Choosing the Best Gear For Your Podcast

Do you and your friends have lengthy conversations about semi-interesting topics? Sounds like you’ve got what it takes to start a podcast!

Jokes aside, the podcast industry has exploded over the past few years. From influencers to former politicians, everyone seems to be having a go - and it’s more accessible than ever before. Let’s take a look at the practical considerations behind starting your own podcast…

Sam Beattie

Sam Beattie

So you’ve got a group of pals together, a great movie, album or conspiracy theory to discuss – how about the gear? Here’s a list of podcast equipment essentials you should consider:

  • At least 1 decent microphone
  • An audio interface
  • A small mixer/mixing desk
  • Closed-back headphones
  • A headphone amp
  • Desktop mic stand(s)
  • Microphone pop-shield(s)
  • Acoustic treatment

What’s the best microphone for podcasting?

Podcasts are largely spoken and conversational. You’ll need a microphone that’s got a good vocal response, especially at low levels. This will mean that you get a clear spoken voice sound without unwanted noise.

You’ll also want to consider connectivity and how many people your podcast will feature. If it’s a solo podcast, a single microphone will do the trick. You’ll also be able to easily connect to your computer or recording device, either with XLR or USB directly. Check out our selection of USB/mobile device microphones here.

If you’ll be podcasting as a group, consider multiple microphones or perhaps a single mic that’s good at picking up multiple sound sources. This will make mixing a little bit harder though! For group podcasts, a dynamic mic per person is the most common setup. Here’s a selection of some of the most popular podcast mic options:

Best Podcasting Microphones

Click here to shop all recording microphones, or check out our microphone buyer’s guide for more information.

Joe Rogan Podcast Shure SM7B - Andertons Music Co.

(above: Joe Rogan, one of the most popular podcast creators on the scene, uses a Shure SM7B)

Do you need an audio interface for podcasting?

As mentioned above, some microphones have direct USB connections. This often allows you to connect straight to your computer or mobile device. If you’re using a traditional microphone, however, you’ll need an audio interface to record it with.

You can easily get a decent recording interface for less than £100. Consider how many inputs and outputs you’ll need. If you’re podcasting with 1-2 people, a simple 2 in/2 out interface will do, like the Focusrite 2i2. For larger groups, you may need more inputs and outputs to make sure everyone can be heard. Check out brands like Audient, Universal Audio and M-Audio among others – some examples:

Best Podcasting Audio Interfaces

Do you need a mixing desk for podcasting?

A mixing desk will give you more tactile control over your recording mix. This could be particularly handy if recording a group podcast. Some mixers can connect straight to a computer or device via USB, negating the need for an interface. Check out our selections of studio mixers and live mixers – very similar offerings starting at affordable prices.

Otherwise you can simply connect a stereo output from your mixer to a basic 2-channel interface. This could be considered a more cost-effective way of connecting multiple microphones.

Best Podcasting Mixers

What are the best podcasting accessories?

Once you’ve got your microphone(s), interface and/or mixing desk sorted out, there are a few more things to consider:

  • Headphones – any headphones will technically do the trick. But think about noise isolation and feedback – you don’t want the annoying buzz of multiple voices feeding back into your microphone. Closed back headphones are designed for silent use in recording applications.
  • Headphone amps – most interfaces and mixing desks come with 1 or 2 headphone outputs, but sometimes that isn’t enough. A dedicated headphone amp is a relatively affordable accessory that’ll let you connect more sets of headphones.
  • Mic stands – this ain’t stand up comedy; you don’t want to be holding onto your mic! Invest in some desktop mic stands to ensure your mic stays put and your sound is consistent.
  • Mic pop shields – pop shields prevent unwanted bumps, pops and rumbles in your recording. These happen naturally when you pronounce certain words, but can wreak havoc in a vocal mix!
  • Cables – keep everything connected and tidy. XLR and other recording cables range from 3ft to 30ft. Find the right length and you’ll have a well-connected, organised setup in no time.
  • Acoustic treatment – tiles, padding and accessories to ensure that your space is primed for recording. If you’re taking your podcasting seriously or you’re worried about background/outside noise, acoustic treatment will help with sound-proofing and sound consistency.

Can you make podcasts with your phone?

Absolutely! As mentioned earlier, many interfaces, microphones and mixers have USB connectivity. In addition, you’ll find some that are specially designed for use with phones and tablets.

If you don’t have a computer or laptop that you’re comfortable recording with, you can still make a great podcast at home or with friends. Here are some popular options for mobile podcast equipment:

Best Podcasting Gear for Phones & Tablets

Click here for USB & mobile microphones, or check out our selection of mobile device audio interfaces.

Why is making your own podcast so popular?

It’s fun and it’s easy to do – it’s as simple as that. Broadcasting has for quite some time meant having your own studio setup with lots of equipment. Now that you can do it with a cheap microphone and audio interface in your own home, it’s no wonder it’s become so popular.

It’s more affordable than ever, and it’s even easier to get your material out to your audience. Just like music streaming, there are podcast aggregators – middle-man companies who take your material and host it on all the popular platforms. From Apple Music to Spotify – it’s cheap and easy.

Summary

Not only is podcasting a growing industry that gets more popular by the day – it’s more affordable then ever before. By now, you’re hopefully feeling a little more prepared and familiar with what you need to get up and running. While you’re here, check out our podcasting gear page for a broad range of essentials. Thanks for reading – and happy podcasting.

Sam Beattie
Sam Beattie
Sam is one of our content writers, as well as being our resident southpaw and synth enthusiast. He spends his free time composing for music libraries and playing in a post-rock band. Sam's desert island gear would be his Mexican Tele, Strymon El Capistan and Teenage Engineering OP-1.

Responses & Questions

Leave a Reply