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The Best Podcast Microphone For Every Need and Budget

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The Best Podcast Microphone For Every Need and Budget

Do you need help finding the best podcast microphone for your content? Podcasters of all levels, from beginners to veterans, can have a hard time selecting the best podcast mic because there are so many on the market. Choosing a mic is easier when you establish a budget and understand how different types of microphones work. 

We’ve created this guide so podcasters of any level can find the right mic for their needs. We’ll explain some technical aspects of podcasting mics and provide our recommendations for which types of mics work best for podcasting. Our guide also contains sections divided by budget level to help you find the best podcasting microphone at any price point. Keep reading to see our selections for the best podcasting mics for beginner, intermediate, and professional users.

How Do You Choose the Best Podcast Microphone?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best podcast microphone. One of the first things you have to do is establish a budget. You should also understand your recording environment, your recording setup, and microphone polar patterns. We’ll explain how each of these things will factor into selecting a podcast mic. 

What Should Your Podcast Microphone Budget Be?

Establishing a podcast microphone budget will be different for everyone. When determining your podcast budget consider your studio setup, your level of experience, and the features you need in a mic to produce the best quality. Beginners who don’t have much experience recording or streaming might not want to invest a lot in a mic until they have a good feel for their recording environment. Intermediate or advanced podcasters need to be willing to spend a little more for a higher quality microphone to make their audio more professional. 

Dynamic vs. Condenser: Is a Condenser Mic Better For Podcasts?

The main difference between dynamic and condenser mics is the way they translate sound into an electrical signal for recordings. Dynamic mics capture sound and convert it to an electrical signal using a diaphragm, voice coil, and magnet. A condenser microphone uses a diaphragm that’s electrically charged. When the diaphragm vibrates it creates an electrical charge in proportion to the sound that’s recorded. 

A dynamic microphone is great for recording vocals and works well when more than one person is being recorded in the same room. Condenser mics have better response frequencies to higher frequencies, which can produce a more crisp and detailed sound. Because condenser mics are more sensitive to higher frequencies, they can pick up certain unwanted sounds in home recording environments. 

There’s no clear choice as to whether a dynamic or condenser microphone is better for podcasting. You have to consider your recording environment and other recording equipment to determine the best podcast microphone type for you

USB vs. XLR: What Mic is Better for Podcasting?

USB microphones are usually cheaper and don’t require any additional equipment to start recording—just plug them into a computer and you’re ready to go. This plug-and-play functionality also makes them very versatile. They can connect to most desktop and mobile devices and are very portable. USB mics are affordable and convenient, they aren’t capable of producing the same sound quality as XLR mics. You don’t have the advanced level of control over your audio that’s provided when you connect to a DAW via an XLR cable. 

More professionals use XLR microphones because they can connect to other equipment to adjust recorded or streamed audio for better quality. These mics generally provide a better finished product but aren’t as easy to use and set up as a USB mic. XLR mics perform very well in studio settings but aren’t as portable as USB mics. 

The best podcasting microphone for you will depend on your needs. If you’re a beginner who doesn’t have the budget to spend on an advanced setup, a mic that plugs directly into your computer may be the better choice. A seasoned podcaster looking for a specific sound should probably choose to invest more in an XLR mic.   

Choosing the Right Microphone Polar Pattern

It’s important to get a mic with the right polar patterns for recording your podcast. The three main pickup patterns you’ll see when shopping for a mic are cardioid, supercardioid/hypercardioid, and omnidirectional. 

Omnidirectional mics are sensitive to sound coming in from any direction. This means that they will pick up sound coming from behind and to the side of the mic in addition to vocals spoken into it. Cardioid mics are only sensitive to sounds directly in front of the mic and block most sound coming from behind or next to the microphone. Supercardioid and hypercardioid mics have a similar pickup pattern to traditional cardioid mics but are directional mics designed to have a smaller pickup field at the front. They also have a slightly bigger sensitivity area at the back too. 

Omnidirectional microphones are not always an ideal option for podcasting, because they pick up unwanted background noise. Look for a cardioid or supercardioid/hypercardioid design when trying to find the best microphone for podcasting. They record the cleanest, warmest vocals. 

Want to learn more? We cover polar patterns in more depth in guide for choosing podcast microphones.

What Frequency Response is Best for Podcasting Microphones?

Since podcasting heavily focuses on the human voice, you’ll want to be sure to get a mic that has an appropriate frequency response for recording vocals. Most adult male voices fall in the frequency range of 80 to 180 Hz and most adult female voices call in the range of 165 to 255 Hz. If you frequently have guests on your show or record with a co-host, the best podcast mic for you will have a frequency range at least slightly below 80 Hz and slightly above 255 Hz to make sure you’re covered. 

Wired vs. Wireless Microphones

Unless your podcast format requires you to move around a lot or you’re recording on-the-go outside of a studio, we recommend choosing a wired mic. Wireless mics are a great option for recording movies, news events, or live music because they provide freedom of movement. Wired mics are the better choice for podcasting because you get better sound quality and freedom of movement isn’t necessary for most podcasting situations.  

The Best Podcast Microphone 2022 Guide 

No matter your level of experience or budget, there are options for podcasting mics to create outstanding audio for your content. Our guide will review the best podcasting mics for all budgets and provide recommendations for which level of experience each mic is best suited for. Keep reading to discover our picks for the best podcasting microphones for all budgets.

Best Podcast Microphones Under $100

This section covers mics that are great for beginners or intermediate podcasters looking for a backup mic or a decent microphone to use for podcast guests. Anyone who doesn’t have a lot of money to invest can use this section to find the best budget podcast microphone for their needs. It includes mics that use a USB connection as well as affordable XLR mics for studio use. Keep reading to learn more about the best podcast microphones under 100 dollars. 

RODE PodMic

RODE PodMic
RODE PodMic

The RODE PodMic is a compact XLR mic that can easily fit into any recording setup. As a broadcast-grade mic, it’s designed specifically for vocals and provides a full-bodied sound to audio recordings. The Rode PodMic connects to any audio interface or preamp, but you get the most out of the mic’s features when it’s paired with the RODECaster console. It’s important to note that this mic doesn’t include a desktop stand, connection cable, headphone jack, or gain adjustment knob.  

  • Price: $99
  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Connection: XLR, Wired
  • Frequency range: 20Hz – 20kHz

Best for: The Rode PodMic is great for beginners who can’t control all the noise in their recording environment. It’s very affordable for anyone starting out and the built-in shock mount, internal pop filter, and noise reduction features work together to block distracting background sounds. 

Audio-Technica AT2040

This dynamic microphone doesn’t require phantom power and is perfect for voice recording because of the hypercardioid pickup pattern. The Audio-Technica AT2040 podcasting mic has several internal features to help reduce background noise of disruptive sounds in audio. An integrated shock mount reduces noise from vibrations and a multi-stage internal windscreen functions as a pop filter to further reduce noise. This mic captures clear, warm vocals. 

  • Price: $99.99
  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar pattern: Hypercardioid
  • Connection: XLR, Wired
  • Frequency response: 80Hz – 16kHz

Best for: This podcast mic is great for beginners who can afford to invest a little more of their podcast budget in a quality mic or intermediate podcasters looking to upgrade their plug-and-play mic to get a more professional sound. The Audio-Technica AT2040 delivers broadcast-quality vocals at an affordable price.   

Best Podcasting Microphones Under $200

Beginners, intermediate, and advanced users can all find a mic that suits their specific needs in this section. If you’re just starting out, these mid-range mics will give you a great start for producing clear vocals. Intermediate users who are looking to upgrade their equipment will find many affordable options in this section and advanced users looking to invest in a secondary mic will benefit from these recommendations. 

Blue Yeti

Blue yeti podcast microphone
 Blue Yeti

Blue microphones from Yeti are known for providing quality sound at affordable prices. The Blue Yeti is simple to set up and comes with a desktop microphone stand. The microphone has easy-to-use controls to adjust gain, headphone volume, pick up pattern, and for muting. One of the standout features of this mic is that it can be used with three different polar patterns: cardioid, bidirectional, or omnidirectional. The Blue Yeti comes with Blue VO!CE, a software program that allows you to add vocal effects to your recordings.    

  • Price: $129.99
  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional
  • Connection: USB, Wired
  • Frequency response: 15Hz – 22kHz

Best for: This mic is great for budget-conscious beginners who want to start recording a podcast quickly. The Blue Yeti has all the basic mic functionality you need to get a podcast up and running and the three different polar pattern modes allow flexibility for finding your best recording setup.  

Samson Q9U

The Samson Q9U is a USB and XLR mic that performs well in any studio setting. Since you can control the type of microphone you use the Samson Q9U as, it can connect directly to a computer in a home studio or to an audio mixer or another piece of recording equipment in a more professional recording setting. This mic can record at 24bit/96kHz and monitor latency-free using the 3.5mm headphone jack when used as a USB mic. If you need more control over your audio, connect the mic to a mixer with an XLR to manage your EQ or compressors. 

  • Price: $149.99
  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid 
  • Connection: XLR, Wired
  • Frequency response: 50Hz – 20kHz

Best for: This mic is great for professionals who want a versatile mic that can be used with an audio interface or plugged directly into a computer. The Samson Q9U does well in any studio setting and integrates easily with other recording equipment. Professional podcasters will love the audio quality the mic provides for its affordable price. 

Sontronics Podcast Pro

The Sontronics Podcast Pro is a versatile mic that connects to a soundcard or mixer with an XLR cable or directly to a computer or recording device with the included XLR-USB cable. It’s easy to set up and incompatible with any angled, desktop, or floor-mounted mic stand. This powerful mic doesn’t require any EQ or gain-boosting devices and produces high-quality audio that doesn’t require post-production tweaks. 

  • Price: $149.99
  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar pattern: Supercardioid
  • Connection: XLR or USB, Wired
  • Frequency response: 50Hz – 15kHz

Best for: This podcast mic is ideal for hosts who need to capture great sound in a variety of settings. Its supercardioid pickup pattern and built-in pop filter reduce background noise to produce quality sound in any recording environment. 

sE Electronics NEOM USB

The sE Electronics NEOM USB was built for podcasters and other creators to easily record or go live from anywhere at any time. This USB microphone is compatible with Mac, Android, Windows, and iOS devices and is compatible with most industry-standard recording apps and software. The mic features a unique front-addressed design, which helps reduce unwanted sounds from the side and rear of the mic. The sE Electronics NEOM USB features separate headphone volume and mic volume so it’s easy to hear how loud each source is.

  • Price: $179.99
  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Connection: USB, Wired
  • Frequency range: 20Hz – 20 kHz

Best for: This USB mic is perfect for on-the-go podcasts who stream or record their content outside of a studio. The sE Electronics NEOM USB is compatible with all mobile, desktop, and laptop devices so podcasters can just plug in and start using the mic. The gain, mic, playback, and headphone knobs make recording or streaming on the go easy without additional software or equipment. 

Best Podcast Microphones Over $200

Experienced podcasters who have a larger budget and want to invest in a mic that will last them a long time should check out these more expensive options. This section contains the best USB and XLR hybrid mic in our guide. Keep reading to learn more about some high-end mics with premium features that will elevate the quality of your audio content. 

Shure MV7

Shure MV7 podcast microphone
Shure MV7

The Shure MV7 functions as an XLR or a USB mic, or as both at the same time. This way, you can record a low-res and high-res files at the same time and the low-res files can be used as backups or shared instantly online without any additional compression. The ShurePlus MOTIV app that’s included with the mic is compatible with Android and iOS devices and can turn your smartphone or other mobile device into a portable recording studio.    

  • Price: $249
  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Connection: XLR or USB, Wired
  • Frequency response: 50Hz – 16kHz

Best for: The Shure MV7 is best for professional podcasters who have a decent budget to pay for premium features. A consistent, high-quality sound is important for podcast professionals and broadcasters and this mic’s auto-set features make it easy for any user to achieve this. 

Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B is a mic built for professionals in the podcasting or radio space. It includes a wide-range frequency response that’s perfect for recording vocals at close proximity in a professional studio setting. This mic includes internal air suspension isolation as well as bass roll-off and mid-range control. Its advanced internal design helps to eliminate noise from other recording equipment and smooths out sound created from breathing into the mic’s pickup range. The mic’s dynamic cartridge produces clean and crisp recorded vocals.  

  • Price: $399
  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Connection: XLR, Wired
  • Frequency response: 50Hz – 20kHz

Best for: This mic is best-suited for professionals who want to upgrade their equipment and purchase a future-proof mic they'll be able to use for the foreseeable future. Professionals will love this mic because of its versatility as either a USB or XLR mic, especially at its price point. 

Electro-Voice RE20

The Electro-Voice RE20 is a premium cardioid mic that doesn’t need phantom power to work and as its name suggests, it’s designed for voice recordings. Because of the mic’s design, records well at close proximity without losing clarity in your vocals. The mic’s large diaphragm provides a high level of sensitivity and wide frequency response so that nothing gets missed when recording vocals. The ball roll-off switch allows you to adjust to control low-frequency response. This mic performs especially well in professional studio settings and is a favorite of professional broadcasters and podcasters.  

  • Price: $449
  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Connection: XLR, Wired 
  • Frequency response: 45Hz – 18kHz

Best for: This mic is best for professionals who need to create highly-produced content and don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning audio in post production. Because of all of its built-in features, you can record high-quality sound without having to make tweaks to your audio files.

Our Recommendation: What is the Best Podcast Microphone?

Our guide for the best podcasting mics on the market has great selects for every level of podcaster and every budget. Here are our recommendations for the best podcast microphone for beginners and intermediate and professional podcasters: 

Best podcasting microphone for beginners

While many would recommend the Blue Yeti for beginners, we only suggest it for those who are recording in a controlled and quiet environment. From our experience, while the microphone is versatile, it isn’t the greatest when there is a lot of background noise. You can read our Blue Yeti review to find out if it’s suitable for you, but other options you can explore as a beginner are the RODE PodMic and the Samson Q90.

Best podcasting microphone for intermediate and advanced podcasters

Our pick for the best podcasting mic for those who have some podcasting experience is the Shure SM7B. This mic is used by many podcast professionals and is the perfect choice if you have a bigger budget for investing in a mic. You won’t need to upgrade from this microphone and it provides versatility since it functions as both an XLR and USB mic. 

Best podcast microphone for an echo-filled room

The best microphone for echo in a room is one that picks up minimal background noise. In this case, you’ll definitely want to choose a cardioid microphone, and it may be better to choose a dynamic mic with less sensitivity. From our list, we’d say the best mic for echo in a room is the Shure SM7B. 

Note that using a suitable microphone should help, but we definitely suggest soundproofing and treating your studio or recording space.

Best podcast microphone to pick up the whole room

If you’re recording in a room with a few people and only have one microphone, then you’ll need an omnidirectional microphone. This picks up sound coming from all directions. From our list, the best microphone to pick up noise from the whole room is probably the Blue Yeti. This mic’s polar pattern can be adjusted and you can record with omnidirectional directionality. 

For the best results, we do think it’s better to have one microphone per person. This is especially because you don’t want to pick up background noise in your audio recordings.  

Best podcast microphone for Mac users

If you’re planning on connecting your microphone to a laptop whether it be a Mac or Windows PC, you’ll want to make sure it has the right connectors. In this case, you’ll likely be using a USB microphone over an XLR mic. 

Some good podcast mics compatible with mac from our list include the Blue Yeti and the sE Electronics NEOM USB mic.

Podcast Mics for Creators of All Levels 

Finding the right mic for your podcast can be tricky. Have a clear idea of your budget and recording environment before selecting a microphone. The main things to consider when looking for a podcast mic are the cost, the connection type, the frequency range, and the polar pattern. With a little research, you can find the perfect podcast mic for your unique needs. 

FAQs for Best Podcast Microphones

Do you still have questions about choosing the best mic for podcasting? Our FAQ section has information about the mics other podcasters use to help you narrow down your choices. Keep reading to learn more about the best microphones for podcasting. 

What Mic Do Most Podcasters Use?

There’s no overall consensus among podcasters when it comes to the best podcasting microphone because every creator has different needs. Reference the above article to find out the factors to consider when shopping for a mic and recommendations for the best podcasting microphones for every budget. 

What Mic Does Joe Rogan Use?

The Joe Rogan Experience is recorded with Shure SM7B microphones. Check out the Shure SM7B section in the above article to learn more about this podcasting mic’s features to determine if it’s a good fit for your recording needs.

What is the best microphone for speaking?

All the microphones above can be included when looking at the best microphones for speaking. These microphones don’t only suit podcasting but you can use them for any type of speech recording. If you’re looking for a microphone for live performances or speeches on stage, then you may need something else.

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