One of the most important decisions you can make when you start a podcast is picking the best podcasting microphone. You want something that would capture your voice in the best quality possible, and you want to have it at a price you can afford. After all, the biggest quality control after your content on a podcast is the quality of sound.
In addition to great sound quality and affordability, there are more factors that can affect your choice of a podcasting mic. It’s important to know the types of best voice recording mics available to you and what they are used for.
Here are several things you need to remember when shopping for the best USB microphones for your podcast.
How to Choose the Best Podcast Microphone
Your microphone’s physical appearance and design are important on how you want to work with it when recording a podcast.
Do you need a mic that sits on a desk? Do you want to suspend it on a mic stand? Is the mic going to be in front of you or beside you?
The answers to these questions will determine the ideal design for the mic that you want.
Microphones capture sound from one or many directions. This is called pickup patterns. The way that your mic picks up sound will greatly affect the sound recorded for your podcast.
Cardioid mics capture sound from the front and faintly from the sides. Omnidirectional mics capture sounds from all directions, including ambient noise.
Multi-pattern mics provide a switch that lets you choose a pickup pattern, whether it be cardioid or omnidirectional.
Based on these facts, you can then make a decision on how you want your mic to capture sound. Generally, podcast mics are cardioid mics, which means they pick up most of the sound on the front of the mic.
However, there are some mics that offer other pickup patterns such as omnidirectional — which might be more suitable for recording music or other sounds made from a specific environment.
Bit depth refers to the number of bits present in an audio sample. CDs have 16-bit depth, while DVDs and Blu-ray discs have 24-bit depth. It affects the loudness or softness of a sound, as well as file size and bit rate.
In relation to sound recording, you would want a microphone that records at least 16-bit CD quality, so this is something to check when shopping for USB microphones for podcasting.
Now that you know the basics, let’s dive into the good stuff.
Best Podcast Microphone for New & Experienced Podcasters
1. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
If you have been reading about podcasting microphones on the web, it’s possible that you’ve come across this popular microphone. The Blue Yeti line of microphones is known to have superior quality and excellent features.
Blue Yeti’s best feature is its multi-pattern pickup and the fact that you can plug in a headphone directly to the mic. It also has zero latency, which means there is no delay in the sound from microphone to computer. Fans of this microphone swear by its stunning sound quality.
- Can record sound in multiple directions
- Built-in headphone jack
- Zero latency picks up sound without delays
- Built-in controls for volume and a mute button
- The metal body does not make it portable
- Additional support needed for mounting
Blue Snowball is another popular USB mic from Blue, but Yeti is more professional and the price difference is not much. If you are looking for long term podcasting solution, the Blue yeti mic is a great choice.
You can get the Blue Yeti USB microphone from Amazon for $125.
2. Rode NT USB
The Rode NT USB is a cardioid mic that’s made for podcasting. It has the same lauded sound quality comparable with Blue Yeti, but its advantage is with the accessories that come with it.
For $169, you get the mic with a pop filter, tripod stand, ring mount, and storage pouch.
- Studio-quality sound
- Built-in headphone jack
- Compatible with Apple iPod
- Free Accessories
- More expensive than most mics
Honorable mention: Rode podcaster
However, if you are not looking for a cheap podcasting microphone, then you should opt for a Rode Podcaster mic. It offers better recording resolution than the Rode NT USB. There is a price difference of $59 between Rode NT USB and Rode Podcaster. You should pick either of it, based on the allocated budget for your Podcasting mic requirement.
Get the Rode NT USB microphone for $169 at Amazon.
3. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is a cardioid USB mic designed for voice-overs and podcasts. This mic captures sound more from the front than the sides and back.
The controls on its sleek body let you mix music from the mic and from your computer. There’s also a headphone jack built-in, which captures sound with zero delays.
- Great studio-quality sound
- Ideal for podcasting
- Comes with a desk stand (tripod)
- A bit heavy so it’s not convenient for travel
The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is $149 on Amazon.
4. Samson C01U Pro USB Studio Condenser Microphone
A better version of their other USB mic, the Samson Q2U, the Samson C01U Pro has improved dramatically in terms of features and specs.
This cardioid microphone has a 19mm diaphragm which means you get studio-quality sound. It has a headphone jack, which has zero latency for easy monitoring. Anyone looking for a USB condenser mic, this is definitely an idle choice.
- Studio-quality sound
- Heavy duty build
- Comes with tripod and swivel mount
- Great buy for the price
- No physical on/off button
The Samson C01U Pro sells for $74.06 on Amazon
5. Neewer USB Microphone (Blue)
Recording with top-notch sound quality need not be expensive. For this purpose, the Neewer USB microphone stands out.
The Neewer USB microphone uses the cardioid pickup pattern and prevents background noise with its built-in condenser capsule. That being said, it’s still possible to hear minor ambient noise at some instances where the environment is not suited for recording.
In addition to the microphone, you will get an arm stand, USB cable, a shock mount, and a USB cable. Considering its affordable price, these accessories are a steal.
- Decent sound quality
- Accessories are everything you need to start recording
- May capture background noise in some instances
The Neewer NW-700 is available on Amazon for the wallet-friendly price of $32.99.
Wrapping up: What Microphone You Should Use for Podcasting
The microphones mentioned here have something unique to offer anyone that might be on the lookout for a podcasting mic. They have similar features, but they are also varied in their own specs so you get to decide which factor is most important to you.
If money is not an issue, then we highly recommend going for the Blue Yeti or the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+. On the other hand, if you have a tight budget, then the Neewer NW-700 USB Microphone should bring you decent audio quality without breaking the bank.
Now, it’s your turn to let us know:
- Which podcasting mic are you currently using?
- Have you tried any of these microphones for podcasting?
Let us know your experience in the comments section!