Whether you’re new to podcasting or you’ve been hosting your show for a while, you’ll undoubtedly know that each episode is only as good as the equipment you’re using to record it.
And, of all the equipment you need to produce a great-sounding podcast, the microphone reigns supreme as the most important.
A good microphone will be able to record your vocals, work across a range of vocal tones, and ensure your recording session translates into great audio in your finished piece. It’ll also take a lot of work out of the editing process.
Not all microphones are the same, though, and there are some essential things you need to look for in a microphone to achieve the highest quality audio possible.
However, with an abundance of confusing technical terminology, finding the right one can be a little tricky.
That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you. Below, you’ll find our list of the best podcast microphones for superb audio, each of which is guaranteed to record your vocals with clarity and produce smooth tones.
We’ve also put together a buying guide designed to guide you through the decision process and make finding the best podcast microphone for your needs a simple, enjoyable experience.
If you’ve come here looking for a great quality microphone in a hurry, we’ve got you covered too! Let’s start by taking a look at our top pick.
Table of Contents
- 0.1 1. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
- 0.2 2. FIFINE USB Recording Microphone
- 0.3 3. ZINGYOU Condenser Microphone Bundle
- 0.4 4. Marantz MPM1000 Studio Microphone
- 0.5 5. Audio-Technica ATR2500x-USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- 1 Buyer’s Guide
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Perfect for recording vocals and instruments, the Blue Yeti USB Microphone is guaranteed to give you amazing audio quality whatever you use it for.
It is because there are three capsules inside the microphone’s head, allowing you to switch between different pickup patterns.
Let’s say you’re using this microphone for podcasting. Select the cardioid pattern, and the microphone will concentrate solely on your vocals.
Were you looking to record sound from all directions? Switch to the omnidirectional pattern for 360º pickup. You even have the choice of bidirectional and stereo pick up too.
Located on the front of the microphone, you’ll find a volume control dial that allows you to adjust your levels while you’re recording, taking all the hard work out of the editing process.
There’s a mute button that cuts the mic out and allows you to say something aloud without it being recorded.
The stylish, built-in stand keeps the microphone steadily in place throughout your recording session, and you can use it across multiple operating systems. So, whether you prefer Audacity or Garageband, you’ll be able to use this mic to produce fantastic audio.
- Contains three capsules that allow you to switch between cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and stereo pickup
- Has a volume control dial and mute button that will enable you to control your levels while you record
- Can be used universally across operating systems
- Simple to set up with a USB plug and play style design
- Has a built-in stand that keeps the microphone steady during recording sessions
- The stand doesn’t feature any shock absorption so that an accidental table bump could get picked up by the microphone
2. FIFINE USB Recording Microphone
Designed in a plug and play style, the USB Recording Microphone from FIFINE is super easy to set up and will allow you to start creating great audio-quality recordings in record time. It’s also universally compatible across all operating systems including Windows and Mac.
This microphone features a cardioid pickup pattern, with engineering to pick up sound from a 180º arc directly in front of it. This feature makes it an excellent choice for podcasting or recording vocals because it will eliminate any background noise.
The extended frequency response creates a smooth tone across all voice types and creates a conversational tone in your finished piece.
There is a volume dial located on the body of the microphone itself that allows you to adjust your levels while you record too.
An included microphone stand helps keep it in place during a recording session, and it also allows you to angle the microphone in a variety of positions for optimum comfort.
It includes a pop filter too, which can prevent plosives or breath sounds, and leaves you with clear audio.
- The USB plug and play design makes installing the microphone quick and easy
- Works universally across operating systems including Windows and Mac
- Uses a cardioid pickup pattern to concentrate on the sound coming from directly in front of the microphone
- Has an extended frequency response that works across a range of voice tones
- Includes a pop filter, adjustable stand, and a two-year warranty
- The USB cable is built-in and relatively short, so it might restrict the way you set up your studio
3. ZINGYOU Condenser Microphone Bundle
This Condenser Microphone Bundle from ZINGYOU comes with a variety of accessories and features that will take your recording experience to the next level and help you create outstanding audio.
Let’s start by looking at the microphone itself. The ZINGYOU is built with a thin, metal diaphragm; it’s able to pick up on the smallest sound detail and produce powerfully accurate audio.
It works alongside the cardioid pickup pattern and wide frequency range to concentrate solely on vocal tones and eliminate background noise.
It also has a unique 3-layer protection system that helps prevent unwanted ‘popping’ noises.
This mic is further enhanced by the included pop filter and foam windscreen design to reduce plosives.
Other accessories included are an arm stand to keep the microphone securely locked in place, and a shock mount that isolates unwanted noises such as wall-reverberation and walking and prevents them from being picked up.
This microphone is super easy to set up and is available in a range of colors to suit any personal taste.
- A complete microphone bundle with features and accessories that will help you create great audio
- The microphone uses a cardioid pickup pattern and a wide frequency range to deliver clear vocals while eliminating ambient noise
- It also has a unique 3-layer protection system that helps prevent ‘popping’ and includes a pop filter and a foam windscreen
- Also consists of an arm stand and a shock mount
- Available in a range of colors and includes a one-year warranty
- Doesn’t have any level-adjustment features such as a volume dial or mute button
4. Marantz MPM1000 Studio Microphone
A fantastic option for anybody on a budget, the MPM1000 Studio Microphone from Marantz contains a variety of features that can produce excellent audio at a reasonable price.
It’s easy to set up and plugs directly into a mixer or audio interface with the included cable.
The cardioid capsule makes it perfect for getting super clear vocals on podcasts or narrative audio. This clarity is because it will only concentrate on the sound coming from directly in front of it while eliminating background noise.
It has a massive frequency response of 20Hz – 20KHz too, and this allows it to produce smooth vocal tones across a variety of voice types.
This high sensitivity mixed with a low signal-to-noise ratio ensures that every detail of your audio is precise.
This microphone includes a windscreen to help reduce plosives, a shock mount to absorb accidental unwanted sound, and a tripod stand to keep it held securely in place while you’re recording.
- A budget-friendly microphone that delivers outstanding audio quality
- Super easy to set up with the included XLR cable
- Has a cardioid capsule and wide frequency range to produce clear vocals and eliminate background noise
- Comes complete with a windscreen, shock mount, and desk tripod stand
- Perfect for podcasting and vocal performances
- Can only be used with an XLR connection
5. Audio-Technica ATR2500x-USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone
The all-metal construction of the ATR2500x-USB Microphone from Audio-Technica makes it a highly durable piece of recording equipment.
It’s also packed with features that ensure you get superb audio quality in whatever you choose to use it for.
Its cardioid pickup pattern enables it to concentrate sounds from a 180º arc directly in front of it while ensuring that it doesn’t pick up ambient noise.
This feature isolates your vocals with precision and helps ensure that every word you say is produced with superior clarity.
The built-in headphone jack allows you to monitor your levels while you record. And the volume can be made adjusted directly from the microphone itself.
It’s a simple microphone to set up and comes with both a USB-C and a USB-A cable, and is also universally compatible across operating systems.
A tripod desk stand is included, and this helps ensure your microphone is held securely in place throughout your recording session. The stand also folds flat and, with the microphone being so lightweight, makes taking your show on the road an absolute breeze!
- Uses a cardioid pickup pattern to isolate vocals and reduce background noise
- A built-in headphone jack lets you monitor your levels while recording
- Works universally across all operating systems and is easy to install
- Includes USB-C and USB-A cables allowing you to use it across multiple devices
- Also consists of a tripod desk stand that folds flat for easy storage and transportation
- Doesn’t come with a pop filter to help prevent plosives or breath sounds
Each of the above microphones can produce high-quality, detailed audio that will give each episode of your show that professional finish.
However, if you’re still torn between which microphone is best for you, we’re here to help make the decision process more manageable.
Below, we’ve simplified some of the technical terms to make things a little clearer. We’ve also listed some key points to keep in mind when shopping for your microphone, each of which will guide you towards finding the best microphone for your podcast the first time around.
Let’s start by looking at one of the most common technical terms you’ll encounter – the pickup pattern. This term is the name of the direction that the microphone picks sound up from, so for podcasting, it’s an important thing to look at.
There are several different pickup patterns used across microphones, but the best for podcasting is cardioid. This pattern is best because it will only focus on sound coming from a 180º arc directly in front of it, picking up your vocals, and eliminating background noise.
Omnidirectional pickup patterns can be a good choice for podcasting, too; however, this depends on the format of your show.
An omnidirectional pickup pattern records sound coming from all directions, so if you’ve got a panel show with multiple guests sharing a microphone, it could be a better choice.
Some microphones, such as the Blue Yeti, give you the ability to switch between pickup patterns.
Switching patterns is an excellent feature and gives you the versatility to find the perfect recording pattern for each episode without investing in loads of different equipment.
Compatability is something that many people overlook when purchasing a microphone. You need to make sure that your recording equipment’s operating system will support the microphone you choose.
Luckily, most microphones work universally across operating systems. So, whether you’re recording with Windows, Mac, or Linux, you shouldn’t run into much trouble when you’re installing your microphone. It’s worth checking out beforehand to be sure.
It’s also worth looking at the connection type your chosen microphone has. Some will connect to your recording device with a USB cable, and some with an XLR cable.
Some even give you the ability to connect through either, giving you more versatility over how you record.
Remember, also, that USB connections have evolved in recent years. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to check whether your recording equipment has a USB-A or USB-C port, and that your chosen microphone has the appropriate cable.
Some microphones come with volume dials and mute buttons, and these will allow you to adjust your sound levels while you’re recording. Being able to do this takes a lot of work out of editing each episode.
These built-in level adjustment also gives you a way to monitor your vocals with low-latency. It is ideal for interviewing a guest in another country. And if you want to avoid any feedback or delays, the microphone might pick up.
The particular pronunciation of words can leave a ‘popping’ sound on the finished recording, which can be unappealing to listen to and, unfortunately, isn’t something you’ll ever know has happened until you’ve finished recording.
These sounds are known as ‘plosives’ and, luckily, there is a way to prevent them. Look for a microphone that comes with a pop filter.
The pop filter will act as a shield between your vocals and the microphone, absorbing any of the popping noises.
Some microphones even have built-in pop filters. This option is particularly useful as you won’t have to worry about losing or damaging the pop filter, and you also won’t have to spend any time setting it up.
Regardless of what you’re buying, it’s always worth seeing what extra features and accessories you can get for your money.
One particularly useful feature many microphones come with is a stand to keep it held securely in place while you’re recording.
Having a stand is a sure-fire way to improve audio quality as you won’t need to worry about holding the microphone in front of your mouth the entire time. It also frees up your hands to adjust your levels or do some quick research online.
Shock mounts are an excellent extra accessory to look for and will also improve the quality of your audio.
These work by absorbing any random noise coming from inside the studio (such as footsteps or keyboard typing) and prevents them from getting picked up by the microphone.
Windscreens are also good and will reduce the amount of wind-noise the microphone picks up if you’re recording outside.
Frequently Asked Questions
What pickup pattern is best for podcasting?
The best pattern depends on the format of your podcast. Generally speaking, a microphone that features a cardioid pickup pattern is better for podcasting as it will focus solely on your vocals and eliminate background noise.
However, if you’re podcast has multiple hosts or guests sharing a microphone, you may find an omnidirectional pickup pattern works better for your show.
Can I adjust my sound levels while I record my podcast?
Yes, absolutely. However, many recording programs can be tricky to adjust in a split second. Luckily, many microphones have volume dials and mute buttons built directly onto them, giving you quick access to level adjustments right when you need it most.