27 Best Podcast Microphones For Any Budget 2020

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However you look at it, settling on a microphone is a huge deal for your podcast.

Whether or not you’re wet behind the ears or a total guru, there’s no denying that you need a solid microphone to count on.

But when you’re presented with hundreds of options for the best podcast microphones -how do you choose? Plus, will it really matter if you choose a $50 mic over a $500 one?

To answer a few of these burning questions, we’ve compiled a list of the best types of microphones based on their respective categories, price range, and user level.

But before we dive in…


What are the different types of podcast microphones?


Primarily, there are two categories of podcasting microphones to choose from. They are:

• USB Mics
USBs are pretty standard, and they work just by being plugged into the USB port of your laptop! You don’t need any other type of mixer/interface of a third-party device to start using a USB mic.

• XLR Mics
With an XLR, you get a microphone with a 3-pronged connection. This means you indeed do need some type of interface before it gets connected to your computer.


Characteristics aside – which one is the best podcast microphone for you?

Many podcasters and bloggers have tried to pit these two categories together to have one emerge victorious.

We don’t think it’s very fair to shelve one as more superior than the other, though.

On one hand, you have the XLR microphone that gives you a greater opportunity to tweak sound settings and other technical adjustments.

Meanwhile, that might be too overwhelming for beginner podcasters. Hence -the USB comes in perfect for those who want a clear cut, simple podcast microphone for recording.

It’s always important to be sure of where you stand and what your capacities are.

With that being said, here’s an easy-to-understand compilation of the best podcasting microphones that ranges across the budget.


Beginner Podcasting Microphones


1. Blue Yeti USB Mic

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $79
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.4/5 stars


Even aimed for entry-level podcasters, the Blue Yeti USB Mic is an all-time favorite amongst more expert podcasters!

The similarly named company that manufactures them is no stranger to the world of podcasting equipment.  

However, this particular USB mic is actually one of their pioneer products -one that paved the way for Blue Yeti to become such a household name in providing the best microphones for podcasting.

The Blue Yeti USB Mic allows you to record across literally any situation with impeccable sound quality. So it doesn’t matter if you’re recording a group podcast or just a solo episode!

This, of course, is thanks to having a tri-capsule array -which means 3 condenser capsules that would allow you the freedom to record in various settings.

Another plus point? The Blue Yeti USB Mic comes fully attached to its own stand, so that’s one less headache trying to find a boom arm or other accessories to support it.


2. Audio-Technica AT2020

Microphone Type: XLR
Price: $99
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.5/5 stars


The AT2020 features a cardioid polar pattern, which is best suited for background noise isolation.

It’s also ideal to use in a home studio setting! The AT2020’s cardioid pattern would dramatically reduce sound pickup from the sides and rear of the microphone -improving overall sound quality.

Its lightweight microphone diaphragm is designed in a modern, yet classy style -utilizing top-grade materials to wrap it all up.

So if you’re really looking for a microphone that looks and feels like a million bucks, the AT2020 does the trick!

The AT2020 is also able to pick up on a broad frequency range of 20 to 20,000 Hertz.


3. Go Portable Microphone by Samson

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $29.97
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.3/5 stars


For many podcasters, there are times when you might need to record somewhere that’s not your studio.

When that time comes, the Go Portable Microphone is the perfect little tool to bring along. It’s a compact and portable kit that’s completely foldable!

The Go Portable comes in dual-pickup patterns -the cardioid for closeup recordings and an omnidirectional pattern to cover a larger area such as a conference.

This condenser microphone is also fully loaded with a headphone amplifier.

This allows you to even listen to your recordings directly from the microphone, or connect them to speakers via the output. 

We should probably mention, however, that this is isn’t an ideal one-stop solution.

It’s recommended that you use the Go Portable as and when necessary; but not as a substitute for an actual studio-quality microphone.

Plus, it’s going for less than $30 bucks!

That’s a small price to pay for decent sound quality on the go. Let’s face it, your iPhone and earphones aren’t exactly the best solution. 


4. Shure PGA48-XLR

Microphone Type: XLR
Price: $39
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.6/5 stars


The Shure PGA48 takes us back to the basics.

Straightforward and easy to set up, it’s a simple microphone that’s geared towards a standard frequency range which works best with close proximity speech.

The PGA48 keeps its design basic -with the generic silver ball grille finished with a black metallic handle.

Our verdict? It’s a no-frills alternative to your very first ever microphone -and also super affordable!


5. Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $39
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.4/5 stars


The Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone is yet another beginner-friendly,  plug and play USB device that helps you achieve impeccable audio quality.

An interesting feature of the Snowball iCE is its ability to improve audio quality when you’re on live-chatting on Google Hangouts or Skype.

This comes as a given with its custom condenser capsule design -as condenser mics have a generally higher sensitivity to sound pickup compared to dynamics.

Like the majority of mics aimed at beginner podcasters, the Snowball iCE is priced at a cool $39 bucks. Not bad at all, right?


6. Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 Dynamic Vocal Microphone

Microphone Type: XLR
Price: $23
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.4/5 stars

Another addition to the best cheap microphones for podcasters is the Behringer XM8500.

For a little more than $20, you’re presented with dynamic vocal features that give you excellent voice projection, wide frequency ranges, and a significantly high signal output.

If you’ve read our previous piece on necessary podcasting equipment to get before you start your channel -you’ll know that we’re also big on shock mounts.

The Behringer XM8500 delivers exceptionally well in this aspect; by including their very own shock mount system! This dramatically reduces handling noises, which also complements their two-stage pop filter design to minimize breathy sounds.

If you’re browsing on Amazon, the Behringer XM8500 can even be purchased in a set together with an XLR cable + boom mic stand for less than $60 bucks. Score!


7. Rode Smartlav+

Microphone Type: Lavalier Mic
Price: $55
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4/5 stars


You never really know when the opportunity for a surprise interview may happen -so the smartLav+ wants to keep you prepared!

Okay, but we did cheat a little. The Rode smartLav+ is neither a USB or XLR microphone. It is, however, a power-packed portable and broadcast-grade device that you can wear anytime, anywhere.

The Rode smartLav+ eliminates the need for a bulky recording device or microphone when you’re on the move. This way -you can just clip it straight on and plug it into a smartphone jack to start your audio recording!

Much like the Go Portable Microphone by Samson, we don’t recommend this as a one-stop solution for all your podcasts.

It might come in handy, however, on the occasions where you need to record something in the middle of a public space and can do without awkward, bulky equipment.


8. Neewer NW-700 Condenser Microphone

Microphone Type: XLR
Price: $29
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4/5 stars


If you buy Neewer’s NW-700 on Amazon, it comes in a full set of:

• The condenser microphone
• An adjustable scissor microphone stand
• A table mounting clamp
• A metal shock mount
• A pop filter
• A ball-type anti-wind foam cap
• A 3.5 mm XLR cable


And all for barely $30 bucks!

For that price and value alone, you bet this had to be included on our list.

Quality-wise, the Neewer NW-700 checks all our boxes too. Its condenser type microphone picks up rich sound, all while filtering out background noise thanks to its cardioid pattern.

For beginners, this set is already everything you need to set up a small home studio—and get to the recording immediately.


9. ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamics USB/XLR by Audio Technica

Microphone Type: USB/XLR
Price: $69
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.3/5 stars


The ATR2100 is unique in its own right. It has both USB and XLR outputs to provide you with a number of ways to use the microphone.

While the USB output is used for digital recording, the XLR can be used to connect to another mixer or interface.  

It’s a podcast microphone that keeps your options wide—so you won’t have to spend any more money for a new microphone should you decide to switch from USB to XLR or vice versa.

It’s also designed with durable metal construction for longer usage, comes equipped with either a mini-tripod or stand clamp, and has a headphone jack built-in so you can listen to back to the audio output without delay.


10. Samson C01U Pro USB Studio Condenser Microphone

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $79
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.4/5 stars


Samson comes up with yet another professional recording microphone with the C01U. This is a device that eliminates signal-to-noise ratio, which makes it perfect for recording live Skype sessions, VoIP applications, and online interviews.  

The Samson C01U is designed to withstand extended use and promises durability with its die-cast metal construction and solid mesh grill.

On Amazon, the C01U retails for almost $80 and comes with a mini tripod stand and swivel mount to fix on your desktop.


11.  MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone

Microphone Type: XLR
Price: $62
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.5/5 stars


Without a doubt, the first thing anyone would notice about the MXL V67G is its eye-catching design. Aesthetics-wise, this one of the most gorgeous mics we’ve ever seen—complete with a gold-plated grille and a rich green body casing that screams vintage lux.

The MXL V67G only weighs in at a nice 1.3lbs and comes with a decent 30Hz to 20kHz frequency response.

While it only offers one cardioid polar pattern setting, the MXL V67G is often described as giving off an ‘old school tube mellow’ type of sound.

This is true to a warm and deep sound that you would associate with vintage microphones!

Overall, pretty good bang for your buck, considering capability and audio quality.  


Intermediate Podcasting Microphones


12. Rode NT-USB

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $168
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.4/5 stars


The Rode NT-USB is a sexy-looking condenser microphone laden with cool podcast-friendly features.

It’s equipped with two rotary knobs on the exterior that allows for mixing and control, an LED operation indicator, a pop filter to reduce all those pesky ‘B’ and ‘P’ popping sounds,as well as a windscreen to optimize the pickup of close proximity audio.

The Rode NT-USB is versatile enough to record a manner of interactions and is compatible with mainstream applications like GarageBand.

It comes with a tripod desk stand, a ring mount, a soft pouch, and a USB cable all thrown in.


13.  HyperX QuadCast

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $139
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.8/5 stars


HyperX isn’t the first name that would come to mind in the podcast mic-verse—especially factoring in big brands like Blue Yeti, Audio Technica, etc.

However, they managed to put their name on the map with their QuadCast microphone.

The QuadCast started off with being known as a gaming microphone for the likes of Twitch and Discord users.

However, it’s also received praise amongst the podcasting community for clarity of sound and overall recording features.

The QuadCast considers itself to be an all-inclusive microphone that works best for podcasters, gamers, and live streamers; stemming from its ability to be durable and adaptable to various recording environments.

It’s loaded with top of the line anti-vibration and shock mount, pop filters 4 polar patterns and sensitivity knobs to use via a turning dial at the bottom.

HyperX currently only offers the QuadCast as a microphone—but we’re excited to see if the near future holds any more of these awesome devices in the works.


14.  Audio Technica AT2035

Microphone Type: XLR
Price: $163
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.6/5 stars


The Audio Technica 2035 is yet another fabulous example of a studio-quality condenser that delivers on its promise of low noise.

Because of its high Sound Pressure Level (SPL) rating, this model is particularly great at handling high volume sound without interrupting feedback.

If you ever wondered what recording via the Audio Technica 2035 sounds like—customers on Amazon have rated it as having a ‘warm’ and ‘full-bodied’ clarity.

Besides its custom shock mount and pop filter, the Audio Technica 2035 also comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth as well.


15. Blue Yeti Pro

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $190
Amazon Customer Ratings: 3.9/5 stars


The Yeti Pro claims to be the world’s first-ever microphone to combine both USB and XLR outputs in a device.

Although this isn’t anything new (we’ve seen a few over the years pop up in the market like the ATR2100 by Audio Technica)—this is one that really sets the foundation for versatility.

The Yeti Pro features 3 various condenser capsules and 4 different settings to choose from (Cardioid, Stereo, Bidirectional, and Omnidirectional).

 You can adjust their pattern settings by rotating the knob on the Yeti Pro’s microphone body.

**Pro Tip : We would advise either cardioid or bidirectional pattern modes for recording a podcast. The cardioid is geared for more solo recordings since it captures the sound that is coming directly from in front of the microphone, while the bidirectional pattern suits recording interview sessions!

The only complaint we have about the Yeti Pro is that you might need to have an existing desk mount.

This is because its already included mic stand is pretty tiny and unstable—so you’ll need something to keep it in place.


16. NEAT Bumblebee Desktop USB Microphone

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $89
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.4/5 stars


The Bumblebee by NEAT Microphones doesn’t just look fun—it packs a punch.

Besides it’s fresh, innovative design (look at that hive-like grille!), the Bumblebee is built-in with a boom arm for easy positioning and 3 controls that allow you to adjust Sonic Signatures (Voice, Neutral or Music), microphone gain and volume adjustments.

But yes, you read that first part right. The boom arm is built-in with the microphone, so there’s no removing it.

Pro? You’ll never have to worry about buying a boom arm/stand to fit with the Bumblebee.

Con? We know this won’t make everyone happy since there’s not a lot of flexibility that comes with a built-in boom arm.

But for $89, it’s commendable that NEAT decided to throw this in.


17. AmazonBasics Professional USB Condenser Microphone

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $111
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.2/5 stars


Yep—Amazon has its own range of microphones now!

The AmazonBasics Professional USB Microphone is a condenser microphone that comes with 4 pickup patterns that boast a zero-latency audio quality and held together with a heavy, solid base.

Amazon has just gotten around to dip their toes into the microphone scene, even coming up with a mini condenser microphone that’s best suited for basic home recordings. 

Their Professional USB Condenser, however, provides studio-quality through its excellent ability to handle high-pressure sound volumes and adjustable controls.

At the moment, the $111 retail price just gets you the microphone.

For around $140, though, you’ll get a suspension boom arm and pop filter—which is a pretty decent deal.

This sound engineer sums up the AmazonBasics Pro by actually recording this video on the device—so you can have a better idea of what its audio would sound like.


18. Samson G-Track Pro Professional USB Microphone

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $128
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.2/5 stars


Samson’s G-Track Pro is designed with podcasters and content creators in mind. This baby records 24-bit, 96kHz in crystal clear audio and comes with dual condenser capsules to capture your speech with every nuance and detail.

You can tweak volume levels, microphone settings, instruments, and toggle the mute option right on the body of this microphone.

Its rock-solid finish is designed with die-cast zinc construction and a mesh grille—but still manages to be lightweight.

The G-Track Pro labels itself as a device that is ‘built for the studio.’ No doubt about that here!


19. Shure MV51 Digital Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $164
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.4/5 stars


The Shure MV51 combines with modern tech with a nostalgic, vintage metal design.

Seriously, this thing just stepped out from the 1950s!

Its features, however, are a different story altogether. The MV51 is in no way outdated, bringing you 5 preset modes of either Speech, Singing, Flat, Acoustic Instruments, or Loud.

All adjustable with an easy-to-use knob!

The Shure MV51 comes with two cables. The MicroB-to-USB connects to Android and laptop devices while the MicroB-to-Lightning is meant to connect solely to iOS devices.

If you were to browse through some of Amazon comments, the Shure MV51 is revered for its awesome sensitivity to audio pickup, and it’s superior noise cancellation abilities.

Note to the masses? This microphone works superbly for podcasts if you set it to the ‘Flat’ mode and hit record.


20. AKG Lyra

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $149
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.6/5 stars


Okay, so full disclosure, the AKG Lyra is a pretty new product on the podcasting microphone market. It just launched in November 2019!

But beat this. The AKG Lyra is an ultra-HD recording microphone, which includes 4 capture modes perfect for recording diverse environments.

What was pretty interesting to us was the fact that the AKG Lyra labels their patterns as ‘front’, ‘front and back’ etc. instead of the usual ‘cardioid, bidirectional,…’

Now pro podcasters might not find that this makes a difference. But it’s cool to know that even though laden with a buttload of features, the AKG Lyra is beginner-friendly!

AKG’s own Internal Element Overload Prevention tech is best for dramatically reducing ambient noise levels and giving you that untouched, pristine quality audio we all so desperately crave.


Expert Level Microphones


21. Heil PR40

Microphone Type: XLR
Price: $329
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.2/5 stars


When searching for the best industry-grade podcast microphones on the market, the Heil PR40 is going to be a name that frequently pops up.

It’s a dynamic-based microphone that finishes off with dual mesh screens, a matte body casing, and a zinc die-cast bottom ring.

This doesn’t mean it’s all icing on the cake.

The Heil PR40 gives excellent value for its price—combining radio broadcast quality that gives a flat audio quality and ability to pick up frequency responses from as low as 28Hz and up to 18kHz.

However, hands-down, the best feature about the Heil PR40 has got to be its kickass background noise elimination capabilities. 

The Heil PR40 is well-equipped with its very own shock-mounted diaphragm, which then contains an internal breath blaster. Why? To almost completely remove any ‘pops,’ hisses or loud breathing sounds—for close to perfect audio.


22. Audio Technica BP40 Dynamic Microphone

Microphone Type: XLR
Price: $349
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.2/5 stars


Even though the BP40 is branded as a ‘singing’ microphone, it’s also been touted for the ability to be an excellent alternative for podcasters.

Why? Because it’s 100% hypercardioid!

The BP40’s hypercardioid pattern guarantees that your speech is focused and direct onto the frontend of the microphone itself—which significantly cuts down on other ambient noises.

The BP40 is also embedded with several protective pop filter layers, a large-diaphragm surface, and a solid included voice coil that prevents electromagnetic interference (EMI).

If you’re a picky perfectionist, the BP40 also includes a switchable 100Hz high-pass filter to protect you against the more minute pop sounds.


23. Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone

Microphone Type: USB
Price: $228
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4/5 stars


We know you’re seeing a whole lot of Rode products here, but for good reason!

One of those reasons presents itself in none other than the Rode Podcaster.

This is a dynamic, plug-and-play USB operated microphone that’s fitted with an 18-bit audio resolution, internal pop filter as well as a shock mount.

The Podcaster—like its name oh so obviously suggests—is the perfect option for podcasters to take advantage of.

Its sleek 28mm capsule design gives it a lightweight (only 1.4 lbs!) look and feel, which makes it more than compatible with any desk mount or boom arm, so it’s easily adjustable to move when needed. 

This little preview by The Podcast Host gives you a brief example of what the Podcaster sounds like. It’s got that radio-ready, crisp sound quality that emphasizes pronunciation and speech nuances. 


24. Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Vocal Microphone

Microphone Type: XLR
Price: $229
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.7/5 stars


Not to be confused with the Podcaster, the Procaster from Rode is also geared towards pro-level, shifu-like podcasters. 

The Procaster comes complete with a tight and cardioid polar pattern, an internal pop filter, and a low impedance output.

What does this mean?

All of the features above (combined with its built-in shock mount) are meant to provide you with superior audio recording, especially during long hours of podcasting, where you might need to filter out the sound of your AC or something.

It’s a known fact that dynamic microphones are much less sensitive than condensers—but the Procaster manages to walk the fine balance of not picking up much of ambience, yet still being able to pick up more subtle audio cues.

Needless to say, the Procaster is deserving of its 4.7-star rating!


25.  Electro Voice RE-20

Microphone Type: XLR
Price: $449
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.1/5 stars


Starting off at a whopping $449, is the Electro Voice RE-20 really worth it?

Here are the facts.

Its Variable-D technology gets down to the nitty-gritty of tonal shifts. Essentially, this is the tech that reduces something called ‘tonal shifts.’ With the tonal shifts of your audio reduced, it allows you to move around without it sounding like your voice’s proximity is changing so much.

Of course, the Electro Voice comes with the usual specs of wind filters, internal shock mounts, etc.

For its exorbitant price, you can bet that the Electro Voice is equipped with only the heaviest duty specifications. This includes a 45Hz to 18kHz frequency response, a solid cardioid polar pattern and a durable steel casing.

Word on the street is that its body was also built to withstand highly humid and elevated temperatures, in which other competitor microphones would seriously falter at.

Do you need this? Definitely something to think about. Either way, this is in no way a beginner or intermediate microphone—so consider all the facts before you actually swipe away more than $400.


26. Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Microphone Type: XLR
Price: $399
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.7/5 stars


There’s a reason why the Shure SM7B rakes up an outstanding 4.7/5 star rating.

The Shure SM7B prides itself on being one of the highest-quality unidirectional microphones in the current market, including Presence Boost and Low-End Rolloff features that allow you to toggle back and forth 4 different frequency characteristics.

Engineered to perfect close proximity speech, the Shure SM7B is a household name amongst podcasters, musicians and content creators all around.

Sweetwater and Musician’s Friend (both renowned websites for reviewing podcasting equipment) have ranked this device as close to perfect; for its recording capabilities as well as industry-standard protection and durability.

The Shure SM7B is an investment. With its electromagnetic hum reduction and air suspension shock isolation—you’ll all but achieve God-like audio that has little to none mechanical noise transmission and noise.


27. Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Microphone Type: XLR
Price: $198
Amazon Customer Ratings: 4.5/5 stars


The Rode NT1-A gives off the warmth that you would expect from a podcaster-friendly microphone equipped with a dynamic range and ability to handle high volume pressure or SPL.

Let’s go through what their less than $200 package offers:

• Industry-grade, strong pop filter
• Shock mount
• 20-feet XLR cable
• Microphone Dust Cover

Keep in mind that all of the above is engineered to professional studio quality that automatically comes with Rode products.

Getting this package immediately gives you access to not just one or two Rode products –but a whole, world-class home studio.


Conclusion


Before we wrap up this compilation of the best microphones for podcasting—it’s necessary to understand where you stand in terms of user level. If you’re looking for other stuff for podcasting too, check out our guide to the best podcast equipment in 2020.

Honestly, it’s not going to be off if you start looking at an expert-level, $500 microphone when you’re just starting out.

Work with the budget you have, recording capacity you’re able to utilize and within your means no matter what!

What are some microphones we left out? Let us know your favorite and why!

Whether you are just starting out or looking for an upgrade, there is a microphone to suit your needs. Here are the best podcasting microphones you can get right now!

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