The Best Podcast Microphones to Sound your Best in 2021: For Every Budget & Level

This is our definitive guide to the best Podcast Microphones around, for every budget & level. Choose your gear, right here!

Best Podcast Microphones

What's the best podcast microphone right now? It's always a hotly debated topic in our world. Every podcaster has their own personal favourite, and there’s a lot of debate of what level of quality you actually need to run a decent Podcast.

What's the Best Podcast Microphone?

The best budget level podcast microphone is the Samson Q2U. It's a great starting point for any podcaster, and grows with you. For higher budget, and even higher quality, look to the Rode Procaster. Then, if you're going pro, I'd recommend the Shure SM7b for the best possible quality.

Here are all of our favourite podcast mics by level: Entry Level, High Quality, and Pro. You’ll find all the detail on each level below. But let’s start with a quick overview – look beyond to find out why.

  1. Entry: Samson Q2U
  2. Entry: ATR2100
  3. Entry: Rode Smartlav+
  4. High: Rode Podcaster/Procaster
  5. High: Blue Yeti
  6. High: MXL990
  7. High: Shure SM58
  8. High: AKG Lyra
  9. PRO: Heil PR40
  10. PRO: Shure SM7b
  11. PRO: Rode NT1-A
  12. PRO: Electro-Voice R20

Why is a Good Podcast Microphone Important?

It seems obvious, but it’s a relevant question – why bother investing in a good podcast microphone?

Lots of Podcasts record with people in different locations, using tools like Skype and Google Hangouts, so connection quality can be just as important as your microphone. Others record in-person, so environment and mic technique play a part. However you record, there’s no denying, though, that a Podcast recorded on a decent quality microphone is massively more professional than someone blabbering away on a tinny headset mic.

After all, it’s the mic that captures your voice and translates it from physical sound waves into digital bits and bytes. A good microphone can cost hundreds of dollars, but luckily there are a lot of much more affordable options.

Just to let you know, all of the product links in this article are affiliate links. That means we get a small commission if you buy anything, but it doesn’t cost you any extra. Don’t worry, we’re always honest, open, impartial with our reviews – we only recommend the good stuff – but this affiliate income helps us keep the site running.

Entry Level Podcast Microphones

Don’t let the term “Entry level” put you off – I only recommend good quality kit! These are relatively cheap, though, and very easy to set up, so they’re well suited for beginners. But, I know many a veteran podcaster that still uses this kit, even years down the road.

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1. Samson Q2U

The microphone that I often recommend people start off with is the Samson Q2U. This is a really versatile little beast, being both XLR and USB. It’s also a significant quality increase over a cheap headset mic or your internal microphone.

🎤 Check Samson Q2U Prices on Amazon

The dual output (XLR & USB) means that in the early days you can plug it directly into your computer via USB, recording to Garageband or Audacity. Or, use that USB mic to run a Skype call, or a Zoom chat.

Samson Q2U, one of the Best Podcasting Mics

Then later on in your journey, when you get yourself a mixer or a decent digital recorder, you can change to XLR, which is just the type of cables that pro audio equipment uses. The other benefit is that you can backup your recordings by sending to both. This means even if one device crashes/runs out of batteries, you’ve still got a copy of your session.

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2. ATR2100

An alternative, and very similar mic, is the often mentioned ATR2100. There's not much to tell between the two, though, and the Samson is usually cheaper, so it's all down to cost on the day.

Best Podcasting Microphone ATR2100

Another great thing about these microphones is that they're ideal for heading out and about, capturing live audio interviews. You can find a guide we've written on that subject, and how the ATR/Samson fit into the interview setup below.

Read more: Face to Face Podcast Interviewing.

3. Rode Smartlav+

The Rode Smartlav+ is a lavalier or tie-clip mic, specifically built for smartphones, so it works like a dream on any modern phone with a 3.5mm input (or a 3.5mm > lightning adapter for new iPhones). I love this little mic for two main reasons:

  1. It's tiny! You can have it in your bag ALL the TIME, for just-in-case interviews.
  2. It still sounds good. For a miniscule little package, it sounds great.

Even better, the Rode Smartlav+ can be bundled with the SC6 adapter to plug two, yep a pair, of mics into one Smartphone. So, with a pair of Smartlavs and one SC6 adapter, suddenly you have an on-the-go in-person interview kit that's smaller than your wallet!

Rode Smartlav Plus lavalier microphone

This is one of the best podcast microphones around, just because of that – it's versatility – and the fact that it means you're always ready to capture great content. Just bumped into Prince Harry in the street? Well, whip out your smartlavs and grab a great quality interview on exactly what it's like to be that famous for no particular reason.

High Quality Podcast Microphones

These microphones are as good as anyone would need for podcasting up to six or seven figure audiences. The microphones in this section are within the normal Podcaster’s budget, and provide great quality recordings to boot.

The next level up is professional equipment. That’s the microphones that could happily kit out a pro recording studio. But, at that level, be prepared for some serious cash outlay. Unless you’re making a living from your podcast (and even if you are…), the microphones in this section will do the job perfectly.

4. The Rode Podcaster

My pick of the podcast microphones at this level is the Rode Podcaster, a USB alternative to the Rode Procaster. It's very hard to get them right now, though, so go with it's sister mic, the Rode NT USB, which is a similar mic and akin to the pro-level NT1-A we list below!

🎤 Check Prices for the Rode NT-USB on Amazon

The Rode Podcaster is an absolutely excellent dynamic podcast microphone. This is what we use in our podcasting studio right now.

The price is definitely creeping up a little when you include stands and a shockmount, but you’ll notice a significant difference if you compare it directly with any of the entry level microphones above.

Rode Podcaster best high quality podcast microphone

The Podcaster is a USB microphone, like the Blue Yeti below, but, it’s a dynamic mic, while the Yeti is a condensor. If you want to know the difference, look further down the article. The upshot is, though, that Dynamic mics are better if you’re not in a treated recording studio. They pick up less background noise, and are more forgiving in your average study or office, which is what most of us record in!

If you like the look of the Rode Podcaster, but would rather opt for an XLR mic so you can plug it into things like mixers or digital recorders, then check out its sister mic – the Rode Procaster.

5. The Blue Yeti

Blue Yeti Microphone

The next in this group is a USB condenser microphone that’s one of the most popular podcast microphones in the world. It is, of course, the Blue Yeti, and it comes in at around £100 / $100 (note: currently discounted to less last time I looked…).

The Blue Yeti offers great quality audio thanks to it’s condenser capsules and is amazingly easy to use with a plug and play USB connection.

One of the biggest advantages, though, is it’s range of recording patterns. It offers settings for solo recording, two-person face to face recording, and group recording. So, it’s flexible and can adapt to just about any situation. Bear in mind that to get the best quality, you need to be quite close to the mic, so prepare to get pretty cosy when you’re recording 2 people, or groups.

Lastly, the Blue Yeti comes with it’s own stand, so it’s a good first step if you want to jump in at the high-end and not have to worry about accessories like stands. I’ve written elsewhere about the Blue Yeti and it’s various accessories so feel free to check out that article for more information.

The Yeti might not quite match the MXL990 or the Rode podcast mics for sheer quality, but the ease of use and the fact that it’s entirely standalone make it a really serious choice at this level.

If you want to look at another very similar option that we’ve been playing with lately, the Shure MV5 is definitely tickling our fancy. It’s a bit cheaper than the Yeti, and a lot more portable. By that, I mean it doesn’t feel like a brick in your bag, like the Yeti!

6. The MXL990

Talking of condenser microphones, at this level you can start to get some decent ones. The MXL990 was the first condensor mic that I owned, and I loved it. I used it for all of my recording, for about 2 years. It’s ridiculously good value at about £70 / $70 and it was worth every penny at the time. Even though it’s a condensor, it was decent in a normal office room, not picking up too much of the room noise. So this is a good choice if you have a reasonably quiet space, and you’re looking for a rich sound on a budget.

Bear in mind that this is an XLR microphone, like the Procaster above, so you need a mixer and/or a top-end digital recorder. As always, I’ve written up a guide to podcasting mixers if you’re looking to go that route. There are definite pros and cons, and they’re not for everyone, but it’s worth investigating.

I recently heard Rob from Podcast411 and Libsyn enthuse about the MXL990 so I’m glad I’m in good company in liking this podcasting microphone.

7. The Shure SM58

I have to mention the podcast microphone workhorse that is the Shure SM58, just incase you’re looking for a high quality mic that’s more mobile.

The SM58 is a handheld mic that’s more commonly spotted at music events, held in the hand of a screaming lead singer. They can be dropped, pounded, drowned and still survive, and they’re perfect for anyone that’s looking to do more out-and-about recording than in-studio.

We use the Shure SM58 along with a Zoom H5 or Zoom H6 recorder for all of our in-person interviews (find out more about the setup here). If you think you’d like to take your mic on the road, and can budget for a good digital recorder too, then this could be the choice for you. It’ll work just as well in the studio, mounted on a stand, for when that’s the better choice.

8. AKG Lyra

A new addition, just released in late 2019, is the AKG Lyra. This is a strong competitor to the Blue Yeti, in that it has very similar features, from polar patterns to an in-built stand.

The AKG, to Matthew's ear (read the AKG Lyra Review here for examples), sounds better than the Yeti, but it is a little more expensive, so you'd expect so. If you're willing to put up a little more cash than the Yeti, but not as much as the Podcaster, then the AKG might be a good choice.

Looking for a Microphone Stand?

On the subject of microphone stands, if you're looking to mount your Podcast microphone, I've written about microphone boom arms here.

Professional Level Podcast Microphones

At this level, we're starting to look at some serious cash. These are microphones that wouldn't look out of place in a pro recording studio after all. I would say, seriously, this is overkill for nearly anyone, even if you're broadcasting to millions. Take Tim Ferriss for example – millions of downloads per episode and still mostly recording on an ATR2100 or an SM58, last time I looked.

Here, our first option is quite expensive for what you get, and the second needs a quiet environment and great mic technique. For both, it's actually very dependent on your voice how good a result you'll get. But hey, I know you folks love the gear just as much as me, so you're probably coveting them anyway. Sometimes you just want a treat! So, let's have a look.

9. The Heil PR40

The Heil PR40 is touted by many high level show runners as the go-to podcast mic for anyone who wants the best sound they can get. I wont deny it's a good microphone, but I will say it's a bit overhyped.

The sound quality is good, and, being a dynamic mic, it's a great fit for the non-professional environments most of us are recording in. But, it's very expensive for all that… I genuinely think the Procaster or the Podcaster by Rode gives similar or better results, depending on your voice, and they're way cheaper.

HeilPR40 podcast mic

But, it's hugely popular, and for some people it does create a really excellent sound. So, if you can get your hands on one to test it out, either borrow, or on sale and return, then definitely give it a try.

10. The Shure SM7b

The Shure SM7b is a legendary mic in the industry. This is one that discerning audiophiles hold in great esteem, one of the best of breed. And yes, it does indeed live up to the hype – it's an amazing microphone. Again, with the qualifier that, at this level, you should be shopping around and testing them with your own particular voice. Some people will find that even the most revered mic just doesn't work for them, and a lower cost alternative gives the best sound.

🎤 Check Prices on Shure SM7b on Amazon

The problem with the SM7B is that it needs a really professional environment. It picks up a LOT of background noise, and it totally unforgiving with bad mic technique. This will pick up all of your lip smacks, breathing, pops and sibillants, and so you need to know how to deal with them all.

Shure SM7B Podcast Mic

Presuming you can do that, though, and you can afford the cost, this is one hell of a microphone.

11. The Rode NT1-A

The Rode NT1-A popped up as a surprise entry in our gear stats survey last year, and turned out to be the most popular high-end podcast microphone amongst our respondents. It’s not surprising, really, when you hear the quality it offers, combined with a relatively low price for a mic at this level: £160 / $220.

Rode NT1-A pro microphone

The NT1-A is a super-low noise XLR microphone, with a really rich sound behind it. The pack comes with a shock mount and a pop filter, so all you need is a mic stand and the recording system (recorder or mixer) to get it up and running. If you really want to go pro, and you’ve got a mixer/interface to link it to, then this could be a great starting point!

12. The Electro-Voice R20

The Electro-Voice RE20 is a mic with a very loyal following… If you know an Electro-Voice fan, you know it!

But, it's with good reason. The EVs are certainly amongst the best microphones in podcasting, or the world of audio in general!

Those who love the EV speak fondly of the rich tones, the depth, the resonance. If it suits your voice, then there's a body to the recordings that's as memorable as it is undefinable.

You'll pay for it, of course. The EV microphones are NOT cheap. But they're world class equipment and justify the cost. If you'd like to read more about the mic, and hear some samples, then you can read our Electro-Voice RE20 review here.

Dynamic Microphones vs Condensor Mics for Podcasting

Ok, I've talked a lot about dynamic microphones and condenser microphones above – so what's the difference?

If you want that extra level of depth to your Podcast, it could be worth going for a condenser microphone, but with some caveats. Condenser microphones work in an entirely different, un-fathomable way, but suffice to say, they introduce a higher level of quality to your recordings. However, and this is key, that only applies in the right context.

The problem is, because of their sensitivity, condenser microphones tend to pick up a lot of background noise. This means you need a nice quiet recording environment to take advantage of the quality they offer. They also tend to be a lot more fragile, so they're no good for carrying around in your bag.

Samson CO1U Pro podcast microphone setup

The other disadvantage is that condenser microphones need external power. This normally comes through a phantom power supply, provided by either a mixing desk, your digital recorder or a battery in the microphone. Digital recorders or mixing desk are good investments themselves as they provide a lot more flexibility, but that's an extra investment too. To be honest, for most Podcasting setups mixers tend to be overkill.

Essentially, if you want the best quality, but plan to only record from your desk, using a mic stand, in a very quiet environment, then a condenser microphone could be great for you. A good example of an entry level condenser microphone is the Samson C01u, and that's USB by default.

Of course, the alternative is a Dynamic Microphone. Dynamic mics are essentially the opposite of everything I've described above. They record a narrower range of frequencies, and so can sound a little less rich. They record less surrounding noise, so you have to be right up close to the mic. But, because of both of those features, they can be lovely and quiet, and forgive much worse recording environments.

For a deeper dive on this, see our article on Condenser Vs Dynamic microphones.

How to Choose your Mic

The Short Answer

Good quality, good value & flexible (for both computers AND mixers/recorders):

> Samson Q2U

High quality, USB Mic (for computers):

> Blue Yeti
medium budget

> Rode Podcaster
high budget

High quality, XLR mic (for mixer/recorders):

> Rode Procaster

The Long Answer

The two factors that determine what microphone you should go for are:

  1. Your recording environment
  2. Your Budget

Buy as expensive a podcasting microphone as you can afford. As with everything, the more you spend, the better the quality you'll get. But, this only goes up to a point. You will get perfectly good results with the Samson Q2U, so, if that's your budget, then start here and move on up.

Don't forget the Rode Smartlav+, too, if you do a lot of on-the-go recordings with people in real life. By that, I mean in-person, not the industry standard online call! The Smartlav+ is so portable and versatile that there's no excuse, any longer, to miss out on good content.

When upgrading, you can spend hundreds, but you need a lot of knowledge and more professional support equipment to take advantage of the quality offered by something like the Shure SM7B. Save that for a couple of years down the line when you've become an audio production guru, and stick with something like the Rode Podcaster USB microphone, if you can afford it (alongside mic stand & shock mount!) or the Blue Yeti for now if you can't.

The question of dynamic vs condenser microphone comes down to where you normally record and how much kit you want to use.

If you have a nice, quiet regular recording room, then a condenser microphone could be worth buying. You wont be able to take it anywhere easily, and you will need that mixer or digital recorder to provide the power, unless you find a battery powered mic. But the depth of your recordings will be great, and you'll definitely stand out.

Whatever you choose, enjoy it, and remember that we have a full run-down on the wider podcast equipment you can buy if you start thinking about things like mixers, recorders or stands.

Bonus Resource: Free Online Microphone Test

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A Question For You on Podcast Microphones

What podcast microphones do you use and like? I'd love to hear your feedback – Tweet me and let me know what mic you use. Look forward to hearing from you!

155 thoughts on “The Best Podcast Microphones to Sound your Best in 2021: For Every Budget & Level

  1. I own a blog, and I’m looking into starting my own podcast as a direct extension of the blog. I’m trying to be hopeful and think long-term. I don’t want to go with any of the USB microphones because there are too many accounts of them letting in background noise (as you mention). But the MXL 990 Condenser Microphone sounds really promising! I just added it to my wishlist on Amazon. Thank you for your input!

    1. The 990 is great. Might I also suggest an exploration of the 990 XL. It’s bigger in size and I think the audio quality is likewise a step up. I love it and find it comparable to microphones three times its price. I haven’t used it for podcasting (singing, yes) but now I’ve got a hankering. (I use an RE20, primarily, or an SM7B, which are on the other side of the globe, so to speak.) Anyhoo, best of luck on your podcast.

  2. Hi,
    I’ve just bought the Blue Snowball mic. A very nice, solid piece of kit. Very, very quiet on my PC (Windows 7). Everything works. It’s set up and volume is maxed to 100, but it’s just so quiet.

    Any ideas? I may have to send it back.


    1. Hi Kiarian, thanks for the feedback.

      It’s really hard to tell without seeing your settings but first thing I would do is check recording volume. Righ click the little speaker icon in your dock and select recording devices. You can find the Blue Yeti there and have a look at it’s volume. Depending on your OS you might also have a volume boost option to try out.

      Failing that, try it on another computer. If it’s quiet there too then you might have a faulty unit. In that case, time for a replacement! If it works OK, though, there must be a setting somewhere on your own computer that is lowering the volume.

      What software are you recording into out of interest?


  3. Hey!

    Looking for a microphone which is USB connected and under £50, I’ve used the samson you mentioned at college and it had some slight issues with recording into Logic Pro, what do you recommend? I’ve been looking for a while now and I think the Avid Vocal Studio, It looks very good at around £50 but I’m not to sure. I would love to know your opinion on the matter.


    1. Hi Seb, thanks for the comment!

      I haven’t used the Avid Vocal studio as a Podcast microphone myself, but I have heard good things about it. Reportedly it’s very good for the price, but since the price is quite low, bear in mind that it wont compete with the likes of the Blue Yeti, and, in fact, I’d say the Blue Snowball will probably give you more bang for your buck. Saying that, the package you get on Amazon just now includes a stand too which is mighty good value.

      An alternative might be the Behringer C1’s USB version, the Behringer C1U. It’s on Amazon (UK at least) at a pretty decent price just now, under £50. I’ve used their C range before and they give perfectly good audio quality for Podcasting – again, in the budget range, but more than good enough quality for most purposes.

      Anyway, I hope that helps, and do let me know if you have any more questions.


  4. Hi Colin

    Thanks for this, really useful! And I do have an issue you might be able to help me with.

    I have just started a podcast, using my PC, Audacity, and a Samson condenser microphone – probably a predecessor to the one you mention above. My problem is that the audio in my podcasts is poor quality. There is an annoying hiss on them, which only happens when I am speaking so something like Audacity’s “noise reduction” wont really solve it. Also the audio track has a slight crakcle or rattle occasionally.

    What I don’t know is if a better mic – like the Blue Yeti – will solve these problems, or do I need to do something with my settings on audacity and/or the way I edit the podcast?

    If you have any suggestions I’ d be grateful to have them

    1. Hi Andy,

      Happy to help, or to try to anyway! I’ll need a few more bits of information to figure this out though. Can you clarify the following:

      1. Are you sure the hiss only appears when you speak? Does it appear in the background along with your voice, and when you’re not speaking there is no hiss on the recording?
      2. Are you using this with a mixer or an audio recorder? What else is plugged in? Any info you have on your recording setup would help.

      At an initial guess, it might well be an equipment problem. If you can get hold of a different podcasting microphone and try it out on the same system, you can rule out an issue with the mic. Or, try plugging the same mic into a different mixer/recorder/system, and that’ll tell you if the recording device is causing it. Next, it could be outside interference. Ground loops and electrical fields can cause havoc with
      podcast recordings. Try shutting down a lot of the surrounding equipment – go around the house and turn off your electrical devices. Also make sure your wires are crossing as little as possible. With unshielded cables you can get a lot of interference that way.

      Anyway, hope some of that helps, and let me know your answers to the questions above.


      1. Hi Colin

        Many thanks for your prompt response. To answer your questions:

        1. Are you sure the hiss only appears when you speak? Does it appear in the background along with your voice, and when you’re not speaking there is no hiss on the recording?

        The answer to your question is: “yes, after I’ve used the noise removal featre of audaicty”. When I do my initial recording there is some hiss throughout the whole audio file. So what I do is to have a few secodns of silence at the start and then use the noise removal feature to strip that out of the whole track. This leaves the ‘silent’ bits of the audio file as genuinely silent,. but when I listen to the parts of the track with my voice I hear an underlying hiss. So I’m thnking the noise removal exercise gets rid of some of the hiss, or I need to put the noise removal on a more aggressive setting, or there’s something in the mic maybe that means when it’s recording my voice it’s also recording some kind of hiss

        2. Are you using this with a mixer or an audio recorder? What else is plugged in? Any info you have on your recording setup would help.

        I am not using any mixer at all. I’m simply plugging my mic in to the USB port on my PC, and then recording. I’m not even tweaking the recrdoing levels on Audacity for this. although I realsie that mgiht help maybe.

        I’ll try your other suggestions, any thing else you can suggest woudl be grtefully received

        thanks for your help


    2. Aah, that explains a lot, thanks Andy.

      Ok, so you’re using a USB condenser, straight into the PC. And the hiss is constant really, but you’re removing as much as you can in post-production.

      Without hearing the recording I’ll have to make guesses still, but at least they’re reasonably educated now.

      First, with a condenser podcasting microphone, you’re most always going to have a bit of hiss, even if it’s working perfectly. Condenser mics are very, very sensitive – that’s both their power and their weakness. They create a rich voice recording because of their sensitivity, but it means they also pick up just about everything else in the room. If you’re plugging it into a PC that means you’re running a PC close by, and that creates quite a lot of noise via the fan, the HD and otherwise.

      The best idea in that situation, when you can’t get rid of the noise (you need that PC there after all) is to perfect your mic technique. Get your mouth as close as you can to the mic and learn to talk clearly and steadily with little movement. If you manage that, you can drop the gain a fair bit, thus decreasing overall sensitivity, and picking up less background noise. But, you’ll pick up more mouth noises, plosives and esses, so you have to get even better on the mic. A pop filter will help, though, as will speaking slightly to the side of the mic. Either way, getting right up close will allow you to cut down on background noise during or after recording.

      Would you be able to send over an MP3? I’d be happy to have a listen and let you know if it’s a normal amount of hiss, or whether the mic sounds broken. If you email me on colin at thepodcasthost dot com you can send it over.


      1. Hi Colin

        Thanks for all your help. I’ve revisited all the settings I use for the podcasts and experimented with noise removal and notch filter and managed to get my audio quality much improved, so I think I’m okay!

        If you are interested, that improvement is the difference between episode 3 and 4 of my podcast ‘The Creative Writers Toolbelt’ you can find it here

        I’m very grateful for your help.



  5. Hi Colin,
    I have a shure sm86 microphone and am wanting to start a podcast. I was wondering if the guest Mic has to be a condenser as well or will I be fine with a dynamic. Will the in and out volumes be hard to match?

    1. Hi Cotton!

      Thanks for getting in touch. Mixing two different types of podcast Mics can be tricky, but it just takes a bit of work with your mixer to match them up really. As long as you have control over the levels of each channel you can make sure they match up ok.

      It’ll be a little more work than just using two of the same type of mic, but, actually, since everyone speaks at a different volume, you’d have to do a little of that type of work anyway.

      Hope that helps!

  6. Hey Colin,

    I stumbled upon your Blog/post thing here while I was looking for a microphone.

    I have a question. My friend and I are going to be starting a YouTube channel soon so I’ve been looking into some cheap ones and I was wondering if getting a Pop filter would help?

    Also the microphone will be placed close to us(about a foot to 2 feet away) and in front of the TV (a foot away, and we’re going to be recording Gameplay) should I place it else where to avoid Background noise?

    I just want to eliminate as much Background noise as possible (Its in my room BTW)

    Thanks, Mike.

    1. Hi Mike,

      Sounds like a good idea – look forward to having a look at your channel! Let me know when you’re live.

      Ok, first, if your mic is 1 to 2 foot away you wont need a pop filter. Pop filters are only for use when you’re speaking within a foot or so of the mic, more likely within a few inches. By all means it wont harm the recording, but it’s not really necessary.

      As for background noise, the best way to eliminate it is to eliminate it! Make sure you’re in a room that’s as quiet as possible, and with as little machinery running as possible (PCs, air conditioning, etc). Next, you want to get your microphone as close as you can to your mouths. If you’re recording as a pair, the easiest way for this would be to have a couple of lavaliere microphones routing into your recording. This gets them up close to your face, and away from the TV. The closer they are to your mouth, the quiet you can record, and the lower the background noise will be.

      Another option might be headset microphones. Get a coupe of good non-USB headset microphones and they could route into a recorder.

      If you have the mic 2 foot away, it’ll struggle to pic up your voices, and will likely pick up the bashing of your controllers, the whine of the TV, and the sound from the game itself more than you.

      Let me know how you get on with that and happy to help more if needed!


  7. Colin:
    I am just getting started with podcasting and this article was awesome! I picked the blue snowball and feel like I know exactly what to do once it arrives. Thanks so much!


    1. Great to hear that Donna, always happy to get some good feedback 🙂

      If you need advice on anything else once the microphone turns up, you know where to ask!

  8. Thanks for the interesting site. Loved the piece on microphones, you went through my history of podcasting microphones almost mic by mic. I am now blessed to be using the Heil PR.40. One of the things you did not mention, which I think is worth adding, is the catchment area of mics like the pr40, the fact that it’s polar pattern is close up helps if your in a noisy environment like mine. Keep up the good work, and welcome to the pod asters uk site set up by Mike ans Issy!

  9. Hi, thanks for the great mic info! My friend and I were hoping to start a youtube show, and we’re wondering what mic setup to use. Do you know what kind of mic the people in the video below are using? Is it possible to use a mic like that easily for a group video with one mic only, or is the mic they have displayed only for show? Thanks~!–2mdA

    1. Hey Joey, cheers for the question.

      I couldn’t say for sure whether the mic they have in the vid is the one being used to record, but it’s The Mouse from Blue Mics. It’s a strange choice if it is the one they’re using as it’s designed for instrument recording – really low bass tones particularly. But, it may well work well in that situation, I’ve never tried it. You might be better with the Blue Yeti I mention above for good quality voice recording.

      The key with the setup you’re looking at is to have the mic as close as possible to the presenters. It’s tricky in a group because there are two mouths to aim at and you might find it a little awkward to talk your mate into scooching too close! The best bet is actually a cable splitter and two or more lavalier microphones – one on each person. That means you’ll capture everyone’s voice as best you can.

      Hope that helps

  10. I’m a big fan of the Electrovoice RE20, which I moved over to after using the Heil PR40 for about 50 episodes.

    When it comes to mics that are better for newbies and that don’t go up into the high price range of the RE20 and Heil, I’m a big fan of Røde mics.

    I did a test of their USB Podcaster and compared it to the Procaster.

    I found that the dynamic PROcaster was outstanding and very comparable to the higher end mics. It’s got a very warm sound and was better on the sibilants in my voice. You have to crank the gain up quite a lot though.

    The USB Podcaster is an excellent mic for video voiceovers, I’ve found, but it’s really too sensitive for pure high quality audio, I think.

    Both mics are incredibly solid and have a high build quality.

    I recently got hold of Aphex’s Microphone X USB mic which, despite the excellent build quality, and reasonable price just isn’t up to scratch despite the very positive reviews I’d read online.

    I’m always on the look out for new mics to test and the Samson you mention might be a good option to try on the road.

    Very best wishes,

    1. Hi Jon, thanks for that feedback, really useful!

      I’ve used Rode Mics for filming, pairing them with a DSLR, but never for pure voice recording. Sounds like I need to have a look at the Procaster though if it’s that comparable to the High-end mics. Cheers!


  11. Thank you for the good review. I’ve recently been asked to host Google Hangouts and spin them off as a podcast so I’m trying to figure all of this out in a relatively short amount of time.

    I seem to hear a lot about the Blue Yeti. It seems like every podcaster I listen to who mentions their setup is using this. My question, though, is whether there is a good headset that I could look for. I have no headphones except the ear buds I used to listen to music at work so I’d need to buy a good pair of earphones anyway based on what I’m reading. Is there a good headset option that would deliver the quality needed for a podcast or am I better off buying a microphone and headphones separately?

    1. Hi Ryan,

      A lot of veteran podcasters will shout at me for even suggesting it, but yes, there are headsets out there that deliver decent enough sound for your podcast. Fair warning, you’ll never get a headset that gives quite a good quality as a very good standalone microphone, but I always say it’s best to just get started with whatever kit you can afford and build up to better equipment over time.

      Your mic technique, presenting style, content and all the rest of it will improve immeasurably over the first few months of your podcast and count for far more than a better microphone, so best to get started, perfect that on whatever equipment you have, and save up for a great mic in the meantime.

      There are a few options for a decent headset – the Logitech Clearchat is one, or for a little more you’ve got the Plantronics 995. Of course, I still use my Microsoft Livechat which is linked on my post about headset microphone setup so that’s an option too!

      Anyway, hope that helps out Ryan – let me know how you get on!


  12. Hi Colin,

    Thanks for the tip. Blue Yeti has been gathering a lot of great praise from the reviews I’ve read. I haven’t personally used it but I think it’s well worth the try to get this if you don’t have a microphone yet.

    I personally make use of AT2100. It’s very affordable and the quality is good too.


    1. Thanks for the feedback Florante, good to know the article’s been useful!

      I haven’t tried out the AT2100 as a podcasting microphone yet, but I’ve heard a lot of good things. Thanks for the recommendation!


  13. Hi Colin – thanks for all the advice. I do have some questions about gear. I did a few episodes of a podcast with 2 other friends (so 3 of us in all) and we all shared the Blue Yeti which as long as we were close enough to the mic sounded great. So now I want to take it to a new level with an interview podcast and I plan on using the same Blue Yeti and buying a second one for my guest.

    My question is: can you recommend a stand or holder that works with the Yeti to allow me and the guest to sit normal and get right up on the mic? Same with the filters/windscreens. DO I need those for a quiet office situation?

    Lastly I plan on recording directly into GarageBand like I did before. Any advice there? Seems very plug-n-play…


    1. Hi Brian, great question! I think this is worth a blog post, gimme 5 minutes….

      Ok, here’s your answer:

      Hah, thanks for the suggestion Brian, I think a lot of people will find that useful, and I’ve been asked the same thing a few times before. Let me know if the article helps out.

      On the Garageband question, yes, if that’s working for you then keep on going just like that. Your audio software is a lot less important that your content and the original recording quality, so get both of those right and the value of your podcast will soar. Hope that helps!

  14. Hey Colin,

    I read this article prior to starting our podcast but we were on such a tight budget that I had to go in a different direction. We’re about 2 months into podcasting and enjoying it, but I have an equipment question.

    So we had to go with the cheapest set up possible, so we bought a package of Behringer XM1800s Dynamic mics and they run through a Yamaha MG 102C Mixer, since there are 3 of us. The signal then goes to a Tascam DR-40.

    So what we are finding is that we cannot get a reasonable volume. Our input levels and gain have to be really cranked, as well as the input level on the Tascam recorder. As we increase that, we notice an increase in hiss/static on the recording itself. Essentially, our solution right now has been to boost the levels in Audacity in post-production.

    So my question to you is…is this because the dynamic signal is weak? I’m wondering what the easiest solution is? Do we need specific pre-amps that are not built into the mixer to properly power these dynamic mics? Do we need to switch to condenser mics and use the phantom power on the mixing board? We’re just trying to get reasonable volume without causing a hiss by boosting the levels.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Cody, thanks for the question.

      First off, good work on getting started, and with a pretty advanced setup too. You’re right though, when you get up to three presenters you’re going to need a mixer for decent, reliable quality, and the flexibility of managing everyone’s levels.

      I don’t know the Behringer microphones, so I can’t comment definitively, but Dynamic mics are commonly pretty low in terms of levels, and require a bit of gain to bring them up. As you’ve found, this often introduces noise.

      You’ve hit on two of the possible solutions already, so I feel like you’re just asking for confirmation here – I’m not going to tell you anything new! Yes, a pre-amp would do the trick perfectly, adding some clean gain to your microphone output and should bring it up to the level you require. Or, yes, some condenser microphones would also do the trick, but then you’d be putting your 3 new Behringers into retirement almost before they’ve begun.

      The former will cost a fair bit of money to cover all three of your mics. For example, the Cloudlifter is a basic preamp that gets great feedback and it’s $150 for just one mic. So you’re looking at a fair chunk of change. On the other hand, 3 new decent condensers will set you back a fair bit too.

      Before you go and spend all this money, check a few things first.

      1. Mic technique – are you getting up close and personal with your mic? With a Dynamic mic you need to be good with your positioning to make sure you’re getting consistent levels.
      2. Background noise – is there anything you can cut out in the background? Turn off any PCs, striplights, appliances. This might help with the noise. Even a set of audio damping tiles will cost a lot less than a set of 3 preamps…

      So, it’s up to what your budget is really. Let me know what you think!

  15. If I am going to do an interview podcast and have my co-host with me in the room, could we share one of these mics? I think we can arrange to have a very quiet room for our interviews. Possibly the Blue Yeti? The Heil PR-40 is out of our price range at this point?

    Also, would we need a mixer?


    1. Hi Randi,

      Yes, the Blue Yeti in particular is good for this thanks to is choice of recording patterns. You can set it to detect sound from all around, so you can sit on both sides of the mic. If you’ve got a nice quiet room then you should get decent results using this method without having to scootch up too much!

      With the Blue Yeti you wont need a mixer – you can plug it straight into your computer.

      Hope that helps!

  16. Is a mixer required for use with USB condenser mics like ATR2500? Or, can I just plug and record into audacity?

    1. Hey Chris,

      If you’re using a USB mic, then a mixer is not required. You can plug that directly into your computer and, as you say, record directly into Audacity. There are some mixers coming onto the market that can work with USB mics but, on the whole, mixers are really for working with professional standard microphones that use XLR or 1/4″ connections. Hope that helps!

  17. I’m in the U.S., and operating on a VERY limited budget. I give lessons through Skype and sometimes Google Hangouts, although the medium is subject to change. I’m looking for a microphone that will work for both lessons and podcasts.

    The biggest problem I have is that I type VERY LOUDLY on an old-fashioned, LOUD keyboard. Clarity of sound is important because I’m teaching English language pronunciation, but I can’t sacrifice the ability to type while I teach.

    The mic I’ve been using is very old, and came with a device intended for recording notes for later transcription. A sample video is located here:

    I’m not interested in mixers because of my limitations, both in technological expertise and budget. Can you recommend a standalone mic that would work for me? I have been looking at the reviews for the Blue Yeti, but I’m concerned about the fact that it is reported to pick up the surrounding sounds.

    1. Good question Kasey – this is something that does come up quite a bit, but I’ve never covered explicitly.

      You’re right, the Blue Yeti wont be the best for this because it has a pretty sensitive pickup – it’ll hear every stroke of those keys. You’re going to struggle to get rid of ALL of the sound, especially if it’s as loud as you suggest, but you’ll do best with a Dynamic microphone. Dynamic mics have a much less sensitive range and tend to cut out a lot more of the background noise. You might also want to think about a shotgun mic – they’re very very directional, picking up noise in a similar pattern to a torchlight. You could point that right at your mouth and it’ll cut out a fair bit of noise from other sources.

      Finally, the best bet if you really want to stick to this configuration is to rig up a sound-booth type contraption to protect your microphone from the keyboard. This would take a bit of work (or an expensive outlay for something like this: ) but it’ll be the best way to cut down on the keyboard noise. That, combined with a dynamic mic, will really help, but will probably still not entirely cut out very loud external noises.

      Hope that helps!

  18. Colin,

    My friend and I started a podcast regarding football. When we started I purchased the Zoom H4n (mainly good because you can move it from house to house). When people listen to our podcast episodes they say they can hear some noises in the background and it sounds echoey. I returned this mic and now Im not sure what to buy. The environment is a bedroom with windows.


    1. Hey Ali,

      The H4N does have a great internal mic, but it will pick up background noises so you need a decent recording environment to keep it totally silent.

      If you want the best isolation possible, then go for a good quality Dynamic mic, like the Rode Podcaster above. Because it’s Dynamic, it’s more forgiving of a noisy environment, and the quality you get from it is excellent. Hope that helps!

  19. Hey Colin,
    thanks so much for this overview!
    I tried Harlan’s Voiceover mic, along with the micport pro interface.
    I also built a box using Auralex sound-proofing foam.
    When I sent a sample to audible, they said there was too much reverb, plus they could hear a radio station playing!
    Which I could hear through my headphones, but hoped it was just the wiring of the headphones that was picking it up, without recording it — but alas, it was recording )-:

    I live several hundred yards from Sutro Tower, the gigantic broadcasting structure on the top of Twin Peaks in the middle of San Francisco. Many neighbors have complained about interference. Neither Harlan’s assistant, nor micport pro could offer any solution; so I decided to return Harlan’s mic and the micport-pro.

    I know Audible looks askance at usb mics, but with only one cable connecting directly to the computer, I’m hoping there might be less radio interference.

    I came across this one, which looks like it’s much higher quality than most of the usb mics out there:
    the mxl.009 which offers 24-bit/96 kHz recording —

    here’s a clip of how it sounds:

    do you think this would be an acceptable mic to use for Audible-quality (and most professional) podcasting or v/o projects?

    Of course I may still get the interference from the broadcast tower, in which case I might need to find somewhere else to work on my projects ~
    if you have a moment I’d be very grateful to hear your perspective!
    thanks a bunch,

    1. Hi Rik,

      Thanks for the question. That’s a strange situation you’ve got there – quite annoying that you can’t escape the radio tower interference! I suspect a lead-lined room might do it, but may be a little expensive 🙂

      I haven’t used the MXL009, but I use their XLR condenser microphone, the MXL990, and can attest to the quality of the brand. For a USB microphone that I KNOW is good, look at the Rode Podcaster which I list above, it’s a great mic, but you do pay a pretty hefty price for it. To be honest, there’s no reason the Samson Q2U, or the ATR2100 wouldn’t record high enough quality for an Audible production either, given the right recording environment and mic skills.

      It sounds like the USB option is a good bet at combatting the radio interference though – interested to hear how it goes!

      1. thanks, Colin!
        I’m hoping the usb cable will provide less interference — did not have much trouble with my snowflake, but would like a more robust sound so I’ll look at the ones you mentioned!
        some recordings I’ve heard of dynamic mics sounded a bit muddier, less full — is that your experience? (my voice is more toward baritone than tenor) plus it looks like you have to speak pretty close to it —
        but I often have ambient noise so I may just go with that ATR2100.
        Another question — what do you think of Josh Bartlett’s new Audello software for distributing podcasts?
        thanks a bunch

        1. Hi Rik, yes on all points re. Dynamic Microphones. They pick up less range, and you have to be right up on them as they’re just a little less sensitive. The bonus of that, though, is that it doesn’t pick up that ambient noise.

          On Audello, I haven’t tried it myself, but have heard some pretty bad things. Dave Jackson from School of Podcasting was really annoyed at some of their marketing tactics – eg. running constantly updating ‘limited time’ offers. That’s pretty dishonest if you ask me. Again, though, I haven’t used it, so worth doing a bit more research yourself!

          Hope that helps!

  20. Thanks so much for this article. I’m trying to find a good mic to use for recording two cohosts sitting at the same table, using one mic. Do I need an omnidirectional mic for that? Or should I get two dynamic mics? I’m not sure if my laptop can handle plugging two mics in, or if Audacity software can handle two mic inputs so one mic would be best if possible. Any advice from anyone would be much appreciated, thank you!!

    1. Edie, to use just the one mic, it’ll just be about how friendly you want to get with your co-host 🙂

      Yes, an omnidirectional mic will work if you want to be further apart, and on the opposite sides, but you’ll still want to be pretty close to the mic, so you’ll be looking right into each other’s eyes!

      The other way, as you’ve said, is to plug in 2 mics, but then you’re into the world of audio interfaces, so that you can take two mic inputs and mix it down to one for the laptop. Audacity can only handle one recording source, so two USB mics wouldn’t work I’m afraid. It’ll be a mixer, or a simpler audio input that you need. You can check out the mixer options over at my mixers article – just click the Resources link at the top. You do get some low-cost ones for very simple purposes like this.

      Hope that helps!

  21. Having very little technical sound experience, I purchased the rode nt1 and the Yamaha mg10xu mixer, along with my MacBook pro, Skype, and blogtalk radio, the setup has worked perfectly and was thoroughly impressed, people actually thought I knew what I was doing when it came to the quality of my broadcasts. My only beef with the set up is that the mic is extremely hot, meaning I can hear my cat jump off the table in the next room, and there is a bit of an echo in my office/studio, due to there being only rugs on the tile floor, so I experimented with the apogee 96k mic, and the irig setup, with iPhone/iPad with the audio technica pro 8 headset mic, all work nicely, but, just don’t have the quality and control using my nt1/mixer with compression setup. I am a trucker, so I was trying to create a setup that would travel well, and eliminate truck/rumble/road noise. With blogtalk, and using the parrot b350-Xt I was able to broadcast/interview guests live while trucking down the road, but again sound quality was less than par but doable. So now really I’m looking for the best mic, for the home studio, that has the quality/control of the nt1, but not as hot…..

    1. Great story Paul – I love the idea of recording a podcast during the hours you’re spending on the road!

      So, yea, the Rode Nt1 is a condenser, so it’ll pick up a lot of background, and a big frequency range. If you want to cut down the external noises, you’ve got a couple of options.

      First option – get far more friendly with your Rode! With good mic technique you can get really close, and stay there, so that you can drop your gain a fair bit. This’ll reduce the background and actually make you sound even more rich. Sometimes this doesn’t work for all voices though, but worth a try to start with.

      Second option – a new mic, as you seem to be thinking. You’ll want to go Dynamic in a noisy room. I recommend, above, the Rode Procaster as a great mixer-compatible dynamic mic. The Rode Podcaster is cheaper, but USB only, so wont work with the mixer, but you could actually link that up to your iRig setup, I think. It would be interesting to hear how that would work in your truck in terms of cutting out some of the background. Not sure how you’d rig up a stand, but could be a project! Finally, the ATR2100 (or samson Q2U for outside the US) is a great little dynamic mic too, so that could be a much cheaper option to cut down the background noise. The benefit you have there, too, is that it’s both USB AND XLR, so could be used both with your mixer, and portably.

      So, hope that helps – I’d love to hear how you get on too. Please do let me know either in the comments here or via the contact page.


      1. So you got me thinking, you’re right, mic intimacy is the name of the game, and due to my lack of sound engineering experience, i just did not put those two together….so many knobs on my yamaha mixer…..bringing that gain down, which eliminates the outside noises, requires discipline to stay put in front of the mic. the highs, and mids, i have kept at 2, and 3 o’clock, and the lows about 1. That compression knob still baffles me….i had it at 4. With all that being said, my setup at home is fine, it’s the truck that i want to focus on…..i’d lost all hope, but seeing the price of the atr2100 44us, and well the procaster is only 239us, and well hell, the heil pr40 is only 327us, and well Howard Stern used the Shure SM7bis 349us……as u can see, i can get carried away fast while mic dreaming… now the question is simply this, if I can rig up a table, mount that to the bunk in the back of my cab, mount my mixer, laptop, and some type of overhead mic rig, either mounting to the shelf above my head, or have a stand that telescopes over, and down, i wonder if it would be possible to have somewhat studio sound quality…..i’m not sure if they make a tool, that can record and measure the ambient sound in my truck at like 65 mph, which would then tell me exactly what type of mic to get, or if this is even possible….i also was thinking this set up might just require additional hardware like a sound/noise gate, but again, i’m not a sound engineer, so i’m just grasping at straws…….my only concern using a dynamic would be that my mic stand/setup would have to be easily and quickly collapsible, and not impede any of my view of the road, truly a set it, and forget it setup, as to not be distracted while driving….the optimum set up would be a headset mic, like the audio technica pro 8, which is an xlr mic….I have never brought my mixer in the truck, or used that mic on my mixer, i always had used that mic exclusively with the irig…..and people complained of the road noise, so i put it back in the box and it has sat on my shelf since i bought it…..course the irig is 9v powered, and the yamaha mixer isn’t.

        I’m not opposed to dropping 350us on a mic, as well as buying additional hw like a sound/noise gate, if I can get quality studio sound in that obnoxious ambient trucking road rattle environmen, that would be insanely cool. Three months ago, I gave up hope on improving the sound in my truck and figured the Bluetooth headset, setup was the best i was going to get….

        We really should get together and record this conversation, as I’m pretty sure I’m the first 18 wheeler driver that has hosted, and produced solo live on the fly broadcasts from their truck……

        Also we could discuss the latest blogtalk competing and up and coming technologies, surely would make for interesting radio… imho blogtalk is really an all in one, one stop shop, live hosting rss itunes feeding podcast solution, that is a no brainer, and anyone can set it up, the skype, cell switchboard, along with abilities to listen live via cell, smart phone internet, or laptop, made it simple for anybody to listen, and or download archives……just plagued with mediocre service, sound, and unreliable bandwith at high traffic show times….but for 40us bucks a month, it was a bargain. I have tried, spreaker, mixler, and google…..just not the same user experience,for the host, or listener.

        I apologize for the ramblings, i drove over 800 miles today, so i’m a tad bit exhausted. I appreciate your help, as I stumble up this technical mountain of a challenge, thanks again…. let’s get together soon to discuss….

        1. Really interesting conversation Paul, thanks for posting back. I suspect you’re right in thinking that you’re the only person out there Podcasting from a truck! 🙂

          So, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there with the headset mic idea – that’ll almost certainly, I think, give you the best audio quality possible in that environment, given that we can’t really set up boom arms/big microphones in a truck cab and obscure your view!

          You could start as simple as testing it out with a normal 3.5mm headset mic and a digitial recorder. Say, the Sennheiser PC131 and a Zoom H1, or whatever you actually have already.

          Or, you could, as you suggest, go full mixer setup, and use a higher end headset, like < href="" rel="nofollow">this Shure one. It could work a treat as it’s unidirectional and designed for active, non-studio environments.

          Either way, yes, I’d love to talk to you on PodCraft sometime about it as you’re definitely pretty unique. I’ll fire an email through.

          Let me know how it goes!

  22. Thanks for the feedback Michael – that’s not a mic I’ve used, so it’s always great to hear recommendations from others. Hopefully it’ll help other readers here 🙂

  23. Hi,

    Is the “ASUS Array Mic” and the xonar USB sound card good for podcasting?

    It supposedly has a stereo mic, plus two rear facing mics that take the ambient audio and then remove it from the input in real time.

    Do you have any info about that mic?

  24. The Procaster is a dynamic mic, so it doesn’t require (and cannot use) phantom power. It does require an adapter of some time. I don’t recommend the Blue Icicle. It is lightweight and flimsy. The Shure V2U works very well with my Heil PR40.

  25. I saw an earlier comment regarding the Blue Mouse as a strange choice for a podcasting mic, since it is used to record instruments. Based on my limited knowledge, that sounds right, especially since the Mouse is in the $1,000 range price wise. What about the other lower end Blue products? I’m completely unimpressed with the Snowball. I already have a Yeti which sounds pretty good. I’m looking to pick up another mic, to potentially use in tandem with the Yeti for future podcasts with multiple guests, rather than have everyone share one Yeti. I kind of don’t want to get a second Yeti. I’d rather pick up something that is a step or two up from the Yeti in quality. What about the Blue Spark or Bluebird? Both seem to be noted as being good for recording vocals (rather than instruments, which the really expensive Blue ones are made for).

    1. I’d honestly stick with what I’ve written above – the Procaster or the Podcaster from Rode are both excellent mics and a step above the Yeti. So if you’re looking for an upgrade, I’d say go with one of them, depending on whether you want USB or XLR.

  26. Hi, I’ve been trying to figure out which microphone I should buy. I have narrowed it down to the Blue Snowball Microphone or the Blue Yeti Microphone. I have a 100 dollar budget, I can go a bit over but not very much. I will be using the microphone to record game play of Minecraft and Call of Duty. Could you help me decide which one I should get? It would be extremely appreciated if you could. Thank you for looking at this. Have a nice day

  27. I am starting a podcast club with my 3rd-4th graders. Right now I have a 14 students. We are in the researching stage/independent study.

    I AM FRESH/NEW/LEARNING about podcasting and will be learning along the way/as we go.

    We have few iPads, and will most likely use audacity since it is free in our computer labs (PCs).

    We will be in small groups (3-4 students) to record, and since this is about research, writing, and publishing (the podcast), we will be at different stages at different times.

    What do you suggest? I was in a workshop where a teacher suggested to have simple $30 headsets with microphones and splitters so groups that will interview/have conversations with each other can work at the same time.

    My district IT guy sent me a nice stand-alone microphone to use/test out before delving into purchasing “equipment.”

    I am going to create a DonorsChoose project for funding, but want to keep the costs down.

    Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Leesa, sounds like a brilliant project!

      Since it’s for education and helping children get into the hobby, just drop me a line if you need some help with hosting the podcasts – I’d be happy to offer some space and a site to keep them on.

      Also, if your kids want some wider exposure, I think it’d make a great show – I could chat to them on PodCraft if you’re interested!

      On the equipment side of things, the headset mic and a splitter is a nice way to go. It’s a super easy way to attain decent quality, and you don’t need to worry about your kids going off-mic or the like. It gets around needing decent mic technique at all, which will be handy for a group of excited young podcasters 🙂

      Get yourself some sets of the PC131 headset that I recommend on my headset mic article, and any of the digital recorders on the DR article will do the trick. Find them below. Good luck with it and do let me know how you get on!

      Headsets –
      Recorders –

  28. Hi Collin thanks a lot for the articléand very interesting q&a in the comments! I want to start an interview podcast and could recording in settings with some background noise. I was wondering if I should buy one decent mic with bidirectionaĺ setting like the yeti, or two lesser mics as the snowball? Which would give the best audio quality for the listeners? Thanks!

    1. Hi Laure, thanks for the feedback – glad you found it useful!

      I think in just about any setting, and particularly one with bad background noise, your key factor is mic technique. That means getting the user close to the mic, raising their level, and making sure it drowns out any background. The proximity effect can also make cheaper microphones sound better. If you go bi-directional, you’ll have a good microphone, but both be quite far from it. This makes for pretty bad audio, even on a great podcasting microphone. So, if you’re stuck for funds, in this context, get two mics and get right up close to them on both sides. That’ll make for some good podcast audio!

      1. Wow thanks for replying so quickly! Which mics would you recommend then? Two from the above from the more affordable category? I’ll read your guide thoroughly and I’ll send you the first episode when it’s done (it will be in French though 🙂

        1. Yep, definitely Laure. If you’re looking at a low budget, then the ATR2100 is a great choice (or the Samson Q2U if you’re in Europe). Would be great to hear the results 🙂

  29. Colin,

    What’s your take on Samson’s Meteor Mic? I like the retro design and it is easy to carry with you. You connect it with an USB cable. You could record a podcast episode on your iPhone and iPad, if you are connecting the microphone together with a lightning USB camera adapter / camera connection kit. I purchased the Samson sound deck noise cancellation software download to my MacBook Pro.

    1. Hey Martin,
      Samson are always a good bet – I used a GoMic for a while back in my early days of Podcasting and now the Q2U is one of the best budget mics on the market. So, while I haven’t used the Meteor, it’s likely to be good quality. Saying that, the Q2U is guaranteed to be great quality for the money and it has the flexibility of having an XLR output too, so perhaps that’s a better option, unless you’re really keen on the styling 🙂

  30. Colin,

    Thank you for having this site and answering so many questions! Mine is, I’m starting a podcast soon and want to interview people at a table setting but wonder what microphone is the best for splitting the difference between two people as the program I want to use on my computer will only recognize 1 microphone from the USB, so buying two is not an option.



    1. Hi Rich, what program are you using?

      Have you tried using a USB splitter with two USB mics? You can also get a great quality USB preamp like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 that would give you the option of having two mics, though this would be a more expensive option.

      Or, you can take the computer out the equation altogether and use a portable recorder like a Zoom H2, you can sit this on a table between two people and set it to record two way (bi-directional). Then you transfer the recorded audio onto your computer via a USB cable.

  31. Hi Colin,

    I am looking to buy a beginners microphone and I was initially looking at the Blue Snowball and then I read this article and the Samson Q2U seems like a good option, which one would you recommend? Also, is a POP shield necessary for me? I plan on starting an interview type podcast so will just be talking with one other person

    Thank you 🙂

  32. Great advice! I’m looking to podcast with 3 people. I want to go with dynamic mics to separate tracks, but my pre-amp will only take two mics. I have a decent Shure for myself, but I’m in need of a second directional mic to record my two cohosts. Is there an affordable dynamic mic you would recommend for this?

  33. Hi, very interesting article.
    I have a little bit of difficulties choosing what type of microphone to buy condenser or dynamic.
    I’d be starting a youtube channel. Now I’m a student and sometimes I can’t get a quiet environment. So dynamic mic would be a better choice but I’d be playing games while recording my voice and I don’t want to be leaned over all the time. I’d like to get the blue yeti but I’m concerned about keyboard click being picked up. The microphone has to be USB one as I don’t have the budget for XLR microphone + (other required equipment that is a must for XLR).
    I have a few ideas as to what to do.

    Buy a dynamic mic and a boom arm to position it in a way that I could sit up straight.
    Cons: I have a budget of 100 euros, so boom arm cuts into it = less to spend of microphone itself.

    Buy a condenser, yet risk getting a lot of unwanted noise, have to do more work post processing.

    My budget is 100 euros, I’d be willing to go a bit higher just to get a Yeti because I love the design. But only if it’s worth getting a condenser in my situation.

  34. Hi,

    I’m interested in doing in-person interviews. Should I have two mics – one for myself and my guest to hold – or one mic placed in between us perpendicularly. I have a zoom recorder.


    1. Hi Evan, it’s always budget dependent of course, but two microphones, one for each speaker, will always get you the best results. You can get pretty decent quality with a good quality hand-held mic, though, which you hold and move between yourself and the speaker. The key is proximity to the mouth, so if you put something on the table between you both, which isn’t really close to either of you, the quality will suffer.

  35. Hi Colin,

    great guide! Thanks for this. I found it while looking for a good podcast microphone.

    The yeti would be nice, but I’m also think that the MXL990 is a very good option. Now I’m not sure how to connect this with my PC. What do I need to use this microphone? (I checked the website and there should be an USB version, but I cannot find any offer for this here in germany).

    It would be great if you can give some hints and information on this topic.

    All the best


    1. Hi Matthias, Thanks for getting in touch.

      For the MXL 990 you’ll generally need a mixer if you want to connect it into your PC. This allows you to connect an XLR cable from the microphone to the mixer, and then an input from mixer to PC. Alternatively, you can do as I do and connect the mixer to a digital recorder like the Zoom H4n or the H6. Or, even more simply, plug the XLR cable from the MXL 990 straight into the digital recorder. Hope that helps!

      1. Hi Colin,

        thanks for the response. So I see that I will need an addtional device to get the micro running on my PC and it seems to me that this device and the MXL 990 is more expensive than a Yeti (and has not such a funny name:-)). So I think that I go for the Yeti, looking on eBay.

        Many thanks and all the best!


  36. Hi,

    I have a podcast with my friend and we are podding through Skype. We use out iPhone headsets mic wihich is poor but listneble quality. We are about to buy new mics and thinking about the blue yeti. I have a low price computer and there is Little White noice in the background. Will this mic cut off the White noice or is this depending on the sound card? I tried a mic for like 100 Pounds but it still records White noice. I really dont want to buy something which dosent take care od the problem. I understand though that the sound will improve.

    Best whiches

    1. Hey Niklas. How are you recording your Skype interviews? Sometimes you’ll find that white noise or buzz can be caused by a soundcard, especially in an old computer. That sounds likely to me, especially as you say it was still present when you tried another mic! A way around it is to use a usb mic as they bypass the sound card, using their own drivers. Was the other mic you used USB?


  37. Hi Colin,
    I’d love to see you write a blog about an associated topic – room acoustics and reverb. Even though someone buys a very good microphone and they are in a dead quite room, if they have an omni directional mic, or one that sits far from their mouth (on their desk say) AND their room has hard surfaces, their own voice will create noise (reverberation) creating a hard-to-concentrate-on recording. It’s the stressful “noisy restaurant” effect. I have heard so many people interview world-class guests and sometimes both the interviewer and the interviewee are so difficult to understand I switch it off. Even a compressor-limiter gate has trouble rectifying it. Also, it would be great if you reviewed ideal headsets for guests that had noise-cancelling qualities. Some podcasters refuse to interview guests until they have secured quality headsets. Some send Amazon links to the best headset. Some send them the head set!