynamic cartridge with cardioid polar pattern
- A highly effective, built-in spherical filter minimizes wind and breath "pop" noise
This offering from Shure has been especially tailored to work with vocals and has a built-in wind and pop filter. The frequency response is excellent, and the shock mount system works very well. It has a uniform cardioid pickup and does a good job of isolating the voice and minimizing background noise. The stand is sturdy, and you can rotate the mic by 180 degrees. This one comes with a professional three-pin connector rather than a USB connection.
Best For: Single Person
This is a great recording mic for a wide variety of situations, but it will work best with just one person recording.
This is another excellent microphone with cardioid performance pattern that minimizes the ambient sounds you don't want. Recordings with this mic are clear and natural, and it can handle a large dynamic range. The shock mount is excellent and by itself would be quite expensive. This is the best microphone for podcasting all kinds of voices, whether low or high. You'll appreciate the clear, neutral tone.
Best For: Quiet Environments in Need of Quality
This is the best microphone for podcasting when you need a professional-level mic at a decent price; especially if you have a mixer. It will pick up whispers, so be sure to use it in a quiet place.
- Compact and portable USB studio condenser microphone
- Unique, fold up design with integral clip makes the microphone extremely portable and ideal for most recording solutions, especially for mobile laptop recording
- Selectable Dual pickup patterns (cardioid and omnidirectional) make it ideal for recording voice, conferences, acoustic instruments and for just about any other sound source
- The onboard headphone amplifier allows you to listen to your recording directly from the microphone, plus you can use the output to connect powered speakers
- Computer controlled analog input gain with peak LED makes it easy to set the proper level and get a clean signal
This is the cheapest mic we reviewed, and the reason for that becomes evident once you use it. It is very compact, has a USB connection, and can even fold up for easy carrying. It can be clipped onto a laptop or small desk for the ultimate versatility. Choose from omnidirectional and cardioid pickup patterns, which makes it useful for recording more than one person at a time. It works with both Mac and PC; but the accompanying software can be very glitchy on Macs.
Best For: On-the-Go
This is a cheap mic, and it shows in the recording quality. You'll get a lot of pops and very low or high voices will not sound at their best. However, this is the perfect mic to take with you if you need to record on-the-go. It's also a good choice if you have several people conferencing at once.
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- High output dynamic capsule and balanced low impedance output make it an ideal broadcast and voice over microphone
- Internal shock mounting of capsule for low handling noise; Internal pop-filter to reduce plosives
- Robust, all-metal construction
This is a broadcast-quality microphone and the most expensive one on our list. This is the best microphone for podcasting in nearly any type of environment. The mic rejects ambient noise, has a tight pattern, and is specially designed for the human voice.
The internal pop filter works very well, and the overall design and construction are excellent and can handle a beating. It does not come with a stand, however, so that will require a separate purchase. At two pounds, this is a heavy mic that isn't built for portability; but it does work beautifully in the studio.
Best For: The Up and Comer
This is the best microphone for podcasting in any situation except on-the-go. It can't be used by multiple speakers, but for the podcaster working alone or the team with more than one mic, it delivers recording-studio level quality at a reasonable price.
- Dynamic Broadcast & podcast mic with high output and low noise
- Internal shock mount and pop-filter for low noise and reducing plosives
- Tuned grill that eliminates internal reflections
- Excellent side Rejection for increased isolation
- Optimised for speech applications
This is a dynamic mic that works well in noisier situations. It has a grill that keeps sound from bouncing around within it, and the shock mount works very well. You can use this for musical vocals as well as for speech. It's energy efficient and requires no phantom power. It connects via XLR inputs and does work with both Mac and PC. You'll get the most from this mic if you have a mixer that can process the mid-levels.
Best For: Quality Recording in Noisy Environments
If you can't do your recording in a perfectly quiet environment, this is the best microphone for podcasting where things are noisy.
- Frequency Response 50 Hz to 16,000 Hz
- Impedance Balanced 600 Ohms Out, 3 pin
- Polar Pattern Cardioid
- Output Level -55 dB
- Diaphragm Low-mass aluminum - Finish Black Satin Epoxy
This is one of the pricier mics on our list, but there's good reason for that. It records great sound at a professional level and is perfect for those who need something that will make a good track without mixing. Many users report that this mic works as well for them as much more expensive professional mics. It is reasonably sturdy, has a three pin connection, and does not need phantom power.
Best For: Quality Sound Without a Mixer
If you need excellent sound right out of the box, this is a great microphone for you. It performs like a much more expensive model.
- Best of both worlds: professional handheld dynamic microphone with USB digital output for connecting to a computer and XLR analog output for connecting to a mixer, audio interface or portable PA system
- Sound your best: dynamic microphone capsule with a cardioid pickup pattern captures sound from in front of the microphone and less from the side and rear, minimizing ambient sounds and other room noises for podcasting, home recording or voiceover work. It also reduces possible feedback in live performance settings
- Hear the mix: onboard 1/8" (3. 5mm) headphone jack allows for zero-latency monitoring, so you can hear yourself without any delay or echo, plus a mix of your computer audio playback. Solid, die-cast construction with heavy gauge mesh grille
- Start Recording: The Q2U is a plug-and-play device, meaning it doesn't need any special drivers to work with your computer. Just connect the microphone to your computer, launch your favorite audio software, and start recording.
- It's All in the Box: The Q2U Recording and Podcasting Pack includes everything you need to start recording great sounding projects: an extended desktop stand with mic clip that positions the microphone close to the sound source, a pop-filter for reducing p-pops, and USB and XLR cables.
This affordable mic connects either by USB or XLR and comes with a foam pop filter and stereo headphones. It's a dynamic microphone that works with Mac or Windows computers, though Mac users should be aware that the software can be glitchy.
This mic has built-in cardioid pickup patters, and the accompanying screen helps you avoid recording weird vocal thrusts. The filter has been made to a generic pattern on purpose to ensure it protects your sound from a variety of ambient noises.
Best For: Podcasters on a Budget
This mic is a great start mic for someone who wants to get into the game but can't yet pony up for a more expensive model. You will have to tweak your setup a bit to get the perfect sound, but it is definitely possible.
- Perfect for podcasting, game streaming, Skype calls, YouTube or music
- No-latency headphone output, headphone volume and mic mute
- Standard threading for Radius III Shock Mount and/or Compass Boom Arm
- Plug 'N play-Mac and PC compatible
- Cardioid and Omni pickup patterns; supports sample rates up to 24-bit/48Khz
This is another budget offering that comes in four colors. It is plug 'n play compatible with PCs and Macs and allows you to choose between cardioid and omnidirectional pickup patterns. The headphone output has no latency and the controls are easy to use.
This microphone is really designed to facilitate Skype calls and gaming, but it also works for podcasting. It does a reasonably good job of picking up a single voice or a group.
Best For: Multiple Voice Podcasters
If you regularly need to record several voices on your podcast, but don't have a lot of money to burn, consider this microphone.
- 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
Blue Snowball comes in two colors and is designed especially for internet streaming. The audio is very clear, but works best with mid-range and low voices rather than high-pitched ones. It works with PC or Mac and connects via USB.
This does not come with a pop filter or a boom arm, so you'll need to position yourself perfectly to use it if you don't get these. If you do, you can expect far better sound out of this budget microphone than you would expect given the price.
Best For: Those Who Have a Boom Arm
If you're looking to replace a mic unexpectedly and on a budget, consider this one. You'll get great sound if you already have a boom mic to put it on.
What's the best microphone for podcasting? The one that works for you. The trouble is that you can expend a lot of money and frustration in finding just the right one. If you're still on the fence, consider our favorite picks:
Best for Budget
We love the Blue Snowball for an inexpensive mic that delivers. It will work best if you already have a boom arm and pop filter, but if you do you can't get better sound for anything like the price.
Best for Mobile
If you do all your recording on the go, the Samson Go mic is your friend. It's not the best sound, but podcasts recorded on the go get more leeway in this respect.
Best All Around
If you want to get the best mic money can buy for podcasting, the PR-781 would be our pic. This is essentially a professional studio mic priced for the ordinary person.
Whether you're podcasting to raise brand awareness, build a connection with your followers, or connect with others in your industry, you need the best microphone for podcasting. Choose one of the ones on our list and get your broadcast out there!