Podcasts are awesome! Of course, I would say this… But they are an easy way to start producing content with a low barrier to entry, as you can start with very little investment. You might be a business owner, a marketer or just passionate about a particular subject and want to find your people. In this blog, let’s look at some microphone options for getting started with your podcast.
If you would prefer to get ahead quickly then please get in touch for podcast production, coaching and training. This can be done remotely if needed.
Can’t be bothered to read the whole blog and have £120 to spend per mic? Jump to option 4, it’s the option I think is the best and fits most people’s needs!
Also, get yourself a decent pair of noise cancelling headphones, it will help a lot.
This blog is about simple, low cost set ups that work best for 2 people. If you want to record something more complex with multiple contributors and at a higher quality, then I would recommend a different set up to those mentioned in this blog and be prepared to invest more. That’s a blog that is coming in future but if you would like a recommendation right now, tweet me @LetsTalkVidPro and I will try to help as best I can.
So if you are looking for a simple set up, what are the best microphones for starting your podcast?
What Are The Best Mics For Starting Your Podcast?
Firstly, consider these 2 questions:
- How much am I prepared to spend?
- What will be my common set up when recording? (sitting inside in a meeting room, for example, or moving around at an event or outside?
This is going to help you decide which microphone will work best for your specific needs.
Let’s have a look at some basic recommendations for mics…
Option 1 – Use the in built mic on your phone.
Best for: Starting out with £0 outlay!
Not so great for: Recording high quality interviews and really bad for noisy environments. This doesn’t look particularly professional if you are running a business. Also, you need to have a phone!
No-one said you needed to fork out on swanky equipment to get started on your podcast! This option is likely to pick up a lot of background sound so find as quiet a place as possible to record and hold the microphone close to the speaker to get the best out of this.
Option 2 – Use a plug in microphone for your phone.
Cost: Around £50.
Best for: Recording on the go.
Not so great for: You could record some decent audio with these mics but keep reading for higher quality options that are less prone to sound issues and are more comfortable for seated interviews.
Spend a little can make a big difference with a microphone that plugs directly into your phone.
The Rode VideoMic Me Directional Microphone plugs straight into your phone’s headphone jack and there is also a version of the Rode VideoMic for Apple Devices – although at time of writing it seems to be slightly cheaper to buy the 3.5mm connection and an adaptor to connect 3.5mm to Apple Devices. In my experience, sometimes these mics have static on them which affects the recording but you will be able to hear this – you must test the recording before starting your main interview, usually if you use the mic a bit the static disappears.
Option 3 – A decent quality but low cost USB mic.
Cost: Around £55-£70 for 1.
Best for: Recording easily with a plug and play mic that you could potentially use to record multiple speakers (at a push).
Not so great for: Recording many speakers at high quality.
The Blue Snowball Microphone is a good fairly low cost option that will record 1 person well but with an option for omnidirectional pick up so that you could record multiple people – the quality won’t be as good if they are not close to the mic and you are likely to pick up more background noise but it is an option instead of buying a mic per person.
Or get the Blue Snowball Microphone without the omnidirectional option for around £15 less.
Looking for higher quality sounds and have a bit more money to spend? Check out Option 4…
Option 4 – A step up in quality with these USB mics.
Cost: Just under £120 for 1.
Best for: Looking like a pro in front of your interviewees, recording good quality audio with ease. These would be my recommended options, if your budget allows.
Not so great for: Recording 2+ people at a high quality and without some extra complexity.
The Rode Mini NT-USB Microphone, a nice and easy plug and play mic that will record 1 speaker per mic well.
Or the similarly priced Blue Yeti USB Mic, which I like because it has a range of pick up patterns to choose from, making it easier to pick up multiple people with the mic if you wanted to but bearing in mind that this would not give you the best quality sound on these people.
Option 5 – The Highly Portable Microphone
Cost: Just under £140 including accessories.
Best for: Recording on the go interviews with a lightweight microphone that doesn’t need to be plugged into your laptop.
Not so great for: Recording a regular sit down podcast (it’s ok but there are better options) or long interviews (depending on how tired your arms get holding this mic up to someone!).
This Zoom H1n is a highly portable microphone that you can record straight into and runs on batteries so there’s no need to plug it into a laptop, making it great for on-the-go recordings and vox pops. This version comes with an accessories pack, including a wind screen (vital) and a table stand if you wanted to set it up like a more regular USB mic.
There is a more basic option at £100 but I recommend you save up for the better version as the H1 only records MP3s and has less features.
Option 6 – The Next Level Set Up For Recording Your Podcast…
Do none of these options quite fit for you?
- Want even higher quality audio?
- Interested in setting up a studio space?
- Need to record 2+ people at high quality?
- Prepared to invest more budget in your podcast?
- Looking for a coach or training to take your podcast to the next level?
- Interested in finding an experienced editor to take over the editing of your podcast?