Things Needed to Start a Podcast

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If you’re reading this, you might be thinking of starting a podcast and wondering what a podcast starter kit of equipment is needed to start.

People might think that the equipment for podcasting is just a computer, microphone, and headphone to create a quality show. There are several other types of equipment you’ll need.

If you have co-hosts and guests, see this post on equipment for podcast setups of 1-4 people.

Let’s do a quick overview of the things needed to start with before we get into the details.

Podcast Equipment Package OVERVIEW

Initial base equipment to consider when starting out. With links to see today’s prices:

BLUE YETI

Blue Yeti

  • Tri-capsule array

  • Multiple pattern selection

  • Perfect for Podcasting

USB MICROPHONE

XLR Microphone - Audio-Technica AT2020

Audio-Technica AT2020

  • #1 Best Seller

  • High spl handling and wide dynamic range 

  • Cardioid polar pattern

XLR MICROPHONE

InnoGear Mic Boom Arm Stand

InnoGear Mic Boom Arm Stand

  • Foldable Arm Band

  • Upgraded Desk Mount

  • Heavy Duty Steel Structure - Max. Load 1.5kg

Auphonix Pro Blue Yeti Shock Mount

  • ISO-X Proprietary Noise Isolation Technology

  • Just 7 ounces - Compact, Lightweight

  • Quick setup, no adapter needed

Auphonix Pop Filter for Blue Yeti Mic

Auphonix Pop Filter for Blue Yeti Mic

  • Double Layer Mesh - Don't sound stifled

  • Strong 360 degree hold

  • Custom designed for Blue Yeti

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

  • Three levels of world-class noise cancellation

  • Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system

  • Alexa Enabled

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) - Audio Interface

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) - Audio Interface

  • Two upgraded 3rd Gen Scarlett mic preamps for Two-Mic input

  • High-performance converters up to 24-bit/ 192kHz

  • Two high-headroom instrument inputs

If you are a beginner podcaster you should at least get the above equipment to start with for your podcast kit. To eliminate any type of confusion you can choose products from the above to get you on good footing to podcasting. You only need one mic to start and it’s preferable to get the USB mic unless you’re a professional, in which case the XLR might offer you more flexibility.

Podcasting is getting popular among people around the world as it is one of the most rewarding marketing strategies now. That’s why many people are hopping onto podcasting to expand their businesses. There is also a trend amongst the younger generations with podcasting, as they love listening to podcasts on the go. 

Depending on the type of show, you should make a list of the equipment as it’s one of the most important things to consider. However, if you just go on the web and search for equipment for a podcast, you’ll surely get thousands of results that may make you more confused than before.

It becomes difficult for new podcasters to find the proper equipment needed to record your podcast. You can start with minimal equipment, but there are quite a lot of difficulties that pop-up if you don’t get the proper equipment. Without the essentials, your show hard to listen to for audiences. For instance, if you don’t have a proper microphone with a pop filter, the sound quality will be less than ideal. So, listeners will get frustrated with a podcast that has noise, changing volumes, and scratchy sounds.

Let’s get started by checking out the best podcast equipment. In this guide, we have listed down all the important things you need.

Computer

A computer is the very first piece of equipment you’ll need to start your podcast. Without a computer, you can’t use the software that is required for recording and editing audio. For example, Adobe Audition, Reaper, Audacity, GarageBand, or Pro Tools 12. Podcast recording and editing programs need a decent, modern computer to run the programs.

You need a computer to connect the audio interface or mixer and also to upload the podcast. To manage the podcast hosting site and directories, you need a computer.  So, without one, you won’t be able to create a podcast.

Whether you use a Mac or a Windows PC, the decision is completely yours. According to your budget and requirements, you can choose your computer to start recording and editing with.

I’ve found that the 16” Mac Book Pro gives me the best value. I love Macs for their ease of use and durability. The hardware and software are geared toward the creative industries, so I’m always on it doing my video, audio and graphics editing.

APPLE MACBOOK PRO 16-Inch

APPLE MACBOOK PRO 16-Inch

  • Stunning 16-inch Retina True Tone Display

  • Intel Core i9 Processor up to 8-Core 

  • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M Graphics

 Microphone

The microphone is the most important equipment needed to start a podcast as that’s needed to record your voice at a high quality. With a good microphone, you can record quality audio with a clear voice and precise audio frequencies, which will lessen the editing work, as well as the time needed for editing.

There are two types of microphones available: one is dynamic, and the other one is a condenser. If you want to record multiple people together, then you can go with a dynamic mic. Dynamic mics also help to lessen the background noise. Both types provide great audio quality, but slightly different.

There are also two other types of microphones based on plug type, USB and XLR microphones.

USB Microphone

A USB mic is easy to use and less podcast equipment is needed, because you just need to connect it with the USB port of your computer for recording. So, this is the easiest and cheapest option for most people.

Best USB Microphones

Check out this video of the Audio-Technica ATR2100:

Audio Technica ATR2100-USB Review / Test

XLR Microphone

XLR mics are best for those who want to record multiple voices at the same time and also want great sound quality. XLR connectors are mostly found on professional-level equipment, so the connectors are circular in design with pins. To connect this with your computer, you’ll need an additional device such as a preamp, audio interface, mixer, or a digital recorder device to pass-through and record the audio. XLR mics can produce quality sound and will provide you great flexibility when editing the audio.

Best XLR Microphones

Check out a video of the professional Shure SM7B:

Shure SM7B Mic Review / Test

Audio Interface

To connect your XLR mic with your computer, an Audio Interface is needed. The interface acts as an intermediary device because you can’t directly connect an XLR mic to your computer. The interface converts the captured sound from an analog to a digital signal so that the computer can read it. Some interfaces now work with USB mics too.

There is also a plethora of features of an Audio Interface like connecting headphones directly into the interface, allowing more than one XLR mic connection, and enhancing the gain levels using built-in preamps. All these features tend to deliver an excellent recording experience so that you’ll get the best audio possible.

Best Audio Interfaces

Audio Mixer

If you have a budget and you don’t want to waste time in editing, then you can go for an audio mixer to record your podcast. You will be able to have more control over your recordings like audio input, output, levels, and many more with a mixer. You will get the best possible sound while recording as it allows you to control different types of frequencies quickly, depending on your audio type. All before you start editing.

Best Audio Mixers

Pop Filter / Windscreen

To remove the loud popping sounds (plosives) that are caused by quick-moving air which are recorded into the microphone, a pop filter or windscreen is used. You can check for air blowing by keeping your hand close to your mouth and pronounce the letter “P” and other hard consonants. You’ll feel the pressure of air that blows directly in the microphone.

If you are going to remove this plosive consonant by editing, it will take a lot of time. It’s one of the essential pieces of podcast equipment, both for beginners and pros.

Best Pop Filters

Headphones

Many beginner podcasters think that they can record a good show with simple earphones, which is not necessarily true. We’re not saying that you can’t record quality audio with earphones, you can, but if you are looking for professional-grade quality, then you should go for the headphones instead of earphones. Headphones will give you a clearer, livelier voice by reducing outside noise. With earphones, the sound is sometimes disrupted by other sounds around you. You want to also clearly hear random, disruptive sounds through a good set of headphones.

With a premium pair of headphones, you can avoid lots of mistakes. If you don’t have the option to edit your audio with speakers, you can choose a good pair of headphones to help you out. Editing on headphones is key to finding recording imperfections. When purchasing headphones, go for the closed-back headphones rather than open-back headphones. The reason for choosing closed-back headphones is it eliminates the sound leakage during a recording session.

Best Headphones

  1. Best Overall Headphones: Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Series 2
  2. Best for Professionals: Audio Technica ATH M50x

Here’s a video of the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Series 2 headphones, also my favorite:

NEW Bose Quiet Comfort 35ii - REVIEW

Headphone Amplifier

A Headphone Amplifier is needed only when your podcast has more than one host because each host requires a pair of headphones. It will allow you to add multiple headphones with individual volume control as everyone has their own volume preferences.

Everyone can adjust the sound levels with their headphones while recording according to their requirements. Individual headphone use will also help each host to improve their voice by adjusting the volume level, the position of mouth to the mic, and how to pronounce the plosive consonants.

Best Headphone Amplifier

Mic Stands

Mic stands are also an important part of your podcast setup. It allows you to adjust the mic height as per your need. By perfectly positioning the microphone, you’ll end up with higher recording quality, and it will also help you with better body posture.

 Mic stands provide amazing flexibility to use it efficiently. Another great option is that when you don’t need the microphone, you can just put away from your desk which will provide you some extra space to work smoothly.

Best Mic Stands

Shock Mount

A shock mount is used to eliminate the noises that may be caused by the vibrations of the mic stand boom arm. The shock mount keeps the microphone attached with the microphone arm tightly and absorbs the noise caused by the vibration of the mic boom arm. If you’re tapping on the desk, typing, or hitting the mic arm, the vibrations will be absorbed by the shock mount.

Best Shock Mount

XLR Microphone Cables

To plug your microphone into the audio mixer, preamp, or audio interface, you need XLR microphone cables. There are a number of cables out there with different lengths and with some other features. You can select one based on your needs. To help you out, we’ve listed down two of the best microphone cables.

Remember to check how long of a cable you’re going to need!

Best Microphone Cables

Acoustic Treatment/Soundproofing

Acoustic Treatment is needed to make your podcast studio noise and reverb free. If you’ve ever been to any sound studio, you may have seen the egg carton foam on the wall of the studio. Have you ever wondered why the foam blocks were there? These egg carton foam blocks are installed to make the room noise-free. With them, you’d hear echoes as your record because the voices and sounds in the room are bouncing off all the flat walls. So, whenever you are recording something, the room needs to be reverb and noise-free otherwise, you won’t be able to get the smooth and crystal clear recording for your podcast.

Best Acoustic Treatment Equipment

Audio Editing Software (DAW)

Without good editing software, Digital Audio Workstations (DAW), you won’t be able to make a podcast for your audience. Depending on the price and ease of use, there is quite a lot of recording software that will help you to get the job done. If you are a newbie, we suggest you go with Audacity’s recording software (Mac, Windows, Linux) or Garageband (Mac-only) because both are simple, easy to use, and Free. If you’re subscribed to the Adobe Creative Suite, you can try out the paid Adobe Audition too.

Podcast Hosting Platform

By now, you have all the podcast equipment you need to start your podcast and now all you need is a way to share episodes with an audience around the world. With a hosting platform, you can upload your files to share with the world. Distributing your online mp3 files to iTunes doesn’t mean that it is hosting the file; it’s actually reading an RSS feed from your hosting site. There are plenty of hosting options to choose from. To help you choose the best hosting provider, we’ve given a few of the best hosting sites below:

  • BuzzSprout
  • PodBean
  • Blubrry
  • Smart Podcast Player
  • Transistor

Website Hosting

Websites are needed for the promotion of your podcast. Setting up your own site will allow you to create a brand around you and the show. You don’t want want to host the files on your website as you’ll incur a lot of bandwidth. Leave the episode files on your podcast hosting platform, like Buzzsprout. On your website, you can embed the episodes and they’ll stream from the podcast host.

Bluehost is one of the best hostings with promotional prices for brand new websites. For beginners, Bluehost will be the best choice as it is easier to use. Check out their current deals.

Mobile Podcasting Equipment

Digital Recorder

A Portable Digital Recorder is a very handy piece of recording equipment for those who often record their podcast outside. A portable digital recorder will deliver you quality audio with fantastic flexibility. You can record straight from the digital recorder or you can attach an external mic, like a lav mic.

Best Digital Recorder

Here’s a video of my go-to portable recorder when I’m out and about:

Best Digital Audio Recorder (Zoom H4n Pro Review)

Microphone

There’re a number of mobile-ready microphones out there to record interviews on the road with these microphones. While choosing a microphone for mobile, you need to keep in mind that you should go for one that can cut out the external noises as you will go outside with the microphone to record. Lavalier (lav) mics are great because you can clip them onto your collar or elsewhere on your shirt.

Best Mobile Podcasting Microphones

Here’s a video of the Rode SmartLav+:

RODE SmartLav+ Review - Best SmartPhone Microphone?

SD Card

For mobile podcasting, an SD Card is one of the most crucial pieces, because you’ll be using a digital recorder when in the field recording. The recordings need to be stored somewhere. And that’s the SD card. You can simply go with a SanDisk 32GB SD card safely as audio files takes up minimal space.

Wrapping Up

There are a number of things needed to start a podcast, but that doesn’t mean you should be unable to do anything. If your budget is tight, there’s no need to buy things all at once. It’s best to buy things one at a time. Keep it simple to start out and grow into your podcast.

Check out the How to Start a Podcast guide as that goes through all the steps of how to get your own show up. It’ll help give you an idea of where to start with your equipment purchases as you’re able to see the whole process from start to finish.

  1. What Equipment is Needed for Podcasting?

    The key things you need to have when starting is:

    1. Microphone
    2. Mic Boom Arm Stand
    3. Shock Mount
    4. Pop Filter
    5. Headphones
    6. Computer
    7. Editing and Recording Software

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