Podcasting is a popular medium to share ideas and start conversations with people all over the world. One of the critical factors for the success of your podcast is the quality of your audio. The right microphone for your podcasting needs can make or break your show’s sound quality. With so many options in the market, choosing the best microphone can be overwhelming. In this article, we will explore the top microphones for podcasting in 2021 and help you decide which one is right for you.

Top 10 microphones for podcasting in 2021

Here are some of the best microphones for podcasting in 2021 that have been tried, tested, and recommended by professional podcasters.

1. Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti is a versatile microphone that is ideal for podcasters who want flexibility in their recording setup. It is a USB condenser mic that comes in various colors, making it attractive for content creators who want to add a pop of color to their workspace. The Blue Yeti has four polar patterns (cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo) that make it suitable for various recording styles.

2. Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B is a dynamic microphone that is popular among professional podcasters, radio hosts, and voice-over artists. It has a smooth, warm sound with a bass roll-off and mid-range boost that makes it suitable for spoken word recordings. The SM7B is a perfect choice if you are looking for a microphone that can handle loud sound sources like musical instruments and is excellent at rejecting external noise and room reflections.

3. Rode PodMic

The Rode PodMic is a dynamic microphone that is designed explicitly for podcasts. It has a cardioid polar pattern that picks up sound from the front and rejects sound from the sides and rear. It is excellent at capturing the human voice and can handle loud sound sources without distorting. The Rode PodMic is ideal for podcasters who work in noisy environments and want a microphone that can handle external noise.

4. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is a USB condenser microphone that is ideal for podcasters who want a budget-friendly option without compromising on sound quality. It has a cardioid polar pattern that captures sound from the front and rejects sound from the sides and rear. The AT2020USB+ comes with a built-in headphone jack that allows you to monitor your recording in real-time, making it an excellent choice for podcasters who want to record on-the-go.

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5. Heil PR40

The Heil PR40 is a dynamic microphone that is popular among podcasters who want a warm and natural sound. It has a cardioid polar pattern that captures sound from the front and rejects sound from the sides and rear. The PR40 is an excellent microphone for voice recordings, and its frequency response is optimized for speech, making it ideal for podcasters who want a natural, warm sound.

6. Electro-Voice RE320

The Electro-Voice RE320 is a dynamic microphone that is designed for broadcast and recording applications. It has a variable-d variable-diameter diaphragm technology that allows users to switch between a classic sound and a more modern tone. The RE320 has a cardioid polar pattern that captures sound from the front and rejects sound from the sides and rear. It is an excellent microphone for podcasters who want a dynamic sound with a wide frequency range.

7. Samson Q2U

The Samson Q2U is a dynamic microphone that is versatile and affordable. It can be connected to a computer or mixer using a USB or XLR cable, making it suitable for different recording setups. The Q2U has a cardioid polar pattern that captures sound from the front and rejects sound from the sides and rear, making it ideal for podcasters who want a microphone that can handle external noise.

8. Blue Snowball

The Blue Snowball is a USB condenser microphone that is ideal for podcasters who want a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on sound quality. It has a cardioid polar pattern that captures sound from the front and rejects sound from the sides and rear. The Snowball is easy to set up, and its compact size makes it suitable for podcasters who want to record their show on-the-go.

9. Shure MV7

The Shure MV7 is a dynamic microphone that is ideal for podcasters who want a microphone that has a modern, sleek design. It has a cardioid polar pattern that captures sound from the front and rejects sound from the sides and rear. The MV7 has a built-in headphone jack that allows you to monitor your recording in real-time and is compatible with both USB and XLR cables.

10. AKG Pro Audio P220

The AKG Pro Audio P220 is a condenser microphone that is ideal for podcasters who want a microphone that has a warm, rich sound. It has a cardioid polar pattern that captures sound from the front and rejects sound from the sides and rear. The P220 has a high-pass filter and a -20dB pad switch that makes it suitable for recording loud sound sources.

How to choose the right microphone for your podcast

Choosing the right microphone can depend on various factors like your recording environment, your budget, and your recording style. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a microphone for your podcast:

1. Microphone type

Dynamic and condenser microphones are the two most common types of microphones used in podcasting. Dynamic microphones are rugged and can handle loud sound sources, making them suitable for recording in noisy environments. Condenser microphones are more sensitive and capture sound with greater detail, making them ideal for studio recordings.

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2. Polar pattern

The polar pattern of a microphone determines the direction from which it captures sound. A cardioid polar pattern captures sound from the front and rejects sound from the sides and rear, making it ideal for recording speech. An omnidirectional polar pattern captures sound from all directions, making it ideal for recording group conversations or interviews.

3. Connectivity

USB and XLR are the two most common types of connectivity options for microphones. USB microphones can be connected directly to your computer, making them easy to set up and use. XLR microphones require an audio interface or a mixer to connect to your computer, making them suitable for professional studio setups.

4. Budget

The price of a microphone can vary significantly depending on its features and quality. When selecting a microphone, you should consider your budget and choose a microphone that offers the best value for money.

Dynamic vs condenser microphones: which is better for podcasting?

Dynamic microphones are ideal for podcasters who record in noisy environments or outdoors. They are rugged and durable, making them suitable for travel and on-the-go recording. Dynamic microphones are excellent at rejecting external noise and delivering a warm, natural sound. They require less gain compared to condenser microphones, making them ideal for recording loud sound sources like musical instruments.

Condenser microphones, on the other hand, are more sensitive and capture sound with greater detail, making them ideal for studio recordings. They are more expensive than dynamic microphones and require phantom power to operate. Condenser microphones are excellent at capturing the nuances of human speech and delivering a bright, clear sound.

USB vs XLR microphones: which one should you use?

Both USB and XLR microphones have their advantages and disadvantages. USB microphones are easy to set up and use, making them ideal for podcasters who want a plug-and-play solution. They are affordable and do not require an audio interface or mixer to connect to your computer. However, USB microphones have limited connectivity options and can be susceptible to electronic interference.

XLR microphones, on the other hand, offer greater connectivity options and allow you to connect to an audio interface or mixer. They deliver higher sound quality and are less susceptible to electronic interference. However, XLR microphones require additional equipment, making them more expensive and challenging to set up.

Wireless microphones for podcasting: are they worth it?

Wireless microphones offer the freedom to move around while recording, making them ideal for podcasters who want to record their show on-the-go or in a non-traditional recording environment. They are easy to set up and use, and their compact size makes them suitable for travel. However, wireless microphones are more expensive than wired microphones and can have limited battery life. They can also suffer from interference and dropouts, making them less reliable than wired microphones.

Budget-friendly microphones for beginner podcasters

If you are just starting with podcasting and have a limited budget, there are several options available that can deliver excellent sound quality without breaking the bank. Here are some budget-friendly microphones for beginner podcasters:

1. Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB

The Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB is a dynamic microphone that delivers excellent sound quality at an affordable price. It has a cardioid polar pattern that captures sound from the front and rejects sound from the sides and rear. The ATR2100x-USB has a USB and XLR connectivity option, making it suitable for different recording setups.

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2. Samson Q2U

The Samson Q2U is a dynamic microphone that is versatile and affordable. It can be connected to a computer or mixer using a USB or XLR cable, making it suitable for different recording setups. The Q2U has a cardioid polar pattern that captures sound from the front and rejects sound from the sides and rear, making it ideal for podcasters who want a microphone that can handle external noise.

3. Blue Snowball

The Blue Snowball is a USB condenser microphone that is easy to set up and use. It has a cardioid polar pattern that captures sound from the front and rejects sound from the sides and rear. The Snowball is an excellent choice for beginner podcasters who want a reliable and budget-friendly microphone.

High-end microphones for professional podcasters

If you are a professional podcaster or want to take your podcasting to the next level, there are several high-end microphones available that offer superior sound quality and performance. Here are some high-end microphones for professional podcasters:

1. Neumann U87

The Neumann U87 is a condenser microphone that is considered the gold standard for studio recording. It has a three-pattern switch (omnidirectional, cardioid, figure-8) that makes it ideal for various recording styles. The U87 has a warm, natural sound and captures sound with exceptional detail.

2. Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B is a dynamic microphone that is popular among professional podcasters, radio hosts, and voice-over artists. It has a smooth, warm sound with a bass roll-off and mid-range boost that makes it suitable for spoken word recordings. The SM7B is a perfect choice if you are looking for a microphone that can handle loud sound sources like musical instruments.

3. Electro-Voice RE20

The Electro-Voice RE20 is a dynamic microphone that is popular among radio broadcasters and podcasters. It has a cardioid polar pattern and a variable-D design that minimizes proximity effect and boosts clarity. The RE20 is excellent for recording voices and delivering a natural, warm sound.

Microphone accessories every podcaster needs

Microphone accessories can enhance your recording setup and ensure the best possible sound quality. Here are some microphone accessories that every podcaster needs:

1. Pop filter

A pop filter is a device that attaches to your microphone and reduces plosives (explosive consonants like “P” and “B”) from your recordings. It can improve the clarity and quality of your recordings, especially if you have a sensitive microphone.

2. Shock mount

A shock mount is a device that suspends your microphone and isolates it from unwanted vibrations and shock waves. It can prevent the sound of your microphone stand or desk from being picked up by your microphone and ensure a clean recording.

3. Microphone stand

A microphone stand is essential for keeping your microphone in place and at the right distance from your mouth. It can improve the comfort of your recording sessions and ensure consistent sound quality.

How to set up your microphone for optimal sound quality during recording

Setting up your microphone correctly can significantly improve the sound quality of your recordings. Here are some tips to set up your microphone for optimal sound quality:

1. Position your microphone at the right distance

Position your microphone so that it is around 6-8 inches away from your mouth. This distance is ideal for capturing your voice without picking up unwanted sounds like breathing or lip smacking. You can use a microphone stand or boom arm to position your microphone at the right distance.

2. Check your microphone’s polar pattern

Make sure that your microphone’s polar pattern is set correctly for your recording setup. A cardioid polar pattern is ideal for recording speech and should be positioned to capture sound from the front and reject sound from the sides and rear.

3. Adjust your microphone’s gain and volume settings

Adjust your microphone’s gain and volume settings to ensure that your recording levels are optimal. Set your gain levels high enough to capture your voice but not so high that your recording sounds distorted or clipped. Use the volume settings on your recording software to adjust the overall volume of your recording.

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