Podcast Microphone: The Best Audio Bang for Your Buck
At the moment, podcasts are riding a huge wave of popularity, and they only seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Caught up in this podcast hysteria are everyone from comedians, journalists, teachers of all sorts, and pretty much anyone with an opinion and a microphone. If you already have the opinion or know-how, but are lacking the mic, we’re here to help out with that. Today we are discussing the best microphones to use for podcasts, from cheaper ones for beginners, to top-of-the-line models for the seasoned pro. If you’d like to begin podcasting, this article on the basics of starting a podcast, along with this course on the step-by-step specifics of the process, should get you started on the right foot.
These mics are for those just starting out, and aren’t quite sure if the podcasting thing is going to stick. If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment, there are a few options out there that not only won’t break the bank, but are easy to use, quite portable, and most importantly, sound pretty good. New to podcasting and want to learn to use iTunes? This course on creating a podcast with iTunes will show you the step-by-step process.
- Samson Go Mic ($40): This handy little microphone can clip to your laptop or sit upright on a desk, and also includes a headphone output jack, should you want to listen to yourself. It also is multi-use and has two different pickup patterns, allowing for great flexibility.
- Blue Microphones Snowflake ($59): A portable little microphone that comes with its own stand, the Snowflake sometimes picks up background sound a bit too easily, but otherwise this easy-to-use and versatile mic is great for the podcasting novice.
If you enjoy podcasting, but aren’t quite up to the task of dropping $300 on a microphone, but still want to upgrade from your smaller beginner mic, these mid-range microphones might be what you’re looking for. If you’re getting better at podcasting, but still hit some speed bumps, this course on planning podcast will show you the proper way.
- Blue Microphone Snowball ($99): Another Blue product, the Snowball allows the user to switch between omnidirectional (all-around sound) and cardioid (in front) sound sources. A bit bigger than its baby bro the Snowflake, this mic isn’t quite as portable, and is meant to sit on a desk in its custom-built tripod.
- Samson G-Track ($119): This large-diaphragm condenser mic is a very popular model. This USB mic plugs directly into your computer, and even comes with 64-track recording software to help in the recording process.
- Yeti Stereo ($149): The Yeti is about a foot tall, and weighs about three pounds, and is meant, like the Snowball, to be kept relatively stationary. This THX-rated mic allows for not only cardioid and omnidirectional sound, but also bidirectional and stereo modes, as well. The Yeti also comes with a headphone jack, so you can really appreciate the depth of sound from it. Some consider this to be the best podcasting microphone out there.
These microphones are the cream of the crop, and are going to set you back several hundred dollars. They are for those who are serious about podcasting, and have a budget to back it up.
- Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone ($327): This dynamic microphone allows for a natural midrange, as well as the ability to capture high sound pressure levels (SPLs), as well as frequencies as low as 28 Hz. Another feature of the PR-40 is the dual pop screen design that prevents breath blasts from hitting the mic’s diaphragm directly.
- Shure SM7B Microphone ($349): Designed specifically for the spoken word, this brand of mic was used on Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, so surely it’s good enough for your podcast! It adds body to thin vocals, and mellows harsher voices, as well. This mic also emphasizes the mid-range, and its multitudinous other features make it a great microphone choice for the most professional of podcast operations.
Hopefully you can find the microphone that works best for your budget and fits any other specific needs you may have for your podcast. If you’re just starting out, you surely won’t want to go broke, but the microphone is one thing you don’t want to skimp on, and if the podcasting thing doesn’t work out, you can always start a band to get good use out of the mic. If you’d like to learn how to make money from your podcast, and perhaps pay for your mic, this course on the podcast blueprint will show you how to earn money from your passion.
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