Which is the best Podcast microphone? Or better yet, what should you look for when purchasing a Podcast mic? Well, these questions continuously run through our minds when we listen to a Podcast or when we are planning to start our talk show. Thankfully, this article is in your best interest.
Honestly, the best Podcast microphone isn’t always the fanciest or the most expensive, no siree! Choosing the perfect mic will take a bit of experience from your part. To speed up your process of shopping, let’s narrow things down. We will talk about some of the essential factors that will help you pick the best mic. In addition to that, we will also discuss the top 5 Podcast microphones in the market.
Why do Podcast Microphones matter?
I’m sure you are probably wondering if you really need a Podcast microphone, right? You can indeed use your phone or even laptop to record your show. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea.
What you need to remember is that most people listening to your Podcast are using earbuds. Therefore, if your sound quality will affect their eardrums directly, then be sure that your audience will not come back for more. Truth be told, internal earphones don’t cut it. You should dedicate your time to buying quality microphone even if you are on a limited budget.
What to consider when buying the best Podcast Microphone
1. Directional capability
Directional capability is a vital feature to consider when buying your Podcast microphone. That’s because it explains how the microphone will pick up the sounds and from which direction. That means you might end up picking up unwanted sounds that are not necessary for your Podcast show. As much as there are mics that will pick up sound from any direction, there are others that will only follow a specific direction. Let’s take a look at some of the differences.
- Bi-directional: these are Podcast mics that pick-up sounds from different sides. They are quite popular when you are trying to do an interview. However, these mics are not so famous in any music recording. In fact, these mics remain to be one of the most expensive types of microphones out there.
- Omni-directional: these types of mics are known for picking up sounds from virtually any direction. Unfortunately, the Omni-directional Podcast mics are bound to pick up unwanted noises. All in all, these mics are the best choice for broadcasting and reporting, but not necessarily the right mics for Podcasting.
- Shotgun: this type of microphone features a cardioid polar pattern, which is a highly directional feature. The mics can yield excellent attenuation at the sides. Also, the mic can maximize on the sounds that are captured from the front. Most videographers will go for this type of microphone and then mount it on the DSLR.
- Cardioids: this microphone features a heart-shaped design that can only pick up sounds from the direction and also capture some audio on the sides. These mics continue to be famous in the music industry.
2. Microphone Impedance
This refers to the receptive capacity of the microphone when it comes to the sound signal or even AC current. The microphone impedance is measured in Ohms. Generally, a podcast microphone will have around 600 Ohms or even lower depending on what you want. That will give you better audio retaining ability. You should pay attention to the rating since a higher rating could indicate that the microphone potentially has lesser quality.
Regardless of the use of your microphone, I’m sure you will want a product that could last for years. Typically, the Condenser-USB mic seems to be more flexible with shock and drops. So if you are prone to dropping your mic, then you might have to go for a Podcast microphone that will be more durable.
I usually add this factor because, to some extent, it has a lot to do with the best podcast microphones out there. However, the price of the Podcast microphone is not a stand-alone factor. If you go for the most expensive mic without checking its durability or microphone impedance, then chances are you might end up with a product that you don’t like. However, if you do your research correctly, you will get it right.
When it comes to Podcast mics, the dynamic microphones have better value and are sturdy. However, in case of any damage, it might be hard for you to get a replacement part. On the other hand, the condenser-USB mic can be fragile at times, but you will quickly get a replacement part.
5. Frequency response
Frequency response in a Podcast mic is the range at which the mic will detect or even pick up sounds. Most manufacturers of Podcast microphones will label the frequency response on their products. With that in mind, knowing the frequency response is less valuable when compared to understanding the specific frequency your mic will capture the sounds.
Therefore, when you are buying a Podcast mic, you should consider what you are about to record. That means you should choose a mic with high or mid-frequency if you are planning to record guitars or vocals. On the other hand, you should go for a low-frequency mic if you are recording for the bass.
Types of Podcast Microphones available
First and foremost, you need to know the types of mics available. That said, there are two major types of Podcast mics which include:
- XLR: these types of mics use the XLR cable when plugging it into the audio interface. The audio interface then hooks up to your computer through the USB port. If you want more control, then you should go for this option. However, if you are simply starting, then the best choice is the USB mic.
- USB: the USB mic works just like any other device that uses the USB port on your computer. It’s pretty easy to plug into your computer. All you need to do is plug it into your computer then use recording software.
Top 5 Podcast Microphones in 2020
The Blue Yeti microphone is one of the most popular mics for Podcasting in the market today. The mic is synonymous with several applications ranging from Podcasting, Twitch gaming, and YouTube tutorials. The best thing is that the Blue Yeti USB Mic is suitable for both professionals and beginners.
That is because the mic is generally easy to use, thanks to its press record options. On top of that, it allows you to record in various situations with its three in one condenser capsule and a particularly neat multiple pattern selection. That said, if you want to record for a group, two people, or solo, this mic won’t disappoint.
- Three condenser capsules
- Cardiodal, omnidirectional, bidirectional and stereo pattern selection
- Zero-latency headphone output
- Mic gain control
This mic is worth every penny in your pocket, and that’s all thanks to its incredible qualities. Built for durability and quality, the MXL 770 is one of the great choices in the market today. This mic comes in a dark finish that makes it look quite stylish. More importantly, it has 6-micron and a low distortion diaphragm. This device has a preamp that has a balanced input. This gives you a clean recording session without having to tweak anything.
Additionally, the switchable bass will help you record with an exceptional smoothness since the 10db grants you the opportunity to eliminate any extra bass. That makes this device one of the great choices for any Podcasters out there as well as musicians. You can easily record the whole audio session without any hindrance. However, the downside of this device is that you will have to install the right driver for the microphone.
All in all, this mic gives you a crisp sound since you have the chance to adjust the bass. What’s more, you can eliminate the noise in your background with the Shock mount.
- Low-frequency roll-off
- Patented design
- You can balance the bass
- Easy to use
- It’s perfect for newbies and professionals
- Low noise FET
If you are looking for a mic that’s of excellent quality but at a reasonable budget, then you should consider getting the Nady RSM-5. Nady is a US-based company that manufactured this stylish ribbon microphone. Typically, the RSM-5 has a higher frequency response, which is an advantage when you are planning to record at higher pitches.
In fact, this microphone is specially designed for vocals, guitars, instrument recordings, and Podcasts. The mic produces excellent sound quality, especially at different frequencies. That makes it a convenient choice when you want to enjoy recording and Podcasting. However, if your Podcast requires vocals, the Nady RSM-5 might not be the ideal choice for you.
Regardless, the highs in this device are clear and crisps. More importantly, the bass isn’t muddy compared to other budget microphones. The Mids are also well balanced. As much as the recording capability of this device is spectacular, it comes at a high risk of damage to the ribbon when the device is not used correctly.
A few years back, suitable ribbons used to be unattainable due to their high price. Thanks to Nady, you can now get this device at an affordable price without necessarily breaking your bank. That also means starting your Podcast will not be that expensive.
- The mic comes in a low-tension thick aluminum ribbon design.
- Above 135db capability
- Sleek silver finish
- Durable with perfect sound quality
- It comes with a microphone clip and leather pouch
Another great model is the Snowball iCE USB mic, which is extremely affordable when compared to the rest of the mics in this list. To add icing to the cake, the Snowball iCE USB is also reliable enough when it comes to bringing top-notch quality sounds and the ideal choice for podcasts.
Without a doubt, the Snowball iCE is mainly designed for online gaming, Podcasts, video calls, and even YouTube. Also, a good part of this device is meant for recording music. The frequency response of the Snowball iCE is between 40-18kHz. That means that you can use this device to make vocal and music recordings with ease.
What’s more, the mic has a plug and play feature, which makes it easy to use. It’s an excellent choice for beginners since it seems to be versatile. However, the structure is made out of plastic, which makes it feel quite cheap. But most Podcasters will not mind using this device.
- You can either go with the black or white color
- It’s ideal for voice recording hence making it the best choice for Podcast.
- The device comes in a simple plug-and-play design.
- The mic is compatible with a USB 2.0 device.
Last but not least is the HEiL PR-40. Microphones are created with a purpose. Take the Blue Yeti, for example. It works best in untreated rooms and small spaces. That’s why the Blue Yeti is popular with most Vloggers, YouTubers, and Podcasters. The HEiL PR-40 requires a more sensitive area and sound-treated room to avoid picking up unnecessary noises. As much as the PR-40 is not designed for noisy areas, it can be a bit less challenging when you want to record in a busy café.
Not everyone has a professional space to make their recording. However, if you do have space and you need top-notch quality, then HEiL PR-40 is the best choice for you. The PR-40 packs a punch.
It has an impressive frequency range making it the best choice for music and vocals. Although this device acts as a condenser microphone, it can be dynamic. All in all, you will have to dig deep into your pockets to get a PR-40. But if you don’t have a professional space to record your Podcasts, then the PR-40 is a bit of an overkill.
- The device comes with a copper-wound dynamic finish with a neodymium magnetic structure.
- The frequency impedance is 600 Ohms balanced
- It’s perfect for professionals and sophisticated recording.
- Additionally, this device is quite durable.