Technically you could record a podcast with just an iPhone, but we don’t recommend it. The audio won’t be professional and clear. Fortunately, podcasting gear doesn’t cost a lot.
There are endless blog posts and opinions on the “best” podcasting mic online, but we’re going to do you a giant favor here and only give you two choices. Both of these will give you a great sounding podcast at reasonable prices. Here goes.
Audio Technica ATR2100 – $65 on Amazon
The microphone choice of folks like Tim Ferriss, myself, and loads of other podcasters, the Audio Technica ATR2100 is a fantastic podcasting mic. It is both very forgiving to imperfect room or environment conditions as well as having really solid depth of voice for such an affordable mic.
The ATR2100 can also be connected with either an XLR or USB cable so if you’d like to just plug the mic straight into your computer you can. No additional gear necessary.
Shure SM7B – $399 on Amazon
While the AudioTechnica ATR2100 will give you a great sound and an affordable way to get started podcasting, the Shure SM7B is just one step up the proverbial podcasting mic ladder. This equipment will give you additional depth and voice character while still being a very forgiving, easy to use mic.
The Shure SM7B is an XLR-only mic so you’ll need to pair this with a preamp or interface to get from the XLR connection into your recording device, which is usually your computer. For solo podcasters or those doing mostly remote interviews we like the Scarlet Focusrite 2i2 Preamp for this. The price is right, and it gives you all the options you need to get great sound (without all the bells and whistles you don’t need).
When it comes to headphones, almost anything will do in the beginning. You might opt for a sophisticated set later, but don’t spend hundreds of dollars right away. The standard Apple headphones that many of us have, or anything that you use to listen to music, is just fine. If you decide to buy something, pick up over-the-ear headphones like the Sony MDR 7506.
Additional Podcasting Gear
Now that we have the essential podcasting gear out fo the way, here’s some additional podcasting gear you may want, but definitely don’t HAVE to have:
PEMOTech Microphone POP filter – $9.99 on Amazon
Every time you say “please” and “thank you” you’re moving a lot of air, and those P and T sounds are harsh to the audio editors and your eventual listeners. A POP filter is designed to physically dampen the sound of your plosives, so they’re not quite as drastic in the recording. This results in a much smoother sound, without anything harsh for your listeners.
Boom Stand – $12.99 on Amazon
If you’re in an office or regularly record in the same space, you may opt to permanently mount your mic to your desk. A boom mount is a great solution for this, and gets the mic up off the desk, and closer to the level of your mouth. This is an important consideration because the vertical alignment (above or below) your mouth will impact the sound of your voice.
An added bonus of the boom mount is now the mic isn’t physically sitting on the desk, where it’s you might bump into it or rub your chair against it. Without the mount, you might bump or rub your chair against your mic resulting in a harsh mechanical sound on the recording, creating those “amateur” sound interruptions. Clearing your desk of the mic helps you take one step closer to a clearer recording.