At The Podcast Host, our studio has more Rodes than the Roman Empire. The Australian audio tech company have released a lot of quality kit over the years. We've reviewed most of it, and new releases are never far away. It felt like a good time to take stock, revisit everything we've used so far, and try to answer the question “what is the best Rode mic?”. Let's dive in.
Finding the Best Rode Microphone
First up, the usual disclaimer for such “best” lists. There's no one single type of mic that's the best for every single scenario and use case. If there was, Rode could've just created one instead of releasing models of all designs, workings, shapes, and sizes.
With that said, our best Rode mic guide will be split up into categories, as each mic serves a slightly different purpose, or functions in a unique way.
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Best USB Rode Mic
Let's kick off with the most simple and common way of recording audio – plugging a mic into your computer via USB.
For this category, I'm going to opt for the classic Rode Podcaster. This mic has been around for years, but remains a popular choice amongst podcasters old and new.
The Rode Podcaster is the USB sister version of the Rode Procaster mic. Does the Procaster itself get a mention in this roundup? You'll just have to wait and see. MY WORD THE DRAMA IS PALPABLE ISN'T IT?
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Best Rode Mic for Podcasters
So, how can you have a mic that's literally called the “Podcaster,” then choose another model entirely for this category? Well, it's partly to do with the mic, and partly to do with the software that works as its sidekick.
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Rode recently released the Rode NT-USB Mini and Rode Connect software. This setup allows podcasters to record up to 4 USB mics into the same computer on multitrack. The Rode NT-USB Mini is a great little mic in its own right too, and would be ideal for running remote calls on a platform like SquadCast or Riverside.fm.
The Rode Connect software is available to download for free. At the time of writing, it'll only work with the Rode NT-USB Minis.
Best Rode Mic for Smartphones
Most people own a quality digital recorder and don't even realise it. The smartphone is an under-used device when it comes to podcasting. There are plenty of good recording apps for both iOS and Android. You can make the most of them by plugging in an external mic like the Rode Smartlav+.
Lavaliers make for perfect ‘on-the-go' mics because of their size. They're also excellent for interviews, and you can run 2 Smartlav+ lavs into your phone at once using the Rode SC6 adapter.
Best Wireless Rode Mic
“What's the best Rode mic that looks like a character out of Sesame Street?” That was the question you really came here to have answered, wasn't it? Well, allow me to present the Rode Wireless Bert…
The Rode Wireless Bert (AKA The Rode Wireless Go) is also a quality wireless mic option. Some podcasters don't like cables. Or rather, they have pets that like cables too much. In any case, this works similar to a lav mic, but you'd run it into a digital recorder as opposed to a phone. Check out our full review of the Rode Wireless Go to get a comprehensive rundown.
Best Dynamic Rode Mic
What's a dynamic mic? This refers to how to mic is built, and how it functions. Check out our guide to Dynamic Vs Condenser mics for more on this, and I'll pop in a condenser alternative, below.
As for it being an XLR mic, this means you'll need to run it into something like a digital recorder, mixer, or USB audio interface. If you want to keep your setup 100% Rode, that might be the Rodecaster Pro – an all-in-one podcast recording interface.
Best Condenser Rode Mic
We can't talk dynamic without talking condenser. Condensers are traditionally seen as the choice for nuanced vocal work in optimal recording conditions. Voice artists and singers tend to use condenser mics, but there's no reason why podcasters can't get in on the act, too.
Here, I'm going to spotlight the Rode NT1-A. Not the best name in the world, but a good mic nevertheless. Here's a full review of the Rode NT1-A to help bring you up to speed.
Predictions for Future Rode Mics
Now to dig out the crystal ball. We've had a run through the best Rode mics on the market right now. But what does the future hold?
With absolutely no inside info whatsoever, here are the mics I reckon Rode currently have in development.
- The Rode Procrastinator – comes in a very nice box, which is handy, because that's exactly where it'll be staying.
- The Silk Rode – an extremely long microphone. Excellent for international business podcasts. Comes with free software to translate hundreds of languages.
- The Rocky Rode – the world's first truly edible mic.
- The Rode Rage – perfect for the ranters out there. Also known as a Rode Rantcaster, or The Ragecaster.
Alright, so when the phone rings this afternoon, it's either going to be Rode's marketing department or their lawyers…
The Wonderful World of Podcasting Mics
Hopefully this has been an enjoyable walk along the… alright, sorry, no more Rode/road puns.
In all seriousness, the company do make a lot of great gear for podcasters. You can see from our reviews here just how much of it we've collected and used over the years.
There's also some non-mic Rode kit worth checking out. I mentioned the Rodecaster Pro already. It's a powerful all-in-one podcast recording interface. Not a cheap piece of gear by any means, and definite overkill for the beginner. But something on many people's wishlist in any case.
The Rode PSA1 boom arm is also the ideal place to mount any microphone, Rode or otherwise.
If you still fancy shopping around for your next mic purchase, then here are a few handy resources for you.
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