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The 7 Best Microphones For Podcasting, According To An Expert

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Whether you’re new to podcasting or want to upgrade your setup, the best microphones for podcasting can help optimize the sound quality in your space. However, there are a few important specs to keep in mind when shopping for a mic for podcasting — and the right one for you will depend largely on your recording environment and budget, according to Rush Beesley, a technology expert, founder, and owner of Rushworks in Lewisville, Texas.

The Expert

Rush Beesley has worked in audio and video studios across the United States since the 1960s and has designed and built several audio studios and video stages outfitted with many types of microphones from numerous manufacturers. He currently owns Rushworks, a company that provides services to a wide range of businesses, including broadcast television, internet media casting, distance learning, radio stations, and more.

What To Consider When Choosing A Podcasting Mic

How Much Background Noise Will There Be When You’re Recording?

The number of voices you’re recording, background noise, sound-absorbing elements, and other equipment in the room can all have an impact on whether you’d prefer a condenser or a dynamic mic.

Condenser mics are more sensitive to sound, says Beesley, and they have a higher output level, meaning less amplification is required, so there’s less of a chance you’ll end up with hiss. However, condenser mics can also pick up background noises, such as air conditioning or traffic outside your window, which means they’re better for use in quiet spaces without a lot of background noise.

On the other hand, Beesley says dynamic mics are typically more effective at rejecting background noise, so they’re a good choice if your podcasting room isn’t soundproof or you’ll be recording in a noisy environment — but they can also be more expensive than condenser mics and may require more amplification when recording.

Also keep in mind that the condenser mics on this list will connect directly to your computer via a USB cord, while the dynamic mics must first be connected to a USB audio interface or mixer (sold separately) using an XLR cable. Another tip: If you’re running microphone cables more than a few feet, Beesley does not recommend USB microphones.

What Is The Podcast Format & How Many Voices Will You Be Recording?

Next, consider your podcast format and how many guests you’ll have. The mic’s polar pattern determines its sensitivity from different angles, so this will help you decide which is best for you. Beesley notes that there are four main types of polar pattern: cardioid, figure-eight, omni, and hyper-cardioid. Some mics also let you switch between different polar patterns to suit your situation, too.

  • For solo narration: Look for a cardioid pattern, which picks up sounds from one direction and filters noise from the back, making it great for one person talking into the mic.
  • For one-on-one interviews and conversations: Consider a figure-eight pattern that uses opposing cardioid areas on either side of the microphone so two people can face each other when recording.
  • For group conversations: An omni or omnidirectional pattern picks up “all sounds in a circle around the [mic],” explains Beesley, so it’s great for round-table discussions.
  • For a good all-around mic: Since a hyper-cardioid pattern offers the most ambient noise and sound rejection, it’s good for “most podcasting scenarios,” according to Beesley.

Other Features To Consider

  • Reduction Of Plosives: Plosives “are annoying pops when you use words starting with the letter P,” explains Beesley, and some mics feature built-in windscreens to filter the pops.
  • Shock Isolation: To reduce the noise from your mic getting bumped or tapped while recording, Beesly suggests using shock mount isolation devices that will minimize vibrations.
  • Frequency Response: Lastly, Beesley says to consider how accurately the mic will capture voices. You’ll typically see a frequency range from 20 to 20,000 hertz (Hz) — 110 to 400Hz is suitable for picking up voices.

Shop The Best Microphones For Podcasting

In a hurry? These are the best podcasting mics:

1. The Expert’s Pick: Audio-Technica AT2040 Dynamic Microphone

2. The Expert’s Runner-Up: Rode Procaster Dynamic Microphone

3. The Best Budget Microphone For Podcasting: AUDIOPRO Condenser Mic

4. An Expert-Recommended, Retro-Style Mic: Shure MV51 Condenser Microphone

5. A USB Microphone With Color-Changing Lights: HyperX QuadCast S Condenser Microphone

6. A Podcasting Microphone With 40,000+ Reviews: Logitech Blue Yeti Microphone

7. The Pro-Quality Mic With A Near-Perfect Rating From Reviewers: Shure SM7B Dynamic Microphone

With this advice in mind, read on for some of the best podcasting microphones and accessories available on Amazon.

1. The Expert’s Pick

Why It’s Great:

  • Relatively affordable
  • Uses a hyper-cardioid pattern to pick up sound

Beesley’s top pick, this XLR podcasting microphone features a hyper-cardioid polar pattern for the ultimate in off-axis noise rejection, making it a good overall podcasting mic. “It checks all my boxes for an inexpensive microphone that’s excellent for podcasting scenarios in virtually any physical environment,” says Beesley. It also boasts a multi-stage windscreen that protects against those annoying plosive popping sounds, and there’s an integrated shock mount in the included stand. While this mic doesn’t come with an XLR cable — you can get one here — it does come with a protective storage pouch for secure stashing on the go. It’s also available as a bundle with a USB audio interface that will connect to your computer.

Microphone Type: Dynamic | Polar Pattern: Hyper-cardioid | Connection: XLR | Frequency Response: 80 — 16,000Hz | Included: Pivoting stand mount, threaded adapter, and protective storage pouch

One reviewer wrote: “I've been a videographer for over a decade and pivoted into a live-streaming roll [...], including a ton of corporate podcast recordings. This mic sounds great right out of the box, doesn't need phantom power, and performs as well as microphones 2-4x it's price.”

2. The Expert’s Runner-Up

Why It’s Great:

  • Specifically made for broadcasting
  • The frequency response is tailored for voices

“Another that checks all the boxes but at a slightly higher price point is the Rode ProCaster,” Beesley says. This dynamic microphone features XLR connectivity and a cardioid pattern, great for picking up the words you say while filtering out noise from the back. According to the brand, the frequency response has been specifically tailored for voices, and the mic includes an internal pop filter and internal shock mounting to keep distracting noises at bay.

Microphone Type: Dynamic | Polar Pattern: Cardioid | Connection: XLR | Frequency Response: 75Hz — 18kHz | Included: Stand mount, 3/8-inch adapter, and a zip pouch

One reviewer wrote: “This thing is really amazing. [...] Super clear sound, a nice, tight low end, and just enough proximity effect, if that's what you're going for. After trying mic after mic after mic, I discovered that the Procaster fits my voice perfectly. The quality and build make it perfect for podcasting and voice over.”

3. The Best Budget Microphone For Podcasting

Why It’s Great:

  • LED mute button
  • Comes with a bunch of accessories

This electric condenser mic features convenient USB connectivity, so you can plug it into any computer with a USB-A or USB-C port and start recording. It’s also compatible with the Type-C port on Android phones, but according to reviewers, it’s not compatible with iPhones. As for other interesting features, there’s an LED mute button, so there’s no confusion as to whether your mic is hot or not, and it has a 3.5-millimeter audio jack and a headset volume control knob. What’s more, the mic boasts cardioid sound pick-up for solo podcasting use and comes with a bunch of accessories, including a vibration-reducing desk stand, a pop filter, USB and USB-C cables, and a conversion adapter to use with boom arms and mic stands.

Microphone Type: Condenser | Polar Pattern: Cardioid | Connection: USB | Frequency Response: Up to 192kHz | Included: Anti-skid desk stand, pop filter, USB cable, USB-C cable, conversion adapter for use with boom arms and mic stands

One reviewer wrote: “For a newbie in podcasting, this microphone is such amazing quality. No more recording in a closet for noise reduction, this microphone is so easy to record in a normal room with amazing sound quality. Easily adjust the volume of the mic as well as your headphones while recording and the price made the cherry on top. So glad I found it!”

4. An Expert-Recommended, Retro-Style Mic

Why It’s Great:

  • Features five digital signal processor modes, including one for speech
  • Apple MFi-certified product
  • Automatically adjusts equalization (EQ), amplification (gain), and compression

The Shure MV51 microphone “tends to run under the radar in these types of discussions,” says Beesley. “It’s got a lot of additional features that I don’t consider necessary, but I like it because it just sounds so good. I use it for narrating all our product promotions and video help files.” The retro-style mic features USB connectivity, and according to the brand, it has a cardioid polar pattern, making it great for solo podcasting. It’s an Apple MFi-certified product, which means it’s safe for use with any iOS device, and it’s also compatible with PCs. The microphone will automatically adjust the audio for the best results, and it features five modes — including speech, singing, and more — for customizable use.

What’s more, it has a built-in rear kickstand for desktop use and includes a 5/8-inch thread so you can mount it on a microphone stand. It has a 3.5-millimeter headphone output, and the front panel includes controls for headphone volume, mute, and more. However, there’s no mention of a pop filter, so you may want to purchase one separately. And according to reviewers, there is no compatible shock mount for this mic.

Microphone Type: Condenser | Polar Pattern: Cardioid | Connection: USB | Frequency Response: 20 — 20,000Hz | Included: 1 USB to micro USB cable, 1 Lightning to micro USB cable, 1 USB-C to micro USB cable

One reviewer wrote: “Love this mic; It's now my daily driver for any sort of on-the-go interview OR music recording. Heavy, high-quality build with a solid micstand connection in the back and lots of character. The recording modes are well-balanced for pretty much any purpose; vocals are particularly rich when used for podcast material. I use it primarily on-the-go, but also absolutely appropriate as a permanent fixture in a budget home studio.”

5. A USB Microphone With Color-Changing Lights

Why It’s Great:

  • Four polar patterns to choose from
  • Light-up design
  • Sensitivity adjustment dial

This feature-packed podcasting microphone is a fan favorite with over 34,000 five-star reviews. It features colorful lighting effects that indicate the microphone’s status, has convenient USB connectivity, boasts a sensitivity adjustment dial, and has a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. This mic offers four polar patterns to choose from (making it ideal for interviews, round-table discussions, and solo use) and has a built-in anti-vibration mount and internal pop filter to help provide the clearest sound. Plus, a tap-to-mute sensor with an LED indicator light lets you know when the mic is hot.

Microphone Type: Condenser | Polar Pattern: Cardioid, figure-eight, omnidirectional, and stereo | Connection: USB | Frequency Response: 20Hz — 20kHz, according to the brand | Included: Mount adapter to fit most threaded mic stands and boom arms

One reviewer wrote: “This microphone is flat out amazing. The fact you can change the sensitivity of the microphone on the device itself was a huge plus over some other microphones. The different settings on the mics are really cool, I ended up buying 3 of these mics for podcasting purposes. 10/10.”

6. A Podcasting Microphone With 40,000+ Reviews

Why It’s Great:

  • Available in six different accessory bundle options
  • Comes in eight colors
  • Four polar patterns to choose from

This popular podcasting mic is ideal for a wide variety of podcasting scenarios, with four sound pick-up options to choose from. It also comes in four different accessory bundle options, so you’ll have everything you need to get started, and there are seven color options, including black, midnight blue, and pink. The mic also features a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and controls for headphone volume and muting. An adjustable desktop stand is included, and you can also connect the mic to a stand or boom arm — but there is no internal pop filter or separate shock mount.

Microphone Type: Condenser | Polar Pattern: Cardioid, omni, bidirectional, and stereo | Connection: USB | Frequency Response: 20Hz — 20kHz | Included: An adjustable desktop stand

One reviewer wrote: “This mic is ABSOLUTELY phenomenal. I use it for podcasting and gaming and the sound quality is prestige! I will never not own one of these!”

7. The Pro-Quality Mic With A Near-Perfect Rating From Reviewers

Why It’s Great:

  • Wide-range frequency response
  • Electromagnetic shielding to block the hum from electronics
  • Internal shock mounting

Designed to deliver warm, smooth vocal recordings, the Shure SM7B podcasting mic features a cardioid pickup pattern, wide-range frequency response, internal shock mounting, and a pop filter — and it’s backed by a 4.9-star overall rating from Amazon reviewers. This mic also boasts electromagnetic shielding to help reduce the humming sound that commonly comes from computers and other electronics. In addition, the mic comes with a detachable windscreen and a switch cover plate. Plus, the two-year limited warranty helps to soften the sting of the price tag a bit.

Microphone Type: Dynamic | Polar Pattern: Cardioid | Connection: XLR | Frequency Response: 50— 20,000Hz, according to the brand | Included: A detachable windscreen and switch cover plate

One reviewer wrote: “The SM7B Dynamic microphone is a great microphone for podcasting. This is what a majority of the industry professionals use for podcasting. [...] Sound is clear, no echoes, and playback is clear when listening to podcast episodes. If you're a serious podcaster looking to get top-tier equipment, I highly recommend the SM7B!”

Additional Podcasting Accessories To Consider

A Converter For XLR To Computer Connection

If you’re choosing an XLR microphone and don’t need all of the capabilities of a mixer, the Scarlett Solo is an audio interface that connects to your computer with the included USB-C to USB-A cable. This highly rated converter features input level control, LED monitoring, and a stereo headphone jack.

One reviewer wrote: “Absolutely love this! [...] Easy to set up and use. Highly recommended! I use it to record a podcast, I also tried hooking up my electric guitar to it. No issues at all! Great sound quality for my mic and my guitar. Love it.”

A Mixer For Multiple Audio Sources

Audio mixers are used to balance and combine different sounds and audio signals from various sources, and the PodTrak P4 podcast recorder comes recommended by Beesley, who calls it “a flexible and hybrid mixer/recorder.” The compact, battery-powered device features four microphone inputs, four headphone jacks with individual volume controls, a USB audio interface mode, and it can automatically reduce echo and feedback during call-in phone interviews.

One reviewer wrote: “This device has made traveling with my podcast so much easier and the quality sound is top notch. I'm very happy with this device. Well worth the money.”

A Boom Arm For Touch-Free Recording

To reduce noise from touching and bumping your mic and to free up some desk space, consider this adjustable boom arm that clamps to the side of your desk. It features a 3/8-inch to 5/8-inch screw adapter to fit most podcasting mics, and it comes in medium and large sizes.

One reviewer wrote: “I have a small desk set up and purchased two in which I do my podcasting with my co-host, and they work great. They have been used for many months now and just like new. Highly recommend if you don't need a whole lot of range and need a smaller footprint and don't want to spend a ton a money on them.”

A Pair Of Headphones Recommended By The Expert

“If you are interacting with one or more guests, then a good pair of comfortable earphones is recommended,” says Beesley. “This lets you mute your computer speaker and eliminate audio feedback between and among you and your guests. My favorite, since I spend a lot of hours in my music composition studio, are the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro large muff over-the-ear phones. I’ve tried many types and styles, and find these the best for overall frequency response and extended comfort.” Choose from 32, 80, and 250-ohm versions in gray or black.

One reviewer wrote: “What an awesome sound!! I was very surprised at the detail all around. Very clean sound through the whole spectrum. Even sub bass. Well worth the price!!”

Expert:

Rush Beesley, founder and owner of Rushworks in Lewisville, Texas