The Complete 2024 Podcast Equipment Buyer’s Guide - Budget to Premium
December 12, 2023 | Anton Berner
Embarking on your podcasting journey in 2024? There is no better time to be honest. Podcast consumption is projected to reach an all-time high this year and demand is definitely on the rise.
Before you start your new podcast venture, you have to make sure your product sounds professional and worth listening to. That’s why you should equip yourself with the right tools to ensure professional-quality recordings and a smooth production process.
In this buyer's guide, we’ve compiled an equipment checklist, with everything you’ll need to produce your first episode and many more. From budget-friendly options to premium gear, this is the ultimate buyer's guide to help you make informed choices tailored to your needs and resources. Let's dive into the world of podcasting equipment and set the stage for your future success.
If you want to learn more about the other areas of starting and running a successful podcast, visit our guide “How To Get Started with Podcasting“ where you’ll learn how to come up with a concept and format, how to edit a podcast, and how to distribute your show to the world.
If you need an accessible and user-friendly podcasting platform, Soundtrap is your best pick. Since the software is 100% online, you can always access your project to record, edit, and mix from any device.
Soundtrap also has collaboration features that let you invite remote guests in real-time to the recording via a link. This option is both effective, easy to learn, and affordable.
The downside is that these software are local, meaning that you have to download their products to your computer and all your podcast projects are therefore stored on the same computer. This makes it a bit trickier to collaborate with remote guests and access your episodes from anywhere.
Price: $200 (Logic) or 22.99/month (Audition)
Soundtrap for Podcasters | Crash Course
To record audio into digital media, you need something to convert your audio to data. This is where a recording device, or audio interface, comes in. You can connect your recording device to your computer and record straight into your software, or you can record your files directly into the device and import them to your computer later. We've listed a couple of options below.
The M Audio M Track Duo offers a solid audio interface with 2 mic inputs (if you are more than 2 people in your podcast you will have to share microphones). Simply connect this device to your laptop via USB, plug in your microphone(s), and open up Soundtrap to start recording.
The Rolls-Royce of podcast recording is without Zoom Recording Devices. We recommend their H6 Handy Recorder. This powerful and portable device lets you track 4 microphones at once and has a robust mic capsule perfect for field interviews. If you’re happy with just being in the studio recording 4 people at once, their PodTrack P4 is also a great option.
These devices work as audio interfaces directly connected to your computer for live recording into your software. You can also use them for recording without a computer. Simply insert a memory card and your recorded files can be imported into your laptop once you’re back in the studio.
The Zoom H6 Handy Recorder lets you track 4 microphone sources at once. Photo by Vladislav Smigelski
A memory card is needed if you plan to record your podcast without a computer, using a Zoom handy recorder, for example. Your recorded files are stored on the memory card and can be imported into your podcast software at any time.
SanDisk Ultra SD cards provide ample storage at an affordable price.
Opt for the reliability of the Samsung EVO Plus microSD card for larger capacity and faster data transfer.
There are plenty of USB microphones that let you plug in your microphone directly to your computer without an audio interface, like a Zoom recorder. However, if you want to record several people at once, having an audio interface with multiple mic inputs is the way to go. Sharing one microphone between several people will not give you the desired sound quality you want for a premium podcast.
So, if you have invested in an audio interface, these microphones are the ones to look for to achieve great audio quality.
The Shure PGA 48 dynamic microphone delivers solid performance at a budget-friendly price point. Remember that you’ll need one mic for each person in your podcast.
Upgrade to the Shure SM7dB for studio-quality sound and enhanced versatility. We’re sure you’ve seen this mic on YouTube. This latest upgrade of the classic Shure Sm7b has a built-in preamp which will give you perfect gain on every recording. It’s the industry standard for podcasting and the quality won’t let you down.
The Shure Sm7db is the go-to-microphone for podcasting
The Røde Desktop Microphone stand offers stability and flexibility at a low cost. Note that you’ll need one stand for each microphone.
Go for the Rode PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm for professional-grade durability and adjustability.
The Sony MDRZX110/BLK ZX Series Stereo Headphones provide clear audio without straining your budget.
Consider the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x for superior sound quality and comfort during long recording sessions.
To connect your microphones to your audio interface, you’ll need XLR cables. These are some great options. One cable for each microphone is needed.
Get the AmazonBasics XLR Male to Female Microphone Cable for reliable connectivity on a budget.
Invest in Mogami Gold Studio XLR Cable for top-notch signal transfer and durability.
Good XLR-cables are a must for a professional-sounding podcast. Photo by Mika Baumeister
A headphone amplifier allows you to connect several headphones to your audio interface. This makes it possible for you and your guests to hear themselves and what’s being said during the recording. It also allows you to adjust volume levels for each headphone,
The Behringer HA400 is a great and affordable amplifier that lets you connect 4 headphones.
Zoom also offers headphone amplifiers and the Zoom HZA amplifier is the best option for podcasting with four people at the same time.
A pop filter prevents annoying plosive sounds in recordings (think "p" and "b" bursts) by putting a barrier between you and the microphone. It's basically a mesh or foam shield that stops your recordings from sounding all distorted and keeps things sounding smooth.
The Aokeo Professional Microphone Pop Filter offers an affordable solution to reduce plosive sounds.
Opt for the Isovox Premium Pop Filter for superior build quality and enhanced filtering.
Wherever you’re recording your podcast episodes, investing in some acoustic treatment for the room will undoubtedly enhance the audio quality of your final product. Here are some options to consider.
Use budget-friendly foam panels like the KTOESHEO Acoustic Panels to improve sound quality.
Price: $40 for 2 panels
For professional studios, consider GIK Acoustics Wall Panels and Tri-Trap Corner Bass Trap for comprehensive acoustic treatment.
Price: Starting at $47 per panel
Sound-absorbing panels will render a more professional sound. Photo by Harry Cunningham
There it is! With this equipment in your arsenal, you’re more than well-equipped to start producing a professional podcast. Don’t forget to check out Soundtrap as your recording and editing software for podcasting.
Once you’ve recorded your first episode, read up on our guide on how to distribute and manage your podcast using Spotify for Podcasters.
Best of luck on your podcasting journey!
About the author
Anton Berner is a music producer, audio engineer, and songwriter from Stockholm, Sweden. He's produced hip-hop & rap music since the early 2000s and his expertise is in vocal mixing and sample-based beat production. Anton is also the SEO & Content Manager @ Soundtrap and manages the blog and newsroom.