Welcome to our recommended podcast equipment page – for any budget!
Below you’ll find a list of the best podcast equipment, including our podcast microphone recommendations and all other equipment needed for a podcast.
One mistake we see podcasters make in the very beginning is over-complicating things – especially when it comes to your podcast setup. It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated, and we’ll prove it here!
Before we dive into the top podcast equipment…
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Choosing the Best Podcast Equipment
You probably have a lot of questions as you start your podcasting journey, and some of those questions likely have to do with choosing the best podcast equipment.
While you podcast equipment is very important, it’s not a decision that should hold you back from getting started.
So we’ve put together a comprehensive review of the best podcasting equipment below to help you make the best decision based on your podcast format and how you’ll record your podcast.
We’ll also talk about the best podcast software so you know what to use for a topic-based podcast, an interview podcast, and for remote podcast recording.
First, let’s chat about a few equipment-related terms you’ve probably heard or seen talked about in your research, but that aren’t actually necessary to accomplishing a great podcast setup.
Audio interfaces are not a requirement when it comes to your podcast setup. They are typically found in more complex and high-level podcasting setups.
Most audio interfaces don’t look like anything more than a rectangular box with a lot of nobs and input and output spots. But they do offer a lot of high-level sound options.
They essentially serve to take your voice (or the audio coming from instruments) and transfer that into your computer without losing any quality of sound.
Shock mounts go around your microphone and help absorb any vibration or knocking that might occur as you’re recording.
Think of how many times you accidentally bump your desk or stand as you get overly-excited or animated while recording. A shock mount will help absorb that vibration and keep your mic steady.
While shock mounts aren’t required for your podcasting setup, they are useful if you’re using a high-quality microphone and looking for top-notch sound.
I’ve included a recommendation for a shock mount below as an accessory for the Heil PR40 microphone.
Now, let’s get straight to it: your podcast microphone.
Other Podcast Equipment Terms
There are an endless number of podcast equipment terms you’ve heard about, many of which are not required for a great podcast setup.
As we dive into more information around your podcast microphone and your software, I’ll cover several more terms and let you know along the way whether each is required.
As we dive into our podcast microphone recommendations, I’ll include accessories that go along with each microphone so that by the time you’re done reading this, you’ll have a complete podcast setup!
Audio Podcasting: The Podcast Microphone
Audio quality is an important aspect of your podcast. Aside from your podcast title, description, and artwork, your audio quality makes up your listeners first impression of what you have to offer.
So if someone tunes into your podcast for the first time, and your audio quality is poor, that will have a significant impact on whether they decide to tune in again.
In addition to choosing the best podcast microphone, there are tools that can help with your audio quality, like:
- Pop filter
- Shock mount
- Editing software
- Sound proof / acoustic treatments
We’ll get into the best recommendations for all of these tools in just a minute. First, let’s start with your podcast microphone.
This noise-canceling podcast microphone typically runs around $20. It cuts background noise and the microphone rotates out of the way when you’re not using it, which makes it convenient if you’re podcasting a lot.
Keep in mind that this is an actual headset, so it’s your podcast microphone and headphones together in one.
The Logitech ClearChat plugs directly into your computer via USB chord, so it’s a simple setup that’s easy to pack up and use on-the-go.
This is the lowest quality microphone that we would recommend using.
It is also a good option if you’re looking to recommend that a future podcast guest pick up a microphone for your recording session. To this day, this is the microphone we insist our guests on Entrepreneurs On Fire use – at the very least – when they come on our podcast.
The ATR2100 USB is designed to take you from amateur to expert!
This podcast microphone plugs right into your computer via a USB chord and functions seamlessly with your favorite recording software.
Because this microphone is dynamic, it doesn’t pick up background noise as easily as other microphones.
Kate uses and love the ATR2100 for her podcast and has been using it since 2014!
This is our top podcast microphone recommendation for quality and ease of use.
It’s also a great microphone to travel with for those of you podcasters who like a mobile-friendly setup without a lot of fuss. Keep in mind that this microphone should be held right up close to your mouth. It will give you the best sound quality when you speak passed the microphone, holding it at a 90-degree angle to your face.
The ATR2100 typically runs between $80 – $90.
Accessories for the ATR-2100
While you could hold the ATR2100 right in your hand to record, I wouldn’t recommend it. The noise that could come from bumping the chord or moving the microphone around could compromise your audio quality.
The ATR2100 does come with its own desktop stand, so a boom arm isn’t absolutely necessary. It just depends on your podcast setup and what you’re most comfortable with.
The Neewer Microphone Suspension Boom Arm is your basic boom arm with no cables included, and it’s perfect for the ATR2100 mounted on a desk.
Protect your podcast microphone from interference and unnecessary pops with a simple foam ball cover! This foam ball is the equivalent of having a screen pop-filter and is good fit for the ATR2100 microphone.
See… we told you the ATR2100 microphone is nice and simple!
The Heil Sound PR40 Microphone is ideal for live sound, recording, and broadcast applications.
Like the ATR2100, this is a dynamic microphone, and so it will not pick up background noise like condenser microphone will.
The Heil PR40 is a high-level podcast microphone and is not one I recommend if you’re just getting started out.
The Heil PR40 is for the more advanced podcaster who knows their way around a high-level podcast setup, and the price proves it. This podcast microphone typically runs $325.
Accessories for the Heil PR40
The PRSM Shock Mount is a flexible support system that helps suppress low-frequency rumble on the microphone line by absorbing and damping vibrations picked up from your desk or your console.
It is recommended that you have a shock mount for your Heil PR40 microphone, and there are packages you can purchase that would include a shock mount. However, most packages I’ve seen include unnecessary tools, so I like to just buy which tools I need separately.
The Heil Sound PL-2T overhead boom uses a system of perfectly balanced internal springs rather than the unsightly, mechanically unstable outboard springs used on booms of much lesser quality.
This fine mesh metal screen diminishes undesirable P-Popping (pops on your microphone) while keeping the integrity of the hi-end frequency response.
High-quality headset microphone
If you want your headphones and microphone in one unit, and you want to go higher-level than the Logitech Clear Chat recommended above, then check out the Audio-Technica BPHS1 headset.
Remember to check that you have the proper cables to plug this headset into your other equipment based on your podcast setup!
Audio Podcasting: Recording and Editing Software
Depending on how you plan to record your podcast, you might be able to stick with just one piece of software for both recording an editing.
For example, if you plan on just recording a solo or topic-based podcast, you’ll only need to choose one of the three options below for your software. You simply record right into the software, then edit in the same place.
If you plan to do an interview podcast, then we’ll get into the additional software required below.
To start, let’s chat about a podcast mixer.
We’ve recently switched over to the Rode RODECaster Pro Podcast Production Studio from the PreSonus FireStudio Mixer. With a few glitches when updating to the latest MAC software – plus the fact I’ve been using it since 2012 – I felt it was time to try something new.
I’m loving the RODECaster Pro as a mixer, although I’m a big fan of starting small and simple. If you’re just getting started, I don’t think a mixer is necessary (unless your podcast setup requires it).
Definitely check out the RODECaster Pro if you’re interested in getting a mixer.
Adobe Audition is my favorite by a long shot, and I couldn’t live without it! Audition works for both PC and Mac and is simply outstanding when it comes to what you can do with your podcast.
The post production capabilities and the many effects you can tweak for optimal recording are simply next-level.
Adobe Audition is available on the Creative Cloud subscription or for $20 per month as a standalone software download.
The price works (it’s a free download), and Audacity is a solid software that will work on both PC and Mac.
GarageBand costs nothing to download and comes pre-installed on your Mac.
Note: this is a Mac-only software and will turn your Mac desktop, Macbook, iPad or iPhone into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio!
Interview Podcast: Recording Software
If you plan to do an interview podcast, will be recording remote conversations, or are interested in recording with a co-host, then you’ll likely need additional software for recording.
The options above – Adobe Audition, Audacity, and GarageBand – will still be your options for editing your podcast audio once it’s recorded, but when it comes to the actual recording, these are the top recommendations.
Zencastr is a great tool for connecting with multiple guests or co-hosts remotely, and will also give you audio on separate tracks. Because Zancastr records each audio clip remotely, this is a good option for high-quality audio.
Zencastr also offers video recording, so it’s a great option whether you’re audio-only or considering adding video to your podcasting setup!
Zoom is a great way to connect with your podcast guest or co-host remotely. While many discount Zoom for its audio quality (it’s not the best), it is very user-friendly.
You can choose to record your audio and your guests audio on separate tracks if you prefer for post-production editing, and you can also record video if you’ll be posting your interview on YouTube or other platforms.
Skype is what I’ve been using since I launched Entrepreneurs On Fire in 2012 to connect with my guests. There have been a couple of hiccups along the way with different updates, but it’s a system I’ve used and trusted for a long time.
I don’t actually record on Skype – I only use it as a connection tool. I record directly into Adobe Audition with the help foa mixer (a more complicated setup than is necessary for most podcasters).
But you can record using Skype’s Call Recording tool. It’s always best to test out your setup to see what works best for you.
Testing your podcast software
The most important thing to do regardless of the podcast software you choose is to test it.
Make sure you’re comfortable with the setup you’ve chosen and that you’re happy with the audio quality it provides.
And always remember: we’re dealing with technology here. No one system or platform is going to be perfect, so prepare yourself for the unexpected and remember to have some fun!
The Video Podcast: Webcams & Other Video Podcasting Accessories and Software
Your Video Podcast Camera
The most basic option that you can plug right into your computer or laptop is the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920.
This is the webcam that I use for everything – webinars, tutorials, YouTube and Facebook Lives. It puts out great quality for a low price, and it’s easy to take with you on-the-go.
If you’re interested in being super mobile, you might also consider recording straight from your mobile device, like your iPhone.
If you’re looking for something a little fancier, you can look to a DSLR camera.
Your Video Podcast Microphone
This depends on how important it is to you that you don’t have a mic in the shot.
If you’re looking for a hidden mic, we recommend a lavalier, like the Movo LV1 Lavalier Lapel Clip-on Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone.
This makes your recording set up hands-free. This lav microphone can be used for smartphones, audio recorders, and microphone-compatible cameras (3.5mm Jack).
If you’re looking for a higher-quality mic but still don’t want a mic in your shot, you might consider checking out the Rode VideoMic Pro Compact VMP Shotgun Microphone. This mic could be suspended with a boom arm or put above your camera.
If you’re not too worried about your mic being in the shot, then we have the same recommendation as with an audio-only podcast: Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone.
Video Podcast Recording
Unless you’re going to use a separate camera and setup for recording, the best and easiest option for video podcasting to connect with your guest and record is Zencastr.
You can also consider using Skype with its built-in recorder, Zoom is an option (although audio quality isn’t great), and there are several other great options available beyond just these.
Again, testing your setup is a critical step for making sure it’s going to work for your specific situation and setup before moving forward.
Video Podcast Editing Software
ScreenFlow: Edit, add transitions, and overlay text and images.
You can purchase ScreenFlow for a 1-time payment, but note that there are regular updates that are paid if you want to leverage those updates.
iMovie for Mac: This option is only available for Mac users.
Adobe Premier: Everything you need for your first edit or your next epic creation. Available on the Creative Cloud subscription, or for a monthly fee.
The Podcast Media Host
We put together a deep dive to share the best podcast hosting options available. We explain what a podcast media host is, why you need one, and how to choose the best one.
But to make it super simple, here are our top recommendations.
Libsyn is our top recommendation for audio podcast hosting. We’ve been using Libsyn since 2012, and because we love and recommend them, you can use the Libsyn promo code FIRE when you sign up to get the rest of this month AND next month free!
Note that you cannot change plans during the promo period, otherwise the offer will expire immediately.
If you’re going to be hosting a video podcast, then we recommend PodBean. On their video plan they offer unlimited storage and space.
Travel Podcasting & Podcasting on-the-go Resources
Maybe you’re interested in taking your show on the road, recording during events and conferences, or just want an easy setup you can pack up in just a couple of minutes.
Here are our top recommendations for podcasting on-the-go.
R-05 WAVE/MP3 Recorder is an affordable pocket podcast recorder with advanced features.
The compact R-05 is easy to use, affordable, and packed with big-ticket features that raise the bar in its price class.
If you’re a podcaster who will be doing interviews on-the-go, at events and conferences, or you simply want a high-quality backup recorder *just in case*, the R-05 is the go-to.
If you’re looking for a hands-free way to podcast, or simply want to do some videos without a big microphone in your face, then the Movo Lavalier is a great option.
This lav microphone can be used for smartphones, audio recorders, and microphone-compatible cameras (3.5mm Jack).
The ATR2100 is our number 1 podcast microphone recommendation, and we travel with it often! It’s compact and easy to bring in your bag for travel podcasting. However, it has recently been sold out / not available on Amazon. A similar version is the AT2500 linked above.
Make sure you have the appropriate connectors given your handheld recorder setup (if applicable) – see next recommendation…
This is to connect your ATR2100 to your Roland Digital Recorder.
This 3.5mm to XLR Female Audio Cable connects audio equipment with 1/8″ mini-stereo jacks and XLR audio jacks including iPod (Mini, Shuffle, Nano, Generation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Classic), iPhone, iPod Touch, computer Sound Cards, CD Players, multimedia speakers and home stereo systems.
Other Podcast Studio Accessories
We’ve covered A LOT of equipment and software recommendations here, and we want to include a few other recommendations for accessories you might be considering.
IMPACT PBS is your global source for quality microphone flags, banners, lanyards, decals and more!
You should always wear headphones or earbuds when podcasting in order to prevent feedback or echo in your recordings.
Audio Technica headphones are the perfect choice for field recording and tracking and mixing.
They are compact folding headphones that offer balanced, articulate sound; impressive power-handling; and a lightweight, ergonomic design.
But you don’t have to go with this high of quality (or spend over $20 on your headphones). Another great option is to simply use your Apple earPods!
Speakers are not required to make your podcast setup amazing, but if you’re big on sound and want to kick it up a notch, then it’s widely known that M-Audio speakers are music industry bestsellers*.
The accurate sound they provide allows you to go beyond simply enjoying music and videos—to creating your own!
Your Podcast Studio is Complete!
While there are a wide range of options for how your podcast environment is setup, we hope this review of our favorite podcast equipment – including your podcast microphone, podcast software, and more – is helpful!
Be sure to also check out our entire walkthrough of your podcast setup.
And remember, if you’re ready to create and launch your podcast, Free Podcast Course course walks you through the foundational steps to becoming a successful podcaster!