Live podcasts are probably the one thing that is going to push radio shows off of their throne. Right now anyone can create a podcast given that they have a laptop, an internet connection and a good microphone. With that in mind, we are going to show you top 10 best condenser microphones for podcasting and talk a little about what they have to offer. Some of these are among the best condensers you can get. After that, we are going to dig deeper and discuss what makes a good podcasting mic setup and what to look for out there.
Top 10 Best Condenser Microphones For Podcasting:
When you are looking at condenser microphones, chances are that AKG is going to pop up somewhere along the way. This brand has been around for long enough that their presence is felt across the entire condenser market. AKG P220 is a particularly interesting model which packs a variety of cool features, a very solid core performance and more.
If you like a stylish piece of tech, you will love the P220. However, good looks are just a byproduct of a great build quality that AKG is known for. This mic is probably the best way for beginners to get into podcasting as it comes with a great attenuation pad as well as a proper, functional high pass filter
Working with vocals on a budget is something that Audio Techica does best. They have a whole lineup of really awesome condensers to offer, and each model is tailored for different application. Audio Technica AT2020 is an entry level package that has proven to work great in just about any situation. As it so happens, it is great for podcasts.
In essence, AT2020 is quite simple. You have that classic side/top address layout, a rugged but stylish chassis and a really robust capsule inside. The mic itself doesn’t come with any features but and on board sound adjustments, but that’s quite alright. The performance it offers makes up for it. At this price, it is a bargain for sure.
There are plenty of awesome condensers out there on the market. Some require an audio interface in order to work while others need only a simple USB cable. Then there is Samson G-Track. This is a USB condenser that comes with a built in audio interface. Needless to say, it is among the most unique solutions on the market currently.
The idea behind this mic was to allow you to record everything you need with just one microphone. The mic has gain control as well as a dedicated instrument input. If you’re doing a podcast that might involve you using a board of some kind, you could just plug it directly into this mic and push it all through USB.
Despite its somewhat pretentious name, M-Audio Uber Mic is quite an impressive addition to an already saturated market. It is no secret that M-Audio is a brand that is mostly known for their speaker, however they have definitely proven that mics are something they can do just as well. Uber Mic is special because features a rare 3 capsule design.
On top of that, you get a whole lot of awesome features right on the mic itself. We are talking four different polar patterns, perfect for interviewing people with just one mic. Since it is a USB package, it’s quite easy to work with on the go. Last but not least, we have to mention the front facing LCD display.
Handheld condenser mics are not as prevalent these days, especially in the podcasting community. However, they do offer one pretty significant advantage if used correctly. With a top address, you are getting a much more focused performance. Besides, this is the type of mic you can move around with you should you need to do so. Meet Audio Technica ATR2100-USB.
What they did was basically transplant their already well established condenser package into a handheld for that extra functionality. From a performance point of view, you are getting the same deal only in a different package. Seeing how some podcasts aren’t as static, a combination of this mic and a longer XLR cable could be the perfect solution for you.
When put against some of the more exotic mics on the market, MXL 990 comes across as a model which does it all with no fanfares. It is a simple condenser with a relatively stubby chassis which makes it fairly compact. With all that said, MXL 990 has been popular among both beginners and advanced users for a long time.
The reasons for this are numerous, starting with how easy the mic is to use. Its performance profile is such that you need to do very little tweaking in order to get a good result for your type of voice. MXL990 comes in a nice, hard shell case which includes a shock mount as well as a standard screw mount.
It is no secret that MXL offers some of the best budget solutions when it comes to condenser microphones. MXL 770 is one such model and it packs a mean punch. If you are looking for a good bang for the buck ratio, you have found it. This condenser is doing just about everything right. Besides, it looks pretty awesome.
Looks aside, the fact that you are getting a proper large diaphragm condenser complete with an attenuation pad and a high pass filter at this price, is quite impressive. In practice the microphone performs pretty well. It falls among those general purpose mics but that has ended up being its main strength. It is a perfect podcasting setup for beginners.
Behringer’s budget gear is enjoying a borderline legendary status by now. As this applies to all of their product categories, it is only expected to find a condenser that fits this description. Behringer C-1U is what we have found. It is a simple, inexpensive large diaphragm condenser designed to be used primarily with a computer setup via the USB cable.
As such, it has proven to be quite practical for those who are just starting out with their podcast. The fact that all you need is this mic and a laptop makes it easy to get into this line of work. On its own, Behringer C-1U delivers a great performance, especially considering its price. You can’t ask for much more.
Doing a podcast on a really tight budget used to be very hard. These days there are condensers such as CAD Audio U37SE-G, which make it quite possible to do a proper podcast without spending too much. This mic brings a number of surprises, which we definitely didn’t expect to see starting with its capsule. It is a proper condenser.
When we say proper, we mean a proper large diaphragm condenser. Where real surprises start are the features Such a budget mic actually comes with an attenuation pad and a high pass filter built into it. Since it is a USB condenser mic, all you need to do is plug this bad boy in and you are ready to go.
Finding The Best Condenser For Podcasting
Podcasts have skyrocketed in popularity in these recent years. So much so that we have a number of really large ones which have grown such large followings online, that you could compare them to certain TV shows. The road to getting there is quite tough, however. Aside from the necessary charisma, proper niche and lets face it, luck, you also need a good set of equipment. One of the most essential parts of any podcasting studio is a good condenser microphone. There is no going around it. If you think about it, podcasts are all about voice. Sure, there are some which do video as well as audio, but that doesn’t change the fact that much more people have access to audio only.
Because of all that, finding a good condenser is a priority. Does that mean that you have to spend a small fortune on one? Definitely not. The models we have listed above are all pretty budget friendly. With that said, we do encourage you to invest in the best possible gear your money can buy. A good $500 condenser will do you much good in the long run, that much is a fact. However, if you are just starting out and are tied up by a strict budget, a $100 model will do you just fine. The trick is to choose the one that best fits your needs.
How To Choose A Condenser For Podcasting?
Choosing a good condenser for this particular purpose comes down to a couple of things. Some like to say that finding a good podcasting mic is harder than finding one for general purpose music production, but that isn’t really true. Since your main concern is going to be voice, you can skip all the high SPL models out there. Not to mention the fact that pencil condensers have no place in this scenario. Instead, you want a good old large diaphragm condenser.
The first order of business is figuring out what kind of connectivity you want to run. If you are new to dedicated microphones and podcasting in general, it is probably going to be best for you to use a decent USB setup. The reason for this is mainly the ease of use these mics bring to the table. With an XLR setup you need an audio interface of some sorts, which tends to be an issue for those on a budget.
With that said, when you reach a certain level, upgrading to an XLR setup is going to be the next logical step. Fully analog condensers will always offer a better sound resolution which you will need somewhere down the line. Again, if you are just starting out, USB is perfectly fine.
When it comes to features things are much more straight forward. Condensers in general come with a few features. You have your attenuation pads, high pass filters and polar pattern switches. The first two are pretty useful to have, but not really that necessary. Selecting polar patterns, however can be a necessary feature depending on how you are setting up your studio. Here’s why. With standard cardioid polar pattern, your microphone will only serve you. In other words, two people would have a very hard time sharing the microphone. However, if you were to choose a figure 8 pattern that one microphone becomes a tool that can serve two people. Is this the optimal setup? Far from it, but no one can deny that it works.
Accessories are one of the most overlooked aspects of buying a condenser microphone. For a good podcasting rig, you will need two things. First one is a proper shock mount. Without it you are exposing your live broadcast to unforeseen noise or vibrations which you definitely don’t want to deal with. You would be surprised how sensitive some of these microphones are. A good shock mount will eliminate the majority of those issues on its own. The next thing to think about is the pop filter. Some mics come with built in pop filters but it is always recommended that you use an external one just in case. Here is why. The need for a pop filter tends to depend on how you use a microphone. Some people are perfectly capable of eliminating those pops by simply talking next to the diaphragm capsule. That works when you are recording vocals.
However, when you are supposed to spend a couple of hours with the mic, it becomes an nuisance to try and avoid those pops. Sooner or later you will forget about and that is where the trouble starts. When you get a good pop filter, you don’t have to worry about any of this.
Since podcasts are usually live, monitoring the feed is usually crucial if you want all of the parties involved to understand each other perfectly. Unfortunately that might require a more complex setup. If you are doing a podcast on your own, the situation is much easier to deal with. Most of the USB microphones come with a monitoring port for your headphones. This way you can always have a good idea of what your audience is hearing on their end of the line. Going for a USB model just because of this feature would be quite crazy, but if you have a USB mic, this is definitely a feature you should use.
Podcasting is a great way to reach out to people and share your ideas. Setting up a good podcasting studio sounds like a lot of work and hassle but it really isn’t. As you can see, there are plenty of awesome mics out there which will get the job done just fine. The ones listed above are our picks for this category and include a variety of different condensers. If we had to choose one, AKG P220 would definitely be our top pick. It is a well rounded semi professional condenser, which makes it more than suitable for proper podcasting.