Photo from Unsplash
Originally Posted On: https://thepodcasthaven.com/our-top-ten-podcast-microphones-for-every-budget/
There’s nothing like getting behind a GREAT microphone. It’s a huge confidence booster. But, do you need a great microphone for podcasting? Probably not, but the jury is still out on that one. Podcasters love to debate about microphones.
You do, however, need a GOOD microphone, and today, we’re going to be giving you our list of the top ten podcast microphones for every budget.
We realize not everyone has the funds to buy a top-tier microphone, and that’s ok. Nowadays, you can actually get a really good podcast microphone for around $100. Our list has several mics at this price point.
Now, before you take a deep dive on the web, searching for the perfect podcast microphone, we want to drop some knowledge on you, regarding the two types of podcast microphones you’re likely to discover in your search. Sound good?
- Condenser Microphones
- Dynamic Microphones
Condenser microphones are super sensitive and pick up a lot of ambient noise and room tone. If you’re not recording in an acoustically treated space, chances are your podcast recording will pick up the sound of your room, as well as the sound of your voice reflecting off the walls. This is not ideal for podcasting, which is why we don’t want you to use condenser microphones for podcasting.
Repeat! Don’t use a condenser mic for podcasting. UNLESS you’re really experienced on a mic and you’re recording in an acoustically treated space.
Don’t worry, our list of the top ten podcast microphones doesn’t include condenser microphones. Oh, and while we’re at it, stay away from the Blue Yeti microphones. These microphones are pushed down the throats of podcasters by marketers. Don’t fall for them, I’m warning you!
Dynamic mics are ideal for podcasters. They’re rugged, do a great job at rejecting ambient noise, and are more affordable than condenser microphones. You’ll get that classic deep, rich, broadcast tone from all of the below microphones.
The Podcast Haven’s Top Ten Podcast Microphones
This list is full of good and great dynamic microphones. It’s also suited for all budgets. If you decide on one of these mics you’ll be in good hands.
A quick disclaimer before we get into the list:
These are Amazon affiliate links, and we earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. This is at no extra charge to you, and the income earned helps keep our blog alive.
Now, on to the list. Cue the drumroll…
Audio-Technica ATR2100x USB
The Audio-Technica ATR2100x USB is one of the coolest and best-sounding podcast microphones in its class. It connects via XLR and USB, which is IDEAL if you’re the type of podcaster who needs flexibility with your setup. The 2100x isolates the sound coming from directly in front of it, and when you get up close on this puppy you’ll get a deep tonal quality to your recording.
- Connection via XLR or USB
- High-quality A/D conversion up to 192kHz sampling rate
- Cardioid polar pattern rejects unwanted noise from the back and sides
- Built-in headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring
- Desktop stand included
- Ships with a USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A cable
The Shure SM58 is the quintessential live vocal microphone. You can see this mic being used all over the world in clubs, bars, theatres, and even arenas. The SM58 is designed to highlight vocals. It comes with a slight bass roll-off so you don’t have to worry about too much low-end mudding up your voice.
This thing is built like a brick. You can drop it, bang it around, and it’s likely it’ll still work like a champ. The Shure SM58 can handle a really high SPL (Sound Pressure Level), so, your vocal is unlikely to distort when using this microphone.
- Bright midrange that’s tailored to boost the human voice
- Frequency response 50Hz – 15kHz
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Very Low handling noise
- Rugged AF
The Heil PR40 was designed to capture frequencies as low as 28Hz, which is perfect for broadcast. It’s made with a dual pop screen, which prevents popped p’s. It’s touted as producing a natural articulation of whatever it records. The PR40 is a top choice for the pro podcasters out there. If you’re looking for that pro sound and have a few bucks in the bank, this mic crushes the top ten list.
- Generating element: Copper-wound dynamic with neodymium magnet structure
- Body: Steel body with zinc die-cast bottom ring
- Frequency response: 28Hz to 18kHz
- Impedance: 600 ohms balanced
- Output level: -53.9dB @ 1,000 Hz
A lot of video podcasters have made the Shure SM7B famous. Sure, (no pun intended) this microphone sounds fantastic. But, it also looks great on camera.
This makes our list as a top ten podcast microphone because of its warm tone, and excellent dynamic range. It’s quiet, absorbs shocks with its built-in shock mount, and has a built-in pop filter. Users can physically move the microphone on the fly to get comfortable, without inducing microphone thuds and bumps. This is 100% a top-tier podcasting microphone.
- Great for close-proximity vocal recording
- Does a good job of isolating your vocal and reducing background noise
- Flat, wide-range frequency response
- Bass roll-off
- Built tough with great microphone protection
- Shock isolation
- Built-in pop filter for protection against plosives
The Procaster is a broadcast dynamic microphone by Rode. Rode is an Australian audio company whose been shaking up the podcasting game for the last 5-6 years with its great microphones. Rode’s Procaster is designed for voice with a really tight polar pattern. This powerhouse of a mic rejects ambient noise, reduces plosives, and has a rugged build. This mic is slightly longer and heavier than what some podcasters may be used to. Keep that in mind if you’re thinking of purchasing it. But a really solid microphone all around.
- Frequency response 17Hz – 18kHz
- All metal build
- Internal shock mount
- Internal pop filter
- High output capacity
Another titan of the industry is the Electro-Voice RE20. This mic has been used in professional radio environments for decades. The RE20 delivers a very clean sound with noticeable vocal definition, because of its large diaphragm. The polar pattern and diaphragm are built in a way that the frequency response of the mic is independent of the angle of the sound source. This creates the biggest rejection of unwanted room tone and almost equal pickup of voice, regardless of the axis of the mic. Also, like the Procaster and the ShureSM7B this microphone has a built-in pop filter, and has an internal shock mount that keeps mic bumps and vibrations to a minimum.
- Frequency response: 45Hz–18kHz
- Bass roll-off
- 180º of off-axis rejection, with no coloration
- Large-diaphragm delivers a condenser like sound
The Rode NT-USB-Mini is a studio-quality USB mic, designed for recording directly into a computer. This microphone sounds great, but the coolest feature is its shape. It looks like a microphone straight out of the 1950s or 1960s. It’s it comes with a magnetic desktop stand that connects to the body of the microphone. The microphone also swivels around allowing you to get that perfect position. Lastly, it has a headphone jack, so you can monitor yourself and your pod mates with zero latency.
- Built-in pop filter
- Zero-latency monitoring through the built-in headphone jack
- 360 degree swivel mount
- Cardioid polar pattern to reduce room tone
- Compatible with Windows and Mac
If you’re looking for another beast by Rode, look no further than the Rode Podcaster . This is the sister microphone to the Procaster. It’s a USB microphone, so no need for an audio interface. The Procaster has high-end audio to digital conversion, clocking in with 18-bit resolution, and 48kHz sampling. It’s a dynamic cardioid mic with a built-in pop filter and a headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring. Do you see the trend forming?
- Broadcast level audio quality
- 18-bit resolution, 8 kHz to 48kHz sampling
- Compatible with Windows and Mac
- USB powered
- Off-axis sound rejection
- Frequency Range: 40Hz–14kHz
- 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack output with volume control
The newest baddie on the block is the Shure MV7. This mic is similar in nature to the Shure SM7B and has a lot of hype. Like the Audio-Technica ATR2100x, this mic has USB and XLR jacks. So, if you’re a podcaster that moves around a lot and needs flexibility in your setup, the MV7 is a great option. It’s a highly directional microphone, which helps with vocal isolation. But, perhaps the dopest thing about this microphone is its touch panel. You can control the gain, headphone levels, and mute/unmute via a touchpad.
- Frequency range 50Hz – 16kHz
- Comes with a Manfrotto mini tripod stand
- USB and XLR compatibility
- Headphone Output: 3.5 mm (1/8″)
- A/D Converter: 16 or 24-bit, 44.1 or 48 kHz
Last on the list, but certainly not least, is the Rode PodMic. The PodMic was designed to pair with the RodeCaster Pro. You don’t have to use it with the RodeCaster, but if you decide to pair the PodMic with it, you’ll have access to unparalleled audio processing tools. The PodMic is a broadcast-grade dynamic cardioid microphone that produces a full, rich tone. Its all-metal build makes this thing durable and built to last. It also has a built-in pop filter and is compact and lightweight. The gold grill makes it look badass, too!
- Quality dynamic capsule
- Optimized for speech
- Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Designed for use with RodeCaster Pro
As you can see, the options are plentiful. We’re confident that you can achieve great podcast audio with any of the microphones on this list. These mics start at around $100. So, if you’re worried about money, don’t be.
Also, always remember that what you do with your microphone is more important than the microphone itself. Content is king. Plus, if you’re using any microphone from this list, good audio will be an afterthought.