If you are in the market for a microphone and feel confused with the wide choice on offer, then don’t worry, for there are scores of others who too would feel the same way. The world of these is surely more complicated than what we think. There are options for stage shows, field recording, studio recordings, voice over, etc. All this choice could leave you completely dazed. However, it can also be a fun to research, just in case you like doing such things. Let us now come to the case of podcasting microphones, which are basically used to record conversations and remember in a controlled environment. Let us take a look at the advantages of choosing one for podcasting. Basically, there are two types, XLR and USB that you can choose from for podcasts.
- My Recommended Best Microphones For Podcasting Choices
- XLR vs. USB Microphones
- Condenser Mics and Dynamic Mics
- Podcasting USB Microphone Accessories
- Customized USB Podcasting Mic
My Recommended Best Microphones For Podcasting Choices
Right off the bat, I am going to let you know what my first choice is – the Blue Yeti.
These are a stylish products that creates professional recording by maintaining the highest sound quality. The appliance is THX certified and uses the latest analog-digital transformation system to send clear audio to your sound systems such as a computer or tablet. It keeps the sound distortion to its least and reproduces the sound with the result very similar to the original. It comes with four formats for recording audio and can record the sounds from something that is in low voice to anything that is loud.
- Authenticated by THC.
- Professional sound quality.
- Choice of four patterns with the availability of Stereo Mode.
- Easy to use with no complicated installations.
- Strong metal body.
- High-quality recording at an affordable price.
There is no compromise to quality with these microphones. By far these are one of the top USB microphones for podcasting available for recordings. While most USB options are nothing more than fancy-looking devices with average results, the Yeti produces high-quality professional level mics. These are capable of recording the finest sound pattern and is portable. Unlike most recording devices that need cable connections, the Yeti use USB to connect to the computer. What is more promising is that the apparatus price is comparable to most computer accessories so it a pocket-friendly technically advanced sound recorder.
The device dimension is 4.7(width) x 4.9(depth) x 11.69(height) in inches, that includes the stand. The design is a solid metal build with stylish control buttons. The device looks are professional and with a sleek design.
They have two ports where the first one is to power it up and transfer the digital signal to the computer system. The sampling rate configuration is 16 bit at 48 kHz. The package includes the standard 6 feet long cable. The second port is a headphones jack with 3.5 mm dimensions. This port allows you to check the recording.
The front side displays the volume control and the back side has the four-level pattern switch. It allows four patterns that are cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo patterns. Unlike conventional microphones that use a single capsule, the Yeti sounds different as it uses three condenser capsules to process the signal is different ways.
The price is incredibly low as it produces the finest sound quality for its cost. The device is capable of canceling unwanted voice and distortion during the recording as it gives options to deal with the unwarranted noises. For example, if there is sound coming from the back of the mic, this pattern eliminates the extra sounds, where, for controlling the noise from the sides, the bidirectional pattern option produces amazing results. This added functionality keeps this device a notch ahead of other microphones.
- The size is large when compared to others.
- Some buttons are light and are to be used carefully to avoid
All in all, the device is, without a doubt, one of the products out there for sound recording at the highest levels. All in all, the device is, without a doubt, one of the product out there for sound recording at the highest levels.
Are you looking for a high quality option to enjoy uninterrupted sound quality? If yes, you may want to consider the AT2020USB. There are a slew of perks of using this quality product. A lot of individuals have used this item and are happy with its functions. The following review will give you details on the features, pros and cons of the AT2020USB.
AT2020 offers its users studio quality intelligibility and articulation. The mic plugs straight into your PC’s USB port and works effortlessly with your preferred recording software. Fully equipped with an output (digital), the AT2020 is ideal for field recording, home studio recording, voice-over and podcasting use. The mic is based on the design of the AT2020’s greatly acclaimed condenser.
It includes a low mass diaphragm, engineered for better frequency response as well as superb transient response. The built and design of the item are sure to grab the attention of any prospective buyer. With a low self noise, the product is perfect for modern digital recording equipment.
AT2020USB generates clean and crisp sound, much better than many other brands in the same price range. The mic has a steady, consistent response, which makes it more musical. This is the curve that you will ever see on a USB mic. As far as the body of the piece is concerned, it is made out of rugged metal. The mic is highly durable to last for a very long time; it can withstand a good amount of abuse.
The capsule is also safeguarded by a rigid grid. So, the chances of breakages are almost none. Due to its sturdy built, you can recoup its modest price in a very short time frame. Also, taking care of the piece is not a big issue. A little care on your part is enough to sustain the longevity of the mic.
You can achieve a professional performance with vocals as well as instruments with the AT2020USB. Whatever you wish to record, you won’t get disappointed with this fantastic mic that comes with an amazing sound quality. Above all, you don’t need to expend a lot of money to own this top notch mic.
The tripod that comes with the mic is too low and soft. The mic often falls down from the tripod. Other than that, the mic makes a good fit for any user. In fact, you get a lot more from the product in return for the price you pay.
Having a good quality microphone is imperative to ensure great sound quality. Without a great quality mic, your desire to enjoy uninterrupted music is incomplete. While there are many brands that profess to offer high quality option, many of them fail to live up to the expectations of users. However, there are certain products such as the AT2020USB that lets you cherish comfy sound without any hindrances. Just get familiar with the benefits and features of the unit when ordering the product and you will never need to buy another mic for a long time.
Shure SM58-X2U Cardioid Dynamic with X2U XLR-to-USB Signal Adapter
It is not easy to find good quality products that perform more than expected these days and when you find one, it is important that you share the word. We found such a product and we are going to discuss it here today. The product we are talking about is the Shure SM58-X2U with adapter.
When you purchase this device, you will receive the SM58 and the X2U XLR-to-USB adapter.
The SM58 is unidirectional as the word cardioid describes. The mic is designed for studio recording, sound reinforcement, and for use in live performance. The device is engineered for high-quality vocal response, which is standard for speech and singing. It has an inbuilt spherical filter which helps in minimizing breath pop and wind noise. It minimizes unwanted background noise and isolates the main sound source thanks to its pickup pattern.
It has a steel mesh grille, a pneumatic shock-mount system, a rugged construction that ensures that even with rough handling, it will perform consistently indoors or outdoors.
The adapter that comes with the SM58 has been designed to connect any XLR microphone to your computer via USB. This helps you to easily create better-than-CD quality recordings. This device can help amateur musicians, podcasters, and other people doing home recordings produce high-quality audio from the comfort of their homes and on the go. This device can be used unobtrusively for in-studio and live recording.
Features of the mic
- It has great frequency response that is perfectly engineered for clear vocals, brightened bass, and mid-range roll off.
- Has pneumatic shock-mount system which helps in cutting down handling noise.
- It minimizes background noise and isolates the main sound source courtesy of its uniform cardoid pickup pattern.
- Has a frequency response of 50-15,000 Hz.
- Comes with a stand adapter that is break-resistant and can rotate 180 degrees.
- Has an effective inbuilt spherical pop and wind filter.
Features of the Adapter
- Offers plug-and-play connectivity which allows you the convenience of digital recording from wherever you are.
- It provides more than 48 volts of Phantom power that can be used with one that has a condenser.
- It is compatible with Mac OS X 10.1 and Windows Vista, XP, 2000, or later versions.
- Has an integrated pre-amp with mic gain control. This allows you to control the strength of input signal.
- Comes with a padded pouch with a zipper and a 9.8ft long cable.
- Has a monitor mix control for blending playback audio and microphone.
- Comes with a headphone jack with volume control that measure 1/8″ long.
- 16-bit,48KHz sample rate which allows for high-quality audio recording.
- Zero latency monitoring for multitracking without disorientation and real-time playback.
The Shure SM58-X2U with adapter is a great product. Its innovative features and rugged construction make it a product worth buying and using.
Today, we are testing one of the best microphones available today on the market. This is the ATR2100-USB. This mic is an awesome device and we are going to tell you why it is.
There are so many reasons why this is one of the top-rated ones available today, and among them is the fact that it has both USB and XLR plugs. This means that with the port, you can connect it directly with your computer and record some tunes, or connect it to a PA system via the XLR plug and do whatever you want. This is an amazing feature of this mic because it gives you the ability to upgrade to an audio interface which has a better preamp and more control over your mic’s sound.
When you buy this Audio-Technica, you will find that it includes one clip, a stand, cable, XLR to XLR Cable, and the device’s documentation.
Features and performance
The design and quality of this option is decent enough. It’s body is made of metal for rigidity and durability though its grill feels like it is plastics to the touch. Its on/off switch is located below an LED indicator for the USB and it somehow feels flimsy. The LED indicator that we have just mentioned turns on when the mic is plugged into the port of another device such as a computer and it also indicates that it is receiving power.
The mic’s port is located on its bottom side. It also has a headphone jack for audio playback and that also allows for latency free monitoring when you connect it to a computer via the cable. It also has volume controls for a headphone and an XLR plug that allows you to plug the device into a preamp, mixer, or amplifier.
There are a number of things that you should note though. First, when you plug it in using an XLR cable only, the headphone jack will not work. Also, if the microphone is plugged into a charger using the cable and it is also connected to an XLR cable, the headphone jack will not work. For it to work when the XLR cable is plugged in, the cable should be plugged into a computer.
That aside, it has a Cardio Polar Pattern that works pretty well in cancelling background noise.
The mic has a frequency response of 50Hz to 15kHz. This is quite decent for a voice over artist or for doing a podcast. Playing an acoustic guitar with this mic sounds full and wide and voice sounds incredibly crispy clear.
- Great build quality
- USB and XLR cable ports
- The sound is good
- Latency free monitoring when recording in USB mode
- Does well in background noise cancellation
- It does not have gain control.
This is one of the best mics that we have ever tested. It is versatile, provides great sound, and can easily upgrade to a better preamp. The ATR2100-USB is a product worth buying.
Blue Snowball Ice
With a good price tag, the Blue Snowball Ice is a fancy looking mic. It comes with a detachable cable with a Type B connection. The device is good on its performance for mid-range sound productions. It is a comfortable tool for anyone who wants to record or output sound and is not thinking about professional recording.
Whether you are a professional or not the device will help you with all the sound productions. The device is ideal for use with programs like Skype and Online chatting, and many gamers also prefer the device to enhance their gaming experience. However, the device falls flat when it comes to professional recordings such as Pod-casts and voice overs.
The Blue Snowball ice is a product of Snowball that has been in the market for over 15 years with their productions of sound recorders. However, they have not introduced anything new for this model and removed some features of the earlier model, such as this model does not have the 10 dB pad and the omnidirectional capsule of earlier models. Due to such small removals, the new model is cheaper than the earlier releases.
Features and Functionality
The device has limited features to cut noises from the background at the highest level, however, the sound quality is not bad and the background sound that is not eliminated is mostly dampened. The sound quality is good if the recording is for general purpose or gaming. However, this may come as a disappointment for those who want clear high-end recording for professional work.
The capsules inside the Snowball is comparable with the Blue Yeti and each side has six opening slots where the fine mesh is visible. The sound levels are mostly smooth with no hints of harshness. It has an exact mid-range to support the vocals. Unfortunately, the device fails to produce a stable EQ response and this limits the results and is a major setback in launching this product as anything but a mid-range recorder with limited use.
The design of the Snowball is trendy and the system is durable. It has a strong mic with a rigid and heavy plastic body, with no weak buttons on display. On average it should last for a long time if it is not used roughly. The stand is certainly the least friendly feature of this product and is a terrible design with a dull look.
The device is not a heavy investment for the pockets. With the price comes mid-range sound that is mostly right. People who prefer to use it for normal functions, like a video session with friends or online gaming can find it a good option over other expensive sound recorders.
In professional view, the device produces a lifeless tone that is not presentable for any professional level recording. The stand ruins the looks of the device and it often captures background noises.
Don’t expect any sound miracles from this product, however, for normal use, it is a good and affordable option.
Want some other suggestions? Take a look at this best podcasting microphone article.
XLR vs. USB Microphones
This could sound a bit complicated for a lay person. People may feel that after all we are only talking about the end of a cord. A mic that has a three-pronged male to female connection is called an analog or XLR microphone (like a Heil PR-40 or MXL990). On the other hand, it would have a cord that would fit into any computer or laptop with a port.
An experienced audiophile would definitely not worry about the end of a cord. They would be more concerned about the ultimate quality of the audio output. But for someone who is just about starting out with podcasts, it is important that you know the difference between the two. The choice between XLR and USB microphones would also dictate the other types of equipment that you will be needing for your recordings.
There are analog mixers, recorders, preamps, etc., which would be compatible only with a XLR mic. Remember, there are scores of XLR companies parading their products around the markets. While this would mean easy access and plenty of options, it could come at a cost to you. The very fact that they would d be only compatible with other specific analog based products such as an analog recorder or tape recorder, it would mean that it could complicate your requirements. You will then need a separate device to convert all the analog signal into digital and then record it.
This will help you avoid all these complications. All that you need to do is to plug the mic into the port provided in your computer and you are ready to podcast. Moreover, there is an equal variety of mics that are available in the market. In fact, given their inherent simplicity and high sound quality, their numbers are increasing by the day.
With a USB option you no longer need to worry about cables getting tangled besides your computer. There is just one single cable that you need to plug into the port and you are ready to record. Another advantage with these microphones is the fact that with them device drivers are usually not required. Once you plug in the device, your computer would automatically recognize it as a new input device and start running. Moreover, you can always swap it across several computers in an instant, which is another major advantage. Plus, you need not be a veteran or a technology whiz kid to get used to it. The entire technology is so simple that you will start using your studio recording in a matter of minutes.
Condenser Mics and Dynamic Mics
Without going into details of the technology behind them, the basic difference between condenser and dynamic mics is that the former is usually used in studios, while the later are used for live recordings or stage shows. Usually handheld mics, which are commonly used for live sound, are dynamic mics. Earlier condenser mics used to connect to an analog chord. These days however, some manufacturers have started to come out with models that are hybrid. These models come with a port, apart from having its analog connector. With an increasing number of people preferring USB, this type of product innovation is not surprising.
Podcasting USB Microphone Accessories
Your job won’t end with choosing a best microphone for podcasting. You will surely need some accessories too that will enhance your podcasting experience. Supposing you are someone who will be podcasting from various different locations, you will need a table stand to hold it in place. Or what about a swivel mount boom? As the name suggests, these devices swivel and you can always bring it in front of you and away from you, as you want, at any time. This is something that will help you a lot during live recordings, since there is always a natural tendency among people to move a lot during interactions.
While USB microphones score on every front, there are certain things that are quite unavoidable too. For example, there are chances that you could be breathing heavily into the mic, therefore disturbing the overall audio quality. This problem usually occurs whenever you are spelling S’s and P’s. The solution lies in purchasing a simple pop filter, along with your mic. The pop filter would cut out all such sounds with ease.
Customized USB Podcasting Mic
Not everyone in this world is gifted with a good voice. This is especially so in case you are speaking into a mic, for it is only after lots of practice that one can speak without any of the hissing sounds made by our breathing patterns. In the case of podcasts there is also the fact that you could be doing the recording in a studio or it could be right in the confines of your home too. So, you would always welcome a USB podcast mic that would automatically enhance your voice while cutting out on all other noise. There are good quality USB mic for podcasting available these days that come with an internal equalizer, which helps smooth out variations that may develop in the speech too.