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The Essential Podcast Equipment Checklist for Every Budget

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The Essential Podcast Equipment Checklist for Every Budget

Looking to create a podcast? Whether you plan to host alone or with co-hosts, you’ll need the right equipment to create a quality show that keeps your listeners coming back for more.

Before you invest in equipment, we’ve got all you need to know first. From microphones and shock mounts to podcast recording software, this essential checklist will walk you through the best podcast equipment for every budget. 


Pro Tip: Make a podcast budget

Before you go and buy expensive equipment, you’ll want to decide on a budget that works for you and your co-hosts. This will make it much easier when deciding which podcast equipment you actually need.

Even if you don’t have a lot to spend upfront, you can still strike a balance between cost and quality. Maybe you’ve been in the game for a while and can afford some pricey, high-tech equipment. If you just started, you may not need to invest so much upfront. Whichever the case, start off with a number that fits your budget. You can always upgrade and buy more as your audience grows.

Podcast Setup for 1, 2, 3, 4+ Hosts

Hosting with other people? Plan ahead before you purchase your podcast equipment. With a 2 or more person podcast, aim for equipment that supports multiple USB ports.

For podcasts with 1, 2, 3+ hosts, we recommend an XLR mic and headphones for each person. For a multi-person podcast, the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x headphones are the same for a single host or multiple hosts. Just get 2x, 3x, or 4x, whatever suits your needs. When you record with more than 1 USB, you’ll also need a USB interface or mixer that supports as many XLR mic connections as needed. Don’t forget the extra equipment for guests!

Microphones 

First off, you’ll need microphones for each host. When choosing your microphone, you’ve got two options that determine the sound quality: dynamic or condenser mic.

Don’t worry, you don’t need a studio to achieve quality sound. USB mics connect directly to your computer or any other power source with a USB input while XLR mics require an external power source. 


Pyle PDMICR42SL Classic Retro Microphone ($)

This dynamic microphone has a built-in pop filter to reduce popping noises. It uses an XLR connector. The unique, retro look makes it stand out from other mics at its price point.


ATR2100-USB ($)

The ATR2100-USB is a dynamic, handheld microphone that has both a USB and an XLR output. Since this mic plugs in directly into your computer, you can use it without any recording software. 


MXL 990 Condenser Microphone ($$)

The MXL 990 can produce professional sound quality for both digital and analog recordings. This mic has an XLR output. As an added bonus, it also comes with a shock mount, included in the price. 


Blue Yeti USB Mic ($$)

Blue Yeti has a reputation for its quality products that are affordable and easy to use. This mic is no different, and many podcasters swear by it.


Heil Sound PR 40 Dynamic Cardioid Studio Microphone ($$$)

Consider this option if you're looking for a full upgrade for your equipment. Though a little pricey, this stylish mic comes with a microphone arm and a shock mount. 

Hungry for more information? We wrote a guide to help you choose a podcast microphone


Video Cameras 

Adding a visual element to your podcast keeps listeners engaged and allows you to produce many types of entertaining content. You can find thousands of options when it comes to video cameras; the more you invest, the better quality you'll get.


Kicteck Full HD 1080p ($) 

New to podcasting? This camcorder is a nice place to start as you can get quality videos and images for a low price. Consider this camcorder if you don't want to invest much in video equipment upfront. 


Sony HDR-CX405/B ($$)

This camera suits beginners or those with a moderate level of experience. One of the great features of this camera is the record time—it will allow you to record uninterrupted for hours. 


Nikon COOLPIX B500 ($$$)

Consider the Nikon COOLPIX B500 if you’d like to upgrade and spend a little more on your video recording equipment. 

Looking for more information? We wrote a guide covering the best cameras for podcasting


Lighting 

Using cameras? You'll need lighting to make sure your listeners can see you (and that you look great, of course). 


Fancierstudio Lighting Kit 2400 Watt Professional Video Lighting Kit ($)

This affordable lighting kit will give you all of the basics you need to get started with your podcast setup.


Neewer 2 Packs Dimmable Bi-Color 480 LED Video Light and Stand Lighting Kit ($$)

The Neewer lighting kit gives you a range of lighting options using an LED panel that adjusts easily and suits different lighting needs.


GVM RGB LED Video Lighting Kit, 800D Studio Video Lights with APP Control ($$$)

You'll get complete control over how your viewers see you with this kit, which has eight different types of light and APP control. 

Headphones 

Up next: Headphones. This essential equipment for podcasters allows you to monitor and adjust the quality of the sound as you record. You'll also use them while editing your podcast. You can find great options for any budget.


Audio-Technica ATH-M30x ($)

Great for podcasters just starting out, these headphones give you excellent value for money, in that you get comfort and functionality at a low cost.


Shure SRH440 ($)

Another budget-friendly option, the Shure SRH440 headphones are well-reviewed and optimized work with many professional audio devices. 


Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO ($$)

If you seek comfort, these headphones should be at the top of your list. These versatile headphones connect to mobile, studio, and other audio devices. 


Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 ($$)

With noise blocking features, wired and Bluetooth options, and a long battery life, these headphones are a great investment, whether a beginner or advanced podcaster. 


Sony MDR1AM2/B ($$$)

When you’re ready for an upgrade, these lightweight headphones enable you to hear sounds across the entire spectrum that you may not catch with lower quality equipment. 


Mixers 

Not mandatory for a new podcast setup, but you may want to use a mixer if your show has multiple hosts or guests. Mixers also help when you plan to record different types of audio. When considering a mixer, pay attention to the number of channels it can accept, whether it includes preamps and its compatibility with other equipment. 


Behringer Xenyx 802 ($)

A great starter piece, this mixer suits new podcasters on a budget. It provides up to 8 inputs with noise-canceling features and two mic preamps. 


Allen & Heath ZEDi-10 ($$)

Allen & Heath have a range of quality mixers and this mid-level option has features that allow you to identify and eliminate low-frequency noise. This model also has four USB inputs and four USB outputs, which make it a good option if you use a lot of USB equipment. 


Rode RODECaster Pro ($$$)

Specifically designed for podcasters, the Rode RODECaster Pro provides excellent functionality. Make sure that you have a use for all of its features so that you're not paying for something you don't need. 

Consider buying a mixer but not sure if you need one? Read our guide about podcast mixers

Microphone Arm

You and your hosts don’t want to hold your microphone during the entire recording session. An arm will prop up your mic. It also prevents extra sound and alternating volume levels from a mic moving around. Try these for your podcast setup:


TONOR Studio Suspension Scissor Boom Arm ($)

For those just starting out, this mic arm will get the job done. It's adjustable and comes with adapters so that it works with various microphones and shock mounts.


Gator Frameworks Deluxe Desk-Mounted Broadcast Microphone Boom Stand ($$)

This microphone arm adjusts 360 degrees while producing minimal noise. This durable microphone equipment mounts to all sizes of desks and tables. 


CUIJU Adjustable Microphone Arm ($$$)

The CUIJU Adjustable Microphone Arm mounts to any surface or can stand alone with the provided mic stand. It adjusts easily and locks into place to keep it still while recording. It also comes with a shock mount. 


Shock Mount

The shock mount attaches the microphone to the microphone arm. While recording, it holds the microphone steady and prevents unwanted noise in your recording. 


LyxPro MKS1-B Condenser Spider Microphone Shockmount ($)

The LyxPro MKS1-B is designed for condenser mics and has built-in anti-vibration and isolation features that will reduce unwanted noise. This shock mount provides great value at a low price point.


Sabra Som SSM-1 ($$)

You can use this adjustable shock mount with any type of microphone, and it fits all mic diameters up to 2". 


Rycote 44901 Invision USM ($$$)

This is another universal shock mount that works with any type of mic. The unique shape prevents microphones from recording unwanted noise from mics moving around. 


Audio Interface

An audio interface allows you to connect other hardware, like your microphone and camera, so that different inputs can connect to your computer. While not necessary, it can simplify your recording process.


Midiplus Smartface II Audio Interface ($)

This audio interface works with most computer operating systems and will provide beginners with basic features needed for podcast setup. 


Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface Bundle ($$)

Though a little pricey, this bundle is a great value because of all of the equipment that you get in addition to the audio interface itself.


MOTU 8pre USB ($$$)

Best for those looking to upgrade podcast equipment, the MOTU 8pre has as many as 16 inputs. 

Read our guide about podcast mixers to help you choose between an audio interface and an audio mixer


Portable Digital Recorder 

Not necessary for the initial podcast setup, a portable digital recorder makes sense if you record audio on the go. 


ZHKUVE Rechargeable Sound Audio Recorder ($)

This portable recorder plugs directly into a USB port to easily transfer audio files. 


GH DYNAMICS Voice Activated Recorder ($$)

This recorder gives high-quality audio in WAV format, compatible with almost any device, and provides great value for its cost.


DYW Portable Digital Voice Recorder ($$$)

Anyone who plans on doing a lot of on the go interviewing should consider investing in this recorder. It's simple to use and has noise reduction features. 


Podcast Recording Software

Put podcast recording software at the top of your list. The right software can take your show from ehh to great. When deciding on podcast software, consider how much editing you plan on doing, your experience level with computer software, and as always, how much you want to spend. You can find software for every budget, including some free options. 


Audacity (Free) 

Audacity is a great choice if you're new to podcasting. You can sign up for free, however, you won't get some of the features offered by other podcast software.


GarageBand (Free)

Ideal for beginners, this free software supports basic edits. You can move different audio segments around in the order you'd prefer.


Adobe Audition ($)

This podcast equipment offers a decent range of control over editing audio. Though it's packed with great features for the price, this option is recommended for those with experience as it can take a while to learn how to use. 


Riverside.fm ($)

Riverside.fm is an excellent choice for beginners or advanced users. The software supports both audio and video tracks. You only pay for what you need as you can choose between multiple subscription options that work for all budgets. 


Hindenburg Journalist ($$$)

This pricey software suits professional podcasters and radio journalists. Consider investing in this if you already have a well-established show. 


Pro Tip: Make sure audio sounds clear

When you look at the top shows on Spotify or iTunes, what do they all have in common? Quality audio. all of them have one thing in common: quality audio. No one wants to sit through a podcast full of background noise, popping sounds. or fuzziness. You can deliver a clear, professional-sounding podcast when you use the right recording software.

Podcast Hosting

Hosting gives your podcast a “home”, a place to store and share your show with listeners. You can find many services, both free and paid, that will host your audio files so that your listeners can download and stream them. Hosting also allows listeners to subscribe, which helps build your audience.

Free podcast hosts include Soundcloud and Buzzsprout. Beginners can use these free services and eventually upgrade as needed. Buzzsprout plans range from $12/month to $24/month. Meanwhile, Soundcloud has monthly plans for $4.99/month and $9.99/month. 

Live Streaming

If you plan on live streaming your show, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch all provide free live streaming capabilities that you can monetize through sponsorships if your show becomes successful. 

Enable Offline Download

Many podcast listeners want the option to download their favorite shows and listen even when offline. Check with the podcast hosting company that you're considering to make sure they offer this feature. 

Read our step-by-step guide for easy uploading of your show to any podcast directory

Wrap Up

The right podcast equipment gives you the tools to launch your show. Start off with budget-friendly microphones, headphones, and recording software. As you grow your audience, you can always upgrade with enhanced tools, like visuals and portable mics. Just a little investment can go a long way to making your podcast setup a success.

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