Top 10 Mics for Podcasting in 2020

What is the right microphone for podcasting? The question is not to answer. There are tons of options in the market, and choosing the right microphone for your podcast depends on various factors. So before listing the top 10 mic’s for podcasting, let’s start with the aspects that will guide your decision.

What to consider while choosing a microphone for podcasting?

  • MONEY – It all starts with your budget and how much you are willing to pay for a mic. Keep in mind that cheap microphones don’t mean bad quality. Some good affordable mics offer good quality. So it is really up to you!
  • USB Vs. XLR – You should decide early on which type of mic you are looking for based on the other hardware you. USB microphones are mostly affordable, and they offer a significant advantage, which is “convenience.” All you need to do is to plug the mic into your computer, and you are good to go. On the other side, XLR mics require phantom power, so you usually need to connect them to an audio interface or microphone preamp. So this makes XLR mics have an additional gadget to carry, which means harder mobility. However, XLR mics offer tremendous flexibility in controlling granular settings through the preamp interface, leading to better recording quality.
  • Add-ons – Depending on the type of mic you choose, you may need to consider some add-ons like a mic stand, shock mount, pop filter, and so on. Some brands may include such accessories in the package, some may not, and in this scenario, you will need to spend more money.

So thinking about these factors will help ease the process of choosing a microphone for your podcast.

TOP 10 Mics for podcasting

Samson Q2U

For a mic that is under 100 USD, Samson Q2U is worthy of your consideration. This mic has both a USB and XLR interface. You can directly plug it into your computer and start recording or get a bit fancy and connect it to an audio interface for more control.
Samson Q2U is a dynamic microphone, which means minimal background noise while offering a crisp and clear audio quality, which is very handy if you record live interviews in noisy places.

Audio-Technica ATR2100

That is another budget winner! The ATR2100 is very similar to the Q2U. It also can be connected by USB and XLR. It is a dynamic mic. So you will enjoy excellent audio quality with minimal background noise. However, the ATR2100 is slightly more expensive than the Q2U. Your choice between them depends on your budget and which one of them you think looks better!

MXL 990

If you want to get into condenser microphones, MXL 990 is an excellent affordable option. Usually priced around 70 bucks, it offers fantastic value for money. However, since it is a condenser mic, you need to be more careful with noise in the recording environment as it will pick up sound from all directions. And since it is an XLR mic, you will need to connect it through an audio interface or a mixer.

The Heil PR40

The Heil PR40 gained a lot of popularity among musicians. Thus, many podcasters see it as an excellent choice because it can capture a wide range of frequencies, making it respond well to the entire frequency range of human vocals.
It is a dynamic mic, and you know that this means excellent recording quality with minimal background noise.  All of these features don’t come cheap. So if you can afford it, go for it.

Electro-Voice RE-20

If you want to get to a high level of microphones, the RE-20 is a good starting point. It is an excellent mic that captures sound flawlessly, making your recording sound as if it was processed.
But as mentioned above, this quality isn’t cheap, the RE-20 costs north of 400 bucks. That doesn’t include any additional accessories needed for operation.

The Rode NT1-A

The Rode NT1-A will take you to the pro-level. This mic is a super-low noise XLR microphone that will enrich your voice.
But as mentioned above, this quality isn’t cheap, the RE-20 costs north of 400 bucks. That doesn’t include any additional accessories needed for operation.
It is an expensive option, but it comes with a shock mount and a pop filter included in the package. So you have to buy a mic stand to complete the setup

The Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti is a fantastic choice due to the versatility it offers. Thanks to the three different condenser capsules it has, you may use it to record a group of people at once, or use it to record a two-person interview or simply use it for solo recording.
Also, you can use it for recording indoors or outdoors. And believe it or not! You can connect it via USB or XLR. But you have to keep in mind that the Blue yeti is not cheap at all. So you need to weigh your options carefully.

Shure SMb7

You may have seen the SMb7 used by some of the most renowned podcasters like Joe Rogan or many more. Many podcasters love the SMb7 simply because it is the Roll Royce of mics.
However, this mic is super sensitive. So the recording environment is very critical here. You need somewhere with minimal background noise etc.
If you got all of this figured out and can afford it, the SMb7 is an excellent choice.

Rode Podcaster

Not only this mic is from Rode, but also it is named “Podcaster”. It is a bespoke tool for podcasting that you can connect via USB and has a built-in on-body volume control.
And it has a headphone outlet built on the mic. That is a convenient feature that will help monitor the volume in real-time. The only drawback is that no accessories included in the package. So you will have to put aside some extra cash for the shock mount, pop filter, and mic stand.

Rode smartLav+

We put this mic on our list, especially for those who like to record on-the-go. The Smartlav+ is a capable microphone made for smartphones, which will make your recordings sound good with no need for added equipment.
And if you are an iOS user, you can record using the Rode Rec App which is a very easy to use and capable application.

All of the microphones mentioned above will help you produce excellent sound quality for your podcast. The choice is now up to you. You need to consider your budget and recording setup.
And always remember that cheap microphones do not mean inferior quality. Of course, if you can afford a top-notch mic, go for it. ENJOY PODCASTING!

This post was authored by our wonderful interns who joined us on May 1 2020 to learn from and help Podcast Inc grow. The authors of this article are Ibrahim ElShamy from Egypt,