Podcasting is the new blogging.
Podcasts are all the rave these days, and just about every website has one. They’re good for advertising, good for generating revenue and most of all good for generating traffic. Probably the best part about hosting a podcast, is that it costs absolutely nothing – provided you have the proper equipment and audio editing software.
But you can’t start podcasting without a proper microphone, and not just any old recording mic will do either. In fact, if a microphone is not properly chosen, a recording can be ruined by background noise, audio distortion, excessive sound pops and even potent echoes. That is exactly why choosing the perfect microphone should always be the starting point for anyone interested in hosting a podcast.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best, and most affordable, podcasting microphones that are currently available. Pick up one of these babies, and you should be all set.
The Most Affordable USB Podcasting Microphones
#1: CAD-U1 Dynamic Recording USB Microphone
The CAD-U1 dynamic recording mic is more of a traditional desktop microphone, and obviously includes a desktop mic stand. The dynamic mic element was specifically designed to compliment studio vocals and instruments, which makes it great for podcasting.
The CAD-U1 mic includes an integrated cardioid pick-up pattern which, like the other mics on this list, produces a clear sound and helps to eliminate background noise. The U1 includes no listed frequency response range, but CAD claims the mic provides a “smooth” and “extended” frequency response which is perfect for vocals.
As an added bonus the CAD-U1 includes an integrated pop filter which helps eliminate popping sounds that are normally produced during vocals by pronouncing “p” words and similar sounds. The microphone also includes a hardware on/off switch to allow instant device muting when required.
The CAD-U1 mic is bundled with a desktop mic stand and a ten foot USB cable. As for price, the U1 is normally $49, but is available on Amazon for just for $34.
The CAD-U1 USB microphone is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.
#2: Samson Meteor Studio Microphone
This little guy doesn’t look like a meteor as the name implies, but it does have a slick and shiny body design nonetheless. As for features, the Samson Meteor mic includes an integrated 25mm (large diaphragm) condenser which basically enhances audio and makes it sound rich and clear. The Samson Meteor also includes a cardioid pickup pattern which means it’s ideal for acoustics, and has a flat frequency response range of 20Hz-20kHz.
The Samson Meteor mic is fully capable of recording CD quality audio at a 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution. As an added bonus the Meteor mic includes a tripod-like leg system which can fold back to provide custom microphone positioning.
The Samson Meteor microphone is normally $149.99, but is currently available at Amazon for $69.23.
The Top Three Most Affordable Podcasting Microphones
#3: BadAax Um600 Studio USB Microphone and Cardioid Condenser
This well priced microphone wasn’t built for looks, but it certainly does resemble a professional studio mic. This USB microphone includes an integrated cardioid condenser (as the name implies) that is designed to produce clear audio. The BadAax Um600 records audio at a 24-bit/96Kkhz maximum resolution and has a USB transfer rate of 480 Mbps.
The BadAax Um600 has garnered a wide range of reviews and seems to be great for all things audio recording; in fact, several sources have specifically praised its podcasting potential. The Um600 microphone comes bundled with a shockmount, microphone clip, and USB cable. It’s also important to note the BadAax Um600 mic includes a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty.
The BadAax Um600 mic is normally $169, but is currently available on Amazon for $79.99.
#4: Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Microphone
The Audio-Technica AT2020 has a more traditional microphone design, and is encompassed in a matte black finish. The AT2020 mic includes a side-address studio condenser which means users should talk into the side of the microphone; while the integrated condenser helps produce clear audio sound. The low mass design of the mic diaphragm allows the AT2020 to provide a frequency response range of 20-16,000Hz. Audio is produced by the AT2020 at a 16-bit depth and maximum sample rate of 41.1kHz.
Included with the Audio-Technica AT2020 USB mic is a tripod desk stand, a pivoting mount stand, a portable storage pouch and of course a USB cable. The Audio-Technica AT2020 mic is normally $249, but is currently available on Amazon for $107.08.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 USB microphone is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.
The Best and Most Affordable USB Podcasting Microphone
#1: Blue Microphones Yeti USB Mic
Here we are, finally at the best of the best. Of course keep in mind this mic isn’t the best microphone ever produced, it’s simply the best podcasting mic for the price.
The Blue Microphones Yeti USB mic is polished in a unique silver and chrome finish, and is specifically designed for desktop use. It includes a fully adjustable desktop stand that allows it to be angled towards the audio source.
But the best feature of the Yeti USB mic is its complete customization to fit both the environment and sound source individually. The Yeti USB mic is outfitted with Blue Microphone’s tri-capsule technology to allow users to choose the active pick-up pattern; there are four patterns to choose from:
Stereo: This pattern uses the left and right audio channels to produce more authentic sounding audio, it is best used when truly unhindered audio recording is desired.
Cardioid: This pattern, which is best for podcasting and vocals, uses the integrated cardioid condenser to produce clear audio for sources located directly in front of the microphone.
Omnidirectional: This pattern produces a realistic and natural sound that is captured from all angles, which means the Omnidirectional mode is best for live performances or live recordings where the environment audio also needs to be captured.
The Blue Microphones Yeti USB mic also includes integrated dials to adjust headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute and mic gain levels; these dials allow on-the-fly adjustments without the need for external audio editing software. The internal headphone jack allows users to listen to recorded audio directly via a headset without latency or lag issues. The Yeti USB mic has a 16-bit maximum recording resolution of 48kHz.
The Blue Microphones Yeti USB mic is bundled with an adjustable desk stand, a USB cable and of course an instruction booklet. The Yeti USB mic is normally $149, but is available on Amazon for $100.97.
It’s also worth noting that a professional Yeti USB mic is available which includes more advanced features.
The Blue Microphones YETI USB mic is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.