THE BEST MICROPHONES TO START PODCASTING.
- Connect and set your pod
- Most of the higher quality USB microphones are very large (see M-Audio Uber Mic, Blue Yeti, Samson G-Track Pro).
- RODE NT-USB
- BLUE YETI PRO
- NEAT BUMBLEBEE MICROPHONES
- BEECASTER MICROPHONES
- APOGEE HYPEMIC
- M-AUDIO UBER MIC
- SHURE MV51
- RODE PODCASTER
- BLUE RASPBERRY
- LEWITT DGT 450
- SHURE MV5
- NEAT MICROPHONES WIDGET A
- NEAT MICROPHONES WIDGET B
- NEAT MICROPHONES WIDGET C
THE BEST MICROPHONES TO START PODCASTING.
Connect and set your pod
the resident sound engineer to start podcasting. from time to time I am asked what microphone should be gotten if they wanted to start a podcast.
For professional use, the answer is complicated. You can't just plug any microphone into your computer and start recording.
But for a hobbyist or someone just starting out in the field, there are now more options than ever to make your presentation and operation fairly inexpensive.
When Apple began selling Blue's Snowball microphone in its stores in 2005, it opened the door for independent creators to make their home recordings sound significantly better than what the consumer market had previously offered, simply by plugging a microphone directly into their computer's USB port. .
Now that the market is full of these types of microphones, it can be difficult to understand which is the best choice for your own setup.
So we've tested the best USB microphones on the market today to help you choose your next podcast or broadcast investment.
The qualifications for this list are specific to a podcaster starting or upgrading to a higher quality microphone. The microphone should be easy to use, affordable, and offer excellent sound quality.
Podcasting at its heart is independent and accessible to all; both the creator and the listener. With the rise of podcast companies and the rise of the on-demand audio industry,
there are independent creators who cannot afford a large amount of equipment, space and time to produce an audio program.
So, before media companies open up the podcast industry, here are some microphones that can help you get started making your show sound its best on a budget.
THE BEST CHOICE FOR MOST PODCASTERS: RØDE NT-USB
Testing 12 USB microphones connected to my MacBook Pro in a quiet environment (the Vox Media podcast studio), the clear winner for best sounding microphone was the Røde NT-USB.
Voice recordings are rich and full, with a wide signal-to-noise ratio (the amount of background noise in a recording compared to your recorded voice), and require little equalization.
What is included in the box is a pop shield that can be mounted to block pulsations (an unwanted air sound from letters such as P and B), a stand and a cable.
The microphone comes with a USB Type B cable which is fine for general use, but if you want to use it with an iPad (which Røde advertises), you must purchase a Lightning to USB Type B cable.
Most of the higher quality USB microphones are very large (see M-Audio Uber Mic, Blue Yeti, Samson G-Track Pro).
Whenever I suggest that someone take a Blue Yeti along with them to record a podcast remotely while traveling, they are very hesitant due to their size.
The NT-USB is quite compact. If you separate the microphone, shield and stand, it is much easier to pack in a bag.
I really appreciate the pop shield mounted on the microphone. It is robustly constructed, so it is at the same distance from the microphone at all times and is effective in suppressing those effects.
The pop-up shield for microphones like the Blue Yeti is sold separately. I would say it is a very necessary item to make your audio sound its best and I would end up buying one anyway.
As far as having everything you need to record yourself for a podcast ready to go, this gets you there.
One thing I wish the Røde NT-USB had is adjustable gain on the microphone.
This is an odd complaint coming from an audio engineer because there are no professional microphones that have that, but a USB microphone is basically an audio interface.
Being able to adjust the input gain in hardware is much easier and more convenient than opening the settings in your system preferences or a small slider button in Audacity or other recording software.
AN ENHANCED OPTION: BLUE YETI PRO
A standard in podcasting as far as USB microphones go, the Blue Yeti is versatile, available at most consumer electronics stores and easy to use.
Because of its ability to record in stereo, the Yeti is widely used in the YouTube ASMR community, as well as in podcasting and streaming.
With the introduction of the Yeti Pro, you now have the option to use it as a standard XLR analog output (with a stereo breakout cable) for use with any audio interface or recorder, as well as the ability to record at 24bit / 96kHz sample rates for higher quality recordings. That kind of functionality is why the Yeti Pro costs considerably more than the standard Yeti, but makes this mic still usable if you end up upgrading to more professional studio gear.
FOR LOWER BUDGETS: NEAT MICROPHONES BUMBLEBEE / BEECASTER
A curve! The names of these microphones speak for themselves. They are clean looking, but what do they sound like?
Well not bad. The Bumblebee and Beecaster have a dry, if tonally flat, type of sound, but they match up well with the Yeti and Røde. The way the settings are presented is very neat and easy to use. For the Bumblebee, the stand base has three knobs for adjusting music, vocal, or dead center, as well as mic gain and headphone volume. For the Beecaster, you can switch from mono to different stereo amplitude instead of the voice/music/neutral preset and there is also a mute knob to cut the microphone sound for any reason. These two mics have different frequency responses; I have found the more expensive Beecaster to sound fuller and more flexible for a variety of use cases, such as recording acoustic guitar or voiceover for video.
These controls are very well designed, however, this means that you cannot remove this microphone from the stand and mount it on another stand. This is really a desktop microphone not meant to be moved. Think of it as something cool on your desk that you can use to make conference calls or be interviewed for someone's show.
However, the nice thing about these stands is that they are actually height adjustable, unlike all the other stands that come with a USB microphone. I don't know why no other USB device has this.
There are situations where your podcasting and audio recording needs may vary. What if you want a super compact microphone for light travel? What if you want a second, cheaper microphone to stay in your office? Well, I tried a lot of USB mics, so here are some other options that will get the job done, with their own specialties and caveats.