The Best Microphone for Podcasting – Review 2017

Podcasts are all about talking and if you can’t clearly hear what is been said, then it totally beats the purpose. The secret to a great podcast is not just great content but an equally good microphone that will make your content sound professional.

The Best Three Podcast Microphones

  1. Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Blackout Edition
  2. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB
  3. Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone

With so many different microphone models on the market, all claiming to give you the best podcast experience, finding the right one for your podcast recordings can be quite frustrating. This is why we have done the research for you and hand-picked three of the best microphone for podcasting. We are sure there is one that fits your bill.

Feature

Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Blackout Edition

Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Blackout Edition

Audio-Technica AT2020USB

Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

Heil PR-40

Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone

Transducer Type Dynamic Dynamic Dynamic
Pick up pattern Cardioid, Figure-8, Omnidirectional, Stereo Mode Cardioid Cardioid

Frequency range
20 Hz to 20 kHz 50 Hz to 15 kHz 28 Hz to 18 kHz
Maximum SPL 120 dB SPL 0.5%               – 148 dB SPL
Output Connectors USB 3-Pin XLR, USB 3-pin XLR
Weight 9.5 oz 13.5 oz
Dimensions 11.61″ Length 7.2″ x 2.01″ 10.5 x 7.0 x 4.0″

How to choose the best microphone for podcasting?

You can simplify the process of selecting the right microphone for your podcasts by looking for these features.

  1. Cardioid pick up pattern

Microphones with a cardioid pick up pattern is best suited for capturing speech as they pick-up sound in a heart-shape focusing on the front and a bit of the sides, rejecting the sounds at the back.

If you need to have a guest as part of your podcast, an omnidirectional pickup feature can come in handy to capture background sounds.

  1. USB port

A USB microphone is a much better option for your podcasts as it can be directly connected to your computer. An analog microphone on the other hand will require a pre-amp to convert the sound from analog to digital format.

  1. Pop filter

Speaking can produce a lot of popping sounds and hence your podcast microphone should either have an internal pop filter or come with an external one.

  1. Shock mount

Cut out unwanted sounds arising due to vibrations from your computer and accidental bumps. Look for a microphone with a shock mount to avoid external noise in your podcast.

  1. Stand

In addition to the pop filter and shock mount, you will also need a microphone stand for placing it on your desktop while you record your podcast.

Comparison

A side-by-side comparison of specs will let you decide which one of the best 3 microphones will suit your podcasting requirement as individual preference can differ.We go into the features, pros and cons of each of these three microphones to give you an in-depth idea about each of their capabilities.


Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Blackout Edition

Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Blackout EditionThe Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Blackout Edition comes in a unique tri-capsule design and gives you maximum flexibility for a variety of recording requirements as it lets you select between different pick-up patterns.

Though cardioid is best suited for podcasting, you will find the other modes such as stereo, omnidirectional or bidirectional useful when you have guests.

Pros

  • Four recoding modes will take care of all your podcast recording situations
  • Simple user controls for headphone volume, gain, pattern selection , mute etc.
  • USB microphone automatically converts analog sound to digital format
  • It is packed with a lot of features for a price tag that’s under $150
  • A 2 year limited warranty

Cons

  • A bulky stand can make mounting the microphone a bit difficult
  • The microphone tends to pick up outdoor noise and hence should be used inside a sound-insulated room or studio
  • Not portable as the entire microphone can be quite heavy to carry around

Read the full review HERE


Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS Cardioid Condenser USB MicrophoneThe Audio-Technica AT2020USB comes from Audio Technica, a company who are leading innovators in the transducer technology. It has both USB and XLR out put options so that you can also connect your microphone to a mixer if required.

The USB feature allows you to easily work with your recording software.  This one is for the budget-friendly podcaster who does not want to compromise on quality.

Pros

  • A cardioid pick up pattern picks up sound in a heart-shape which is ideal for podcasting
  • Extended frequency response is ideal for podcasting
  • Built-in headphones allow for direct and immediate monitoring of output
  • The ATR2100 is a great microphone that is budget-friendly and great value for money costing you under $100.
  • Offers compatibility with both Windows and Mac systems

Cons

  • The mini tripod desk stand that comes in the box is not of good quality
  • You need to be very close to the microphone for it to perform well, although this is counteracted by the fact that it cuts out room echo and background noise very well 

Read the full review HERE


Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone

Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording MicrophoneIf you want extremely professional sounding podcasts then the high performance dynamic Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone is something that will be worth your investment. Despite its price, it is a top favourite among many podcasters.

The large dynamic element has a smooth frequency response that perfectly captures the voice in the talking range. For this reason, the PR40 is the most preferred for voice-over applications and speech applications in general.

Pros

  • It has a cardioid pickup pattern that is perfect for podcasting
  • It has a sturdy steel body with a zinc die-cast bottom ring that will last years of podcasting
  • Great sound quality that is natural, clear and crisp

Cons

  • The microphone does not come with a USB feature and so if you want to connect it to your computer you will have to purchase an XLR to USB interface separately
  • There is no headphone jack to monitor the sound output of the microphone

Read the full review HERE


Conclusion

A good quality microphone can make all the difference to your podcast recordings and that does not mean you burn a hole in your pocket or compromise on quality. If you want a microphone with flexibility for recording in a variety of situations, then the Blue Yeti will work for you.

If you are picking up your first podcasting microphone and are on a budget, then the Audio-Technica AT2020USB is your best bet. But if you only want an exceptionally professional microphone for your podcasting then choose the Heil PR-40 which will prove worth the investment over time. Check out the TOP 5 Vocal Mics LIST

Mike J.
The Best Microphone for Podcasting - 2016
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