If you are on a budget for podcasting, the biggest expenses are often the microphone and sound mixer. These are two items that can make or break your podcast quality.
A good mic will last you years while still sounding great every time you use it, while a cheap mic may need to be replaced after only a few months of use.
Even with equipment costs aside, buying an expensive microphone isn’t always necessary because there are many affordable microphones that also deliver high-quality audio. This article is going to review budget podcast microphones that will help give your podcast professional integrity without breaking the bank.
1. Samson Q2U
The Samson Q2U is one of the most popular budget microphones for podcasters. It is a dynamic microphone that plugs into your computer or mixer with an XLR cable. The main advantage of this mic is its plug-and-play design. You don’t have to configure anything in order for it to work, just plug it in and you are ready to go.
The Q2U delivers warm audio at a frequency response of 20-15k Hz. It also has a built-in preamp with an adjustable gain control so you can get the perfect mic level for your voice depending on how close you are sitting from the microphone. While most podcast speakers sit anywhere between 6-12 inches away from their microphones, it is recommended to sit between 6-8 inches away when using the Q2U.
Sit any closer and you risk overloading the mic, so be sure to adjust the gain accordingly.
2) Rode SmartLav+
The Rode podcast microphone is a lapel condenser mic that plugs directly into your smartphone or audio interface for easy recording. It uses a cardioid pickup pattern that isolates your voice from any outside noise without adding distortion to your voice.
The frequency response of the SmartLav+, aka “plug-and-play”, the mic is 50Hz to 20kHz which covers most voices and plenty of room for audio post-processing in post-production software like Audacity or Adobe Audition.
And as if that wasn’t enough, it also comes with free pro audio editing software Rode REC LE to make editing your podcast easier. Once you are done recording with this mic, it’s as simple as plugging the SmartLav+ into your computer, opening REC LE, and importing your audio. Then just take out any unwanted noise or fix any pitchiness in your voice before publishing to the web!
3) MXL 770
The MXL 770 is a large-diaphragm side-address condenser microphone that gives crisp audio reproduction across the full frequency spectrum (20 Hz – 20 kHz). It uses a standard tripod stand mount so it can be set on top of almost anything for easy positioning.
This USB condenser microphone also comes with its own sound card so you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues between your hardware and computer.
Just like the other mics on this list, the 770 is plug-and-play so you don’t have to configure anything for it to work with your computer or mixer. It also comes with free audio recording software Studio One Artist that makes editing and mixing easy once you’re done recording.
4) Samson G Track Microphone
Another great microphone on our list of best budget podcast microphones is the Samson G Track. This USB condenser microphone delivers studio-quality 24-bit/96kHz digital recordings with unidirectional polar patterns which minimize background noise for clear vocal reproduction.
It comes with a desktop stand for mounting on top of your computer monitor so it’s ready to be used out of the box without additional accessories and includes a built-in headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring during recording.
One advantage the G Track has over some of the other mics on this list is its instrument input. Many people like to use an interface with their microphone instead of plugging it directly into their computer in order to have more control over their audio levels.
Just be aware that if you are using an interface with your mic, you will need phantom power or else it won’t work properly. Luckily most interfaces come equipped with 48V phantom power so it’s not too much of an inconvenience when you’re just starting out producing podcasts.
The Samson G Track also comes with its own stand, USB cable, headphones, and case for traveling if you need to take it on the road.
The Rode Podcaster USB
The Rode Podcaster microphone makes it onto our list of best budget podcast microphones for several reasons. First of all, the Podcaster uses a dynamic mic element with a cardioid polar pattern which helps make sure your voice doesn’t get distorted when you speak very close to the microphone.
It also comes with Rode’s “Deadcat” furry windshield that minimizes plosives (popping sounds caused by air hitting the mic). Many podcasters like using this windshield because it offers protection from saliva and moisture that can harm your microphone while giving you clear audio at the same time.
The Podcaster also comes with a shock mount system to reduce any vibrations or other noises coming from your desk while you are recording which is especially useful if you plan on moving around or repositioning your microphone during a recording. One added bonus of this mic is that it comes with an XLR cable so it can be used as a standard mic for instruments as well as spoken word applications.
The Podcaster uses its own preamp and analog-to-digital converter which means you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues when you’re connecting it to your computer or audio console. Just plug and play and start recording in minutes!
6) Shure PGA27 USB Microphone
The Shure PGA27 makes our list of best budget podcast microphones because it provides excellent transient response and has a built-in headphone amplifier so you won’t have any latency problems while monitoring your recordings through headphones before publishing them online. It also comes with a desktop stand and USB cable for easy use.
This microphone is fantastic for singers, voiceover artists, podcasters, and anyone else who needs to record audio on their computer because it reduces background noise while picking up your voice clearly. It has an XLR output as well as a USB so you can connect it directly to your mixer or interface without any major compatibility issues.
Hopefully, this article on the best budget podcast microphones has given you some good recommendations for recording equipment that won’t break the bank.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.