Ready to start a podcast?
Audio quality is clearly one of the most important factors – and for that, you’ll need a good microphone.
As you add more people, you will need some additional gear to get everything hooked up and recorded on your computer. It’s not complicated – and I’ll tell you exactly what you need to get started.
I’ll give a lower budget (but quality) recommendation and some suggested upgraded options as well.
For recording software, just use GarageBand if you have a Mac or Audacity (for Mac & PC). They’re both free recording and editing software. If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, you can use Adobe Audition, but there’s no need to pay extra for it to start.
Blubrry also makes the PowerPress Plugin for WordPress to create your podcast feed that you will submit to iTunes, Google Play, etc.
Now on to the podcast starter kit recommendations:
1 Person Podcast Starter Kit
Ready to start a solo podcast? Here’s what you need:
Seriously, that’s it.
This is the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB. Even Tim Ferriss uses this mic. It has both USB and XLR plugs so you can start by plugging it straight into your computer. Later on, you can look into getting a mixer or audio interface.
It also has a headphone jack so you will be able to hear yourself recording. You’ll also want a decent pair of closed-back headphones. The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x headphones are my favorite budget choice.
Feel free to check out the ATR2100 review for the recommended shock mount (to reduce vibrations) and a few more details.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone – USB only, but has a ton of features and great sound quality. This is what I started with and it’s extremely popular for good reason. For 1 person podcasts, a quality USB mic is a great choice.
Rode Podcaster Booming Kit: Podcaster, PSA1 Arm, and PSM1 shock mount – Rode is a well-respected brand in the microphone and audio equipment space and they make awesome stuff. This is a USB microphone so you can be up and running in minutes – without needing extra gear.
Heil PR-40 Microphone, Heil PL-2T Boom Arm & Heil PRSM Shock Mount – Broadcast-quality microphone that is nearly unanimously recommended by the pros. This is the best podcast starter kit that comes with nearly everything you need, but you still need a way to connect it to your computer. Get the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface to accomplish that task. Round it out with the Heil Windscreen and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones. This stuff will be with you for many years and is worth the investment.
2, 3 & 4 Person Podcast Starter Kits
With a 2 or more person podcast, you’ll each need an XLR microphone – and headphones are highly recommended. Because you can’t easily record more than 1 USB microphones into one computer, you’ll need a USB audio interface with at least as many XLR microphone inputs as you have hosts. But also consider having a spare input for a guest!
For the multi-person budget podcast kit I’m going to recommend:
- Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500 Microphone
- On Stage Foam Windscreen
- CBI MLC20 Low Z XLR Microphone Cable (20ft)
The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x headphone recommendation stays the same.
Just get 2x, 3x or 4x of those 4 things.
You will need a way to plug in multiple pairs of headphones though – and the Behringer HA400 is your solution.
The USB interface or mixer will depend on how many people you have:
- 2 XLR inputs: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface
- 4 XLR inputs: Behringer Xenyx Q1202USB Mixer
- 6 XLR inputs: Behringer Xenyx X1222USB Mixer
Don’t forget you will want extra inputs at some point. Be sure to take a look at the intermediate options for these as the price doesn’t jump that much but the quality does.
So to review you will need:
- Microphone (for each person)
- XLR Cable (for each person)
- USB Interface or Mixer (w/ USB in/out)
Technically optional but highly recommended (for each person):
- Microphone Stand (here are the best tabletop mic stands)
- Shock Mount
- Windscreen or Pop Filter
- Studio Headphones
Here are some upgrade options… feel free to mix and match!
All-around excellent choices that balance price and quality.
Microphone, Boom & Shock Mount
- 2 XLR inputs: Yamaha AG06 Mixer
- 4 XLR inputs: Mackie ProFX8v2 Mixer
- 6+ XLR inputs: Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface
If you jumped to here, the microphone kit is the same as the solo section. The Universal Audio interfaces are fairly expensive, but you can safely use a less expensive model (like from the intermediate section right above here) with the other gear recommendations.
Microphone, Boom & Shock Mount
- 2 XLR inputs: Universal Audio Apollo Twin USB
- 4 XLR inputs: Universal Audio Apollo 8 DUO
- 6+ XLR inputs: Allen & Heath ZED-12FX
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you have your own starter kit recommendations. Lastly, podcasting should be fun, so don’t take yourself too seriously!