With 869,000 new podcasts (and counting) launched in 2020 alone, more people than ever are listening to podcasts for their news, entertainment, education, and more.
70% of podcast listeners make consumer decisions based on ads and recommendations they've heard while listening to a podcast.
Suffice it to say, podcasting is a very lucrative initiative for your brand, but you probably already know that, which is how you found yourself reading this article... so let's get into it.
Deciding on what equipment to buy for your podcasting can seem kinda daunting, and quite honestly, Googling for equipment recommendations will give you a ton of articles on what podcasting equipment to use.
That's why I've written this article with a very simple objective;
There will be no fluff, no price-based sliding scale, no "Top 10", or anything of the sort.
I also haven't included pricing for anything I listed, as pricing changes, and, if you're anything like me, you'll prob do some digging to find the best possible price anyhow!
Below you will find the best bang for the least buck. Nothing more, nothing less.
If you have a different budget and different needs, feel free to keep researching.
You probably already know this, but in case you don't;
It's not that you can't use them, more so that you don't want to use them if you're trying to produce a podcast that isn't painful to listen to. Those mic's will just muddy your sound.
That said, let's jump right into it.
Blue Microphones Yeti USB
One of the most commonly recommended podcasting microphones, this mic sounds great and is easy to plug and play. The only downside; it's USB only, so no plugging it into a mixer or recorder. You need to plug it into your computer and use software to do your recording.
Of course, that may be an upside, if you're going for a minimalist podcasting setup. By plugging the mic directly into your computer, you avoid the need for a mixer, although we highly recommend that route if you can afford it.
This is a great quality podcasting kit that comes with:
If you're looking for a great bang for your buck from a reputable company, this is it. Audio-Technica is just one of those companies known for making great affordable equipment.
This is the high-end dynamic mic that you've probably seen the pro studio setups use. This one will cost you, but if you want a microphone that sets the bar, this is it.
Let's talk practicality for a moment. Mobile / handheld recorders are practical as it gets. They are practically an all in one solution!
The first ever podcasting tool that I bought when starting The Power Entrepreneur's Podcast was a Zoom H5 Recorder kit. It's affordable, portable (I can literally fit it all into a small carrying case), and best of all, it's simple to use.
Obviously, if you're setting up a studio, you'll want proper studio equipment, but if you're not setting up a studio and just want something simple that does a great job, here it is:
Zoom H5 / H6 Handheld Recorder
One of the highest-rated handheld recorders on the market, the Zoom H5 is super versatile, allowing you to record up to 4 simultaneous tracks, and many features to go with it.
I highly recommend taking a look at what this handy little device can do for you.
On the same note, the Zoom H6 goes for approximately the same price and allows you to record up to 6 simultaneous tracks... just something for you to consider.
Podcasting / Recording Audio Mixers
As you've probably already figured out, you can record your podcast without an audio mixer, in fact you record your podcasts without setting up a podcasting studio!
That being said, there are many reasons to have a proper studio setup, and for that reason, I've included some recommendations specifically for a podcasting studio setup.
Rode RodeCaster Pro
The The RodeCaster Pro is arguably the best all-around podcast mixer out there. 4 XLR mic inputs and a headphone jack to go with each channel, plus the inputs including a Bluetooth functionality which allows you to record phone interviews directly!
The RodeCaster Pro is effectively an all-in-one recording solution specifically for podcasting, and everything is even captured at the source and stored on an SD card.
It may be a bit pricey for a beginner setup, but as you may have realized by now, good audio gear generally comes with a notable price tag. If you can afford this one though, you absolutely should.
Zoom LiveTrak L-8 / Zoom PodTrak P8
These are 2 similar yet different mixers. Similar in the sense that they are both great for podcasting, yet slightly different in their functionality and use.
The PodTrak P8 is your complete podcast studio, allowing you to record, edit, and mix, right on the mixer. With a color touchscreen to go with all the analog buttons and faders, the P8 is the easier of the 2 to use.
The LiveTrak L8 on the other hand, is a bit more complex to use, but can do a bit more while also offering slightly better quality, as it's aimed at musicians as much as podcasters. If you appreciate having a full suite of tools at your disposal, "just-in-case"; Take a look at the L8.
We've spoken about the big parts; Microphones, recording equipment, audio mixers. Now let's talk about the small parts, the parts that can make it or break it.
XLR Wires - Most microphones use an XLR wire to interface with anything. Unless you went for a USB microphone setup, you'll need an XLR wire to plug each microphone into your recording device or mixer.
Mic Stands or Boom Arms - There are a variety of options when it comes to mic stands, and the one you'll want will depend on your setup.
If you're setting up a studio, I'd recommend going for a boom arm. A boom arm will mount to your desktop, and allows you to easily and comfortably position your microphone in front of you.
If, on the other hand, you're going to need to be able to easily move your setup around, you'll probably want a desktop mic stand. Take a look at the different options, and pick your choice.
Regardless, stand or arm, you'll have choices ranging from ~$15 all the way to the $100+.
Remember, as with the rest of your equipment, you get what you pay for.
Shock Mount - Regardless of what mic stands you're using, I highly recommend putting a shock mount on each stand, to hold your microphones. A shock mount will greatly reduce the noise that your microphone could pick up.
Obviously, this isn't a must, and you can just use a regular mic clip to hold your microphone on the mic stand, but again, I highly recommend using shock mounts.
There is a standard size screw part that most every mic stand and mic clip / shock mount will use, so I wouldn't worry much about whether your mount will fit your stand. It probably will.
Pop Filters - Last but not least, if you still have some budget left to play with, a pop filter for each mic will do you a world of good.
A pop filter sits in front of your mic and diffuses that hurricane of air that comes out of your mouth when pronouncing T's or P's.
Yes, there are countless options when it comes to choosing your podcasting equipment, but if you like to keep things simple and functional, stick to the top dogs at the price-point you're willing to invest into your equipment, and you'll eliminate a lot of headaches; now and later.
If you've been podcasting for a while, feel free to share your favorite equipment down below!