I’m asked on a regular basis what kind of microphone is best to record a podcast. My answer is – the one that best suits your application.
This post is a non-techy simple breakdown of the microphones in my own collection and a little about when and where I use them. It is by no means an overview of everything available to you.
You will be able to make a better informed microphone purchase after watching this, and if you have any questions, you can always find me at brassy broad.com.
Condenser microphones are typically very sensitive. They will pick up more background room noise and mouth noise. I love them for recording singers, but I’m not a huge fan of recording podcasts with them because they are sensitive, and most podcasters aren’t recording in spaces that have been acoustically treated for the best sound.
I record my podcast using a dynamic microphone. Part of the reason why I record with this Sennheiser e835 is because I’ve used it as a stage mic for years when I play out with my band. It has taken a beating and it still sounds great. I also didn’t want to buy a new microphone when I had a perfectly good one I could use.
If I have a guest in studio, I use a Shure SM57. Another dynamic mic that I’ve had for years and used out at gigs. Both of these mics are in the $100 range.
I like these microphones because they are directional. They only record what is happening right in front of them. They are also less sensitive than most condenser mics and are less likely to pick up room noise.
The Most Bang for Your Buck Microphone
The Audio Technica ATR2100 is my favorite microphone when it comes to bang for the buck. It has the flexibility to be used as a USB mic that can plug directly into your computer, or you can use the XLR connector and plug it into a mixer.
You can also get a USB camera adapter and and record straight into your iPhone with it.
It’s a dynamic mic, and I’ve found it to be pretty sturdy.
Zoom H2 Recorder
Zoom makes a great hand held recorder. This is an older H2 model. It records to an SD card, or I can plug in with a USB cable and use it as an audio interface to record directly into my laptop. I’ve used it to record straight into Garageband before. I actually bought this so I could record my band rehearsals, long before I ever started podcasting.
It has built-in microphones on both sides which makes it nice if you need to put it on a table and record a conversation between multiple people. It’s still not as ideal as everyone having their own microphone, but it’s an option when you’re in a pinch or on a limited budget.
I’m using a lavalier microphone to record this video into my iPhone. These are great if you want to record a presentation and later share the audio from it. I picked this one up on Amazon for around $20.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or suggestions for other tutorial videos. I would love to hear from you.