Rode PodMic Review: The Best Budget Podcast Mic

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Content creators know that their work isn’t easy and nor is the expense and costs negligible. As content creators, most have to consider their budget for creating any kind of content for their audience; this budget includes a laptop, a camera, and a mobile phone, among other gadgets. The better the quality of work, the more equipment and budget is needed. An important tool, which is a must for creating podcasts, streaming, broadcasts, and is even sometimes needed for vlogging is a good quality microphone. 

For people in search of a podcast or streaming microphone on a budget, the Rode PodMic is perfect for you. This is a small microphone with a dynamic acoustic principle and a polar pattern with cardioid frequency, which is built for people looking to make high-quality podcasts and for streaming. The PodMic is made entirely of metal, with a solid, stainless steel mesh grille. It is a sturdy microphone, which appears sleek and attractive from the first look. The sound quality is rich, warm, and pleasant. The main reasons behind its crisp and clear sound are:

  • An internal shockmount so that any bumps or movement on the table don’t cause any interruptions in the sound
  • The PodMic also has a dual-layer mesh and an internal pop filter to minimize plosives
  • It’s built-in swing mount also helps with reducing vibrations

Most microphones, which offer similar specs and quality, are incredibly expensive. This is the perfect entry-level microphone, which offers quality and features similar to that of an expensive studio microphone but at the fraction of the price. For those looking for a super quality, budget microphone for making podcasts, the PodMic is definitely the one you should consider. 


Dynamic vs Condenser: Which Microphone is the best for You?


For the people completely new to the world of microphones or podcasts, the terms ‘dynamic’ and ‘condenser’ refer to the way a microphone is built and the functions it has. Condenser microphones are often the better option when it comes to sound and voice as they are able to record more crisp and clear sound, however, due to being extremely sensitive, they aren’t the best at canceling background noise or recording very loud sounds. Dynamic mics, on the other hand, are excellent for general vocals and are great at background noise cancellation, especially those with a cardioid pattern, which makes them ideal for podcast hosting, outdoor recording sessions, and general voice recording. 

If your main goal for purchasing a microphone is for podcasting or streaming then a dynamic microphone may be the better choice for you. Condenser microphones are the preferred choice for desktop spaces or interviews in closed, quiet spaces. If you’ve ever seen a recording session of any voice actor or singer online, the mic they’re using is usually a condenser mic. It captures the sounds beautifully and also offers a very natural sounding recording. Dynamic mics are common in stage performances and for public speeches and debates, they’re also becoming the go-to choice of streamers since they’re efficient at minimizing plosives and vibrations as well as canceling background noises. Unless you intend to record in a quiet, sound-proof room, any budget condenser mic just isn’t going to cut it. 

It has happened far too many times with a condenser mic that during streaming, the loud clacking of the mechanical keyboard is audible clear to all the listeners, even sometimes the humming of the computer system, or the background murmuring of other people who’re present in the house. The problem with a condenser mic is that it’s just too sensitive and with how saturated streaming and podcasting have become, you don’t want to risk losing any followers or fans because of choosing the wrong mic. This is why Rode PodMic is worth considering. 


Condenser Microphone vs Dynamic Microphone


Condenser

  • Clear and detailed sound, with very little disruptions
  • Smooth frequency response
  • Great at low-frequency
  • Not the best for hot climates or for use during humid weather


Dynamic

  • Can record at high volumes without any distortions
  • Good at reducing plosives and vibrations
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Can handle hot and weather 
  • The audio signal is, unfortunately, rougher and the sound recording isn’t as smooth as a condenser


Rode PodMic Review: Why this is the best Microphone of 2021


Official PodMic Specs

  • Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
  • Output Connector: XLR
  • Element: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Weight: 937g
  • Dimensions: 172 mm x 109 mm x 62 mm

The Rode PodMic is the microphone you need for broadcasts and streaming. This mic features a top-address design along with a cardioid polar pattern, meaning, rather than from the side, you’ll be speaking directly into the end. This way, only what you say will be recorded while all other background noises and sounds will be rejected. This is an innovative edge over other mics as normally, you’d be speaking into the side of the mic, which reduces the volume of your sound and also records surrounding sounds, so any movement you make, possibly moving your computer’s mouse about, tapping at the keyboard keys, or any other noise will come through as well. While this mic doesn’t completely omit those sounds, they will still be significantly reduced.

The background noise cancellation and its ability to minimize plosives are especially useful if you’re working in a room or studio that isn’t sound-proof. This way, you won’t be fighting AND losing against the reverbs from the bare walls and from the hardwood floors, if you have them. If you live with other people or in a dorm room, you won’t have to constantly worry about their voices going through the mic as well, or worst-case scenario, having to redo broadcasts or podcasts because of the interference of outside noises. 

Besides these features, the PodMic is built like a tank, made completely of metal and mesh, this beast easily weighs at least 2 pounds. For a budget microphone, it has the appearance of an expensive, high-quality microphone, which you can show off during live streams as well rather than hiding it because of the price. The grill of this mic is rigid and doesn’t flex. Along with that, you get a decent swing mount to adjust the angle and you don’t have to constantly adjust it as it holds its position well. 

Comparing it with much more expensive dynamic mics like Shure SM7B, the only notable difference is that the SM7B has a slightly warmer and crisp sound. Oh, and that it’s 4 times the price of PodMic! SM7B is highly regarded as one of the best microphones among the recording and broadcasting community, however, Podmic could definitely give it some stiff competition. Besides the price difference, to have the best quality sound from SM7B, you’ll need to purchase additional equipment and a DBX preamp pre-processor. Why spend so much on a mic then for additional equipment as well when you can purchase a similar mic at a quarter of the price. 

Pros of Rode Podmic

  • Excellent broadcast sound
  • Has an internal shockmount, to reduce vibrations and interferences 
  • Excellent price for the specs it offers
  • Sturdy build that feels durable and strong
  • Decent plosives reduction 

Cons of Rode Podmic

  • Requires an inline mic amp for a decent signal and to combat preamp noise in the recording


Additional Equipment Required for the Rode Podmic


Given the low price, it’s a given that the company might have compromised on certain specs. This mic isn’t a type of ‘plug-and-play’ as it is an XLR microphone so you’ll need to purchase an audio interface to make the quality smoother and to avoid the preamp noise in the recording. It doesn’t have to be beast level, a 50dB should be sufficient. You can also easily purchase a decent inline mic amp without breaking the bank. The following are decent options to consider: 


Besides the interface, you’ll need to purchase a boom arm as the mic will be positioned close to your mouth. With this, you can get the perfect mic placement that should provide you the opportunity to record in a more comfortable position while getting the audio just right. The best part is that most boom arms go for really cheap, you can easily find one for $15. 


Final Thoughts 


For its price, the Rode Podmic microphone is a steal and definitely one of the best entry-level mics of this year. With this, you’re not only getting professional, studio-level quality with a sleek and attractive appearance, a sturdy built, and useful specs like a cardioid polar pattern, but it won’t cost you an arm and a leg either. The only downside is that you will, eventually, need to purchase an inline mic amp and a boom arm, but even adding the costs of those, it will still cost you less than many other mics offering similar specs and features. All in all, this is an excellent entry-level mic for new streamers and people looking to getting into podcasting and broadcasting. 

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