The 5 Best Podcasting Microphones for New Podcasters and Streamers

Podcasts are hot right now, with tons of people jumping into the mix to produce shows about any and every thing. Though just a few years ago the barrier to entry may have been higher for those trying to start their own shows, that's certainly not the case anymore. There are many services available that make publishing your show as easy as a click of a button—and a variety of gear has hit the market designed specifically with the podcaster and streamer in mind.

To prove it, we've compiled a list of some of our favorite mic options for podcasters and streamers below. Now, if you're a musician who happens to already have some microphones lying around you already like, there's no reason those can't do double-duty. But the list of mics you'll find below are made for podcasting: They are all connectable via USB (and some to iOS devices via lightning cable) and include features like headphone jacks for zero-latency monitoring, a built-in interface for all-in-one analog-to-digital conversion, and easy presets for polar pattern and mode configurations.

In short, these are all microphones that preach the plug-and-play philosophy—and they're great for podcasters and streamers who want to jump right in without getting bogged down with hardware and software manuals. Read below to figure out which mic is the best for you to help tell your story.

What is it? What makes it cool? What does it cost?
Shure MOTIV MV5 Best on a budget. $30-$100
RODE Podcaster Built-in pop filter for minding your plosives. $160-$200
Blue Microphone Yeti A steadfast community favorite. $65-$150
Samson Go Budget portability. $35-$40
Apogee MiC 96k A high-quality, all-in-one podcasting solution. $120-$230
Shure MOTIV MV5

The Shure MOTIV MV5 makes this list because it's a microphone that manages to be affordable, clear-sounding, exceedingly portable, and user-friendly. If you're just getting into podcasting and you're looking for the absolute easiest way to get your show off of the ground, the MOTIV MV5 condenser mic is the way to go.

It's compatible out of the box with iOS devices via lightning cable, so after downloading its companion recording app, all you have to do is plug the mic straight into your device and hit record. You can even set the levels just by choosing one of its onboard presets—podcasting, voiceover, or instrument tracking. Great for beginners and/or podcasters running mobile shows with on-the-ground reporting or interview elements, the MOTIV also comes in at under $100 USD—less if you buy used—which is a reasonable price for a beginner's package that's about as full-featured as you can get.


RODE Podcaster

The RODE Podcaster is another mic that promises to be one of just two pieces of gear you need to get straight to podcasting. Though it won't connect directly to your phone, it does connect directly to your computer via USB without the need for an interface, as it already does the analog-to-digital conversion inside of the mic itself.

Made for specifically recording speech, the Podcaster also features a built-in pop filter great for helping keep your plosives in check (that is, your hard p, k, and other harsh consonants) and features an onboard headphone amplifier for monitoring what you're recording with zero latency. The Podcaster is a lower-priced younger sibling to RODE's very popular Broadcaster mic, which is also worth checking out if you have some extra money to spend.


Blue Microphones Yeti

The Yeti by Blue Microphones is something of a fan favorite in the podcasting and streaming world, as it's a solid midrange value for the money. It's connectable via both USB and XLR (the standard microphone connection) and features a headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring. It also allows users to switch between three different capsules—cardioid, bidirectional, or omnidirectional—depending on what it's being used to capture, with corresponding polar patterns, plus stereo capability.

While it's 16-bit/48kHz sample rate probably isn't going to impress super-serious audiophiles, it's very respectable for vocal or video-based podcasting and streaming, with very natural- and clear-sounding results. If you're more of a beginner or are looking for something a bit less robust while still staying in the Blue Microphone family, you can check out the Blue Snowball—an even more budget-friendly (but still worthy) USB podcasting mic.


Samson Go

The Samson Go is the most inexpensive and portable podcasting mic on this list, small enough that it can slide right into your pocket and retailing new for under $50 USD. It's connected (by adjustable ball mount) to a clip that can easily latch to a laptop or tablet screen, and users can choose either a cardioid or omnidirectional pattern depending on whether they're recording an individual or a group.

With its portability and price tag, the Go makes a great choice for hobbyists just getting started with an uncomplicated setup, or for those whose shows involve field recordings and/or interviewing on-the-go. If you're looking for another budget-friendly but less overtly portable option from Samson, you can check out the Meteor, which is a USB studio condenser mic with a built-in tripod that retails for $70 USD new and closer to $45-$50 used.


Apogee MiC 96k

The Apogee MiC 96k is another high-quality microphone from a well-respected mic brand that presents as an all-in-one podcasting/streaming solution. Note that it's designed specifically for Mac computers and other iOS devices, which could either make this mic a very attractive choice for you or entirely the wrong one, depending on what kind of equipment you have.

If you do have a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, though, the plug-and-play connectivity is seamless via USB or lightning cable. And because the mic packs its own internal preamp and interface, there's no complicated configuration or extra gear required to get started. The 96k's 24-bit clarity definitely makes an audial difference in recording quality over a lot of the other mics on this list, and podcasters and streamers alike won't be disappointed.


comments powered by Disqus