What is the best microphone for podcasting?

best microphone

Choosing the perfect microphone is a critical decision for any podcaster. It's not just about finding the most expensive or feature-packed option; it's about understanding your needs and finding a microphone that complements your voice, budget and recording environment.

We've teamed up with B&H Creators, part of B&H Photo which has been selling photo, video, and audio gear in New York for 50 overs, to get the inside track on the best podcast microphones.

b and h
Bridget Haggerty, B&H Creators

In this comprehensive guide, we unveil the top contenders, ensuring that you deliver the best podcast for your community. Let’s dive in!

Looking for more introductory information about starting a podcast? Check out our guide How to record a podcast: Tips and tricks for audio success or learn how to build the perfect content creator kit at What is a content creator kit?.

Factors to consider when choosing a microphone

Here are a couple of things to bear in mind when you are looking for the perfect podcast mic:

Condenser vs dynamic

Let's first understand the distinction between condenser and dynamic microphones.

  • Condenser microphones are renowned for their sensitivity and accuracy in capturing nuanced sounds, making them ideal for studio setups. This might be best if your podcast is focused on conversations between two or more people.

  • Dynamic microphones excel in handling high sound pressure levels, making them perfect for live recordings and versatile environments. This would be best if your podcast reports on live events.

Polar pattern

The polar pattern of a microphone determines how it captures sound. The most common patterns are:

  • Cardioid: Picks up sound primarily from the front, minimizing background noise.
  • Omnidirectional: Captures sound from all directions, making it suitable for group recordings or ambient sounds.
  • Bidirectional (Figure-8): Records from the front and back, ideal for interviews.

Budget constraints

Consider your budget, but remember that a higher price tag doesn't necessarily equate to better quality. There are excellent microphones available at various price points.

podcast mics - budget constraints

Decent mid-range podcast mics range in price from around $50 to $1,000 although some high-end podcast mics might cost around $3,000 – and some professional-level microphones can cost over $10,000! It's important to set a budget before you start shopping, so that you don't overspend.


Choose between USB and XLR microphones based on your recording setup. USB microphones are plug-and-play, while XLR microphones offer more versatility and are often used in professional setups.

Selecting the ideal mic for podcasting depends on various factors, including your recording environment, budget, and personal preferences. If possible, test different options or speak to podcaster friends to determine which microphone aligns best with your podcasting goals.

1. Shure SM7B

"An industry standard, not just within content creation, but in broadcasting and music recording, is the Shure SM7B," starts Bridget. "It's a shotgun microphone so you can mount it on a boom to have it floating right in front of you. It's a condenser mic, which means that the internal mechanism, the diaphragm -- which is essentially like our ear drum but in the microphone and that's what's converting the sound waves to electric current to make a recording -- is really sensitive."

best microphone for podcasting Shure SM7B Shure SM7B condenser mic © shure.com

"It's great if you can use it in a studio location, but it's also going to make your voice a lot clearer," she adds. "If you do need to edit or adjust, you'll have a lot of separation from your main audio source, which would be your closest -- in this case, you, the host or guest speaking. Fun fact: it was also the microphone that Michael Jackson used to record Thriller! It's on the higher end of the mics that you can start out with. It's about $399 in the US.

Key features of the Shure SM7B include:


Dynamic capsule technology handles loud sound levels without distorting, making it suitable for streaming and gaming.

Voice isolation

The cardioid pickup pattern and voice-isolating technology reduces background noise, ensuring your vocal performance remains clear and focused.


The ShurePlus MOTIV app provides advanced audio control, allowing you to customize the mic's settings and adjust equalization, gain, and compression.


The MV7 mic is Zoom Certified, ensuring seamless compatibility with Zoom virtual meetings and conferencing platforms.

For more information and to buy, go to bhphotovideo.com.

2. Rode PodMic – $99

"If you wanted another option that's very similar, great quality, but down at about $100, that's the Rode Pod Mic," continues Bridget. "It's the same as the Shure -- condenser mic, same type of diaphragm, and has a better cage, covering of the microphone."

best microphone for podcasting Rode PodMic The Rode pod mic is great value © rode.com

"It has more more of a retro feel so that can provide an interesting option if you're on camera," she adds. "These first two mics though, you will have to use an XLR cable for them. That's to transmit the audio, but also to give it power. If you use them, make sure that you have the right mixer or the right adapters to put in your computer."

Key features of the Rode PodMic include:

Rich sound

The PodMic has a warm, full-bodied sound that is perfect for capturing the nuances of speech. It is also able to handle high SPLs without distorting.

Pop filter

The PodMic has an internal pop filter to help reduce plosive sounds, which are those harsh 'p' and 'b' sounds that can ruin a recording.

Swing mount

The PodMic comes with a swing mount that allows you to easily position the microphone where you need it, as well as an internal shockmount to help isolate it from vibrations.

Podcasting specialist

This dynamic microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern is designed specifically for podcasting and broadcasts, at a very affordable price.

For more information and to buy, go to bhphotovideo.com.

3. Logitech Blue Yeti – $129

Bridget continues: "If you don't want to worry about XLR cables, you can go for a USB microphone that'll just plug into your laptop or your computer. The Blue Yeti is a really good one."

best microphone for podcasting Logitech Blue Yeti Logitech Blue Yeti USB microphone © logitechg.com

"The Blue Yeti looks reminiscent of older retro radio microphones so again, it might be a good option if you're also recording video for your podcast," she says. "This one is about $129 but you aren't going to have to buy a mixer to go with it, so it's on a friendlier budget."

Key features of the Logitech Blue Yeti include:

Polar patterns

This condenser microphone offers four polar patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, bidirectional and stereo, useful for capturing everything from a single person talking to a group of people playing acoustic instruments.


The Blue Yeti connects directly to computers via USB, eliminating the need for external audio interfaces or preamps.

On-mic controls

The Blue Yeti features direct-access controls for gain, mute, and headphone monitoring, allowing for quick adjustments during recording.

Pop filter

The Blue Yeti includes a built-in pop filter to minimize plosive sounds, reducing distracting "popping" sounds.

For more information and to buy, go to bhphotovideo.com.

4. Zoom H1essential - $99.99

"The Zoom recorder has a built-in mic and there's different inputs that you can use so it's really great for mobile," says Bridget. "It comes with stereo mics: if you have two people sitting next to each other, stereo mic will be great for picking up their conversation. It records right to the device but if you need to, there are two ports for XLR cables -- or you can plug in a microphone that has a 3.5m headphone jack."

best microphone for podcasting Zoom Zoom H1essential comes with stereo mics © zoomcorp.com

"If you're traveling and need to record a podcast outside of your normal studio, you're still going to get great quality and you can record externally so you don't need to worry about it taking up memory on your phone," she adds. "You can also have it double up as a mixer for your regular studio setup if you're just using your computer."

Key features of the Zoom H1essential include:

32-bit float recording

This state of the art technology gives you consistently clear audio without distortion, editing flexibility, and a simplified setup by eliminating the need for a gain adjustment knob.

Display and guidance

OLED display and audio guidance function for the blind and visually impaired

Battery life

10 hours of battery life on 2 AAA Batteries or USB-C power

For more information and to buy, go to bhphotovideo.com.

Special mentions

Here are a few other options that might suit your podcasting needs:

5. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ – $165

The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is a condenser microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern. It's a popular choice for podcasters because it offers excellent sound quality at a reasonable price.

best microphone for podcasting Audio-Technica AT2020USB

The AT2020USB+ inherits the quality of the AT2020, a studio-level condenser microphone. It produces audio with extended frequency response, ideal for capturing spoken word.

For more information and to buy, go to audio-technica.com.

6. Sennheiser MK 4 Digital – $375

The Sennheiser MK 4 Digital offers a large-diaphragm and utilizes Sennheiser's Varimotion capsule technology, which ensures a smooth and consistent frequency response over the entire audio spectrum with high fidelity audio.

best microphone for podcasting Sennheiser MK 4 Digital

The low self-noise level makes it suitable for recording even the quietest sounds and its handling of high sound pressure levels (SPLs) without distortion makes it ideal for recording loud instruments and vocals.

For more information and to buy, go to sennheiser.com.

FAQs about the best microphone for podcasting

If you're still unsure about what microphone you might need for your podcast project, we hope these frequently asked questions and answers will provide the information you need:

How do I set up a microphone for podcasting?

Setting up a microphone involves connecting it to your recording device, adjusting the gain, and positioning it correctly. Ensure that you're in a quiet environment and test the recording levels before starting.

best-podcast-mic FAQs

Can I use a smartphone as a podcasting microphone?

While smartphones have built-in microphones, they may not offer the audio quality needed for professional podcasting. Consider investing in an external microphone for better results.

Should I invest in additional accessories for my microphone?

Accessories like pop filters, shock mounts, and foam windscreens can enhance your recording quality by reducing plosives and background noise.

How do I maintain and clean my microphone?

Use a gentle brush or compressed air to remove dust and debris from the microphone grille. Avoid blowing directly into the microphone as moisture can damage the internal components.

Can I use a microphone for remote interviews or co-hosting?

Yes, consider using a microphone with an omnidirectional pattern for group recordings or invest in a mixer to accommodate multiple microphones.

Conclusion: Best microphone for podcasting

Selecting the best microphone for podcasting is a crucial step towards producing high-quality content. Consider your specific needs, recording environment, and budget to find the perfect fit. The options presented here are not only industry leaders but also cater to a spectrum of preferences and budgets.

With the right microphone in hand, you'll be well on your way to creating engaging and professional podcasts that captivate your audience. Happy podcasting!

With thanks to B&H Creators

For more information on B&H Creators, follow them on Instagram at @bh.creators or follow Bridget Haggerty at @bhaggertyphoto.

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