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The 12 Best Podcasting Microphones You Need in Your Setup

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Sead Fadilpasic Avatar
Sead Fadilpasic
25 March, 2020 • Updated 27 days ago
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A microphone is an essential tool for successful podcasting. Nowadays, podcasting is extremely popular and it’s a great way to engage a large number of audiences.

While the podcaster’s main priority is on the content, it is equally important to have a quality microphone as nobody likes to listen to a show that has a lot of crackles and pops. You can also record the podcast using different tools like Adobe Audition, Audacity, and several others.

To get connected with millions of people at a time by your own podcast, the high-quality podcasting microphone is an indispensable item to purchase. There are dozens of microphones that can suit your needs and they all have different prices and various features. Depending on your preference and budget, you might not like some microphones, but there will definitely be at least one you’ll want to have.

IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

Things to Consider

When buying a microphone for podcasting there are several things to look out for. If you don’t know much about microphones you’ll be surprised how many details there are that make a good microphone from the bad.

Naturally, depending on your budget you might need to make a few compromises but generally, even a budget microphone can be good enough for podcasting if you know what to look out for. With that out of the way, here are the most important details.

1. Polar Pattern

To put it in layman’s terms, the polar pattern is a microphone’s capability to pick up sounds, or to be more precise, how it picks up sounds. Different microphones have different polar patterns, so depending on your equipment and podcast, you’ll need to choose the polar pattern that suits you best.

For instance, mics with omnidirectional polar pattern pick up sounds from all directions so it isn’t really important where you point the omnidirectional microphone, as long as it is in range it will pick up a sound. However, this will also mean it can pick up any unwanted noise. There are also mics called shotgun microphones, these specialize in picking up sounds only from the front.

There are also other polar patterns like directional, cardioid (the most present in podcasting), super-cardioid and others. All of them differ in how they pick up the sound so it really depends on your needs and your type of podcast, as well as your all-around equipment.

2. Frequency response

Frequency response refers to a microphone’s ability to pick up different frequencies from low to high and it’s measured in hertz (Hz). Most of the time you can see the frequency range on the package labels, although the exact range isn’t that important as some mics might be better at recording different types of frequencies.

Again, this depends on your type of podcast and what you will be recording. For example, if you are recording vocals, a mid to high range frequency mic will be good.

3. Impedance

Without getting too technical, impedance is nothing more than a mics AC resistance and it’s measured in Ohms. Generally, you’ll want a low impedance microphone for podcasting. This means any mic with less than 600 Ohms is considered a low impedance microphone. Although, usually the best professional microphones go between 150 and 250 Ohms.

4. Quality/Durability

While looking for quality and durability is something we do for pretty much every product, this is especially true with microphones. The main reason is that some mics are complexly designed, so they can be quite fragile. The smallest drop or a hit can damage them, so if you are prone to dropping or you just like to fool around with microphones, make sure you choose the tougher microphones.

5. Price

The simplest metric to look out for, price is something everybody looks out for no matter the product. There isn’t much to say here as the higher the price the more quality mic you’ll get, but depending on your podcast and expectations you might not need an expensive microphone. For instance, $50 microphones can do the job very well if you’re doing just basic stuff or if you’re just starting out and on a budget.

QUICK OVERVIEW

The Best Podcasting Microphones


Products
Features
EDITOR’S PICK
4.6
1,000+
1000+
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz/48 kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz/48 kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150
MOST REVIEWED
4.5
15,800+
15800+
  • It offers four recording modes
  • Omnidirectional
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150
  • It offers four recording modes
  • Omnidirectional
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150
TOP PICK
4.8
425+
425+
  • Controls with graphic display
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
  • Controls with graphic display
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
BUDGET PICK
4.4
3,160+
3160+
  • Engineered for producing amazing recording
  • Can be used in home studios
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $50
  • Engineered for producing amazing recording
  • Can be used in home studios
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $50
BUDGET PICK
4.4
2,760+
2760+
  • Perfect for voice recognition
  • 16 bit/44.1 kHz while the frequency response of 20 to 18Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $50
  • Perfect for voice recognition
  • 16 bit/44.1 kHz while the frequency response of 20 to 18Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $50
EDITOR’S PICK
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
Reliable and consistent

This cardioid condenser USB microphone offers a good quality sound without costing too much.

4.6
1,000+
1000+
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz/48 kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150

In this review, you will get to know about The Top 10 Best Podcasting Microphone.

Best Podcasting Microphones Under $50

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid and Omnidirectional
  • Sample Rate: 44.1kHz/48kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $50

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone is a very budget-friendly option for your podcasting endeavors. You can change the polar patterns from cardioid to omnidirectional and vice versa. This is ideal if you are recording various sounds like voice, musical instruments or similar.

A feature worth mentioning is the onboard headphone amplifier that allows you to listen to your recording directly from the microphone, and what’s more, you can use the output to connect powered speakers. It’s PC and Mac compatible and it doesn’t need any drivers since it’s plug and play.

iOS and Android devices will need a specialized adapter to use this microphone, so this is mainly a PC and Mac microphone. All in all, a pretty good microphone for those with a tight budget or for those who want to start podcasting without spending too much.

Pros
  • Very cheap
  • Two polar patterns
Cons
  • Not great for iOS and Android users

Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic for Recording and Streaming

Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic for Recording and Streaming

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sample Rate: 44.1kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $50

Blue Microphones Snowball iCE is one of the more popular microphones in the last few years. It’s nicely made, has a good sound and it’s quite cheap, in other words, it offers a great value. The mic’s custom condenser capsule guarantees clear audio for pretty much anything, including the recording.

The microphone has a frequency response of 40Hz – 18 kHz and it doesn’t need any drivers to install, you can just plug it in (Mac or PC), and you’re all set. Its easy portability is also an advantage, and this mic comes with a stand (although, for some, the stand might be problematic to adjust to correctly, depending on where you’ll be using the mic).

Furthermore, the microphone comes equipped with some additional features like headphone monitoring, mute, pop filter, and shockmount.

All things considered, even if this microphone has been on the market for several years, it’s still one of the best you can get for podcasting, especially if you’re on a budget.You can also try the renewed version on Amazon if you’re having trouble finding the original one.

Pros
  • Great value
  • Good audio quality
Cons
  • The stand might be a nuisance to some

Best Podcasting Microphones Under $100

THRONMAX MDRILL Zero USB Condenser Microphone

THRONMAX MDRILL Zero USB Condenser Microphone

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid and Omnidirectional
  • Sample Rate: 48kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100

The MDRILL Zero USB Condenser Microphone from Thronmax is another mic in the budget range that offers everything you need for your podcasts. The Smart knob controller lest you set the mic to cardioid and omnidirectional mode, while the condenser capsule offers crystal clear audio.

This microphone works with Mac, PC, WINX, PS4, and Linux platforms and it doesn’t need any kind of drivers to work—you only need to plug it into your computer’s USB port with the cable and calibrate it with the operating system of your computer. Don’t let the low price range fool you; this mic has 48kHz 16 Bit resolution and you can mount it to most 3rd party stands.

The microphone is Mac and PC compatible and it is perfect for podcasters, streamers, gamers, or musicians and has an excellent tuning mechanism.

Pros
  • Two polar patterns
  • Hefty stand
Cons
  • It can pick up unwanted sounds

Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser Microphone

Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser Microphone

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sample Rate: 44.1kHz/48kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $50

Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser Microphone is another budget-friendly microphone that offers a good and clear sound. As its name suggests, it is a studio mic which means it can produce amazing recordings and it is also a good choice for voice recognition software. Its diaphragm is 25mm, which is quite large when compared to other microphones in this range.

Since it’s plug and play, no drivers are needed, and it’s compatible with PC and Mac. It can work on iPad’s as well but you’ll need a special adapter for that.

As with similarly priced microphones, this one also has a 16-bit, 44.1kHz/48kHz sample rate. It has a frequency response of 20Hz – 20kHz. The mic is well made with zinc die-cast construction and a chrome-plated finish. It also comes with a “built-in stand” so to speak, as it has fold-back legs for positioning, and you can fold them up for easy transport.

Lastly, the mic has a 1/8″ stereo headphone output with level control for zero-latency monitoring.

Pros
  • Quality made
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • It can be too sensitive and can pick up unwanted sounds

Blue Yeti Nano Premium

Blue Yeti Nano Premium

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid and Omnidirectional
  • Sample Rate: 48kHz, 24-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100

The Yeti Nano Premium is an excellent USB microphone from Blue at an affordable price. It has two polar patterns, cardioid and omnidirectional, which you can change at will. It’s stylishly designed and it features a no-latency headphone output and controls for headphone volume, mic mute and the already mentioned pickup pattern.

It has a 24-bit, 48kHz sample rate and a frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz. You’ll need no drivers for this microphone as it uses the simple plug and play method and it’s compatible with PC and Mac. When you consider everything you get a pretty good mic for podcasting with a good and clear sound, and it’s affordable too.

Pros
  • Good value
  • Good bit-depth
Cons
  • The cable that comes with the product isn’t very good

Best Podcasting Microphones Under $150

HyperX QuadCast – USB Condenser Gaming Microphone

HyperX QuadCast - USB Condenser Gaming Microphone

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Bidirectional
  • Sample Rate: 48kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150

In the slightly higher price range than Blue Yeti Nano, there’s the USB microphone from HyperX, the QuadCast. It has 4 selectable polar patterns and comes with an anti-vibration shock mount and a built-in pop filter for clearer sound.

Its LED indicator shows you the status of the mic and lets you mute it with a single tap. The QuadCast comes with a mount adapter compatible with most stands and you can control the sensitivity with the control knob.

This 48kHz, 16-Bit microphone is perfect for gamers, podcasters, and streamers alike. You can plug it in your PC, Mac, or PS4 to get the quality sound you needed.

Pros
  • Four polar patterns
  • Excellent mute/unmute control
  • Comes with a shock mount and pop filter
Cons
  • Inaccurate gain control printing

Blue Yeti USB Mic for Recording & Streaming

Blue Yeti USB Mic for Recording & Streaming

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
  • Sample Rate: 48kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150

Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone is a beautifully designed microphone that offers great performance. It has a whopping 4 patterns: cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo. Due to this, it’s pretty much perfect for various activities, including podcasting. It comes equipped with a tri-capsule array (3 condenser capsules), which is perfect for recording.

It has a 16-bit, 48kHz sample rate and a frequency response of 20Hz – 20kHz. Also, the mic has some additional features like gain control, mute button and zero-latency headphone output. It’s compatible with PC and Mac. With its various features and 4 polar patterns, even if this model is several years old, this mic is still a great choice for every podcaster.

Pros
  • Neatly designed
  • 4 polar patterns
Cons
  • A bit bulky, not really portable

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz/48 kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is a cardioid condenser USB microphone that’s an improved version of the previous AT2020 model. As with the previous version, this one also offers quiet and good performance and it can easily provide a quality recording. It’s a good choice for podcasting as it can produce a clear and great sound.

As mentioned, this mic has the cardioid polar pattern which minimizes the noise quite nicely, and its A/D converter with a 16-bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate ensures superb audio reproduction.

It also comes equipped with the high output internal headphone amplifier that delivers superior clarity and musical detail as well as more volume overall. It also comes with a stand, although isn’t the best, and some will probably choose to buy another mic stand. The mic is compatible with Windows and Mac OS.

Pros
  • Great sound
  • Consistent and reliable
Cons
  • Mic stand could have been better

Best Podcasting Microphones Under $250

Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Vocal Microphone

Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Vocal Microphone

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sample Rate: 8-48kHz, 18-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $250

Rode is a widely-known producer of high-quality podcasting microphones, and the Procaster is one of them. This cardioid mic has a frequency response tailored for voice and has excellent ambient noise.

It has a low output impedance of 320 ohms, an internal shock mount for low handling noise, as well as an internal pop filter for clearer sound – it reduces plosives. The Procaster is an excellent tool for voiceovers, broadcasting, or podcasting.

Its robust metal construction ensures it will stay firmly on the table. Plus, it comes with a stand mount, a zip pouch, and a ⅜ inch adaptor. On top of that, you get a 1-year warranty with free extension to 10 years following registration.

Pros
  • Crisp sound
  • Perfect bass
  • Comes with a shock mount and pop filter
Cons
  • Light boom arms cannot hold it

Audio-Technica AT2050 Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2050 Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Figure-of-Eight
  • Sample Rate: 2-12kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $250

The AT2050 from Audio-Technica is a microphone that delivers professional performance to podcasters and musicians alike due to its switchable 80 Hz high-pass filter and a 10 dB pad.

It has 3 polar patterns: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Figure-of-Eight and a large-diaphragm for a more natural-sounding voice. The diaphragm also maintains polar patterns and achieves optimal characteristics.

The AT2050 has a 120 ohm-impedance, 77 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa Signal-to-Noise ratio, and comes with a shock mount and a protective pouch.

Pros
  • Sturdy
  • 3 polar patterns
  • Excellent recording quality
Cons
  • Some users report thin audio quality

Best Podcasting Microphones Under $400

Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz/48 kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400

Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone is among the very best podcast microphones you can find out there. It offers a multitude of features while providing an excellent and clear sound. Due to its exceptional frequency response, it can offer a clean and natural reproduction of both music and speech. The mic offers outstanding reliability with its rugged construction and excellent cartridge protection.

As mentioned the microphone has a bunch of features like an improved rejection of electromagnetic hum and it’s optimized for shielding against broadband interference emitted by computer monitors.

It’s equipped with internal air suspension shock isolation which practically eliminates all mechanical noise transmission. Furthermore, the highly effective pop filter eliminates the need for any add-on protection against sudden breath sounds, even for close-up vocals or narration.

The mic is very easy to mount or dismount due to its structure so you can precisely control the microphone position. If you are a more serious podcaster this is one of the best microphones you can buy right now, and that probably won’t change for at least the next few years.

Pros
  • Great sound
  • Abundance of features
Cons
  • Not really portable

Heil Sound PR 40 Dynamic Cardioid Studio Microphone

Heil Sound PR 40 Dynamic Cardioid Studio Microphone

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sample Rate: 48 kHz, 16-bit
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400

Heil Sound PR 40 Dynamic Cardioid Studio Microphone is a durable mic that offers a great and rich sound. It’s excellent for recording, which makes it a great choice for podcasting. It’s very durable with a steel body and a zinc die-cast bottom ring.

The internal hum bucking coil shields the microphone, so you can use it near video monitors and noisy light fixtures without any issues. It has a frequency response of 28Hz – 18kHz.

This particular item comes with a PRSM shock mount, a two-section broadcast arm, and a champagne microphone cable. If you don’t need these extra items, you can buy the microphone without these and save some money, although the shock mount helps with suppressing the low-frequency rumble by absorbing vibrations.

Pros
  • Very durable
  • Rich sound
Cons
  • Pricey

Conclusion

For microphones, newer models don’t necessarily mean a better product, as there are microphones that are more than 10 years old and they are still a perfectly fine choice for podcasters.

That being said, there are a lot of good microphones out there but we choose the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ as the Editor’s Pick due to its affordability and great sound. If you want something cheaper or more advanced, check out our Budget and Top picks.

As always, make sure you do your research before you buy a microphone so you can find out what’s best for you since everybody has a different taste. Also, if you liked this article, feel free to share it.

*All prices mentioned above are at the time of publishing.

Sead Fadilpasic Avatar
Written by
Sead Fadilpasic
Sead is a seasoned tech journalist, based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In his 15+ years of experience, he's done hundreds of product reviews, broke and fixed more gadgets than people usually use in a lifetime. When he's not writing for MuchNeeded, he spends his time raising his daughter, playing guitar and occasionally hitting the gym.