Want to know the best budget podcast setup for beginners? Then you’re in the right place! In this post, we’ll cover all the equipment you need to create a high quality podcast (on a budget!)
It probably won’t surprise you that the most important piece of equipment that you need is a microphone. Could you get away with using the microphone on your computer? Technically yes. However, it’s important to recognize that your audio quality does matter. You don’t need the most expensive microphone out there, but if you can swing it I’d highly recommend investing in a good mic.
When choosing a microphone, there are two factors you want to consider. 1. Do you want to use a dynamic or condenser microphone? 2. Do you want a microphone with a USB or XLR connection?
Dynamic microphones are less sensitive, whereas condenser microphones pick up a wider range of sound. For this reason, I would recommend choosing a dynamic microphone because it will pick up less background noise.
If you are a solo podcaster (only recording one person in your space) then I would recommend using a dynamic USB microphone. USB microphones plug directly into your computer without requiring additional equipment.
If you are recording multiple people in your space, I would not recommend using USB microphones, because plugging two USB microphones into the same computer is not recommended and will cause issues. Instead, I would recommend using dynamic XLR microphones, which will require an audio interface to connect to your computer.
This is a Dynamic microphone with both USB & XLR capabilities, meaning no matter how many people are in your space, this microphone will work for you!
As mentioned above, if you are recording multiple people in the same space, you will need to use XLR microphones. In order to connect your XLR microphone to your computer, you will need to use an audio interface.
Truth be told, I wouldn’t describe this as a “budget” option; audio interfaces aren’t cheap! If you’re looking to save some money, consider recording your episodes remotely rather than having multiple people in the same space.
If you are using a USB microphone, the microphone will plug directly into your computer and you will not need an audio interface.
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 ($160)
Do you need to wear headphones while you record your podcast? Yes! Wearing headphones will allow you to monitor your sound in real time and fix errors as they arise. You’ll also most likely want to wear them while editing your podcast so you can better hear what you’re doing.
The Sony MDR7506 Headphones. ($100)
These are great headphones that pros and beginners love.
If you’re looking to save some money, there’s nothing wrong with using the earbuds or whatever headphones you already have. I prefer over the ear headphones so I can really hear what I’m editing, but if you want to keep it budget friendly, there’s nothing wrong with using the headphones you already have.
One note though – you do want to use wired headphones. Unfortunately wireless headphones cause a lag that makes it next to impossible to hear and focus.
Note- you’ll want to use good old-fashioned wired headphones. Wireless headphones create a slight lag, which results in an extremely distracting echo. (Bummer, right? I LOVE my wireless headphones and wish I could use them!)
A shock mount attaches to your microphone stand and absorbs vibrations that would otherwise be picked up by the microphone. A shock mount isn’t 100% necessary, but if you have room in your budget, I would recommend purchasing!
The Onstage MY-40 Studio Shock Mount for $30.
Pop Filter or Windscreen
A pop filter will cut back on the puffs of air that happen when you use plosives (“p” “t” and “k” sounds). I would highly recommend using a pop filter; it’s an easy upgrade that will have a big effect on your audio quality.
The room you’re recording is a big factor in how your recording will sound. If possible, record in a small space with a lot of stuff in it; closets work great! You can use pillows and blankets for additional sound proofing, or purchase Foam Panels if you’re feeling fancy.
Podcast Episode Planner
A podcast planner can be super helpful when trying to plan your podcast episodes and your content calendar. It’s not a requirement, but can definitely help!
If everything on this list isn’t doable for your budget, that’s totally okay! If I were trying to prioritize which pieces of equipment to invest in, here is the order I would choose:
- MicrophonePop Filter/ Windscreen
- Boom arm/ stand
- Shock Mount
- Audio Interface
And there you have it! This is the best budget podcast setup that is beginner friendly but won’t require an upgrade in a year.
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