The podcast mic industry is booming as industry favourite manufacturers each put contenders forward. The option for mics geared towards podcasters is ever-expanding. With the number of options available, it can feel a bit overwhelming on which mic to choose for your podcasting endeavours. Here, I’ll take you through my full Rode PodMic review.
Fear not! Through my testing of this mic, I’ll give you all the information needed to make an informed decision if it is right for you.
What Is the Rode PodMic?
The Rode PodMic is a dynamic mic with XLR connectivity, built-in pop filter, and shock mount. This means the PodMic picks up less environmental noise but requires more gain from your interface. In this Rode PodMic review I test:
- Build quality
- Noise rejection
- Performance of the built-in shock
With a price tag of $99USD/$129CAD, read on to see how this mic stacks up!
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I am going to start out with the cosmetics prior to really digging into this mic. My initial thoughts were “Oh wow, this mic is heavy!” Many companies boast a robust design but Rode wasn’t kidding. The entire outer construction is metal. The mic sits in a swing, which is why no extra shock mount is required.
The swing and screws to lock it in place are super sturdy when moving them about. You don’t need to worry about any slippage mid-recording once set up. The box contents were fairly sparse, with the mic itself and a six-picture panel setup guide. I was a bit disappointed that there was no pouch or sleeve for storage of the mic when not in use like other dynamic mics, such as the SM58. However, that is not a deal-breaker.
Rode PodMic Review: Performance Test
This mic is gain hungry like all dynamic mics. Less gain is required than the Shure MV7 when used as a dynamic mic, but it does require more than an SM58. You will need some assistance getting a strong enough signal with an external preamp such as the SS-1. This will help you avoid extra noise from the interface itself making its way into your recording.
The tone, overall, is clear and crisp, especially when at the six-inch distance mark. When hugging the mic, the proximity effect doesn’t muddy up my voice too much. Granted, my voice is higher in pitch.
The above file demonstrates the tone for hugging the mic vs the tone for six inches away.
Noise Rejection Test
If you have read any of my other articles for The Podcast host, you will know that I like to test out gear during less than ideal scenarios, like wind storms. Since there wasn’t one at the time of this review, I had to make do with fans. For this test, I recorded with both a ceiling fan on high and next to a computer fan.
For the raw recording, my levels came out at -24 dB RMS with the noise of the room sitting at -63.30 dB RMS. These are acceptable levels for the raw recording. Now, since most podcast platforms will boost audio to anywhere between -14 to -18 LUFS, I boosted mine to -16 LUFS.
And if you don’t know what any of these numbers mean (but would like to) then check out our deeper dive on podcast volume levels.
The noise from the room (fans) boosted up -48.61 dB RMS. The average living room has noise of -50dB. Without any noise reduction applied this mic performs very well for rejecting room noise. However, I wouldn’t recommend recording during construction noises regardless of mic used!
The PodMic is advertised as having a built-in pop-filter. There are popping plosives when hugging the mic. If you wish to be closer to the mic I would suggest getting a foam sock. The built-in pop-filter does work better at the 6 inch or “hang loose” distance. I noticed the popping had mostly disappeared at this distance.
Rode PodMic Review: Off-Axis Test
This mic is very unforgiving for off-axis pickup. Most dynamic mics are. If you move slightly to the side of the capsule you instantly see a dramatic drop in loudness. The tone becomes very thin.
Staying centred with the mic capsule will be crucial in maintaining a consistent and desirable tone with the PodMic.
The Built-in Shock Mount Test
One of the test recordings in this article has me hitting the mic slightly with my hand. Can you tell in which one it happened? The built-in shock mount for the Rode PodMic is impressive for a built-in shock mount – one of the better ones I’ve come across. For little “oopsies” it should keep you fairly protected but, as anything in audio, a sturdy foundation/technique is always best.
Rode PodMic Review: Conclusion
The Rode PodMic is a decent contender in its price range – great for someone starting out or who doesn’t have the quietest of spaces. It’s plug-and-play with an XLR interface with nothing extra to install besides having a DAW – though it is recommended to be used with an external preamp to boost the signal a bit. If you don’t want to get a foam sock or pop filter, it works best at 6 inches away with its built-in features.
Our Rating: 4.4/5
Mics have come a long way in this price range from yesteryear. The Rode PodMic is proof that you can still have a decent tone and performance from a budget-friendly mic.
Next Step Resources
Hopefully you found this Rode PodMic review useful. If you’re still undecided and would like to shop around some more, then here are 3 articles to check out next:
And if you’re looking for the perfect software to record, edit, produce and publish your show, be sure to check out Alitu. Whether it’s solo episodes or remote calls, recording is simple inside Alitu. All the production and processing happens automatically, whilst editing and arranging episodes is a straightforward drag and drop process. Try it out free for 7 days and see what you think!