The Ultimate Guide to Podcast Equipment

Updated April 1, 2019 | by Hollagully

As far as recording goes creating a podcast is remarkably easy.

If you’re feeling intimidated or overwhelmed by the abundance of podcast equipment and the varying skillsets required to get off the ground, don’t be.  We’ll ensure every base is covered and you’re good to go out on your own.

In the areas that podcasting is difficult is where you should be focusing your energy: Being a good host, building and maintaining an audience, becoming profitable and growing…

This post is a complete guide to podcast equipment and in being just that we cover a diverse range of equipment.

What you need to do right now is think very hard and practically about what it is you’re looking to do.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many hosts does my show have?
  • Will I have guests? How many at a given time?
  • Will we all be in the same room? Talking from Skype?
  • Will I be using a computer and require recording software?
  • Will I be recording lectures, keynote speeches, etc?
  • Will I always be recording from here? How about out on the road?
  • Do I want to film video versions of my episodes?

You see where I’m going with this? The more you define your needs the easier it is to draw conclusions on how to fulfill them. (OMG sooo poetic!)

Below we will cover every tool used along the signal path and explain which situations each item is the appropriate choice.



Microphones are categorized based on their components and features. In your search of a microphone for podcasting, you will come across dynamic and condenser microphones. Both do a fantastic job recording vocals and no one is better than the other. However, for podcasting specifically, many have come to the conclusion that condenser microphones are just too damn sensitive.

Sparing you the technical details, dynamic vocal microphones do a great job recording what is directly in front of them and are much less prone to picking up excessive room noise.

If you’re a one-man-band just looking to get off the ground then look no further than a simple USB microphone. You can plug directly into your computer and you’re off to the races with no need for any other device.

We’ve put together a buyers guide suggesting both dynamic and condenser USB microphones that are perfectly suited for podcasting.

Next. If you’re looking to connect multiple guests in a single room then we’d strongly recommend any of the options below. They are listed from least expensive upward with every choice being of tremendous value for dollar. Prices range between roughly $65.00 and $450.00 so there’s surely something here for someone of every budget.

In case you’re wondering how these microphones differ from USB microphones, the connection type offered here is XLR. So rather than connecting straight to your computer, you will need a middleman. This interface receives the audio and converts it to digital information that your recording software can understand. More on that later.


The Audio-Technica ATR-2100 is an affordable cardioid dynamic microphone that connects via XLR or USB. This is by no means the Rolls Royce of microphones but it certainly does the trick. It’s heard on a number of successful podcasts and with only a few tweaks in post-production, you can come up with some really great results. For a closer look at the Audio-Technica ATR-2100, click here


podcasting-equipment-shure-sm58The Shure SM58 is super popular and though used for tons of audio applications it is built for the human voice. It’s durable as hell so a top choice if you’re podcasting on the go . It’s also relatively cheap for it’s value and can also be purchased as a 4 pack with cables and a carrying bag. To learn more about the Shure SM58, click here.




The Rode Procaster is a broadcast quality dynamic microphone designed for radio, voice-over recording, podcasts, and everything alike. It’s popularity has paralleled podcasting’s growth over the years as Rode excels in servicing the market of multimedia producers. It features an internal pop filter and shock resistance and the provided link above refers you to a package including the microphone, shock mount, PSA1 Studio Boom Arm, zip pouch and mic stand. Great value for a new podcast studio staple.


shure-sm7b-vocal-microphoneThe Shure SM7B is a broadcast standard microphone found in radio stations around the world. An effective pop filter eliminates need for any add-on protection against explosive breath sounds. If you’re looking to go pro, this is it. It may be priced higher than the others but it is surprisingly affordable for such an industry standard. This mic is literally everywhere. To learn more about it, click here


electro-voice-re20-best-microphone-for-vocalsThe Electro-Voice RE20 is another top dynamic microphone found in all sorts of live or recorded broadcast media. Engineers love it for it’s remarkably flat frequency response, making it useful for voices of all ranges. In video, pay close attention to your favourite broadcasters and you will very likely see them using this microphone. The RE20 is has an internal filter to protect against plosives, is extremely durable and can last a lifetime. Want to know more? Click here.

...before we move on.

Before moving into Chapter 2, I’d like to make a few points about connectivity. If you answered the questions in the introduction then you have a good idea of how, who, where, and how many you’ll be recording. We’ll now be covering audio interfaces, mixers, and portable digital recorders so I want to break down their differences so you can determine which one will best suite your situation.

  • If you ever plan on taking your podcast on the road then you could get by with only a digital portable recorder. They come with up to 6 inputs and are no larger than a jumbo hot dog. (Mmmm…) Use it at home or on your travels. Simply export the audio files to your computer and off you go.
  • Audio interfaces are units sold with 2, 4, 8, 16, etc. inputs and are built for the desktop or a rack mounting system. Your audio goes through it and into your recording software where you manage the files thereafter.

So then, how do they differ from mixers?

  • An audio interface features only a gain control for each track which manages the amount of input signal going in.
  • A mixer is a larger unit that offers gain and equalization for each track, as well as a volume fader. The layout of a multitrack mixer allows you to insert any device you’d like into any of the channels and play with their equalization and volume on the fly for a more live performance. This means that if anything is done to any of the controls during recording, there is no turning back. That audio is sent and is going straight to the recording software.

So. If you want to sound like a radio host and trigger air horns, canned laughter, theme music, pre recorded elements on the fly that are playing off an external device, this is how you’d do that.

…moving on.


Audio Interfaces

If your podcast features 1 or 4 hosts who will be recording from the same studio, and you are looking to recording straight into your recording software then I suggest an audio interface. These units are incredibly easy to operate and will get you going immediately. They are small, durable, and built with reliable components.

This is great for minimal podcasts where the bulk of its assembly and structure is done with editing in post-production. Simply track your parts and assemble the show to your liking later. If this is the way you like to produce your podcasts, most models of audio interfaces come with 2, 4 or 8 inputs so this can be done with multiple live guests.

Audio is  received through each channel and is converted to digital information and sent via USB or Firewire into your recording software. So if you have 4 guests, you can record them each individually, create 4 tracks in your software and set their inputs to the appropriate channels of the interface et voila.

It’s worth noting that audio interfaces have one headphone output so if you have multiple guests in your studio then you’ll want to grab a headphone splitter so everyone can hear and control the levels to their liking. More on that later.

If you’re interested in learning more about audio interfaces we have put together a list of top models for home studio recording with a comprehensive buyers guide found here.

Here are a few of our favourites commonly found in home recording studios:

scarlett-best-podcast-equipmentFocusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB – Undeniably the best-selling USB audio interface in its class. Loathed by competitors for its speed, performance and high-quality components. It is a versatile 2-in, 2-out unit perfectly suitable for a two-host podcast and is also available in four and eight channel versions. 

Both inputs feature fantastic preamps with plenty of gain to support any instrument via combo style XLR / 1/4” (TS&TRS) inputs. The Scarlett 2i2 is an affordable, practical choice for podcasters looking for a simple podcasting setup that allows you to record straight into your recording software. To learn more about the Scarlett 2i2, click here.

audiobox-podcast-equipmentPresonus Audiobox – PreSonus is an authoritative audio brand with a strong reputation for making dependable gear for every budget. The Audiobox offers 2-channel combo style XLR / 1/4” (TS&TRS) inputs with Class-A mic preamps that offer plenty of gain to support signal from any microphone. If you are a podcast with 1-2 hosts, and are recording straight into your software of choice then the Audiobox is an afforable solution. The Audiobox as also available if four and eight channels versions. To learn more about the Audiobox, click here.

Akai EIE Pro USB – Here’s an affordable tank of a unit that will carry a podcast of up to four guests. Each input has gain controls and 48V phantom power for condenser mics. The unit has zero latency and mounts all the controls and inputs on the front for tidy studio set up.

The Akai EIE Pro looks and feels far more expensive than its price tag. Its durable construction and overall performance make it a fantastic choice for a budding podcast studio. To learn more abut about the EIE Pro, click here.


Focurite Saffire Pro 40 – Another popular Focusrite interface that runs many a home project studios. For a reliable interface that connects up to eight guests through legendary preamps and offers zero latency, the Saffire series from Focusrite are of the best choices for running a professional multitracking podcast studio. To learn more about the Saffire Pro 40, click here.


Life's Short. Put Your Podcast On Autopilot

The only thing more precious than time is what you spend it on. Stop toiling in obscurity!!!  

You want that “NPR” sound but don’t have the time or skills.  You want a masterful production you can set ’n forget.

Check out our robust selection of competitively priced podcast production services that let you spend time on the things that really matter.



A mixer gives a podcaster a lot of hands-on controls. Whereas an audio interface is great for simple interviews or recording segments to be edited later in recording software, a mixer allows for a more live performance where many sound sources are brought in on-the-fly across the mixers many channels. This isn’t to say that this cannot be done with an audio interface, but there are a few extra perks that come with a mixer:

Mix-Minus is a technique used for Skype calls where you configure the mixer so that the guest on the line hears the entirety of the mix played back minus their own voice. This is because there can be a bit of a delay which can be distracting while speaking.

That being said, you can also use programs like Ecamm Call Recorder (Mac), Piezo (Mac), or Pamela (PC) to record Skype calls and edit them into your show later. What’s in question here is the production flow of the show. Do you want to record all the elements on-the-fly like a musical performance with less editing and assembly at the end? Or do you want to record all your parts piecemeal and put them together in post-production?

The following mixers are found in podcasters studios everywhere:


XENYX-Q802USB-podcast-gearBehringer XENYX Q802USB – If you’re on a budget and want a simple solution for a 1-2 person podcast, this is a fantastic choice. This practical unit is light and will easily fit in your backpack.

Here you get two channels offering XLR or 1/4” inputs stocked with Behringers phantom powered XENYX mic preamps.

With its bi-directional stereo USB interface you can connect directly to any Mac or PC  with a single USB cable.

yamaha-mg10-podcasting-gearYamaha MG10 – This ten input mixer allows you to control your podcast from your fingertips. It features four mono channels with XLR/TRS inputs, “D-PRE” mic preamps, 26dB pads, 1-knob compressors, and high pass filters at 80Hz. Three stereo channels allow you to connect a variety of external devices, perfect for adding FX, music, and other audio assets on the fly. Each channel features a 3-band EQ and AUX Outs.

Yamaha products are used in top studios worldwide and they’re known to last for ages. Within its metal chassis, the internal layout separates the power supply from the circuitry so it stays cool and makes zero noise while in operation.

A USB connection allows you to record onto any Mac, PC or device for high quality recording and playback. If you like the idea of a live broadcast style production, the Yamaha MG10 is the right tool at the right price.

alesis-multimix-podcast-equipmentAlesis MultiMix 8 USB FX – Another compact mixer with everything for a budding podcast studio by a prominent audio brand. The MultiMix 8 is a feature rich mixer with all of the essentials packed into a rugged unit.

Connect any microphone of your choice via XLR or TRS and incorporate sounds off any device. Go straight into your recording software of choice via USB for a simple multitrack recording of your podcast.

Mackie PROFX8V2 – Any unit of the Mackie PROFX series could very well be your one-stop-shop for a podcast mixer. In comes in versions of 4, 8, 12, 16, 22, or 30 channels, tons of features and FX and they pretty much make up one of the most comprehensive and affordable podcast mixers available.

Mackie products are found in concert venues everywhere for a reason. If you’re committed to the craft of podcasting and are looking to make a one-time purchase on a mixer, this is it.


Portable Recorders

Portable digital recorders are a fantastic tool for any podcaster. I’d even suggest picking one up if you plan on working primarily in a studio. There are so many ways to creatively incorporate environment sounds, voice memos, conversations, and anything from your experience to support your narrative.

This really doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. In fact, for very basic recordings your smartphone is already equipped to handle the job. There are amazing microphones that can be attached to your smartphone that will produce incredible results. You may already be half way there.

That being said, if you’re looking to record several guests while on the go then you’ll want something with more inputs. Portable recorders are used in all sorts of hi fidelity multimedia. Given the number of inputs available, a portable recorder and a microphone very well could be all you need in terms of hardware equipment. 

As an audio engineer working primarily in the studio, I was stunned to discover how affordable many amazing portable recorders are.

Here are a few favourites among podcasters:

zoom-iQ7-podcast-equipmentZoom iQ7 Mid-Side Stereo Microphone for iOS – This microphone belongs on this list because it can help you get the most out of what you’ve already got. If you’re using any Apple device with a Lightning connector then you’ll love this. The Zoom iQ7 works with video as well and produces stunning results. A quick search through YouTube will show you some fine examples.

You can capture a wide stereo recording with this microphone that provides a great sense of space and context. For journalistic or narrative driven podcasts with a focus on storytelling, it’s a no brainer.

Download Zoom’s free Handy Recorder app and edit on the go. If your device is connected to the cloud then storing files is effortless. The iQ7’s previous version, the iQ6 is of great value as well and certainly worth checking out.

Zoom-h1-podcast-equipmentZoom H1 Portable Digital Recorder – If you want a device designated completely to recording audio then you’ll be happy with the Zoom H1. This compact units has an incredible stereo mic configuration, records WAV at 96kHz/48kHz/44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit and stores up to 32GB directly to microSD and microSDHC cards.

You’ve got all your essential controls to maneuver around your recordings and a backlit screen that is easy to read and understand. The Zoom H1 definitely feels modern and doesn’t require a lot of fidgeting around to successfully navigate your recordings.

TASCAM-DR40-podcast-gearTascam DR-40 – Here’s a great option for podcasts of few guests on the move. Connect any two microphones via XLR and use the built in stereo microphone to record up to 96Hz/24-bit audio.

A great feature of the Tascam DR-40 is it’s ability to record a doubled version of your audio, or “safety track,” at a lower level to prevent peaking audio from distorting. This is useful when recording enthusiastic guests who speak with a wide dynamic range and move about the microphone frequently.

zoom-h6-podcast-gearZoom H6 Six-Track Portable Recorder – If you’re traveling around meeting guests, recording lectures and keynotes, or simply want to be prepared for whatever situation that may present itself, the Zoom H6 is an extraordinary unit that has enough inputs and features to get the job done.

There are four XLR inputs on the Zoom H6 and it features a stereo microphone (which accounts for the other two channels.) If you pick up the Zoom EXH-6 XLR/TRS capsule you can swap out the stereo mic to add two additional mono inputs.

The Zoom H6 runs on AA batteries so be sure to pick up some rechargeables and a charger. Pay attention to the capacity of the memory card and consider upgrading to one with more storage.



Headphones are essential in podcast equipment. It’s recommended that at least the host of the show wears headphones if not everybody. The main reason being that if there should be a poor connection or there is a buzzing sound taking place somewhere, it can be located and the problem addressed. What a shame it would be to wrap up an hour long interview only to realize the guests voice is indiscernible.

There are a number technicalities to take into account when buying headphones. However, as it pertains to podcasting there is really not so much one really needs to break their head over.

The reality is you probably have a pair of headphones kicking around the house that will do the trick. Unless you’re well educated in the art of mixing, there is no task that you even have the skillset to perform that would warrant the need for professional studio headphones. More on this in a second.

A very strong case for purchasing good headphones is to prevent “leakage.” This means sound escaping from the sides headphones that “bleed” into the microphones.

Headphones are constructed as either open-back or closed-back with some variations in between. Closed-back, as the name suggests, means that the cups close firmly over the ears and with no holes on the side for air to escape. This narrows the sound stage and prevents leakage.

Closed-back headphones are used for recording instruments like drums, pianos and vocals. These instruments often require a loud playback for the musician that is prone to leaking into the microphones. These headphones are ideal for podcasters to get a clean recording.

Open-back headphones are typically used in post production. The open design creates a wide sound stage for the engineer to meticulously situate elements in a mix, among plenty of other nerdy musical things I’ll spare you here.

All this to say, if you’re on a budget then go ahead working with what you’ve got. Just keep an eye on your levels and be sure that sound is not bleeding into your microphones from your headphones. If you want more volume, then go ahead and purchase some closed-back headphones.

Concerning the treatment of the audio in post production with tools like (multi-band) compressors, EQ’s, de-essers, limiters, etc,…if this is a skillset you’d like to take on, there are plenty of resources online to learn how to do this. Many of these tools require only small strokes with their parameters to get the vocal sounding just right.

Get a decent mic and get your levels right. Learn basic EQ and compression for broadcast audio and you’ll be fine. If you wish to take things up a notch and really get your podcast sounding of “NPR” quality, then check out our complete podcast production services found here.

The closed-back headphones below are well suited for a professional podcast studio.


Senal SMH-500 – Perfect for podcasting, field recording, and studio use. These headphones are a simple and affordable closed-back pair of headphones that are comfortable for long interviews and editing sessions.

They’ve got some hype in the low end but this is not an issue with podcasting as the human voice doesn’t offer much in those frequencies to begin with. They have an emphasized mid range which is where our voices reside so using the SMH-500 for podcasting is a pretty sound decision. (pun intended)


Sony MDR-7506 – These are a major hit among audio professionals across a broad range of fields. You’ll often find these used on film sets and field recordings. The frequency response favours the area of the frequency range where the human voice sits, so for recording dialogue they are a sure go-to. This does make them biased when it comes to making crucial audio decisions in post-production so keep that in mind.

The Sony MDR-7506 are portable, durable, and lightweight. You’ll find these in recording and broadcast studios everywhere. If you’d like to read more about them in depth, click here


Sennheiser HD 380 Pro – With 32dB of noise reduction, these closed-back headphones from Sennheiser are a great choice for podcasters who need volume. You’ll see these used in the Joe Rogan podcast. They fit firmly but comfortably on your head so if you’re recording long interviews with animated guests you’ll love these.

One of the best features of their design are the swivelling headcups  which allow you to move your head around easier when they’re around your neck. They’ve got a 1m coiled cable that can extent up to 3m for enough slack to move comfortably around the studio. To learn more about the Sennheiser HD 380 Pro, click here


Audio-Technica ATH-M50x – These are a wildly popular pair of headphones that are just as much a hit in the consumer market as professional audio. They check all the boxes for podcasters in that they’re closed-back in design with an impressive amount of noise reduction, have comfortable swivelling ear cups, and they’re competitively priced.

For a closer look at the ATH-M50x, click here.


Recording Software

The only instance in which you don’t have to consider recording software is if you’ll be using a portable digital recorder and plan to outsource all audio editing and post-production.

Otherwise, you’re gonna have to get your hands dirty with some software. There’s a wide range of choices that offer bare minimum features all the way up to studio standard “digital audio workstations” or DAW’s.

If you’re a novice then keep it simple. Don’t break your head (or the bank) over DAW’s that are built to perform much more complicated tasks than you even have the knowledge or skillset to perform.

Below are simple choices that record and export audio at the same quality as more expensive choices and come free or at a small cost.

We’ll break these choices up into two categories: Studio Recording Software and Remote Recording Software.

Studio Recording Software

Audacity – This is open source software that is free and easy to use with plenty of YouTube videos available to teach you how to use it. It’s compatible with both Mac and PC.

Garageband – For Mac users, this program comes stock on all Mac computers and many of their devices so I’d strongly recommend going with this one. It is very easy to use and Apple offer frequent free updates that offer plenty of cool new features.

Adobe Audition – Here’s Adobe’s audio software that is sold as a monthly subscription. Here you can get pretty in depth with post production tools and can do some heavy lifting when putting audio to video. If you’re planning on putting out content to YouTube then you may want to look at this one as an option.

Logic Pro X – Here’s my personal favourite. This is Garageband’s big brother. It’s quite a heavy-duty DAW that is an entire music production workhorse. Though it may be a bit of a stretch for novice podcasters, it is extremely affordable and will have you prepared for any sort of audio work you may ever wish to get perform in the future. If you want to get creative writing music for narrative, than here you go. A complete band in a box.

Remote Recording Software

Almost all podcasts feature guests that can’t be in studio. Skype is the most popular choice to have phone calls and video conferences but they need to be recorded. Here’s how:

Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype – This is the go-to program for Mac users recording remote interviews. What’s great about Call Recorder is that it can export the video conversation as a Quicktime MOV file or the audio conversation as WAV or AIFF files. Plus, it will only run you $30.00.

Pamela – Here’s a Skype call recorder for PC users that comes with some pretty cool features and costs only $22.00.

Zencastr – Recording over Skype can cause dropouts in audio depending on the strength of someones wifi connection. We’ve all heard it in a poorly produced podcast. Zencastr replaces Skype altogether and hosts the call, records it, processes the audio, and sends the individual files to the show’s host. This is all fantastic, however I’d suggest you stay clear of letting it process your audio. I wouldn’t trust algorithms to do this as there may be blemishes in the audio they expects are supposed to be there, and thus highlighting. I’d say learn how to process audio or hire a professional to do it. Regardless, Zencastr seems like a cool solution and has affordable payment tier options.



There are plenty of great accessories for podcasting that can help expand the functionality of your podcast studio setup. A great thing is that many of them come pretty cheap. Take a close look at the items below as some of them may be essential to accomplish what you’re after.

foam-windscreenFoam Pop Filter – These are a cheap solution to prevent what are called “plosives” and “sibilance.” Plosives are bass-y pop-like sounds that microphones pick up when someone uses P’s and B’s in their speech. These are very tiring on both the listener and speakers/headphones. Sibilance is a strenuous, glassy sound created when someone uses a lot of “S’s” in their speech. This can be a deal-breaker in whether or not someone makes it to the end of your episode.

This particular model of pop filter is made for dynamic microphones such as the Audio-Technica ATR2100 or Shure SM58 listed above.

pop-filter-podcastWindscreen Pop Filter – Here’s a style pop filter that works effectively on any type of microphone but is more suited for condenser microphones. This is because condenser microphones are not built with internal pop filters and are much more sensitive than dynamic microphones.

This style of pop filter tightens to the arm of you mic stand and can swivel around to suit your distance and angle. You’ve surely seen them in video clips of professional recording studios.


Scissor Arm Desktop Boom Stand – Here’s a great call for any podcast studio. These adjustable suspension stands are strong and lightweight and can hold a mic of up to 2kg. You can get a totally of 31.5” of extension out of them so they’re super versatile in the studio.

They simply clamp to the edge of your desktop with the provided mounting clamp and they include microphone clip that will securely hold your standard microphone. If your microphone is held with a different clamp then confirm that the adapter is compatible.


Desktop Mic Stand – This is one the of cheapest and most practical accessories you’ll find for podcasting. If you’re taking your show on the road and need something light and compact, this is it. The foldable legs have pads at their feet to prevent scratching to your desktop and the mic clip can be removed to suit the adapter of any style of microphone.

You’d do well picking up a few of these for your podcast studio.



Foam Acoustic Panels – Contrary to popular belief, old egg crates do not serve any purpose in sound absorption. If you’re going to put the time and effort into creating a podcast then it’s worth making sure it’s bearable to listen to. If your in a large room with reflections of your voice bouncing around the room, that show is going to sound horrible.

Ideally you want to be working in a relatively small and intimate room. Consider putting a thick area rug on the floor and avoid rooms with high ceilings. If you’re recording interviews on the go, try to find rooms that lend themselves well to intimate conversations. Try recording on a couch or somewhere with the most dead reverb response as possible.


Behringer Microamp HA400 Headphone Splitter – Here’s an essential tool for podcasts of multiple guests together in a single studio. This compact headphone amplifier splits the signal to four separate pairs of headphones at four independent volumes.

Connect from the headphone out of your mixer or audio interface a 1/4” TRS cable into the HS400’s input. Be sure that the cable is TRS as this will provide a stereo signal should you be using any in your production.

SDHC-card-podcast-gearSD Card – If you plan on packing in some heavy interviews with your portable digital recorder then you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re prepared with enough storage. These are cheap so having a few on hand at all times will surely do you some good.




Lavalier lapel microphone – This is a great idea for video and conference recordings. You can plug these into any device with the appropriate adaptor and they’re also available in wireless models. They can be a bit tricky as they often pick up rustling noise on the clothing so be sure to position the microphone in a comfortable place.


Life's Short. Put Your Podcast On Autopilot

The only thing more precious than time is what you spend it on. Stop toiling in obscurity!!!  

You want that “NPR” sound but don’t have the time or skills.  You want a masterful production you can set ’n forget.

Check out our robust selection of competitively priced podcast production services that let you spend time on the things that really matter.


©2023 Hollagully

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