What do you need to Start a Podcast?
Many components go into creating a podcast, from content to systems and structure, but the podcast equipment is the core element of it, without which you cannot make anything. There is expensive equipment that gives a recording studio-level control and quality, and then there are affordable and cheaper options for those who are just starting and don’t want to invest a lot.
The first thing you should do before you start to put together your podcast studio is to decide how much money you will put into it. This will depend on a few factors:
First, you should decide whether you are going to podcast as a casual hobby or something that you will want to grow and potentially make money from.
You should also consider how often you will be podcasting, what sort of quality you are looking for, and what you can afford.
If you are new to podcasting, the best advice is to get the bare essentials and start making podcasts consistently.
Once you gain some experience, you will have a better idea of what you need and how to upgrade your equipment as you go, but it is always better to have the best systems in place so you can focus on expanding and scaling.
Starting from the best podcast hosting site where you’ll host your content and then selecting the right equipment for your setup.
Best Podcast Equipment for Beginner Setup
As mentioned, if you want to start podcasting to see if it is something you enjoy and would like to put time and resources into, it would be best to start out with a very basic beginner setup.
If you’d rather skip right to using professional podcasting the best podcasting equipment without having to spend thousands of dollars, we’ve already done it for you. With our podcasting launch package, you can come into our studio in Livingston Parish, use the best equipment, best facilities, and have it professionally edited, published, and marketed. Plus we are the only podcasting studio in the area with video. Contact us for a free podcast consultation today.
The bare minimum this studio would include are a low-level USB microphone with a pop filter, headphones, and recording software, but we also suggest using a portable digital recorder, a shock mount, and a mic arm/boom arm. Our recommendations are below.
At just below $80, this is a solid little microphone and, as a bonus, it already comes with a tripod desk stand, a stand clamp, and a mini USB cable. The tone is warm and pleasant to listen to, and it competes with some other more expensive microphones out there. For a low price, it has an excellent frequency response and reduces background noise.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
The Yeti is somewhat expensive for complete beginners, at $130, but it is considered by many to be the standard podcasting microphone. It has four different sound settings, a headphone jack for monitoring, and works with a large variety of computer operating systems. Bonus: it also comes in a couple of really slick color choices! The only downside is that it is rather larger and heavier than many microphones, so it is less portable if you go on the road.
Audio Technica ATH-M20x
The Audio Technica M20x headphones will be able to provide you with the best sound quality for the price. These circumaural headphones are designed for studio tracking and mixing and have a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. The M20x headphones offer a frequency range of 15-20,000 Hz and great bass response which is perfect, especially if you want to incorporate music into your podcast.
Creative Sound Blaster K3+ Digital Mixer
Soundblaster K3+ from Creative is an excellent addition to every musician and streamer’s equipment. This is an affordable option for those who use audio effects in real-time and like to have crystal-clear audio playback. This 2-channel digital mixer offers a variety of audio features and a professional recording interface for any user. Note that you can only use it when using XLR cable with the microphone.
Silverback Roar XLR Microphone Cable
Roar XLR from Silverback is a microphone cable rated 4.7 out of 5 on Amazon. When you’re recording your podcast, the microphone is almost always above the table. Connect it and record instantly with this 6-feet long, durable and good looking cable that gives you a crisp sound of studio setup quality.
NEEWER Adjustable Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand
The Adjustable Boom Arm from NEWEER is a great item if you’re at the start of your podcasting career and want your mic to stay still or need to adjust it to a specific height. The microphone clip diameter can be adjusted up to 1.26″/32mm and you can adjust the clamp opening up to 1.85 inches/4.7 centimeters. It can be turned clockwise or counterclockwise and adjust to the height that you are most comfortable with. You can purchase it on Amazon for less than $15. This is a great starting microphone arm to use until you are ready to upgrade.
Best Podcast Equipment for Intermediate Setup
Have you decided that you do enjoy podcasting and find it worth it, but don’t want to spend a whole lot for a better sound? You might be surprised at how a small jump in price may make a large difference in quality. This equipment can be a little pricey, and a little more complicated, but if you put in the time, you can make it work well and will hear the difference.
If you’d rather skip right to using professional podcasting the best podcasting equipment without having to spend thousands of dollars, we’ve already done it for you. With our podcasting premier package, you can come into our studio in Livingston Parish, use the best equipment, best facilities, and have it professionally edited, published, and marketed. Plus we are the only podcasting studio in the area with video. Contact us for a free podcast consultation today.
Audio-Technica AT2020 XLR Microphone
Audio-Technica’s AT2020 is a great choice as an affordable studio microphone. It has a frequency response from 20 to 20,000 Hz and delivers excellent sound quality. The audio is very rich and bright, while the mic easily handles high SPLs. Note that is it not a USB mic and it doesn’t come with an XLR cable.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Audio Interface Bundle
At an excellent 4.6 star rating on Amazon, and included in Amazon’s Choice, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Bundle is a set that includes Knox Gear Microphone Boom Scissor Arm with 5/8-27 Threading, Knox Gear Basic Microphone Shock Mount, and Knox Gear Pop Filter. It also comes with the software tools to plug in and start recording without hassle.
FiiO Q5s 768K/32Bit DAC Amplifier
This amplifier is Apple MFi, Hi-Res Audio and aptX certified, and it supports decoding for iPhones, iPads, computers, and WM-PORT Sony Walman players. It has interchangeable amp modules and plays loud and clear with a crisp sound. The amp comes with Lightning-Micro USB cable, optical adapter, coaxial adapter, and a carrying pouch. It’s a little expensive at just over $300, and it surely is an excellent upgrade to your old DAC/AMP.
Microphone Shock Mount with Pop Filter
This affordable shock mount with pop filter prevents microphone movement and vibrations when recording, as well as adjust the angle of the mic. The pop filter delivers smooth audio. This shock mount comes with a universal connector adapter and it’s perfect for studio broadcasting and studio voice-overs.
Samson MBA38-38” Microphone Boom Arm
Since the AT2020 Microphone doesn’t come with a mic arm, Samson Boom Arm is a perfect choice as an accessory to your studio equipment. You can adjust it up to 30 inches with a 3-inch maximum clamp grip. It holds up to 5 pounds and at just below $80, it is an extremely affordable option for intermediate podcasters.
Best Podcast Equipment for Professional Setup
Maybe you know you like podcasting, or perhaps you want to jump in seriously with professional-quality audio, but don’t know how to go about upgrading or want to hear a variety of opinions. Below, we list industry standards for podcasting that are used often by professionals in the field.
If you’d rather skip right to using professional podcasting the best podcasting equipment without having to spend thousands of dollars, we’ve already done it for you. With our podcasting packages, you can come into our studio in Livingston Parish, use the best equipment, best facilities, and have it professionally edited, published, and marketed. Plus we are the only podcasting studio in the area with video. Contact us for a free podcast consultation today.
Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
The Shure SM7B comes in at $399, and is small and mighty. This microphone boasts a smooth, wide-range frequency response, and has great shielding against electromagnetic hum. Plus, it features 150 ohms for connection to the mic and it is designed in a cardioid pattern to reject off-axis audio.
Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones
The Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Headphones are specially designed for precision damping over the entire frequency range. They reduce THD to an incredible 0.05 percent and have an improved frequency response of 10 39,500 Hz. They are lightweight and come with a 118-inch cable. You can get them at a discounted price for $369.93 on Amazon.
Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Podcast Mixer
Zoom LiveTrak is perfect for advanced podcasters and experienced audio mixers. It offers more precision and options to customize audio levels exactly how you want them. This 8-channel is mainly used for musical mixing but has anything you could ever need to use for an audio podcast with a full range of adjustments for tone, gain, pan, and everything else. It is being sold on Amazon for $399.99 and has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating.
Samson MD5 Desktop Microphone Stand
The Samson MD5 Mic Stand measures 5 inches and you can mount your Shure SM7B mic on it for professional studio podcasting needs. It features a weighted metal base to add maximum stability to the mic and it is designed to hold and standard microphone.
EBXYA XLR Cable 3ft Microphone Cords
EBXYA XLR 3-feet microphone cords come in 10 different colors, so there’s no hassle in recognizing which is which. They can be used as DMX cables, stage cables, microphone cables, or patch cables for instruments. They are shielded with Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) and Aluminium Foil for maximum isolation.
Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter
The Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter activator gives your microphone an inline boost of up to 25 dB of ultra-clean gain. Moreover, they properly load the microphones’ transformer for optimal performance. In other words, it solves your common audio problems for less than $155.
Zoom H6 Portable Recorder
Zoom H6 is a great recorder for live podcasts. It comes in handy when you don’t want to record on their computer using the amp. It offers four mic/line inputs and six tracks of simultaneous recording. You can get it at a discounted price of $328 on Amazon.
Well, there you have it, our recommendations of the must-have equipment for starting a podcast studio, broken down by experience and price level.
Obviously, you don’t have to use each list independent of the other. Feel free to mix and match as your budget and skillset allows.
If you’re overwhelmed, lack the budget to buy all new podcasting equipment, or would instead leave recording your podcast up to the professionals, we’re here to help.
Envision Podcast Studio Rentals has all of the professional equipment you can possibly need to get your show started, recorded, edited, and published at a price point that’s way lower than buying all new equipment.
Read our recent post to see the pros and cons of renting a podcast studio vs. purchasing the equipment.
Check out our podcast packages. Need something more customized? Fill out the form below and we’ll see what we can do to meet your needs.