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12 Must-Have Home Recording Studio Equipment | 101 Setup

Build your dream studio with these top 12 must-have home recording studio equipment. Pro or beginner, we share everything for a full home studio setup.
Stephen Robles
Video & Podcast Creator
Last Updated:
March 10, 2023
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Kitting out your home studio for pro-standard recording is easier than you imagine.

You don’t even have to break the bank to get your hands on good-quality equipment. With various hardware and software on the market, there’s something at every price point that caters to both beginners and pros. The hardest part is knowing where to start. 

That’s where we come in: this article is the ultimate guide to all the best home recording studio equipment. You’ll find pointers on what to look for, deciding between the absolute essentials and the ‘nice to haves’, and more. 


  • All home studio setups look different depending on the creator’s personal taste, needs and budget. 
  • It’s more than possible to create professional-grade content at home as long as you’re using the right tools.
  • Consider budget, needs vs wants, the type of content you’re making, and the equipment’s target audience when kitting out your home-studio 

Can you set up a professional recording studio at home?

It’s easy to think that a home recording studio means amateur, low quality, or at least a compromise on the results you can achieve. But that’s absolutely not the case. With the right recording software and equipment setup, you can create content with serious production quality. 

An essential part of maximizing your home recording quality is the physical space you choose. After all, your equipment can only get you so far. That’s why you should try converting a quiet room free from background noise or vibrations into your home studio. 

What should you consider when choosing recording studio equipment

Investing in a studio setup at home is a big step. That’s why you should consider the following factors. These should help narrow down what kind of kit you’re looking for. 

Budget & value for money 

The first thing to think about is your budget. Whether playing with a big or moderate budget, you should know how you want to spend it. Even as a beginner, you might be thinking of the longer term and feel prepared to invest more upfront. 

Another factor that relates to budget is value for money. Whether you’re buying a small accessory or an expensive mic, you should always look at what kind of bang for your buck you’re getting. 

If you’re lucky, you might be able to find a great deal on a home studio equipment bundle. 

Need vs Want 

You should always consider whether you need a piece of equipment or if it’s a nice to have item. A simplistic and core recording setup doesn’t actually need very much: mic, headphones, computer, and recording software. This is especially important if you’re on a tight budget. 

Type of content 

The type of content you’ll be creating is a big factor. For example, in-studio audio-based podcasts require a different equipment setup to remote video content. 

Usability & target user 

You should also look at how usable a piece of kit is. This means thinking about the target audience and whether you fit the profile. For instance, a professional-grade DAW might not suit a beginner podcaster (unless you’re up for a challenge). 

12 Best Home Recording Studio Equipment Essentials

Here’s a list of recording studio equipment that you should think about: 


A computer is integral to any recording setup. You need it for recording, connecting with remote guests, editing, and publishing your content.

If you already have a laptop or computer, that’s perfect. You probably don’t need to upgrade or replace it. If you’re on the market for one here are some options to check out: Apple MacBook Pro or the Razer 15 for creators with more to spend.

Apple Macbook Pro PC equipment for a home recording studio
Apple MacBook Pro

Here are some key factors to consider when buying a recording computer: 

  • CPU (central processing unit) - your computer’s performance and speed will depend on how powerful its CPU is. 
  • GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) If you’re going to be recording video, you need to look at your computer’s GPU. Ideally, it’ll be compatible with 4K video or more. 
  • Portability. The size and weight of your computer will be important if you intend to record and/or edit on the go. 
  • Compatibility. Lastly, make sure to think about what kinds of software you want to use and whether they’re compatible with your operating system.   


You can get more inspiration using our guide to the 10 best laptops for podcasting


A mic is a non-negotiable part of your home studio setup. An external mic is essential for capturing high-quality audio since you don’t want to rely on your computer’s built-in microphone. Built-in mics, though convenient, don’t usually record to a very high-quality which will let down your overall recording. 

When you’re comparing mics, here’s what to look for: 

Mic type: condenser vs dynamic 

Both types have their own pros and cons and will be suitable for different recording environments. In short condensers work better in a quiet studio environment, whereas a dynamic mic is less sensitive to sound and better in a noisier space. Make sure to know which you’re looking for with our full guide on condenser vs dynamic microphones.

Polar pattern

A mic’s polar pattern affects whether it picks up audio from all around, from a single focussed direction, or from two directions. You need to think about which would be most appropriate for your recording setup. 

Frequency reponse 

Frequency response is about the range of audio that a mic can reproduce. The optimal frequency range will differ depending on the type of content you’re recording. 

In-built shock or pop filter

Some mics come with a built-in shock mount or pop filter which help to improve your audio. This will elevate the quality of your recording and means you don’t have to buy these accessories separately. 

Shure SM7B microphone for a home recording studio
Shure SM7B

RODE has a huge selection of great mics for every budget, like their PodMic. The Shure SM7B is another classic choice for professionals. 

Take a look at our guide to the best studio microphones for every need and budget in 2023 for some more inspiration. 


Headphones might feel like an unnecessary purchase, but they actually make a huge difference during both recording and editing. A good pair will help you to accurately monitor audio levels, minimize audio echo and bleed, and give you maximum control during post-production. 

You should look for comfortable headphones because you’ll likely wear them for long periods. Additionally, you’ll need to weigh between wired vs. wireless and in-on ear styles. 

A great budget option is AudioTechnica ATH-M20X. For creators looking to spend a little more, take a look at the Sennheiser HD 660S Open Back Professional Studio Headphones. 

Audio Technica ATH-M20X headphones for a home recording studio
Audio Technica ATH-M20X

You’ll find a whole list of other recommendations in our article about the best podcasting headphones. 

Audio interface

An audio interface, or soundboard, converts audio into a format that’s legible to your computer. Not all setups need an audio interface - it depends on the type of equipment you’re using. For instance, if you’ve got a USB mic, you won’t need an audio interface. But if you’ve got an XLR mic, you will. 

Here are some things to consider when looking at audio interfaces: 

  • Number of inputs. You’ll need to find an audio interface that can accommodate the maximum number of audio sources you want to connect up at one time. 
  • Output type is also important for ensuring your audio interface can connect to your computer properly. 
  • Sound quality. You need to make sure that your chosen audio interface will do your recording justice. Investigate the interface’s dynamic range and frequency response to get a better picture. 

Take a look at the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for a budget-friendly option. If you’re looking to invest a little more, try the Apogee Symphony Desktop or Antelope Audio Zen Go

Focusrite hardware home recording studio equipment
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

You can get more inspiration from our guide to the best USB audio interfaces for podcasters and video creators

Camera (if recording video)

If you’re going to create video content, an external camera is a must. You can opt for a simple external webcam or go all out with a dedicated DSLR. It all depends on your budget and the quality you’re going for. If you don’t want to splash out on a new camera, you could even use your phone. 

Don’t overlook the benefits of having more than one camera either. Using your external camera as your primary angle and setting up your phone as a second is a great way to add dynamism and interest to your recording. 

You’re ideally looking for a camera that offer 4K output resolution. But 1080p (full HD) will also do the trick. 

For high-quality webcams, try the budget-friendly Microsoft LifeCam Studio or the more expensive Dell Ultrasharp Webcam

If you’re interested in a camera, take a look at the Sony 15100 or the Nikon 25300


A shock mount protects your mic from shakes and vibrations that might otherwise affect your audio. Shock mounts aren’t an integral part of every setup but you might be surprised by the difference they make. Ensure that your shock mount will be compatible with your mic and/or mic stand. 

Some strong contenders include the Rycote Invision USM and the Blue Radius III - but those are only 2 of the options we cover in our microphone shock mount recommendations article. 

Mic stand 

A mic stand holds your mic in position. They help elevate your mic to your desired height, adjust your mic’s position to accommodate different people, and generally declutter your recording space. 

Be mindful that some mics are freestanding anyway, and you might be satisfied with how it sits on your desk without an additional mic stand. 

To understand what you’re looking at, check out the Heil PL-2T or the Yellowtec MiKA Mic Arm YT3201. You’ll also find a whole range of our recommendations in our review of the 5 best mic arms for podcasters


A pop-filter does exactly what it says on the tin: helps to reduce popping - or the effect of ‘plosives’ -  in your audio. Plosives are sounds like ‘p’, ‘t’ and ‘b’ that can cause what sounds like ‘popping’ in your recording. Pop filters protect your audio by shielding your mic from the ‘air blast’ associated with plosive sounds. 

If you’ve got a little extra budget to spare, it’s definitely worth getting one since they’re super affordable anyway. Try the Auray PFSS-55 or the Nady MPF-6 (both under $25). 


If you’re recording video content, you should definitely think about getting yourself some lighting equipment. If you’re lucky enough to have a recording space with abundant natural light this might be less of a concern. 

But while you can control artificial lighting, you’re totally at the mercy of the elements when it comes to natural light. For consistent, controllable lighting that guarantees a great result every time, we recommend you consider some lighting equipment. 

A great standard technique to follow is 3 point lighting. This is where you set up your lights in three different positions pointing at your subject. Using this setup, you get total control over how you light your subject while also minimizing any unwanted shadows.  

And you don’t even have to stretch your budget! This kit by LimoStudio offers a basic setup for under $100. 

Sound treatment 

Last, but not least, you might want to look at getting some sound treatment for your home studio. This might be necessary if your recording space is particularly echoey. 

Some simple sound treatment can helps to substanitlaly improve the quality of audio you can record in your home studio environment. This might include foam panels or bass traps, depending on how much or little you want to add to your home studio. We've got a whole studio guide for you to learn more on sound treatment and what you can get.

Bonus: Home Recording Studio Software Essentials

Now that we’ve seen all the hardware you might want to include in your home setup let’s turn to software essentials. Your choice of software will significantly impact your workflow, user experience, and recording capabilities. 

Recording Software

You need recording software that makes recording at home more than worth it. You shouldn’t compromise on recording quality, so look for a platform that offers the following: 

  • Lossless and uncompressed file formats for maximized audio quality.
  • Local recording where everything records directly on your device so that your recording is unaffected by weak or patchy internet. 
  • Separate track recording so that every participant has their own video and audio recording track. This gives you maximum control during post-production. 
  • Live streaming to major platforms. The option to livestream and  interact with your audience live is definitely worthwhile.   

Additionally, you want software that is versatile and allows you to easily record solo or with remote guests. 

For maximized flexibility and quality, check out Riverside. Riverside is browser-based, which means you don’t need to download anything to get started. You can record with up to 8 remote participants and rely on high-quality, locally recorded audio and video. Riverside also includes an built-in editor which is perfect for transforming your recording into a publication-ready video in minutes. 

Learn more, or start recording professional content seamlessly with Riverside. 

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There are also some other good options. If you’ve got a Mac, you can use Garageband which is included for free with Apple devices (note that it doesn’t offer remote recording though). Audacity is a great option if you’re looking for a free and open-source option. 

Editing Software

The amount of time you want to spend editing will affect the type of editing software you need. You can choose from straightforward tools or go for professional features that let you manipulate the granular details of your video. Another big factor will be compatibility with your computer’s operating system.  

At the very minimum you’re looking for the ability to cut, trim, and rearrange your recording. Some creators might also look for customizability or tools that let them add sound effects and transitions. 

For instance, if you’re looking for seamless and quick workflows, you could choose try Riverside's text-based video editor. Our editor generates highly accurate Ai transcriptions available in over 100 languages. Any text you delete in these transcriptions automatically cuts the matching audio and video in your recording. Plus, you can also use these transcriptions to navigate through your recording without rewatching anything. Simple as that, Riverside makes editing videos as easy as editing text-documents.

If you'd like more complex and advanced tools, you can take a look at software like Adobe Audition, or Premiere Pro.

FAQs on Recording Studio Equipment

What do I need to set up a home recording studio?

At the very minimum, you need a microphone, headphones, computer or laptop, a recording software, and a quiet environment to record in. 

How much does it cost to set up a small recording studio?

It can cost as much or as little as you want it to. A modest budget can be enough to kit yourself out with the absolute recording essentials: mic, headphones, computer and recording software. 

On the other end of the spectrum, you can go all out and spend a small fortune on the best in-line equipment. 

How many mics do I need for a home studio?

This depends on what kind of content you’re creating and with how many people. If you’re recording solo content, you’ll probably need one. If you invite multiple guests to your show, you might want to have a couple extra. 

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