Today, podcasting is more popular than ever. It’s one of the best ways to directly connect with your audience on a more personal level.
According to entrepreneur, blogger and podcaster, Chris Ducker:
Podcasting allows us to realize the benefits of presenting information in audio or visual format. This in turn allows you to convey your personality in a much stronger way than is possible through the written word. That clarity in your message is seen and felt through your actions (on video) and the tone of your voice – all allowing you to emphasize important points within the podcast session.
If you’re an expert on a topic, podcasting is an excellent way of creating your own original content and broadcasting it. In fact, by building a home podcasting studio, you can distribute content that inspires others — without ever having to leave the comfort of your home.
Whether you want to start with basic home podcasting from your phone or desktop, or are looking to build your own broadcast or home podcast studio and don’t know where to begin, in this post we’ll cover all the home podcasting equipment you’ll need to setup a studio solution that works for you.
With the latest AV products ranging from mics and mixers to video monitors, headphones and more, Pacrad has everything you need to capture, mix and playback audio in broadcast quality!
Home Podcasting for Beginners
In this section we’re going to highlight some of the basic audio recording equipment you’ll need to get started. In the next section we’ll move on to more advanced home podcasting gear you might want to consider as you get more serious, and want to build your very own home podcast studio.
Podcasting Hardware vs Software
The most basic equipment you’ll need if you’re doing solo recordings are a computer (to record and upload your audio files) and a decent microphone.
Although you can go with free or paid software-based options such as Audacity, Zencastr, GarageBand and more, you may potentially suffer poor audio quality, have corrupt file issues and may even risk losing a file.
Hardware-based solutions that we’ll discuss below are just more dependable, and you can customize your setup based on what works for you.
It’s highly recommended to not use your desktop/laptop’s built-in mic as the audio quality may not be the best.
You can start with a budget USB microphone such as Samson’s Go Mic for under $40. Used by broadcasters, podcasters and musicians, Samson’s pro mics are an industry standard. The Go Mic is a compact, yet powerful USB microphone that sits on your desk or clips onto your laptop. You can literally just plug it in and start recording your podcasts.
Home Podcasting Studio Setup for Pros
If you’re a serious podcaster you may need to go beyond a USB microphone and your computer for the best broadcast quality audio recordings.
For recordings that involve multiple people or if you need more control over the mic we recommend you go with a microphone that offers an XLR output.
Essentially there are two types of mics you can go with — dynamic or condenser microphones. Condenser mics are more sensitive and prone to pick up a lot of external sounds such as hums, chair creaks, cars driving by etc. For home podcasting, where you may not have the ideal recording studio setup, a reliable dynamic microphone will give you crisp, clean sound, and a pro-quality one will last you for years.
Probably one of the most popular mics on the planet, the Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Professional Vocal Microphone is an exceptional pro-quality mic at under $100. Used in live performance and studio recordings alike, its audio response is excellent for singing or speech. As a cardioid mic, which reduces sound pick up from the back and sides, it further helps reduce room noise, resulting in better recordings.
Looking for or an entry-level option? You can go with the On-Stage AS420 Low-Z Dynamic Vocal Microphone for just over $25. This mic also offers a cardioid pattern and includes a 20′ XLR cable.
A preamp is an important piece of equipment that controls audio levels and essentially boosts your microphone’s signal, adding extra gain resulting in a better sounding recording.
We recommend the Radio Design Labs STM-2 Adjustable Gain Microphone Preamplifier — a quality low-noise mic preamplifier built for pro-broadcasting, or browse all our audio preamplifiers.
The pop or thumping sounds in the microphone that occur with Bs, Ps and hisses can ruin the listening experience of your podcasts.
The solution to combat this is very simple – use a pop filter. A pop filter is a handy accessory that goes a long way in enhancing the quality of your voice recording. Placed between you and the microphone, it can reduce down strong “plosive” sounds for a cleaner recording.
We recommend the On-Stage ASVS6-GB Pop Blocker w/ Clamp & Gooseneck for just over $20, which can fit onto any shaft up to 7/8″ in diameter, and connects easily to any mic stand or boom, or the Samson PS01 Microphone Pop Filter for just over $30, also a great choice to reduce vocal popping sounds.
A nifty device that bridges your microphone to your computer, an audio interface basically converts your mic’s analog signal to a digital signal that your computer can make use of.
We carry a wide range of audio interfaces to suit your needs. Made in the USA, Henry Engineering’s Matchbox HD Stereo Level Matching Interface/Amplifier is a great way to interface equipment with pro audio gear.
We also have a wide range of other audio interfaces available to suit your needs.
A step above an audio interface, an audio mixer gives you a lot more options such as offering multi-channel control (so you can record co-hosts on different channels, great for post-production when you want someone to sound louder or reduce the volume on a shouter).
Also, as a podcaster you may need to conduct remote interviews, and for that you’ll need to get a mixer that offers a mix-minus line/an AUX channel to prevent your guests from hearing their own echo.
For under $150 the all-new Samson MixPad® MXP124FX is a real steal. A lightweight mixer perfect for podcasting enthusiasts, it offers pro performance with key features such as an Aux channel, Phantom Power for condenser microphones, and digital effects. View our full range of audio mixers here.
An absolute must for recording, you need headphones to hear for static, buzz or other sounds to prevent retakes. Sure, it might sound strange to hear your own voice as you talk, but trust us, you’ll get used to it. Go with something that you find comfortable to wear and offers good sound.
For podcasting it’s best to go with a closed-back or closed-ear design as your mic will catch the sounds from open-back headphones.
For under $100 the Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphones is a definite winner. Featuring a closed-ear design, it is a large diaphragm foldable headphone designed for pro-studio and broadcasting applications.
View all our pro-quality headphones.
A headphone amplifier will help to maximize and optimize audio to give you a fuller sound quality. It’s especially important if you’re podcasting with several co-hosts (with each of you wearing a pair of headphones), so you’ll need to have a headphone amplifier to essentially serve as a splitter to distribute audio.
For under $70, the Samson QH4 4-Channel Headphone Amplifier distributes audio to up to 4 individual headphones, each with its own volume control, making it perfect for home podcasting with co-hosts.
Radio Design Labs also offers some great headphone amps for serious podcasters.
Again, depending where you’re recording you may find you get a lot of echo (speaking into a space and hearing yourself back) or reverb (mixed sounds, such as how you sound in the gym or bathroom).
Even though you may not have access to a professional recording studio, there are a few things you can do to reduce annoying background noises that taint your recordings.
To reduce the number of flat surfaces in your room you can get the floor carpeted, add a curtain, hang paintings on the wall, or place a sofa in the room. Add a mudguard such as the Auralex Acoustics MudGuard v2 w/ Hardware Mounting Kit, to isolate your microphone. If you still don’t get crisp, clean sound, partial or full acoustic room treatments are the answer.
Mic Stands and Booms
Depending on the amount of room you have in your home podcasting studio setup, you may decide to go with a standard desk stand such as the Samson MD5 Desktop Microphone Stand for just over $20, or boom mic stand, however if your space is limited a boom arm such as the Samson MBA28 28″ Microphone Boom Arm works great to free up desk space, and have easy accessibility to your mic when you need it.
An absolute necessity to plug in your microphone to your mixer or audio interface, or to plug in other AV gear, if you’re spending good money on setting up your home podcasting studio, this is one area you should not be compromising on.
A low-quality cheap cable connecting your mic to your preamp is just not going to give you the crisp, clean sound you’re looking for. We recommend getting started with mid-range mic cables such as the Roland microphone XLR cables. If you want the absolute best money can buy, Mogami Gold Studio cables are an unparalleled choice.
Monitors and Speakers
Available in budget to high-end options studio monitors (or speakers) should be exceptionally accurate in reproducing raw sound (the way it was recorded) without adding noise or distortion.
A good place to start are the Samson MediaOne M30 Powered Studio Monitors for under $80, that feature crystal clear audio output, compactly fit on your desk and are ideal for audio playback during post-production for home podcasting.
Browse all studio monitors and find one that works best for you.
Remote and Mobile Podcasting
Need to step outside your home podcasting studio to produce a remote broadcast using your laptop, or conduct a field interview on your smartphone? We’ve got solutions for that too!
Perfect for Vlogging, the Samson SWGMMSLAV Go Mic Mobile Professional Wireless System for Mobile Video is a professional wireless microphone system that connects directly to any Android or iOS smartphone — no adaptors or interfaces needed! It literally turns your phone into a pro-video camera capable of recording HD audio no matter where you are.
Need to conduct field interviews? Start filming with your phone to capture HD quality audio with the Samson SWGMMSHHQ8 Go Mic Mobile® Handheld Wireless System. Two mic configurations available!
Watch the video below to see both systems in action:
Home Podcasting Kits
If you want to get started with home podcasting right away, ordering a home podcasting kit can be a hassle-free way of getting everything you need to jump right in.
Samson offers three home podcasting kits based on your needs:
- Samson Streaming Studio PodCast Kit – An entry-level podcasting kit, this has everything you need to create a live audio podcast or even start a live streaming video channel.
- Samson Podcast Studio Kit – A mid-range kit to build your home podcasting studio, this kit has everything you need to make your podcasting dream a reality.
- Samson Podcast Pro Studio Kit – For serious podcasters this advanced kit comes with all the bells and whistles for a setup that not only sounds amazing, but also handles all your daily production demands.