Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of podcasts all over the world. As of April 2020, the number of podcasts is known to be over 1 million with approximately 30 million episodes. Fueled even more by increased smartphone usage in 2020, podcasting is a lucrative business option and content creators are taking note.
If you’re considering diving into the world of podcasting, the first element to perfect is the audio quality. Many factors can make or break the podcast user experience and one of them is unwanted disruptions and jarring sounds.
Vibrations coming from your table, shifts in movements, and other actions can make their way into the microphone to cause unpleasant sounds that can agitate listeners. Such audio glitches can be easily fixed by the right shock mount for your microphone. Some microphones come with bespoke shock mounts but that is not true for all.
If your microphone is devoid of a shock mount, buying one is a smart option to add a professional studio quality to your podcast.
Before jumping into the best shock mount options for your microphone, let’s take a look at the main reasons why you may need one.
Why Buy a Microphone Shock Mount?
While the additional expense of a shock mount may seem unnecessary, there are many good reasons for getting one. Here are a few of them:
• Provides Superior Audio Quality
Achieving the superior audio quality you hear in professional podcasts is harder than it seems. Even subtle gestures like touching the mic, thumping the table, or changing the mic’s position can create unwanted vibrations that travel into your microphone.
This is because these sounds penetrate through the diaphragm of your microphone instead of reaching it through the air.
The primary purpose of shock mounts is to prevent vibrations from traveling into your microphone. This ensures that your audio comes out clean and crisp.
The negative effects of vibration on audio quality depending on the sensitivity of your mic. Some mics may be immune to most of these subtle actions while others pick up even the slightest of vibrations. Generally, many mics end up needing a shock mount to stabilize audio quality.
• Gives your Studio a Professional Look and Sound
Shock mounts are a staple in most professional studios. Even if you’re just beginning your career as a podcaster, having one can not only give you that professional audio quality but also the right look. Even if you have a humble studio, adding such equipment can prepare you for growth.
• Creates a Smooth Podcast Experience
In the sea of famous podcasts from all over the world, your podcast needs to stand out to be a success. The first prerequisite to that success is a smooth sailing podcast experience.
A shock mount may seem like a small addition but it can make a startling difference. With a shock mount, your audio can be free of any unwanted distractions, audio glitches and hiccups to deliver an experience fit for a high-quality podcast.
What to Look for in the Ideal Microphone Shock Mount?
Choose high-quality shock mounts, the cheaper varieties usually have some drawbacks in the form of low-quality materials with minimum durability. Apart from that, shock mounts can be universal or specific. Universal shock mounts fit with all kinds of microphones. On the other hand, some shock mounts are made specifically for certain kinds of microphones.
They also come in various designs according to their respective applications. Shock mounts for podcasting differ from the ones used by filmmakers. These are designed to be mounted on cameras or boom poles and might be unfit for podcasting microphones.
Here are some questions to ask before buying a shock mount:
• How Compatible is it with your Microphone?
The first thing to question is the compatibility of your shock mount with your specific type of microphone. Since microphones come in all shapes and sizes, choosing a shock mount that will fit your microphone is of the utmost importance.
• How well can it isolate Mechanical Noise in the Microphone?
Your shock mount should be capable of isolating all the mechanical noise originating from the microphone stand to deliver the smooth audio that you need.
• Will it last a long time?
It is essential to question the durability of your shock mount to ensure that it will stand the test of time. You don’t want to incur the extra cost of replacing it every few months!
Now that you know what to look for in the ideal microphone shock mount, let’s examine the ins and outs of the best microphone shock mounts on the market.
Best Microphone Shock Mount Picks
Rycote Invision Universal Shock Mount is a popular shock mount that boasts a universal fit. This means that the shock mount is compatible with all or most microphones.
Apart from its versatile compatibility, the Rycote Invision USM is built with durable materials like silicone that ensure a sturdy and long-lasting build.
The versatility of this shock mount can be attributed to its intelligent gripping mechanism which fits multiple types of microphones like a glove. This includes four screws and rubber grips that allow the shock mount to encase a range of different diameters.
The elastic suspension of Rycote shock mounts is supplemented with Lyre Technology that adds an extra 12 dB of isolation.
The Rycote Invision USM comes in three different models designed for different microphone size ranges. Here are the three models and their intended purpose:
USM Model – Intended for the average-sized microphones with a diameter of 18 to 55 mm and weighing 400 gms. This model is fit for the average podcasting mic.
USM Lite – For mics that are outside the range of the standard USM model.
USM-VB – Another model for heavier mics that lie outside the ranges of USM and USM-L. (55 mm to 68 mm diameter) This can hold microphones that weigh up to 900g.
Rycote Invision USM is one of the most well-received shock mounts in the long list of universal shock mounts in the market. As of now, no other shock mount boasts such a diverse range of models to cater to different sizes of microphones.
1. Compatibility: A truly universal shock mount that holds a large range of sizes and weights. Rycote Invision USM is one of the most highly compatible shock mounts in the market.
2. Excellent mechanical isolation: The well-designed clips and gripping mechanism allows for 12dB of added mechanical isolation.
3. Impressive Durability: The Hytrel thermoplastic suspension wins Rycote Invision USM five stars on durability. With its high-quality make and materials, the Rycote Invision USM is sturdy and built to last.
Rode, the creator of a well-known line of podcasting microphones also boasts a shock mount to go with them. The Rode PSM series of shock mounts, originally designed for Rode’s line of mics, works well with many popular podcasting mics from other brands. This quality makes the large Rode shock mounts practically universal.
The Rode PSM series is more affordable than its counterparts making it an attractive choice. However, its compatibility needs to be determined by comparing your mics sizes with Rode’s pro caster or podcaster microphones.
1. Average Compatibility: Only mics with dimensions similar to those of Rode’s microphones may be compatible with the Rode PSM series.
2. Affordable Price Point: Rode PSM series is more affordable than other universal shock mounts in the market. Making it a viable choice for podcasters on a budget.
3. Good Quality: While there may be cheaper alternatives available, Rode’s shock mount beats them in its superior quality and durable design.
LyxPro MKS1-B is one of the best affordable options on the market. Outshining other low-price shock mounts, the LyxPro MKS1-B offers a startling versatility in its compatibility with multiple microphones.
From Samson and Behringer to AKG and other condenser microphones, the LyxPro Spider is compatible with many standard podcasting mics. The shock mount borrows some of its design features from the famous Rycote Invision but fails to emulate its screw and grip mechanism.
Instead of Rycote’s steady gripping design, the LyxPro features a spider inspired design that may work just as well for large mics but not so much for mics with a small diaphragm.
To aid you in your purchase, the LyxPro manufacturers have listed tried and tested microphone brands that are compatible with this shock mount.
1. Good Compatibility: While the shock mount is compatible with a wide range of condenser mics, some uniquely designed mics like the Blue Yeti are not compatible with this shock mount.
2. Buy with Confidence: Easily look up the range of mics compatible with the LyxPro MKSI-B to have some confidence in your buying decision.
3. Best in the Price Range: The LyxPro MKS1-B outperforms its counterparts at the same price point with its decent compatibility and unique spider-like design.
The Sabra Som SSM-1 USM is a shock mount with a fairly standard style and designed as a universal shock mount. What sets this apart is the adjustable mounts that allow it to hold different sizes of mics.
However, the Sabra Som is still incapable of supporting all the microphones that Rycote Invision can, it is still a viable option for small-sized condenser mics.
While this shock mount comes at a higher price point than other similar ones, it’s more well-established and boasts a better quality that may justify the price.
Sabra Som is more well known for its tight supports that firmly hold the mic in place. This type of shock mount, however, is better suited for large mics used in video production instead of the small mics used for podcasting.
1. More well suited for Boom Poles: The design of this shock mount is more well suited for boom poles and filmmaking instead of the small mics used by podcasters.
2. Moderate Compatibility: The shock mount has decent compatibility with a wide range of microphones.
Auphonix Silver shock mount is specially designed for the uniquely shaped Blue Yeti microphone. The blue yeti is a popular microphone that does not fit in most standard universal shock mounts.
Auphonix’s shock mount is a decent priced option that only works with the blue yeti to reduce its noise distortion and provide good audio quality. This shock mount cannot be used with any other microphones.
1. Perfect for the Blue Yeti: It is usually hard to find a shock mount that fits the Blue Yeti’s unusual build. Auphonix Silver Shock mount is specifically made for your blue yeti mic.
2. Limited Compatibility: Only compatible with Blue Yeti.
The Rode Blimp is a sturdy shock mount that can withstand a lot of action inside and outside the studio. This type of shock mount is well suited for an action-packed set or a mellow studio environment.
The Rode Blimp uses Rycote’s impressive Lyre technology and is commonly used with a boom pole. The shock mount has good compatibility with most standard shotgun mics with 19mm to 22 mm diameter.
The shock mount boasts high mechanical isolation from the end of the boom pole, significantly reducing noise and producing a better audio quality on set. With a 10 year warranty, the Rode Blimp is also highly durable.
1. Best choice for Boom Poles: The Rode blimp is most well suited to be fixed at the end of boom poles and for usage in video production and filmmaking.
2. Highly Durable: Rode Blimp is sturdy and built to last in action-filled set and studio environments.
As a podcaster or even a video producer on set, it is essential to maintain a smooth sailing experience for your audience. Shock mounts can ensure that with a clean and crisp audio that gets your message across.
If you are a podcaster looking for that professional quality sound, the Rycote Invision USM comes highly recommended. However, if you wish for a more affordable option and have a microphone similar to the Rode’s line of mics, you can also check out the high quality yet reasonably priced Rode PSM1.
If you are more interested in shock mounts compatible with the boom pole, Sabra Som and the Rode Blimp are some amazing choices.
Ultimately, the shock mount you choose depends on your type of microphone, your budget and the application. So, choose your shock mount wisely and impress listeners with the crystal clear audio that can take your podcasting career to the next level!
Want more tips on podcasting equipment? Check out our complete guide to podcasting gear to get the full rundown on exactly what you need for your podcast.
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.