In order to start your own podcast, all you need is an average personal computer, an internet connection and a suitable microphone for recording your voice. This way, you can communicate your opinions, interviews, knowledge and information to hundreds or even thousands of people with minimal effort from your side.
Having your own podcast show, is not very different from having your own online radio show. The only thing that is different from classic radio shows of the past decades, is the fact that nowadays you can start it with less equipment than ever, that can be found in extremely affordable prices, making podcasting accessible for everyone.
If you are one of those people that have their own opinion on certain niches or more general topics, podcasting is an extremely essential tool that you can use in order to share it with other people that might have the same interests as you.
The equipment you are going to need in order to start your own podcast show, are very easy to acquire if you do not already own them. You are going to need a personal computer or a laptop, and internet connection, and a decent microphone to record your voice.
If you are looking for even better sound quality, or a way to have control over the volume level, mute buttons or voice effects and filtering, you should look for an audio interface. If it is within your budget’s limits, you can purchase a small mixing console that will give you the ability to control every aspect of your sound signal.
Furthermore, you may want to purchase a desk tripod or a small stand in order to position and stabilize your microphone in front of you on your desk. A set of headphones would be also useful, so that you can hear clearly the sounds you are recording, and avoid recording sounds from your speakers to your microphone.
What to consider before purchasing a microphone for podcasts
The quality of the microphones in our list is decent and you will not have any issues recording your own podcasts in your computer.
To improve your sound quality, you may want to use them with a small pre-amplifier or an audio interface that provide a subtle boost in the presence of the vocals, although this is not necessary. You can do this only if you want to add character to your voice in order to avoid sounding neutral or if you want to add warmness to your voice.
Fortunately, today’s technologies allow us to acquire microphones suitable for podcasts in very affordable prices. All computer microphones included in our list are around the price point of $100 or less, with decent sound quality.
You can find even cheaper ones if you are on a really limited budget, but they are a great starting point and accessible by most people.
Most of the microphones come with the appropriate tripods or stands in order to position them on your desk, and many of them include foam caps to eliminate unwanted sounds, such as wind or breathes and make the sound smoother.
The functionality of the microphones in the list is exceptional. Most of them can be connected to your personal computer or laptop via USB, which requires minimum effort and technical knowledge from the side of the user.
Best computer mic for podcasting
1 – Samson Go
The Samson Go Mic is one of the smallest portable microphones available in the market. It has a metal body, has two cardioid, 10mm capsules and you can switch it between cardioid and omnidirectional patterns.
Along with the microphone comes the shockmount and a storage clip for the mic, which enables you to set the microphone to right angle, according to the positioning you want to apply for the recording. The microphone can fold back into the flip when there is no need for use, and you can put it in the beautiful pouch that is included in the package.
The shockmount of the microphone has a standard thread, so that it can make the mic easier to stand by screwing it onto a mic stand. You can connect the microphone to almost every device, because of the USB cable and you can listen to everything you record by applying a set of headphones to the mini-jack that is place at the side of the microphone.
The Samson Go Mic has a switch, which slides between cardioid and omnidirectional patterns. When the switch stays in the middle, it provides a cardioid pattern with a 10db pad. On the headphone outlet, someone cannot find a level control to adjust the volume levels, and the only way to control the levels is through a music software.
In addition to the above, there are no volume controls for the output levels of the microphone, except from the switches mentioned above, although the mic seems to have great volume signal considering when it comes to vocals.
There are no drivers needed in order to use the microphone. You can plug the USB cable straight to the USB port of your personal computer and start using it right away. The only thing you have to do, is select the Samson Go Mic as the sound source of your music software (DAW).
2 – Blue Snowball Ice
It is very easy to set up the Blue Snowball iCE microphone. Due to its USB connection availability, you can plug the mic into your USB port and start using it immediately. The moment you acquire the mic, you have to attach the stand that is included in the package to the microphone, and connect it to the USB port. That’s it.
The Blue Snowball comes with no music software or any type of drivers or interface that controls the level or different option of the microphone. You can change these settings only through the windows mixer, or by opening your music software and adjusting the settings of the microphone, after you select it as your sound source.
You can use the Blue Snowball microphone with every device that has a USB port, such as your PC or laptop, and you can start recording as soon as you plug the mic into the USB port. Make sure that you choose the particular mic as your input source and start recording in mono rather than stereo.
The Blue Snowball is extremely easy to set up. In a few minutes after you unpackage the microphone, you can figure out how to use it even without manuals or applicable interfaces to guide you through the process.
The microphone comes with a swivel, which is very convenient as it lets you adjust the angle of the microphone and turn it towards any direction. This makes it very easy to point the microphone straight towards the sound source, and receive the best signal possible.
The signal range of the microphone is great, and you can record any sound source with satisfying detail no matter the positioning of the microphone, or the distance of the sound source. This makes every podcast show very comfortable, and lets you focus on more important matters, such as the topic of your show or the process of the interview.
3 – Shure MV5
The Shure MV5 is a condenser microphone, which connects to your personal computer or laptop via USB. It is suitable for recording both instruments and vocals, which is why it is perfect for your podcast shows or online videos.
It is an all-purpose microphone, that makes every recording happen within seconds due to its very easy USB connectivity. This fact, makes it a great microphone for external recordings or remote situations, and this particular microphone is going to last under rough occasions, as it has a solid structure for a computer mic.
The Shure MV5 has headphones mini-jack built-in, volume controls and you can also find some DSP settings on the mic as well to adjust. The structure of the microphone is solid, and there were not used any cheap materials, as it is a level higher than the rest of the microphones of similar price range.
Although it is not near the level of a professional condenser microphone when it comes to recording vocals or instruments, this microphone is an excellent choice for starting your own podcast or online radio shows.
The MV5 is also recommended for beginner artists or amateurs that want to record the demo versions of their songs for practice. You can also purchase this mic if you are on a very tight budget, but if you want better sound quality as an independent artist, you should look for a professional studio condenser microphone with more sound detail and character.
The portability of the microphone is one of its main advantages. It has a detachable stand but it does not come with a case, so you have to think of ways to protect it if you need to travel a lot and work with the Shure MV5, such as buying a carrying case separately.
4 – Samson Meteor
The Samson Meteor is a USB microphone with great portability, which is one of its main advantages. The microphone can literally fit in the pocket of your jacket, and you can carry it around with no great effort, which is great for those that need it for external recordings.
The microphone has a very solid structure, and is built of chromed steel. It weighs around 260g and has a very elegant design with three legs that fold up to the side so that they can make it even portable than it already is.
These legs, are the ones that lets the mic turn to different angles easy, and record every sound source the best way possible. You can also turn the microphone upwards or downwards by lowering the two of its legs, so that it can point right to the sound source.
The Samson Meteor comes with a small bag, which you can find in the box in order to protect the microphone from scratches or dust. The microphone has great stability, due the solid structure of the legs that support the mic more than enough.
In order to prevent further vibrations, there are black rubbers attached to the legs of the microphone. This helps the microphone stand still when placed in slippery surfaces, and reduces bassy sound reflections and transfers through the legs, so that the signal get no interferences.
The Samson Meteor has very thick steel grilles, which protect the inner parts of the microphones. Behind the grilles, there is a double layer of wire that adds more protection to the inner components of the microphone, which tend to be easy to break when it comes to such elegant microphones. To start using the mic, just plug it in to the USB port of your selected device, and your operating system will automatically recognize it as the input device.
5 – MXL AC404
The MXL AC404 is a directional microphone designed for mainly for conference rooms, but it is very convenient when it comes to podcasts too. It functions exceptionally with many people in the room using it at the same time, so you can imagine that it works properly when recording a single voice.
The microphone is connected and powered by USB, and its well-designed bottom part increases its stability levels so that it does not slip away when placed in slippery surfaces or unbalanced desks and tables.
You can determine easily when the power of the microphone is on or off from the red LED that is placed on the microphone. The weight of the mic is pretty substantial, which is a surprise if you consider its fairly small size, which means that it will be very stable when you place it on your desk in front of your computer.
The MXL AC404 comes with a two meters long USB cable, so it will be very easy to position the microphone on a logical distance from your computer.
The sound of the microphone is great. It provides excellent depth and a slight warmness to the voice of the user, and it is very clean with a very subtle crispiness that is necessary to add character to the voice. The main advantage of the sound was high quality it delivers when recording it or when making online calls.
The sensitivity levels of the microphone are great. I can capture every single sound, which means that you have to be careful with external or unwanted noises that may corrupt your recording. Every user is advised to semi-soundproof the room that he is going to use for his podcasts, to get the maximum sound results out of this amazing microphone.