So, you have a message you want to get out there. You have a voice you want the world to hear.
You want to elevate your authority, expand your brand’s reach, and connect with new clients or customers.
You want to add podcasting to your content marketing plan and sales funnel.
But, with literally thousands of options to choose from, you may be unsure about what equipment you should use to start your podcasting journey.
This week, I take you behind-the-mic to share my podcast set-up: the equipment I use and comes highly recommended as the best equipment to use to launch a professional-sounding podcast.
A Little Back Story...
Before I started Podcast Rockstars, I reached out to my friend and mentor, Kate Astrakhan, and asked her what equipment I should get to start my show. We also spoke briefly about it in an interview with her on the show.
Here’s what she said...
Podcast Equipment #1: Microphone
Brand: Sennheiser E 835 | Price: $109.95
I have a confession.
My Sennheiser E835 microphone is NOT the first mic I’ve used since I started recording my podcast. It’s the second.
When the idea of podcasting occurred to me a couple of years ago, I bought and used the Behringer C-1 mic, which you can get at $49.99 on Amazon. Once I started recording, Kate, who also happens to be the producer of our very own Podcast Rockstars, recommended that I use the Sennheiser microphone.
My Behringer mic has retired, and my Sennheiser unit has taken front and center stage.
While the manner of using these microphones differ, I must note that the Sennheiser mic has significantly better audio quality than that of the Behringer.
As for the mic cable, I trust the six-feet long Cable Matters 2-Pack Microphone Cable (Mic Cable/XLR to XLR Cable). Remarkable sound quality is produced due to maximum noise cancellation that’s aided by the cable’s copper braided shielding.
Here’s the better news:
This cable can also be used with other equipment such as mixing boards, speaker systems, and stage lighting to name a few. It also comes in different lengths - from something as short as three feet to as long as 50 feet.
Podcast Equipment #2: Boom Arm
Brand: Tree New Bee 2016 Pro Boom Scissor Arm Stand | Price: $19.99
If mobile phones have selfie sticks, you need your “microphone stick” to avoid unnecessary noise and to produce consistent audio quality.
The Tree New Bee 2016 Pro Boom Scissor Arm Stand comes in a complete set: a mic suspension boom arm stand, a table mounting clamp, a mic clip holder, an NW(B-3) pop filter, and a metal mic shock mount holder.
With all the features of this boom arm, you probably can’t wait to click that “Add to Cart” Button. Before you do that, there are some things you need to check first regarding your podcast setup.
Check the weight of your microphone with its pop filter, the size of your mic (in diameter), and the thickness of your table. Cross check these with the features of the boom arm you have your eyes on to make sure it is compatible with the rest of your podcast equipment.
Podcast Equipment #3: Pop Filter or Foam Mic Cover
Brand: It goes with the Tree New Bee 2016 Pro Boom Scissor Arm Stand Package | Price: Refer to Podcast Equipment #2
Are you confused between a pop filter and a foam mic cover? According to an article by Audio-Technica, here’s the difference:
A pop filter protects the audio quality from plosives such as the ‘P’ and ‘B’ sounds that could make your recording sound low quality. Other names for pop filter are pop shield and pop blocker.
On the other hand, a foam mic cover is used to guard the audio against the ”wind” whether it be from a fan, a breeze, or your own breathing. It is also commonly known as windshield or windscreen.
I have both these items. My pop filter came with my boom arm as a kit, but have recently started using a foam mic cover more regularly. I prefer using the mic cover over the pop filter for a few reasons, but it’s mostly just a “comfort” preference.
Since you will determine the audio quality output you want for your show as well as your comfort level, feel free to do your own experiment and try both.
Podcast Equipment #4: Headphones
Brand: Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones | Price: $26.78
You may be wondering: Why do I need to wear headphones when I already have my microphone for recording?
Well, the headphones give you a glimpse of how your recording sounds. It gives you access to one of the elements you have control over - your sound - and allows you to monitor your audio.
Another crucial role that the headphones play is preventing that common yet annoying high-pitch squeal we call “feedback.” Using earbuds over headphones present a higher chance of feedback especially when you’re too close to your mic.
It also prevents an “echoing effect” from happening when recording interviews - especially if the other party is also using their internal speakers. This will undoubtedly ruin your recording and audio quality.
That’s why for me, this pair of Behringer headphones is the perfect catch!
Quality wise, it provides a clean and well-balanced sound. Cost wise, many people are saying - and I agree - that the quality these headphones provide is worth far more than the investment made.
Podcast Equipment #5: Baby Board
Brand: Behringer Xenyx 302USB | Price: $59.99
Last, but surely not least on our Best Podcast Equipment List is the mixer, or what our dear friend Kate fondly calls the “baby board.”
The Behringer Xenyx 302USB Premium 5-Input Mixer with Mic Preamp and USB/Audio Interface (Whew! That’s a really long name!) is my personal choice among the many in the market.
You may ask: What does this “baby” do?
First and foremost, the mixer tremendously improves your audio quality.
Having a mixer also enables you to do many other things that other software cannot do.
What’s the best thing about all these?
According to Kate who currently produces over 1,300 podcast episodes per month and has listened to and edited countless audio recordings from radio to podcast networks,
That’s right. You don’t need to break the bank to have the best equipment for your podcast launch.
With the list of items we have identified here, you can launch your podcast for less than $250. With this podcast equipment in your studio, the world better get ready for the impact you’re going to make once you get your voice out in the world.
What podcast equipment did you use when you first launched your show? Among the ones you currently use, which ones help improve your sound quality?
Let us know your “treasures” and leave us a comment below.
Don’t miss these related blog posts and podcast episodes!