I’ve been doing podcasts since 2005. I’ve used a ton of different podcast equipment over the years. I tend to keep up with the latest trends as I am constantly updating and improving both my own gear and gear for studio use. Countless times people have asked me, “What is the best podcast or audio gear?”. Below is the current set of recommendations for most use cases (mostly so I can just send people to this link when they ask):
- Shure SM7B – I like this microphone for many reasons. For one, you don’t have to purchase a DAC to drive it as it plugs in via USB, which reduces the overall cost of your setup without sacrificing too much quality. Also, it’s better than those “Blue” microphones, which in my humble and professional opinion, sound like crap and are of poor quality. You will want a boom arm or mic stand to go along with this one and don’t cheap out on that, either. Early in our podcasting days, we bought cheap boom arms and spent more time editing, trying to remove the noise they generated.
- Shure MV7 USB Microphone – I like this model because it sounds really nice, and you don’t need a mixer/DAC to run it. The MV7 connects to your computer via USB, and it’s more reliable (and better sounding) than anything from Blue.
- Heil PR 40 – This may still be my favorite mic for podcasts; I love the deep, warm sound it provides. You will need something to drive it, and it’s not cheap.
Selecting a boom arm is largely a personal preference but is required for clean audio. Don’t cheap out on this item like I did at first. The cheaper boom arms will pick up on every little noise, like setting down a glass on the table.
- InnoGear Microphone Arm Stand
- Gator Frameworks Deluxe Desk-Mounted Broadcast Microphone Boom Stand For Podcasts & Recording
- Elgato Wave Mic Arm LP – Premium Low Profile Microphone Arm
- Rode Rodecaster Pro II Podcast Production Console – I’ve not used this one personally. However, I’ve read several reviews and talked to friends that have one. Everyone loves this console!
- Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface – This is the tried and true option, a safe bet for any setup.
I am a headphone nut. I own several different sets of headphones. Some are very expensive (like ridiculous). However, the headphones I use for podcasting are much less expensive than the ones in my “audiophile” collection. Podcasting headphones should be comfortable and allow you to monitor voice audio. Also, since I am on camera, they must also look good. And by looking good, I mean they can’t look ridiculous like some of the headphones I’ve worn in the past on the shows. I also prefer closed-back headphones for podcasting, which block out any external noises. Headphones are a personal choice, so go with whatever works best for you!
- Sony MDR1AM2 – These are my favorites for podcasting. I’ve gone through several cans, but these are my favorite. It’s the perfect balance between sound quality, comfort, and price.
- beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 32 ohm – Beyerdynamic makes outstanding headphones that work well for podcasting. We use a similar, if not the same, model in the studio.
- Sennheiser Professional HD 280 PRO – This is an excellent podcasting headphone. You’ll see these on Rogan.
The problem with the camera built into your laptop is that it’s most likely 720p. Even if you get one that’s 1080p; the lens is not as nice as a commercial camera. I’ve settled on the Sony a6000 for my home studio. Again, this is largely a personal choice and heavily dependent on the type of lighting that you are using.