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Best Affordable Microphones for Starting a Podcast


Best Affordable Microphones for Starting a Podcast

Looking to start a show, but stuck on finding the right equipment? While you can certainly spend multiple thousands of dollars on a professional recording studio, you’d be surprised at how quick and easy (and cheap!) it can be to get yourself a simple, professional-sounding set-up. To prove it, here are a few episodes from some of our favorite hosts, alongside the equipment that they use.


That was fun? With Addison and Sheri with Kourtney Kardashian - Neumann TLM 102

In this episode, Addison and Sheri invite the storied Kourtney Kardashian onto their show to discuss what is was like to leave Keeping up with the Kardashians behind after 20 years. Of course, they're using a set of Neumann TLM 102 microphones. These all-around reliable mics bring the signature Neumann clarity and quality at a an affordable price point of $799. Boasting high SPL and Decibel ratings, these microphones are great at capturing everything from a casual conversation to a live band. 


Tales: Snow White Pt 1 - Heil PR30 and MXL V63M


Hailing from the Parcast home studios, the twisted fairytales from the Tales series are typically recorded on either the Heil PR30 ($259) or the MXL V63M ($89). Though these mics may not be able to handle the high decibel levels like the Neumann series, they come at a much more affordable price point, and are more than capable of capturing the smooth mid-tones of a compelling horror story. If you're looking to try out a mic for your first solo show, these mics are a great place to start. 


The Colin and Samir Show - Procaster Mic + Rode Mixer


Your first microphone is a big decision, but it isn't the only one that you'll make. Depending on the setup you choose, you'll likely need an audio interface or a mixer to process the audio from your microphone. Always a stable and reliable name in the audio game, the Rode brand produces the sturdy combo of the Procaster Mic and Rodecaster Mixer make for a great one-two punch of solid and versatile equipment. Not only does the Rodecast Mixer have 4 microphone inputs with individual volume and level controls for each, but it also allows you to connect a smart phone to it as well to facilitate remote calls and show guests. If you're creating a show like Colin and Samir that has multiple hosts and often welcomes guests, this is a must. 


A Girl and Her Mother-in-Law - Blue Yeti USB mic


If you're looking to start a bit simpler, the Blue Yeti Microphone is the gold standard of starter microphones. Because it plugs directly into your computer via USB, there's no need to include a mixer or audio interface in your cart to get started. Add the feature to monitor your levels by plugging headphones directly into the microphone, and you've got an all-in-one, plug-and-play solution for about $130. Convenient as they may be, Blue Yeti microphones can tend to pick up alot of sound in a room, so be sure that you're recording in a quiet spot! Check out the hilarious Mother-and-Daughter-in-Law duo Allisa and Geri from A Girl and her Mother-In-Law for an example of how this one sounds. 


Cultivating H.E.R. Space - Blue Snowball Microphone


The beautiful thing about podcasting is just how easy it can be to start recording. While Dr. Dom and Terri Lomax begun their show with a pair of Blue Snowball Microphones ($40), they often record remotely with some smart phone-based lapel mics, like the Rode SmartLav. These mics are great for starting a show on a budget, but they can also be a useful solution for hosts who are on the move, or who need to interview people in places outside the studio. If you don't have a studio set up quite yet or you're constantly on the move, either of these microphones are a great option. 


So, that should be enough to help you on your way to your first episode. What else would you like to know about? Editing software? Best-practices and techniques for talking into a microphone? We've got advice a-plenty, so feel free to let us know what you'd like to hear about next down below. 

5 Replies

this is cool!

I have a blue snowball!

Oo I got the Audio Technica2020 myself-- about $100 and sounds great. Looking at that Rode Procaster tho 😎

I got the Marantz Professional MPM-2000U - which like the Blue Yeti is a USB plug and play mic. It's reasonably priced (lower than Yeti) but is much better at removing background noise, with a tight cardioid pickup pattern (picks up sound from front, then sides, lower for the rear). I love it!

Starting a podcast doesn't have to break the bank, and there are some fantastic affordable microphone options out there. It's incredible how you can achieve professional-quality sound without a hefty price tag.

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