Best Podcast Microphone

Best Podcast Microphone

10 Best Microphones for Podcasting in 2019

05.02.19 | Podcasting | By: Jacob Bozarth


Best Podcast MicrophoneIn a recent post we covered what we believe are the 3 best podcast microphones under $500. After writing that post I quickly realized that this small list left off many other great podcast microphones that we have used for podcasting. So I hope to build on this initial list we put together and provide you with 10 great microphones for podcasting under $1,000 here.

Let’s dive straight in. Here’s a shortlist of the 10 best podcast microphones under $1,000:

Before we look at each of these podcast microphones in detail, let’s discuss some microphone basics.

Your Voice Is Unique

Like many things in life, podcast microphones are not a one size fits all. Different voices and sources will sound different on different microphones. After all, this is why there are many different styles and kinds of microphones for different recording applications. If possible, I recommend trying out a few microphones before deciding which microphone is the best fit to record your podcast. Let’s discuss a few categories we will look at for each of these podcast microphones.

Frequency Response: The frequency range is how a microphone will pick up the range of low to high frequencies measured in hertz. Most of the energy in a human voice will be from 75Hz to 15kHz, making a microphone with at least this response a good candidate to record a podcast. Additionally, it is good to look at the frequency response curve of a microphone so you know where it has bumps and dips in the response as this will color the sound of your voice.

Microphone Type: The microphones we recommend here are all dynamic microphones. We have found that many podcasters are not recording in a studio, and that is ok. Spare bedrooms, closets, offices, and conference rooms can make a great recording space. A dynamic microphone will best suit these types of scenarios while providing a great sounding recording. Dynamic microphones are normally less sensitive and will pick up less room noise than most condenser microphones.

What about Condenser Microphones? According to, Neumann, Condenser microphones usually offer much higher sensitivity and lower noise than dynamic microphones. In our podcast recording experience, we’ve seen this to be true. Condenser microphones are usually great for recording lead vocals for music and allow you to get a larger than life sounding podcast VO, but we strongly recommend a professionally treated studio or room if you decide to use a condenser microphone for podcasting. We will look at the best condenser podcast microphones in a future post.

Polar Pattern: Polar pattern refers to the shape in which the microphone picks up or rejects sounds. Most of the microphones we look at are unidirectional mics meaning that they just pick up in one direction. Each of the microphones in this post will be cardioid, supercardioid, or hypercardioid. A cardioid pickup pattern allows the mic to pick up sound that is directly in front of the microphone and reduces pickup of unwanted sounds from the rear and side of the microphone. This type of polar pattern is ideal for recording a podcast with each guest having their own isolated microphone. The cardioid pattern looks like a heart or balloon shape coming out the front or side of the microphone.

Address Style: Address style refers to what part of the microphone the diaphragm/pickup pattern is facing and allows you to know if you will speak into the front of the mic (like most handheld microphones) or the side of the mic (like most large diaphragm condenser microphones).

Connector Type: Most of the microphones in this list are XLR connector type. This means that you will use them with a standard microphone cable and plug them into an interface, microphone preamp, or handheld recorder with XLR connectivity. A couple of the microphones in this list are also USB compatible which means you can use them with a computer with USB connectivity.

With all this podcast microphone knowledge, lets dive into the details of each of the microphones. We have put the list in order from most expensive to least.


10 Best Podcast Microphones

Neumann BCM 705 – $699Best Podcast Microphone

We start with the most expensive podcasting microphone in our list. Neumann is a legendary name and this microphone lives up to the name and reputation. The BCM 705 is the first dynamic microphone made by Neumann and is advertised primarily as a broadcast microphone. You will get great low end response from this mic due to the chamber surrounding the capsule is enlarged and acoustically coupled to a rear entrance port. If you want a clear, detailed larger than life VO for your podcast this microphone may be the right fit for you. 

Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz

Best Podcast Microphone

Microphone Type: Dynamic

Polar Pattern: Hypercardioid

Address Style: Side

Connector Type: XLR


Shure KSM8 – $499
Best Podcast Microphones

The Shure KSM8 may be one of the most innovative vocal microphones ever created. This microphone with it’s unique Dualdyne 2-diaphragm dynamic cartridge and reverse airflow design almost eliminates proximity effect. As a result, this microphone is great for podcasters who like to “eat the mic,” or for guests who like to move around a lot. Since this microphone implements a 2 diaphragm technology you will get a consistent sound no matter the distance your source is from the mic. We harp on correct microphone technique and finding the right distance (sweet spot) you should be from your microphone. And while it is very important, when recording with the Shure KSM8 microphone it’s hard to not be in the sweet spot.

Frequency Response: 40Hz – 16kHz

Best Podcast Microphone

Microphone Type: Dual-diaphragm dynamic

Polar Pattern: Cardioid

Address Style: Front

Connector Type: XLR


Electro-Voice RE27 – $420
Best Podcast Microphones

Like the Electro-Voice RE20 & RE320 we absolutely love the Electro-Voice RE27. Aside from its beautiful finish, you will get a warm and clear voiceover recording every time with this microphone. So what makes this microphone worth spending the additional dough? Due to the neodymium magnet the output of this microphone is a bit higher (6dB more) and overall the microphone sounds a bit brighter. You will get a condenser like sound out of this microphone with all the benefits of a dynamic mic. If you are looking to for a warm, intelligible, natural sounding VO or looking to upgrade your RE20 or 320 then this may be the best podcast microphone for you. 

Frequency Response: 45Hz – 20kHz

Best Podcast Microphone

Microphone Type: Dynamic

Polar Pattern: Cardioid

Address Style: Front

Connector Type: XLR


Shure SM7B – $399Best Podcast Microphones

The SM7B is a legendary microphone being used by many legends including Michael Jackson, Sheryl Crow, Sammy Hagar, John Paul White of The Civil Wars, Joe Rogan, and many more. The first time I recorded using the SM7B, I was struck by the warm transparent tone of the mic. The Shure SM7B is not just a contender in the podcasting space; it can compete with many other well known vocal microphones in the $1,000+ price range. The biggest downfall of the mic is the low output. For this reason, I recommend using it with a Cloudlifter mic activator to give the mic +25 dB of clean gain. You can’t go wrong with the Shure SM7B for your podcast mic. 

Frequency Response: 50Hz-20kHz

Best Podcast Microphone

Microphone Type: Dynamic

Polar Pattern: Cardioid

Address Style: Front Address

Connector: XLR


Electro Voice RE20 – $399Best Podcast Microphones

The legendary Electro-Voice RE20 has been used by broadcasters and podcasters from NPR, Tenderfoot TV, to ESPN. The RE20 use Electro Voices’ patented Variable D technology to minimize the proximity effect. Normally as you get closer to a microphone, the low frequency bass response increases, but not with the RE20. The Variable D technology controls the low frequency bass response of the microphone as you get closer, creating a smooth, warm, big, full, and transparent sound. The RE20 also features a supercardioid polar pattern, which helps isolate the sound of your voice while rejecting background noise that can creep in from behind the microphone. The RE20 is a recommended microphone for both the novice and advanced podcaster!

Frequency Response: 45Hz – 18kHz

Best Podcast Microphone

Microphone Type: Dynamic

Polar Pattern: Super Cardioid

Address Style: Front Address

Connector Type: XLR


Heil PR-40 – $321
Best Podcast Microphones

The Heil PR-40 is absolutely loved by the podcasting community. Next to the AT2100 and Blue Yeti, this might be the microphone you hear the most about if you join a podcasting community on facebook. The PR-40 is a great microphone for podcasting, having a fairly natural frequency response and somewhat of a warm midrange. The microphone has 4 rear ports that help reject noise from the side and back of the microphone. This microphone is a solid podcasting microphone and used by many well known podcasters. With that being said, I would recommend saving $20 and going with the Electro-Voice RE320 below.

Frequency Response: 28Hz – 18kHz

Best Podcast Microphone

Microphone Type: Dynamic

Polar Pattern: Cardioid

Address Style: Front

Connector Type: XLR


Electro Voice RE320 – $295Best Podcast Microphones

The RE320 is likely my all time favorite podcast microphone! For the price you absolutely cannot beat it. The RE320 is, “A professional- grade dynamic microphone designed specifically for recording and sound reinforcement applications requiring extremely low noise and the best possible tonal and transient response. Ideal for capturing a wide variety of vocal and instrument sources, the RE320 delivers unparalleled detail, dynamic response, and pleasing natural tone.” This microphone allows you to record a pleasing natural tone for your podcast vocals. The RE320 looks similar to the legendary RE20 broadcast microphone and in our opinion sounds just a bit darker but very similar as well. The RE320 features a supercardioid polar pattern, which helps isolate the sound of your voice while rejecting background noise that can creep in from behind the microphone. If you only have $300 to spend on a microphone go with the RE320.

Frequency Response: 30Hz-18kHz

Best Podcast Microphone

Microphone Type: Dynamic

Polar Pattern: Super Cardioid

Address Style: Front Address

Connector Type: XLR


Shure SM58 – $99
Best Podcast Microphones

Your odds of winning the lottery may be higher then finding someone who has never seen (or used) a Shure SM58. The Shure SM58 is the most popular vocal microphone in the world and for a very good reason. I have had several SM58’s that have taken much abuse but still performed over and over. The SM58 is a microphone that sounds great for the price and will give you a consistent sounding recording every time. If you want a microphone that you can travel with and that will be with you for years to come then the SM58 is the right microphone for you. 

Frequency Response: 50Hz-15kHz

Best Podcast Microphone

Microphone Type: Dynamic

Polar Pattern: Cardioid

Address Style: Front

Connector Type: USB, XLR, ⅛” (headphones)


Audio Technica ATR2100 – $69Best Podcast Microphones

The Audio-Technica ATR2100 is one of the most popular podcast microphones. The affordable price makes it a top choice for many podcasters just getting started. For the price, it sounds great and has an excellent frequency response. Additionally the USB connectivity make it great for recording a remote podcast on the go or when you only have a computer around. We have used the ATR2100 in many recording applications and it consistently outperformed “podcast” microphones with a higher price tag, including the Rode Podcaster. 

Frequency Response: 50Hz-15kHz

Best Podcast Microphone

Microphone Type: Dynamic

Polar Pattern: Cardioid

Address Style: Front

Connector Type: USB, XLR, ⅛” (headphones)


Samson Q2U – $59Best Podcast Microphones

If you are looking to start a podcast on a budget the Samson Q2U may be the right fit for you. Like the ATR2100 it comes with both XLR and USB connectivity. Also very similar in design and sound the Samson Q2U outperforms many microphones that cost double the price. With a handy light and on/off switch this microphone is a great place to start a podcast. The versatility of this microphone is one of the things that makes it great. You can use the USB output to record directly to your computer or you can also use the XLR analog output and run the microphone into a recorder like the Zoom H6. For the price, you will not get a better podcast recording setup.

Frequency Response: 50Hz-15kHz

Best Podcast Microphone

Microphone Type: Dynamic

Polar Pattern: Cardioid

Address Style: Front

Connector Type: USB, XLR, ⅛” (headphones)


Conclusion

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, your microphone is a very important piece of your podcasting set up. I hope that this post allows you to feel more informed on which podcast microphone will best fit your needs. Additionally we recommend using the following accessories along with your microphone in order to record an optimal voiceover for your podcast:

  • Mic Stand / Broadcast Boom Arm: We recommend using a microphone stand with a boom arm to avoid unwanted sounds being picked up from your desk or tabletop. A boom arm will also allow you to adjust the microphone so you and your guests feel comfortable.
  • Pop Filter – A pop filter is a cheap way to prevent burst of air or pops from making it into your recordings.
  • Headphones – When recording a podcast, isolation is very important. That’s why we recommend closed back headphones when recording. Need recommendation on what headphones to get? Check out this post!
  • Most dynamic microphones have relatively low gain outputs. The Cloud Microphone Cloudlifters will give your podcast microphone up to 25 dB or ultra clean gain and can make a cheap preamp sound much better. We have found the cloudlifter’s also add a bit of a warm tone to the podcast microphone when putting it in your signal flow.

Selecting a microphone can be a big decision in your podcasting career. We are thankful that you have allowed us to be apart of helping you make this decision. In addition to recording a podcast and selecting a microphone, we know that podcasting can be hard. At Resonate Recordings it is our mission to make podcasting easy. If you have questions about our services or want to offload the editing or production of your podcast, our team of professional engineers are here to help! Feel free to schedule a call or drop us a line here. Cheers and happy podcasting!


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By: Jacob Bozarth

As President & CEO of Resonate Recordings, Jacob leads the team & oversees the vision and growth. Jacob can be found recording, producing, & mixing podcasts when he is not spending time with his family. Jacob & his family live in Louisville, KY.