Podcast Microphone Wirecutter

Podcast Microphone Wirecutter

Podcasting has become a popular medium for sharing knowledge and stories. Whether you are a professional podcaster or just starting out, having the right microphone is crucial for producing high-quality audio. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best podcast microphone. Luckily, Wirecutter has done extensive research and testing to help you find the perfect microphone for your podcasting needs. In this article, we will explore some of their top recommendations and provide you with essential information to make an informed decision.

Key Takeaways:

  • Wirecutter provides comprehensive recommendations on podcast microphones.
  • Choosing the right microphone is crucial for producing high-quality audio.
  • Be mindful of your budget and specific podcasting needs when selecting a microphone.
  • Consider factors such as sensitivity, frequency response, and connectivity options.

Wirecutter’s Top Podcast Microphones

Wirecutter takes into account various factors when recommending podcast microphones, including sound quality, ease of use, and overall value for money. Here are some of their top picks:

The Best All-Round Podcast Microphone: Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB

The Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB is a versatile microphone that offers excellent sound quality and the convenience of both USB and XLR connections. It is a great choice for podcasters who want flexibility and professional-level performance.

* This microphone is compatible with both Mac and PC, making it a versatile option for podcasters using different operating systems.

The Best Budget Podcast Microphone: Samson Q2U

The Samson Q2U is an affordable microphone that offers impressive sound quality and versatility. It is a dynamic microphone, meaning it is less sensitive to background noise, making it ideal for podcasters recording in less than perfect sound environments.

* The Samson Q2U comes with a headphone jack for real-time monitoring, allowing you to hear yourself while recording.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Podcast Microphone

When choosing a podcast microphone, there are several factors you should consider to ensure you select the right one for your needs. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Sensitivity: The sensitivity of a microphone determines how effectively it captures sound. Podcasters recording in a quiet environment may prefer a more sensitive microphone, while those dealing with background noise may opt for a less sensitive one.
  2. Frequency Response: The frequency response range of a microphone indicates the range of frequencies it can accurately capture. A wider frequency response ensures better clarity and accuracy in capturing different tones and nuances of voices and instruments.
  3. Connectivity Options: Consider whether you need a microphone that connects via USB or XLR. USB microphones are more beginner-friendly and plug-and-play, while XLR microphones offer better audio quality and are commonly used by professional podcasters.

Comparison of Recommended Podcast Microphones:

Microphone Price
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB $99
Samson Q2U $59
Shure SM7B $399

* The price range of podcast microphones can vary significantly, so it’s important to consider your budget while keeping in mind the features and quality you desire.

Table of Specifications:

Microphone Frequency Response Range Sensitivity
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB 50Hz-15kHz -52 dB (0 dB = 1 V/Pa, 1 kHz)
Samson Q2U 50Hz-15kHz -54 dBV/Pa (0 dB = 1 volt/Pascal)
Shure SM7B 50Hz-20kHz -59 dBV/Pa (0 dB = 1 volt/Pascal)


Choosing the right podcast microphone can greatly enhance the quality of your audio recordings. Wirecutter’s extensive research and testing provide valuable recommendations to guide your decision-making process. Consider your specific podcasting needs, budget, and desired features such as sensitivity, frequency response, and connectivity options. With the right podcast microphone, you’ll be able to deliver professional-sounding content to your listeners.

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Common Misconceptions

Podcast Microphone Wirecutter

When it comes to choosing podcast microphones, there are several common misconceptions that people tend to have. These misconceptions can lead to choosing the wrong microphone for their needs. It is important to debunk these misconceptions to ensure podcasters make informed decisions.

Bullet Points:

  • The most expensive microphone is not always the best choice.
  • USB microphones can deliver high-quality audio for podcasting.
  • Dynamic microphones are not the only option for podcasting.

One common misconception is that the most expensive microphone is always the best option for podcasting. While it is true that higher-priced microphones tend to offer more advanced features and better build quality, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best choice for everyone. Factors such as the environment, recording setup, and individual voice characteristics should also be considered.

Bullet Points:

  • Consider your recording environment and noise isolation needs.
  • Assess your budget and prioritize the features you need the most.
  • Research and compare reviews of different microphones before making a decision.

Another misconception is that USB microphones cannot deliver high-quality audio for podcasting. While USB microphones were not as common in the past, recent advances in technology have made them a reliable choice for podcasters. Many USB microphones offer excellent sound quality and ease of use, making them a suitable option for beginners or podcasters who prioritize convenience.

Bullet Points:

  • Look for USB microphones with good frequency response and low self-noise.
  • Consider the compatibility of the USB microphone with your recording software.
  • USB microphones may require less additional equipment, saving you money.

A third misconception is that dynamic microphones are the only option for podcasting. While dynamic microphones are popular choices due to their durability, noise-rejection capabilities, and suitability for live performances, they are not the only option. Condenser microphones, for example, are more sensitive and capture a broader frequency range, making them ideal for capturing vocals with precision and clarity.

Bullet Points:

  • Consider the intended use and specific requirements of your podcast.
  • Research the pros and cons of different microphone types.
  • Consult with audio professionals or experienced podcasters for recommendations.
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Podcasts have gained immense popularity in recent years and have become a medium for people to share their thoughts, interests, and expertise with a global audience. The quality of the audio is vital to ensuring a captivating listening experience. To enhance the sound quality, using a reliable microphone is paramount. In this article, we present ten fascinating tables that highlight various aspects of podcast microphones, based on verifiable data and information.

Table 1: Top 5 Podcast Microphones of 2021

Microphone Model Price Ratings (out of 5)
Blue Yeti USB Microphone $129.99 4.7
Shure SM7B $399.00 4.8
Rode NT-USB Mini $99.00 4.6
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB $99.00 4.5
Shure MV7 $249.00 4.7

Choosing a high-quality microphone for your podcast is essential. This table presents the top five podcast microphones of 2021 along with their prices and average ratings based on user feedback.

Table 2: Comparison of Microphone Connections

Microphone Model Connectivity Popularity
Blue Yeti USB Microphone USB Very Popular
Shure SM7B XLR Popular
Rode NT-USB Mini USB Popular
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB USB/XLR Popular
Shure MV7 USB/XLR Very Popular

Understanding the different connectivity options available for podcast microphones is crucial. This table illustrates the microphone models’ connections, their popularity, and compatibility with various recording setups.

Table 3: Frequency Response Comparison

Microphone Model Frequency Response Range
Blue Yeti USB Microphone 20Hz – 20kHz
Shure SM7B 50Hz – 20kHz
Rode NT-USB Mini 20Hz – 20kHz
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB 50Hz – 15kHz
Shure MV7 50Hz – 20kHz

The frequency response range of a microphone determines its ability to capture various sound frequencies. This table compares the frequency response ranges of different podcast microphones, allowing you to choose one that suits your specific audio requirements.

Table 4: Sensitivity Levels of Podcast Microphones

Microphone Model Sensitivity (dB)
Blue Yeti USB Microphone -46 dB
Shure SM7B -59 dB
Rode NT-USB Mini -35 dB
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB -52 dB
Shure MV7 -55 dB

Sensitivity is an important characteristic of a microphone as it determines how effectively it captures sound. This table showcases the sensitivity levels of popular podcast microphones, aiding you in selecting a microphone that suits your recording environment.

Table 5: Microphone Weight Comparison

Microphone Model Weight (oz)
Blue Yeti USB Microphone 40 oz
Shure SM7B 27 oz
Rode NT-USB Mini 8.8 oz
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB 9.6 oz
Shure MV7 20.5 oz

Portability plays a key role for podcasters on the go. This table compares the weights of various podcast microphones, helping you choose a lightweight microphone if mobility is an important factor for your podcasting endeavors.

Table 6: Pop Filters Compatibility

Microphone Model Compatible Pop Filters
Blue Yeti USB Microphone Yes
Shure SM7B No
Rode NT-USB Mini Yes
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB Yes
Shure MV7 Yes

To minimize plosives and improve audio quality, attaching a pop filter to your microphone is crucial in certain cases. This table highlights the compatibility of popular podcast microphones with pop filters, enabling you to make an informed decision before purchasing one.

Table 7: Warranty Comparison

Microphone Model Warranty Period
Blue Yeti USB Microphone 2 years
Shure SM7B 2 years
Rode NT-USB Mini 1 year
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB Limited Lifetime
Shure MV7 2 years

A comprehensive warranty ensures the reliability of the product and provides peace of mind. This table compares the warranty periods offered by different podcast microphone manufacturers, assisting you in selecting a microphone with a favorable warranty.

Table 8: Accessories Included

Microphone Model Included Accessories
Blue Yeti USB Microphone USB Cable, Stand
Shure SM7B None
Rode NT-USB Mini USB-C Cable, Tripod Stand
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB USB-C to USB-A Cable, Tripod Stand, Mic Stand Clamps, Pouch
Shure MV7 USB-A Cable, USB-C Cable, Mic Stand, Microphone Fastener

Considering the included accessories when purchasing a podcast microphone can save you time and money. This table showcases the accessories provided with various microphone models, helping you make an informed decision about which microphone suits your needs.

Table 9: Standout Features of Podcast Microphones

Microphone Model Standout Features
Blue Yeti USB Microphone Multiple Pickup Patterns, Gain Control
Shure SM7B Wide Frequency Response, Internal Shock Mount
Rode NT-USB Mini Compact Design, Studio-Quality Sound
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB Dual USB/XLR Connectivity, Onboard Headphone Jack
Shure MV7 Auto-Level Mode, Professional Broadcast Quality

Each podcast microphone offers unique features that contribute to an exceptional recording experience. This table highlights the standout features of popular microphones, enabling you to find a microphone that aligns with your specific recording needs.

Table 10: Price Range of Podcast Microphones

Microphone Model Price Range
Blue Yeti USB Microphone $100 – $150
Shure SM7B $300 – $500
Rode NT-USB Mini $80 – $120
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB $90 – $110
Shure MV7 $200 – $275

Pricing is an essential factor to consider when purchasing a podcast microphone. This table showcases the price ranges associated with various popular microphone models, allowing you to choose a microphone that fits within your budget.


When it comes to podcasting, a reliable and capable microphone is the key to capturing excellent audio. From our comprehensive analysis of podcast microphones, we have provided valuable insights into their features, prices, connectivity options, and more. By considering the data and information presented in these tables, you can make an informed decision and select the ideal microphone for your podcasting endeavors. Whether you prioritize affordability, sound quality, or specific features, this article has equipped you with the necessary information to take your podcast to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key features to consider when buying a podcast microphone?

When purchasing a podcast microphone, it is important to consider factors such as the microphone’s audio quality, compatibility with your recording setup, directional pattern, connectivity options, and durability. Additionally, factors such as budget and intended use should also be taken into account in order to make an informed decision.

What is the difference between dynamic and condenser microphones?

Dynamic microphones are known for their durability and ability to handle high sound pressure levels. They are commonly used in live performances and for recording loud instruments. On the other hand, condenser microphones offer a wider frequency response and higher sensitivity, making them ideal for capturing vocals and other delicate sounds. They are often used in studio environments for podcasting and voice-over work.

Can I use a USB microphone for podcasting?

Yes, USB microphones are a popular choice for podcasters due to their convenience and ease of use. They can be directly connected to your computer without the need for an audio interface or additional setup. However, it is worth noting that the audio quality of USB microphones may not be on par with higher-end XLR microphones.

What is the advantage of using an XLR microphone?

XLR microphones offer professional-grade audio quality and are typically used in studio setups. They require an audio interface or mixer with XLR inputs to connect to your computer. The advantage of XLR microphones is the ability to use external preamps and processors, allowing for more flexibility and control over the sound.

How important is the microphone’s frequency response?

The microphone’s frequency response indicates the range of frequencies it can accurately capture. For podcasting purposes, it is important to choose a microphone with a flat frequency response that accurately reproduces your voice or the sound sources you intend to record. The ideal frequency response may vary depending on your specific needs and preferences.

What is a cardioid pickup pattern and why is it commonly used for podcasting?

A cardioid pickup pattern is a directional pattern that captures sound from the front while reducing background noise from the sides and rear. This makes it suitable for podcasting as it focuses on the primary sound source, such as the host’s voice, while minimizing unwanted noise from the surroundings, providing a cleaner audio recording.

Is it necessary to use a pop filter with my podcast microphone?

Although not necessary, using a pop filter can greatly improve the quality of your podcast recordings. Pop filters help prevent plosive sounds, such as “p” and “b” sounds, from distorting the microphone, resulting in a clearer and more professional sound. They are particularly useful when recording vocals or close-miking instruments.

What are some recommended podcast microphones according to Wirecutter?

Wirecutter recommends several podcast microphones, including the Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB, the Blue Yeti X, the Rode NT-USB, the Shure MV7, and the Shure SM58. These microphones have been selected based on their audio quality, ease of use, and overall value for money, making them reliable choices for podcasters.

How do I connect a podcast microphone to my computer?

The method of connecting a podcast microphone to your computer depends on the type of microphone you have. USB microphones can be directly plugged into a USB port on your computer. XLR microphones require an XLR cable to connect to an audio interface or mixer, which is then connected to your computer via USB or other audio interfaces such as Thunderbolt or FireWire.

What is the recommended budget for a podcast microphone?

The recommended budget for a podcast microphone can vary greatly depending on your specific needs and preferences. USB microphones can range from $50 to $200, while XLR microphones along with the necessary audio interface or mixer can start from $150 and go up to several hundred dollars. It is important to consider the microphone’s features, build quality, and audio performance when determining your budget.


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