Which microphone is going to work best for you? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Your individual needs and priorities will help you determine which microphone is right for you. There are a couple of things that you should consider when you’re choosing a podcasting microphone.
There are two types of microphones commonly used for podcasting: XLR and USB. XLR microphones tend to be more expensive, and they require additional hardware to install, usually a pre-amp. They are more sensitive and can deliver a lot of vocal depth, but they can also pick up on unwanted background sounds.
USB microphones are less expensive and need no additional hardware. You may get a lower vocal quality of sound, but they’re also more forgiving of background noise.
Think about where you’ll be recording your podcast. Will you be in a quiet home office, a common area of the home where there may be some background noise, or a dedicated recording studio? The answer can help you determine which type of microphone you need. You also have to think about your audio priorities. Do you want a mic that’s easy to travel with? Are you more worried about filtering out environmental noise or getting the best possible vocal sounds?
We have three microphone recommendations:
- Audio Technica ATR 2100 – A USB mic that is less sensitive, portable, and very forgiving of background sound, but is not very loud.
- Rode Podcaster – Another USB mic that is more sensitive than the ATR 2100, and less forgiving of environmental noise. It offers more depth of voice than the ATR 2100, but is less easily portable and requires a boom stand.
- Shure SM7-b – This is an XLR microphone that requires a pre-amp. It’s more sensitive than the ATR or the Rode Podcaster and will give you the highest quality vocal sound.
Takeaways from This Lesson:
- Understand the differences between a USB and XLR microphone
- Think about where you’ll be recording
- Determine your audio priorities