Inexpensive USB Mic: Samson Q2U

90% as good for 1/4 the price

Why we like it: It’s well under $100 and sounds 90% as good as a pro-quality XLR mic.  It’s dead simple.  Plug it into your computer and use an audio recording app to record your podcast.  Couldn’t be easier. 

Compared to the competition: There are lots of good USB mics out there.  I don’t personally like the sound of the Blue mics (such as the famous Blue snowball).  In my opinion they sound too mechanical or “machiney.”  But another good option would be the Audio Technica ATR-2100 which can be used as either XLR OR USB which is a killer feature, and it sounds just about as good as this mic.  ATR2100 is a solid choice.

 

Pro XLR Mic: Rode Procaster

Our favorite of all time

Why we like it: It sounds SOOOO good!  In my opinion, it’s even better sounding than the well-regarded Heil PR-40.  I love this mic and have used it for many years.

Compared to the competition: Good quality broadcast microphones are certainly a matter of personal preference.  It really depends on what sound you’re going for, what room you’re using it in, and how deep or high your voice is.  For most podcasting needs, though, I would recommend the Procaster as my favorite podcasting mic of all time.  It’s really a great microphone.

 

Boom for USB Mic: Innogear

Good quality for lightweight mics

One option is to just simply hold the microphone.  That will work fine and you could skip getting a boom arm, but it’s really nice to have the mic held up for you so you can type and check things on the web while podcasting.

 

XLR Mic Boom Arm: Rode

Good quality for heavier mics

A boom arm holds the mic up close to your mouth.   It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need to be strong enough to hold up this heavy mic, so I recommend the Rode boom arm for holding heavy XLR mics.

 

Mount for USB Mic: Cisno Mount and Windscreen

Mount for XLR Mic: Rode Shockmount

Best Recorder/Mini Mixer: Zoom H5

Why we like it: If you use a USB mic, you can just record on your computer, but with an XLR mic you’ll either need an interface or a sound recorder and I prefer recording to a hardware sound recorder because it’s more reliable.  The Zoom h5 is easy to use and really great quality.  Plus, you can plug in more than one mic if you have another guest with you.  I have also owned the Zoom H6 which is even better because it has more inputs, but most podcasters wouldn’t have a need for it.

Compared to the competition: There are lots of good sound recorders out there, but the Zooms have always been my favorites.  I’ve owned many of them and have liked the price and quality.

 

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