Scouting for some best podcasting equipment for beginners? This guide has the best review that will help you make better decisions. Starting with a podcast can seem quite daunting due to the vast array of equipment you might need. However, you don’t need them all to get started; you can continually expand later on if you need to upgrade.
The two essential things that you need to have before getting started with a podcast are a microphone and a PC/laptop. There is various other equipment that you can purchase depending on how your podcast is supposed to be.
If you’re planning on having multiple guests, you may need a couple more things to proceed. Depending on the environment and the number of guests you plan to have on your podcast can drastically change your requirements.
We are here to guide you in choosing the best equipment regardless of how you plan to conduct your podcast.
Best Podcasting Equipment for Beginners- Buyer’s Review
We will list all the podcasting equipment that you need or can upgrade to in the future if you want to.
You need a computer to record, edit, mix, master, and upload the files you record during your podcast sessions. You don’t need a particular computer just for podcasting; whichever one you might have should be good enough for the job.
However, if you are looking for an upgrade, we have got a few recommendations that might help you out. Choosing a PC or laptop for podcasting depends on which DAW ( Digital Audio Workstation ) you use. Some DAWs are very resource-intensive and might need a powerful PC.
We will talk about DAWs in detail further on in the article. Let’s look at some of our top picks for PCs and laptops for podcasting.
If you’re comfortable with windows, then the Dell XPS is a powerhouse of a laptop. If you require a top-end specification laptop, you should go for the XPS 17, which features a thin and extremely lightweight design with an 11th gen core-i7 processor, NVIDIA GTX 3060 GPU, and 32GB of RAM.
This is also a good option if you move around a lot for your podcasts and don’t have a stationary place.
- MacBook Air
For people who are more comfortable with macOS, the MacBook Air is an excellent option. It is extremely thin, sleek, and lightweight. The new MacBooks come equipped with the latest M1 chip, which can run even the most resource-intensive tasks with relative ease.
You can also go for the MacBook Pro if you can increase your budget by a couple of hundred dollars. The only difference between the two is that you get a touch bar in the MacBook Pro, which can be an intuitive way to handle creative apps.
Having a good quality microphone is quintessential to a podcast. You want your voice to be clear, persuasive, and something in which the listeners can indulge themselves. There are various microphones available, depending on how you produce your podcast.
If you plan on having multiple people on your podcast, you’d want to go with an XLR microphone. Otherwise, for single-person podcasts, a USB microphone will do just fine.
The difference between XLR and USB microphones is that XLR microphones allow more versatility; you can connect multiple microphones via an audio interface. A USB microphone is suited only when there is a single voice talking.
Here are some best USB microphones:
The Blue Yeti is one of the most popular and best USB microphones available. The unique feature of this microphone is that it has four different polar patterns to choose from: cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and stereo.
This allows you to adjust where the mic picks up the sound from on the go, making it very versatile and easy to use. Moreover, it also has a 3.5mm audio jack for real-time audio playback with no latency. This means you can instantly hear whatever you’re saying through headphones without any delay.
As this is a USB microphone, you don’t need any particular interface or software to use it. Just plug it into your laptop or PC, and you’re ready to record.
The MV7 from Shure is one of the most famous and well-known microphones for podcasting. It features both XLR and USB inputs, making it extremely easy to use even for beginners.
It features Shure’s proprietary voice isolation technology, which keeps the mic focused on the speaker’s voice with laser precision. Furthermore, the microphone’s audio quality is unparalleled.
The ShurePlus MOTIV app is also a big winner. It allows for superior control over the voice and output of the mic with features such as auto-level mode, which lets the MV7 adjust your levels in real-time without you having to do anything.
Here are some best XLR microphones:
Despite being expensive, the SM7B is a legendary microphone. It has become the standard against which all other microphones are judged because it is just that good. The sound is phenomenal, and the mic also has a completely flat frequency response, which means that the signals the mic receives are balanced without punctuating any specific frequency.
This makes the audio-recorded sound very natural even after post-processing. Joe Rogan uses the SM7B on his podcast, and even Michael Jackson’s mic of choice was the original SM7.
The NT1-A is a condenser microphone with excellent dynamic range; this microphone is an all-rounder as it can work for vocals and instruments just as well as it does for the spoken word.
The voice recorded on the NT1-A exhibits exceptional clarity and warmth, making it suitable for podcasts. Moreover, it has a high SPL capacity which means you can scream and shout into the mic without the sounds being distorted.
3. Audio Interface
An audio interface is a bridge between your mic and computer; it converts analogue signals into digital signals. They also route the audio from the mic to your headphones. They are instrumental when you need to record multiple voices or sounds.
Here are two of our top picks for the best audio interfaces.
The Scarlett 2i2 is built to deliver high-quality sound. It has two microphone preamps and one headphone or studio-monitor output.
The 8i6 is the costlier version of the 2i2, featuring two microphone inputs with four additional inputs, making six microphones that can be connected simultaneously. It also includes speaker and headphone controls along with digital input and output.
4. Pop filters
Windscreens or pop filters are necessary as they help prevent pops and plosives, which can cause a microphone to peak and overload. Some mics come bundled with a pop filter or have an inbuilt one, but you might have to purchase one out of your pocket for other mics.
We recommend these filters for the best protection against pops and plosives.
The MPF-6 is one of the cheapest and most popular windscreens out there. Despite its low cost, it performs exceptionally well and offers excellent value for its price. It does an excellent job of attenuating pops and ensuring your audio is clean and clear.
This is a professional quality windscreen with proprietary technology to diffuse the air downwards away from the microphone. The metal screen is six inches and works phenomenally, and the gooseneck is very sturdy as well.
During podcasts, you need headphones as they reduce errors and retakes. You can hear everything you’re saying clearly through the headphones, which might be a little weird for beginners, but you get used to it pretty soon.
You want to use closed-back headphones as open headphones bleed sound that the mic might pick up.
Here are our top picks for headphones.
The M20X is the most affordable yet competent headphones for podcasting. They deliver a clear and balanced sound while also being very comfortable to wear for an extended period.
The SRH1540 are premium closed-back headphones from Shure that deliver superior acoustic performance, durability, and comfort. They have massive 40mm neodymium drivers that provide an expansive soundstage and crisp sound.
6. DAW ( Digital Audio Workstation )
Various types of DAWs are available in the market; while all of them perform the same task, the ease of use and features differentiate them.
Here are the two DAWs that we recommend.
Pro Tools is the industry standard for DAWs. It was also the first DAW released in 1984. Using it can get a little complicated for beginners, but there’s nothing better to upgrade to once you get the hang of it.
- Studio One Prime
Studio One Prime offers many features, even in the free version. The effects in the free version are the same as the ones in the professional line. Unlike Pro Tools, the learning curve for this software is much lower, and it is pretty user-friendly.
7. Headphone Amplifier
A headphone amplifier allows multiple headphones to connect to a single device. This is required when there are multiple people on your podcast.
We recommend these two headphone amps for the best performance.
The Behringer Powerplay HA6000 is a professional multi-purpose headphone amp with six high-powered individual amps and six stereo mixes. It produces a very clean and balanced sound with minimal fuss.
The Art Headamp 4 features one stereo input and four stereo outputs with individual controls so the outputs’ levels can be easily controlled.
8. Mic Stand
The angle and orientation of your microphone matter a lot when recording audio. You want the microphone to be 4-12 inches away from your face, not closer or farther. A mic stand or boom will help achieve your microphone’s proper angle and orientation.
Following are our recommendations for some boom arms and stands for your microphone.
The Heil PL-2T is a speedy and easy-to-set-up boom stand that takes just under two minutes. The boom arm is 20 inches long, allowing for better reach and versatility. It also rotates 360 degrees so you can place your mic however you want, and it also comes with a plastic channel that runs along the length of the arm to hide the cables.
This microphone stand comes with an adjustable height, a cast-iron base, and an anti-vibration rubber material to prevent the mic from picking up unwanted noises.
We hope this article gave you some idea of where to start and how to choose the right equipment for your podcast. We have mentioned all the things you could need to get started with a podcast; keep in mind you don’t need all of these things, but you can definitely buy them in the future if the need arises.
Everyone has different needs and requirements, and you should choose your starter kit depending on what you want to gain from podcasting using the guide on best podcasting equipment for beginners.