The quality of your episodes depends largely on the type of software and tools used in publishing your podcast. Of course, your focus as a podcaster is primarily on delivering quality content instead of gathering lots of expensive and fancy audio equipment.
Having said that, you need the best tools you can afford to produce good-quality podcasts. That is why I’ve put together this guide to give you a comprehensive podcast equipment list that will suit any podcast setup or budget. This will save you hours of guesswork and research, especially if you are a new or aspiring host.
Comprehensive Podcast Equipment List
Computers allow you to use digital audio workstations or editing software to record and produce a more professional show.
Whether you choose PC or Mac comes down to personal preference. However, you want to choose a computer with at least 8GB of RAM, a triple-core processor, and SSD storage.
Regardless of your message, people need to hear it clearly. Choosing the right podcast mic allow your podcast recording equipment to capture good sound quality and save you plenty of post-production time.
Some podcasting mics are designed to reject ambient noise in the environment, but they produce less crisp sound. These are called dynamic microphones and are more suitable for recording in DIY studios.
Conversely, a condenser mic is more sensitive to noise and will pick up the slight sounds and more nuanced vocals. Choose this type of podcast mic if you plan to record in a standard recording studio with excellent acoustic treatments.
Both dynamic and condenser microphone options are available in two broad categories, which are:
- USB Microphone: These mics connect directly to the computer. A USB microphone is an ideal choice for beginners because of the easy setup. The Blue Yeti USB Mic is a solid choice with plenty of useful features, such as gain control, mute button, and zero-latency headphone output. The Blue Snowball is a great alternative if you want something more affordable.
- XLR Microphone: XLR mics plug into an interface or digital recorder instead of directly to a computer. These mics are usually for professional setups, and the MXL 990 Condenser XLR Microphone and Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone are both fantastic options.
Also known as a boom mount, a microphone stand gets your mic closer to your mouth level. The stand or boom arm can prevent the mic from rubbing against something during your podcast recording. Plus, it can keep you from knocking into the mic since it lifts the device off your desk.
Mic Windscreen or Pop Filter
Mixers are great for setups that record live episodes, especially if you want to add sound effects and music on the go. Also, they improve sound quality, and there is almost no need for post-production of the final cut.
Mixers are not required if you use a USB mic, but you need one if you use an XLR mic or multiple mics for guests or co-hosts. Here’s one that I recommend.
No podcast equipment list is complete without headphones. These allow you to monitor your recording, whether you are interviewing a guest or doing a solo show.
While headsets are vital to your podcast, there is usually no need to spend too much money on a set; at least not when you are just starting. Any good over-the-ear headphones will allow you to hear exactly what’s being captured because they offer better sound quality.
While a good-quality dynamic mic works well in a DIY and makeshift podcast studio, acoustic treatment can significantly cut down hassles during post-production.
If you are just getting started, you can use some objects around your home as acoustic treatment. These include rugs, bookcases loaded with books, thick and heavy blankets, and more.
All you need is to bring some of these items into a quiet room or closet, set up your recording equipment, and do your show.
You can create your dream podcast studio with professional-grade acoustic panels if you like to take things up a notch. Fortunately, you don’t need to break the bank to get a pack of 50 eco-friendly pieces of acoustic panels to build something great.
Digital Audio Workspace (DAW)
Now that you have every piece of podcast equipment, it’s time to invest in a digital audio workspace (DAW). This means getting a software program that will record your audio interface and provide pro-level editing.
There are many recording and editing software options to take your pick from but consider your operating system and experience level before choosing.
Here are some good beginner-friendly options you may want to check out for podcast hosting:
- GarageBand – Free download specifically for Mac and excellent for solo shows.
- Audacity – Free, open-source, cross-platform program with a multi-track audio recorder and editor.
- Reaper – an affordable cross-platform Audacity-alternative with more advanced features.
- SquadCast – great for co-hosting and remote recording and can be combined with Audacity for an enhanced sound recording and editing experience.
If you are an experienced podcaster looking to try your hands on something more advanced, you may find Adobe Audition more suitable. Although it is a costlier option, it is one of the industry’s leading audio workstations for creating, editing, and mixing sounds.
Technically, you can record an episode with your iPhone, but that will have amateur written all over your show in bold capital letters!
Whether you’re looking to save money or splurge, this podcasting equipment list has tools that can help you to publish more professional-sounding episodes.