Scouting for the best podcasting microphones in 2023 Here’s all that you need to know. Podcasting has become very prevalent in recent years and is growing fast. At the time of its introduction, some critics and people, in general, are concerned that it might not be a viable means of audio consumption.
It would likely stagnate over the years, while others speculated that it might be the end of radio as we know it. The truth speaks for itself; podcasts have become almost viral. The US sees a 16% rise in people listening to podcasts yearly.
Moreover, if you’re looking to get started on a podcast or already have one but need to upscale your equipment, we have just the thing for you. You don’t need a lot of things to get started with a podcast except a microphone and a computer, the former being essential as you need to have good audio quality for listeners to be wholly immersed in your podcasts without any unwanted noise or disturbances.
Top 13 Best Podcasting Microphones Available in 2023
We have created an in-depth article about microphones, which ones to buy, why you should pick them, and all the necessary details. So, here are our picks for the best podcasting microphones in 2022.
Shure is one of the most respected brands in the audio sector, and the Shure MV7 is one powerhouse of a microphone. It features both USB and XLR inputs for versatility, and the audio quality is exceptional, as expected from Shure.
It also has many extra features peppered throughout, such as Shure’s proprietary voice isolation technology, which keeps the device laser-focused on your voice to deliver studio-quality audio without any unwanted noise or disturbance.
Suppose you’re using the microphone via USB. In that case, you can download the ShurePlus MOTIV app for your desktop, allowing you to access additional features such as auto-level mode. Select your preferred voice tone and distance from the mic, and let the Shure MV7 adjust your levels in real-time to provide consistent output.
You can also use manual mode to access mic gain, monitor mix, EQ, limiter, compressor, etc.
- Solid design and build quality.
- It is versatile regarding usage as it features both XLR and USB connections.
- Amazing sound quality.
- The limiter in Shure’s software requires improvement.
The Rode PodMic is a broadcast-quality, dynamic microphone. Despite its relatively small size, it is still one of the best microphones optimized for podcasts, live streams, interviews, and any vocal application.
Furthermore, it has an in-built pop filter to minimize plosives and an internal shock mount to reduce vibrations. As this microphone was made for podcasts and other similar vocal applications, the sound quality is impressive right out of the box without much tuning.
However, Rode PodMic requires an XLR connection as it won’t connect directly to a laptop or PC. The microphone is cheap enough to buy an interface or a separate stand.
- The internal pop filter works well and does an excellent job of preventing plosives.
- The sound quality is exceptional.
- It is affordable.
- It does not come included with a stand.
- Only an XLR connection is available.
The Neuman BCM 705 is a dynamically poised microphone with a hyper-cardioid polar pattern tucked nicely inside an all-aluminum body. This mic is designed keeping that ‘American’ announcer voice in mind, making it perfect for podcasts and other spoken word applications.
The microphone features an internal foam that protects it from pops, smoke, nicotine, dirt, and moisture. Moreover, its frequency range is tailored for the human voice with a low end of 200Hz and two boosts at 5kHz and 8kHz, enhancing speech intelligibility and clarity.
The BCM 705 also comes with an XLR-only connection, so you must have an interface beforehand to connect the microphone.
- Smooth FM broadcast tone.
- The internal pop and shock mount perform well and offer protection from vibrations and plosives.
- The hyper-cardioid pattern makes it suitable for close speech.
- Not an all-rounder mic, but it works well for the spoken word.
The SM7 microphones from Shure have been in production since the late 70s, and for a good reason. These microphones have been the standard against which all other mics are judged; they do one thing brilliantly, making the voice-recorded sound exceptional.
Michael Jackson’s mic of choice used to be the original SM7 microphone, and even Joe Rogan uses the SM7B on his podcast. So it’s safe to say this microphone has some history behind it.
It also has a flat frequency response, which means that the frequencies it receives are all utterly flat without emphasizing any of them. So, when the audio is processed, it sounds just as natural as recorded.
However, Shure SM7B does not have accessories except a wind filter. So, you’ll need to purchase stands and other filters yourself.
- Brilliant sound quality.
- It works well in loud environments and spaces that aren’t ideal for recording.
- Built-in pop filter.
- Only an XLR connection is available.
- It does not come with anything other than the microphone and a wind filter out of the box.
The M 70 Pro X is a dynamic microphone, perfect for podcasts, streamers, and YouTubers. It delivers a powerful, speech-optimized sound that sounds rich and full. While speaking close to the mic, it offers a hearty and deep, beautiful tone.
They perform well in challenging acoustic environments due to a cardioid polar pattern without compromising clarity and quality. Beyerdynamic M 70 Pro X has a shock mount and a pop filter to attenuate the popping sounds.
- The sound quality is impressive and reliable.
- The inbuilt foam and the pop filter provide optimum protection from dust and plosives.
- Included shock mount and pop filter,
- Only an XLR connection is available.
The Rode NT1-A is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with an extended dynamic range and a high SPL capability. You can shout and scream at the top of your lungs without the voice getting distorted.
This product is a proper all-rounder microphone, as it works just as well for singing and recording instruments as it does for the spoken word. The NT1-A exhibits stunning clarity and warmth; it makes your voice sound silky and smooth, bringing every word to life.
The microphone also comes with a studio-grade SM6 shock mount and an internal pop filter for a clean and plosive-free experience. Furthermore, this microphone is one of the quietest in the world, with a self-noise of just 5dB. Hence, it ensures that every nuance and subtlety is recorded with maximum precision.
- Stunning sound quality and clarity.
- Extremely silent microphone.
- The shock mount and pop filter, which are included, do a fantastic job of reducing vibrations and plosives.
- Only an XLR connection is available, making it difficult for beginners to set up.
The AT2040 from Audio-Technica is based on one of the top-selling broadcast microphones, the BP40. The AT2040 is a podcasting microphone with a multi-stage windscreen and a hyper-cardioid polar pattern. It provides maximum voice isolation and focuses on your voice with optimal precision.
The multi-stage foam mesh windscreen and the inbuilt pop filter attenuate pops and hisses effectively. Moreover, the mic also comes with a studio-grade shock mount that prevents vibrations and noises transmitted through the boom or the mic stand.
The microphone sounds phenomenal even in acoustic environments, which aren’t ideal. It minimizes background noise and has a soothing warm, and hearty broadcast tone that you recognize.
- Extremely smooth audio capture with a warm and beautiful tone to it.
- It features robust construction with no external power requirements.
- It is well suited for sonically untreated rooms.
- The internal shock mount is not up to the mark.
The RE20 has been a popular choice among broadcasters for years and is just as famous among podcasters. The most surprising feature of this microphone is the 180-degree off-axis rejection, which exhibits a natural, full-bodied, and warm sound.
The RE20 features a unique Variable-D technology that significantly enhances the microphone’s tonal performance.
It is also well known for its immunity to proximity sounds; by controlling the microphone’s proximity effect. RE20 does not lose any clarity or definition in the voice, even if the sound source is closer to the microphone. This specification makes it ideal for tight vocals and instruments.
However, it is a low-sensitivity microphone and requires a good amount of gain. Depending on your setup, you might need a cloud lifter, a low-noise mic booster that offers 25dB of clean boost.
- Excellent 180-degree off-axis rejections
- The unique Variable-D technology minimizes proximity effects for a clean and consistent sound.
- The frequency range suits the human vocal range, bringing out a rich and deep sound.
- It is a relatively quiet microphone and might require you to pick up a cloud lifter.
The Blue Yeti has become one of the most affordable and well-performing microphones globally. It is a studio-quality USB microphone, which surprisingly does an excellent job.
The proprietary tri-capsule technology offers four pattern modes: cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional, and bidirectional for any and all vocal applications.
This microphone is well suited for podcasting, streaming, YouTube, and recording vocals and instruments. The Yeti also comes equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack, which allows you to hear what you’re recording in real time without any noticeable latency.
Moreover, the microphone now comes with Blue Voice software, which features a suite of broadcast-quality vocal effects, filters, and other settings, including low cut, voice EQ, noise reduction, de-esser, de-popper, compressor, and noise gate and limiter.
- Very user-friendly and easy to use.
- Features USB connection.
- Four distinct polar patterns for versatility.
- Picks up a lot of background noise.
AKG has been a household brand for recording artists, singers, and broadcasters for decades. The C414 comes in two models, XLS and XLII; the difference is that the XLII adds a 3kHz boost that sounds better for female voices.
The C414 is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with nine different polar patterns; with the flip of a switch, you can select between five primary polar patterns or use four blended options between the five primary patterns.
It also has a handy feature; when the microphone detects peak overloads or clippings, an LED strip will switch from green to red, indicating the slightest distortions. This feature is extremely useful when recording loud instruments.
Switching between so many polar patterns makes this microphone very versatile. The sound quality is fantastic, focusing heavily on shimmering clarity and character.
- Superb sound clarity and response.
- The nine different polar patterns make this microphone a desirable option.
- Convenient LED features to determine clipping and peak overloading.
- The microphone is quite prone to the proximity effect.
The Neumann U87 Ai is an industry favorite with quite a bit of history. It is also sometimes referred to as every engineer’s second favorite microphone due to its wide array of applications.
The U87 Ai is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with three distinct polar patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-8. The microphone has become the gold standard for vocal applications due to its unwavering linearity and character.
A trained ear can instantly pick up on the Neumann U87s sound, as the sound has a certain charisma despite being flat and natural. However, the U87 Ai is also one of the most expensive microphones on this list, costing almost 4000$.
- It is a versatile microphone for speaking, singing, and recording instruments.
- Subtle yet distinct and recognizable sound with a solid track record of over five decades.
- Each Neumann U87 is handbuilt, making every single piece effectively flawless.
- The only downfall of this microphone is its exorbitant price.
The Samson Q9U is a sturdy and robust microphone due to its cast metal chassis, giving it a premium in-hand feel. It also features USB and XLR inputs, making it easier for beginners to use.
No special software or setup is required for this microphone; it is a plug-and-play type of mic. It has a cardioid polar pattern, focusing sensitivity on the front of the microphone, making it suitable for streamers and podcasters while having good rejection at the sides and rear.
Moreover, the Q9U also has various equalization and vocal enhancement toggles located at the rear of the mic, making tuning the sound on the go effortless. However, this microphone suffers heavily from the proximity effect. To avoid sounding boxy, speak into the Q9U 4-12 inches away from the microphone.
- Relatively affordable price.
- Both USB and XLR connections make it a very versatile mic for beginners and pros alike.
- Robust build and premium feel in hand.
- Quite prone to the proximity effect.
The NEOM USB is the only microphone on the list compatible with all operating systems like mac, windows, iOS, and Android. The NEOM features a 16mm cardioid capsule to focus only on your voice without any ambient disturbance or noise.
The NEOM also features an intuitive monitor and gain controls with bright input-level LEDs integrated into the knobs for quick adjustments.
Furthermore, the mic is extremely easy to use and requires no special software or drivers. It also has a very flat frequency response with tiny bumps around 120Hz and around 12kHz, making it ideal for podcasting, streaming, or recording Youtube videos.
- Sturdy and robust build quality.
- Very versatile across all platforms and operating systems.
- Handy inbuilt LED features in the adjustment knobs.
- No internal pop filter or shock mount.
How to Choose the Best Microphone for You?
Choosing a microphone can become a task if you don’t know your requirements or what you’re looking for. Suppose you plan on recording a single person in a static environment like a room while using a laptop or a tablet as a hub. In that case, this will play a significant role in deciding the right microphone.
Similarly, if you aim to record multiple people and sounds, you must choose a different setup. So, it all depends on how you plan to use the microphone and where you will use it to determine the right purchase for you.
You should consider a few things before deciding on a new mic.
- Do you need a USB or XLR microphone?
This would be an excellent place to start as you need to decide what type of connection you need for your setup. Let’s see what these terms mean and how they affect the microphone.
XLR: The External Line Return (XLR) is a type of three-pin connector used in professional studio equipment to pass large currents safely to the equipment. It facilitates high-quality audio as they send a very balanced signal, isolating noise and disturbance.
You should look into XLR mics if you’re recording audio professionally, as they offer more options.
However, you need an audio interface to connect the XLR cable as they don’t connect directly to laptops or PCs.
USB: USB mics were made easy to use and follow and usually follow a plug-and-play architecture. You don’t need any special software or drivers, just connect the mic to a laptop, PC, or tablet, and you’re good to go.
This is a perfect entry point for beginners who are just dipping their toes in podcasting or streaming. USB mics are a suitable option for small podcasts with only one person speaking as there aren’t multiple voices to record.
- What type of mic should you buy for podcasting?
There are two different mics available in the market: condenser and dynamic. It all boils down to preference, as both types of mics can be used for podcasting.
Let’s first see what the difference is between the two.
Condenser mics: Condenser microphones work like a battery; they contain a diaphragm that vibrates when exposed to a voice or sound against a charged magnetic plate located behind it, converting the sound into electrical energy.
Dynamic mics: Dynamic mics use electromagnetism to produce sound. A coil is suspended inside a magnetic field connected to the diaphragm; when the sound waves vibrate the diaphragm, the coil also vibrates, producing electrical energy.
Condenser mics are usually more sensitive with a higher output and respond better to higher frequencies than dynamic mics, which gives them a crisper and more detailed sound. However, they tend to pick up a lot of background noise and pops, and plosives are much more prominent in condenser mics.
On the other hand, dynamic mics are made to attenuate these sounds from the background. They are very durable and handle heat and humidity much better than condenser mics. However, they are quite microphones and usually need some form of mic gain amplifier to get proper use out of them.
- Microphone Polar Patterns
Polar patterns describe where the microphone will pick the sound up from. There are various types of polar patterns, such as cardioid, omnidirectional and bi-directional (figure-8). However, we only need to focus on omnidirectional and cardioid patterns.
Omni-directional polar pattern: As the name suggests, omnidirectional mics receive and record sound equally from all directions. That means the audio from behind, in front, and from both sides of the microphone will be picked up equally.
These mics are useful when voice isolation is not a concern. They can be used for interviews where you need to record more than one voice, but the isolation of voices is not a priority.
Cardioid polar pattern: Cardioid mics are more sensitive in the front with less sensitivity in the sides and back to emphasize the voice of the person speaking and no one else. They have less reverb and record much less background noise than omnidirectional mics.
Cardioid mics are much better suited for podcasting as they don’t allow much background noise to be picked up and only focus on the voice or sound in front of it.
- Pop Filters and Shock Mounts
Pop filters have become necessary as they reduce plosives, which are the sounds produced when any word beginning with t, p, k, b, d, and g is spoken into the mic. This is where pop filters come in handy; they dissipate the sound energy between a source and the mic using a fine mesh screen.
The shock mount prevents the microphone from picking up any mechanical noises that might emanate from moving the mic, boom, or the mic stand.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it necessary to have a good microphone for podcasting?
It really depends on your mindset, if you plan to test to see if you even like podcasting in the first place or not before buying expensive microphones. Using a cheap external mic can do a passable job. However, if you’re serious about podcasting, you need a good microphone that does justice to your voice.
We have stronger physiological responses toward sound and audio than we do toward video. You want your listeners to focus on what you’re saying, and having a good microphone goes a long way to achieving that.
- What is phantom power?
Phantom power is an external power supply that generates a DC voltage that powers condenser microphones.
- Where should I place my mic?
The placement of your mic plays an essential role in how the recorded voice will sound. You shouldn’t be too close or too far from the mic, but a distance of 4-12 inches is best, depending on your microphone. The closer you are to the mic, the more low-frequency signals it will pick up, which might lead to your voice sounding boomy.
Subsequently, if you’re too far, it might lead to a lot of reverb in your voice, and the mic might not pick up all the subtle nuances.
You now have all the necessary information to help you purchase a new microphone that is perfect for you and your needs. We hope this article has provided you with ample options and enough knowledge to make a more informed decision.
Every podcaster has different needs and requirements, so don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works out for you as the best podcasting microphones in 2023.