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Podcast Interview Equipment: Your Shopping List

This is part 5 in the series, Recording Professional Face to Face Podcast Interviews.

Read the rest of the series here:  One | Two | Three | Four | Five

We've talked about the different bits and pieces you need to get your podcast off the ground. Now here's a handy shopping list for you!

For some of the items, I've taken the liberty of providing a comparison, trying to balance quality and price – please note, prices will obviously vary over time.

Budget Interview Setup

First off, we have the budget list. But, don't confuse budget with low quality: the Rode Smartlavs are actually really good little devices. They capture decent quality voice, but can be a little susceptible to background noise. Upgrading to a handheld mic, below, gives better protection from background noise, and a deeper, richer sound.

The other compromise, here, is that you're recording right into your phone. On one hand, that saves money, since you're using a device you already have. But, on the other, it's using a device that's prone to distractions and software crashes. There's a lot to be said for a dedicated audio recorder to make sure your precious audio is captured safely.

ProductPriceQuantityTotalPurchase Link
Rode Smartlav+£50.002£100.00Buy it now
Rode SC6 Adapter£10.001£10.00Buy it Now

Total: £110.00

Mid-Range Interview Set-up

Now we're looking at a high quality set-up that should still be affordable for most people who are really looking to get serious about their podcasting standards. When used right, this equipment will see you achieve great results.

ProductPriceQuantityTotalPurchase Link
Zoom H5£200.001£209.00Buy it now
Samson Q2U£60.002£120.00Buy it now
XLR Cable£9.002£18.00Buy it Now

Total: £338.00

That's an outstanding list of tech that will give you superb results… but if money is no obstacle, you might consider the Golden Shopping List

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Gold Standard Set-up

Simply put, this equipment is of the highest standard. It's not cheap, but when you listen back to the results of your recording sessions, you'll understand why. The H6 is the Zoom's latest model with more inputs than before – perfect for recording large groups – and has increased onboard editing capabilities. The Shure SM58 is the classic microphone used in conference rooms and stadia around the world.

ProductPriceQuantityTotalPurchase Link
Zoom H6£293.741£293.74Buy it now
Shure SM58£88.992£187.98Buy it now
XLR Cable£9.002£18.00Buy it Now

Total: £499.72

Extras: Mic Stands, Headphones & Splitters

If you wanted to have a sit-down interview with this, and make sure everyone had their own headphones (useful for monitoring the recording) then you could go for these extras.

ProductPriceQuantityTotalPurchase Link
Behringer Headphone Amplifier£25.001£25.00Buy it now
Behringer Headphones £17.00 2 £34.00Buy it now
Microphone Clamp£1.802£3.60Buy it now
Mic Boom Arm£60.002£120.00Buy it Now

So, there you have it. What do you think? Has this inspired you to splash out on some new kit? Could we have included something else that we've missed? Let us know in the comments box below.

This was part 5, the final article in the series –  Recording Professional Face to Face Podcast Interviews One | Two | Three | Four | Five


  1. Martin Lindeskog on 19th July 2016 at 1:18 pm


    Thanks for giving me a shopping / wishlist! 😉

    How would you compare and contrast Zoom with Tascam?

    Have you tested iRig Field Mic and iRig?
    What is your favorite microphone on the go? I want to have one in my backpack, ready to do an interview in the street, e.g., a food truck owner. Could Shure’s MV88 be a good pick?

  2. Matthew McLean on 21st July 2016 at 10:05 am

    Hi Martin, for on the go stuff I like using any type of Zoom (commonly H1 or H5) on its own, or if I’m recording with someone else I’ll plug a couple of ATR3350 lav mics into them. That setup has worked really well for me recently.

  3. DL Stickler on 12th November 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I was wondering if you have any recommendations for field recording. For instance, what if I want to record episodes in places other than an office or home? I currently use a Sony IC Recorder. It has some great sound and was quite inexpensive. What would you do to get a podcast episode for instance in a bar or restaurant? Or with a group of participants in the same room?

    • Matthew McLean on 15th November 2016 at 11:54 am

      The Zoom H1 is a great portable recorder for getting interviews with 2 or more people in busy places, but if you’re happy with the quality of your current recorder there’s maybe no need to change it?

      • DL Stickler on 29th November 2016 at 9:46 am

        Thanks Mr McLean.

  4. Abe Henderson on 21st November 2016 at 7:26 am

    I noticed in the higher quality options, you did not include a set of headphones. In the Gold Standard shopping list you added a headphone amp and splitter. I am confused what these are for if they weren’t included in the other packages. If not required, what do they have to offer?

    Also, can you recommend a good quality, budget set of headphones for under $100 that will give good audio?

    Thanks. I have enjoyed the website and made several purchases already based on your recommendations.

    • Colin Gray on 22nd November 2016 at 11:11 am

      Abe, thanks for spotting that mistake! We missed the headphones out of the higher packages – I’ve fixed that now.

      The amplifier is really useful for higher spec setups in that it allows you to plug in headphones for both hosts, and they can adjust their own volumes if required. It just adds a little more flexibility, and you can also have a producer listening in on a 3rd pair of headphones if required.

      Hope that helps!

  5. zandra on 27th January 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Hi Colin,
    Great series, thank you! Wondering what your advice would be for this situation: We are a team of 2 hosts that have so far, only recorded interviews with guests via Skype. We each have a headset with microphones which plug into our computer and we use Garageband to edit. We’re thinking of doing an interview at an antiques fair. It would be the two of us, plus 2 guests, so a total of 4 voices. Plus, the interview would be done in front of an audience, and possibly outside or in semi-covered barn type of environment. It sounds like we’d need at least the Zoom H5 to get 4 inputs. Could we use the two headsets we already own and just buy two more? And I guess we’d need cable, too. Not sure if it’s worth it for just one interview. Although, if it goes well, we might do more of these in-person interviews. Thanks for your feedback!

    • Matthew McLean on 1st February 2017 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Zandra. You can use 3.5mm (standard headphone jack) splitters to feed multiple mics into a recorder. The Belkin 5 way splitter might be worth a look.

  6. Michael on 27th May 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Great series! I am using your recommendations to buy my new mobile podcast setup, thank you!

  7. Amy Kay on 24th July 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks so much for your great information! It appears that the ATR-3350 Microphone has been discontinued. Do you have another suggestion for that budget component? And would you suggest the newer version of Zoom H1?

  8. Utz on 11th February 2020 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks a lot for that piece of advice! I start with two Rode smartLavs now and will work with the iPad Pro – any piece of advice on recording software? Garage Band? The Rode recording app itself does not seem to run with the newest iOS version …

Written by:

Colin Gray

Colin has been teaching people how to podcast since 2007. He's worked with Universities, businesses and hobbyists alike. He started The Podcast Host to share his experience and to help as many people as possible get into Podcasting. He runs Podcraft, to spread the art of podcasting, and does the Mountain Bikes Apart podcast whenever he can. Who doesn't like to talk bikes, after all!

January 14th 2020