The best computer for podcasting is one that will meet the requirements you need to accomplish your goals. If you are looking to start a personal podcast or create ambient, easy listening background noise for your audiobook app, then any old laptop sitting in your desk drawer will do.
However, if you want to edit your show with ease and produce a polished, professional final product, you should invest in a computer that supports your needs.
The Digital Audio Workstation you are using will dictate the requirements of your computer. As a result, the best podcast computer will vary depending on what recording software you are using.
The Processor: The processor you need will depend on what you hope to accomplish with your podcast. If you plan on editing your show, then an i5 or i7 processor is a must.
On the other hand, if you are looking to produce good quality audio from your voice, something less powerful will suffice.
Your processor has a lot to do with speed. When you edit your show and make changes or add and remove elements from an episode, these all take time. The more powerful the processor, the less time it will take to complete these tasks.
Number of Cores: I prefer a quad-core processor, but many podcasters get by with dual-core or triple-core processors. Currently, Intel Core i5 or i7 processors are the “sweet spot.”
Clock Speed: Clock speed is measured in GHz and is the heart of how powerful a CPU is. The higher the GHz, the faster it can process commands and requests.
Number of Threads: The number of threads a CPU can handle at once is the thread count. More thread count means more efficient multitasking.
Graphics Card: Having a decent graphics card will allow you to edit your show in high definition and add visual elements, such as lower thirds and image overlays, etc., but if all you are doing is recording and editing your show, then a dedicated graphics card will not be necessary.
Dedicated Graphics will allow you to cast visuals to an external monitor or connect that monitor directly to the computer.
Hard Drive(s): You need at least one hard drive in your podcasting computer if you plan on producing more than just audio. If you plan to edit your show, you will need a dedicated internal hard drive with high read/write speeds.
On the other hand, If all you are looking to do is record and edit audio into an episode, you can get away with having just one external hard drive that has the capacity for episodes over two hours.
The size of the storage you need will depend on how many episodes you hope to create.
Of course, you can never have too much storage, but if all you are working with is a few hundred GB, then it may be time to look into upgrading your drive space.
RAM: RAM is pretty straightforward. The more, the merrier! If you want to edit your show or record more than one track at a time, then you should consider having 16 GB or more of RAM.
Operating System: If you want to record multiple tracks at once or edit your recordings, you will need to run an operating system that supports multitasking.
Windows 10 Pro is ok for most podcasters, but if all you are looking for is a way to record your voice and you are OK with only two tracks, Windows 10 Home will work just fine.
Speakers: If all you are looking to do is record voice into an episode, then you can get away with using the built-in microphones on most laptops or use headphones that will plug into your phone or computer.
If you plan on recording, editing, and producing your show, then you should look into getting a USB microphone or a mixer to go with the sound card built into your computer.
Mac vs. PC For Podcasting
If you are looking for the best computer to podcast with, it is safe to say that macOS will provide you with more stability than Windows 10 Pro or Home.
With this said, if you want stability and ease of use, then you should look into getting a Mac. The problem with buying a Mac is their price tag. For me? It’s worth it.
DAW Plugin Requirements
Most DAWs support VST and AU plugins. If you plan to use one, make sure it is compatible with the operating system you choose.
Adding an External Harddrive:
If you plan to run a DAW, you will need an external hard drive to store your audio files.
For example, the Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3.0 for PC, Mac, PS4, & Xbox – 1-Year Rescue Service (STGX2000400) packs a punch for a great price!
Best Computers by Price
The 2021 Dell Inspiron offers a quad-core i7 processor, 12 GB of RAM, and MaxxAudio. I chose this computer because it provides reliable performance and easy editing for your show without any problems.
This computer is cheaper than its competitors, but it still provides quality for those looking for an excellent machine on a budget.
This computer gets the best value for podcasters under $1000.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is an excellent choice for spending between $1000 and $1500.
The world’s most powerful 14-inch Windows 10 Pro gaming laptop, the ROG Zephyrus G14, is also highly versatile and ready to go.
With up to an 8-core AMD Ryzen™ 9 4900HS CPU and a powerful GeForce RTX™ 2060 GPU that speeds through regular multitasking and podcasting, it outshines the competition.
Choose between a 120Hz gaming display or a high-resolution WQHD panel to get the right fit for your situation. Both are Pantone® Validated for exceptional color.
With four speakers, the Zephyrus S QX doesn’t skimp on sound. For immersive movies, games, music, and more, it pumps out incredible Dolby Atmos audio.
The 2021 Apple MacBook Pro should top your list if you can push up to $2000 or more depending on upgrades.
The Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max chip offers a massive CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance leap. In addition, with force-canceling woofers, the computer features a six-speaker sound system that provides excellent clarity and fidelity.
With a battery life lasting up to 17 hours, you can edit your shows on the road or in the air. The display is gorgeous, with a 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR screen and an excellent dynamic range and contrast ratio.
Up to 10-core CPU delivers up to 3.7x faster performance to fly through pro workflows quicker than ever.
Podcasting comes with its own set of challenges. Unless you want to deal with those challenges on an underpowered or outdated machine, you should probably invest in a computer that will streamline your processes and allow you to produce a great show.
Ideally, if you want to run a DAW and some basic editing functions, you will need at least 16GB + of RAM. But, of course, the amount of RAM will depend on your workflow and how many plugins you plan on using during your recording process.
The Apple M2 Pro or M2 Max chip offers a massive CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance leap. In addition, with force-canceling woofers, the computer features a six-speaker sound system that provides excellent clarity and fidelity.
DAWs such as Pro Tools First, Reaper, Garageband, Logic Pro X are your best bets to get started with recording your podcast. For more advanced podcasting that requires uploading to multiple syndicated networks? Look into Adobe Audition CC.
The Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3. 0 for PC, Mac, PS4, & Xbox – 1-Year Rescue Service (STGX2000400) packs a punch for a great price!
Typically, podcasting should be fine on any machine with a microphone and editing software (such as Audacity). Still, if you want to create a high-quality show, you’ll need a dedicated podcasting computer that can handle your workflow.
If you’re new to podcasting, it’s probably best to get a system with fundamental apps. These include Audacity, and Adobe Premiere Elements, which will allow you to record your podcast, edit it, add in some music/effects and then upload it directly.
The Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop is a great budget pick, which comes in at around $600. This laptop can easily handle your podcasting needs, with 16GB of RAM and a powerful 6-core CPU which is more than enough for recording, editing, and uploading.
For talking into a microphone, you can plug in just about any mic and then use the line-in input on your computer to record what you say. The sound quality will be pretty good. Most Podcast hosts upgrade their mic.
You can edit podcasts on MacBook Air, but it will be somewhat limited. You’ll need to do the bulk of your editing on another computer and then upload it to your Mac Air using Dropbox or One Drive.
While Macs are popular with podcasters, you don’t need a Mac to record a podcast. Any good old PC will do the trick!
Chromebooks are an excellent choice for podcasters. They’re cheap, easy to use, and reliable (you can now edit audio on them). So if you’re looking for an affordable laptop that’s good for recording audio and broadcasting, a Chromebook is a great choice.