This is a question I get asked all the time. I am afraid there is no one size fits all answer. The microphone you choose will depend on various other factors. In this blog post, I will discuss the main considerations you need to think about before purchasing a microphone for podcasting, alongside my personal microphone recommendations.
Top things to consider before purchasing a microphone
- The environment you will record in. Are you recording in an open plan kitchen with hard flooring? This would mean your audio quality is going to sound really echoey and tinny. Could you be recording in a smaller part of your office with lots of soft furnishings, paddings and curtains? Could you add in sound panels? All of these things make a massive difference to how your audio is going to sound. The podcasting environment is becoming competitive and audio quality is one of the main reasons people switch off.
- Think about your budget. You can get great microphones for under £150 that will get you started with good sound quality. For a lot of entrepreneurs it is enough to have what is good enough. There are a lot of great options out there at different price points. It’s important to do your research and figure out which microphone is going to be the best fit for you and your needs. Don’t get caught up in all the bells and whistles.
- Will you be needing any extra kit? Shock mounts are great for reducing our plosives! They are often specific to the microphone so before you purchase your mic, check if one is required as standard. Boom arm stands and table top stands are ideal for ensuring you are speaking directly into the microphone in a comfortable position.
Deciding what type of microphone you need
The two most popular types are USB microphones and XLR microphones. Each microphone works in a slightly different way.
USB microphones are plug and play, which means they are easy to set up and use in your computer. They are quick and easy, great for podcasting.
XLR microphones, on the other hand, require a bit more set up. But they are worth it for the flexibility and sound quality they offer. XLR microphones use what’s called an XLR cable. This is a type of microphone cable that is designed to carry audio signals. The end of the XLR cable plugs into the microphone. Most of the time you wouldn’t be able to put straight into your computer. You would have to have an audio interface.
My microphone recommendations
USB Microphone: Blue Yeti. This is probably the most well known podcasting microphone due to its simplicity. It’s perfect for people with a smaller budget, coming in at under £150. You can select what’s known as a pattern. This pattern allows you to decide where the audio is going to be picked up from each time it’s used. With the Blue Yeti, you will be able to use it for an interview where someone is sat across the table from you, just for solo episode or even a round table discussion.
I would highly recommend Sontronics. All their products are designed and developed on the south coast of England by their founder Trevor Coley. Their Podcast Pro dynamic microphone is another brilliant microphone, compatible with all desktop, floor-mounted and angled mic stands.
Are you ready to start your own podcast?
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