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The Best Podcasting Microphones for Every Budget

Casey Wright

January 2023

If you’re a podcaster, streamer, gamer, or content creator of any kind, picking the right microphone is very important. With the recent rise of individuals podcasting and live streaming, more and more people are looking to begin their own production with little to no knowledge about what they need to thrive. 

Here are the top 5 microphones to get you started:

Blue Yeti 

Price: $99.00 (avg.)

🔌 Connection: USB

🎤 Type: Condenser

👍 Pros: 

  • A sleek-looking mic with its own stand
  • Versatile (comes with 4 different polar pattern settings)
  • Quality sound response rate (20HZ to 20kHZ)
  • Best microphone for under $100

👎Cons: 

  • Easy to use incorrectly without good customizations settings
  • Heavier than other microphones
  • Sensitivity (This mic tends to pick up unwanted background noise so extra accessories may be required to fix this issue)

A Blue Yeti is a USB-powered microphone that comes with 4 different pattern settings and a desk stand. This budget mic was built for podcasting and is a popular choice in the podcasting, gaming, and streaming communities. From the look, to the USB Connectivity, all the way down to the internal hardware, this microphone makes for a great desktop audio device with a wide range of uses.

Blue has a reputation for developing high-quality microphones for podcasting, videos, and even music. They’re affordable, use quality parts, and for the most part are pretty simple to use.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that as a USB microphone, the Blue Yeti will have some limitations. However, even the base version is packed with features that produce decent sound quality, which is hard to complain about with the price tag.

Buy it here.

HyperX QuadCast S

Price: $159.00

🔌 Connection: USB

🎤 Type: Condenser

👍 Pros: 

  • Built-in RGB Lighting (looks great on video)
  • Versatile (comes with 4 different polar pattern settings)
  • Quality sound response rate (20HZ to 20kHZ)
  • Multiple customizable features
  • High durability 

👎Cons: 

  • Low sound resolution compared to other USB microphones
  • Plastic shock mount

The HyperX Quadcast S is an ultra-credible USB mic that is comparable to other microphones around the $200 price range. The microphone records 48kHz/16-bit audio and has three 14mm condensers, which provides enough data for post-production if you want to go that route. Despite its technical limitations, it can effectively record a podcast, live-stream, or other musical needs just short of a professional recording. The HyperX QuadCast is very easy to set up yet a little difficult to get the audio exactly right.

As great as this microphone is, the QuadCast S has one glaring issue that might be a dealbreaker. HyperX’s software to control the microphone called “Ngenuity” is not available on Mac devices. This means you can’t customize the RGB lighting when using the QuadCast S with your Mac, so you’re stuck with the rotating rainbow pattern. 

While it isn’t the cheapest or most expensive microphone out there with most of the same features, the QuadCast S is a solid choice for anyone looking for a multi-purpose USB microphone.

Buy it here.

Shure MV7 

Price: $224.00

🔌 Connection: USB or XLR

🎤 Type: Dynamic

👍 Pros: 

  • Professional-grade sound quality
  • Microphone works with USB or XLR settings / equipment
  • Small and sturdy for mounting
  • Best microphone for under $300

👎Cons: 

  • Requires tweaking depending on use (podcasting, gaming, music, etc.)
  • Multiple software downloads required for best settings options
  • Sensitivity (Outdoor recordings or very open rooms may pick up some unwanted noise)

The Shure MV7 is a great dynamic microphone for those looking to podcast and stream. Its hybrid USB and XLR connectivity allows users to keep it simple or utilize more advanced options. The “natural” tone doesn’t add any sort of boost, leaving your audio in a raw state that’s better suited for conversations or anyone who prefers to clean up audio in post-production processes. 

The MV7 can act as its own interface when connected directly to a computer or iOS device. This interface is impressive when it comes to modern features that are controllable both on the mic and with the ShurePlus Motiv desk-top app. There is also an auto-leveling mode which allows the microphone to mix your level in real-time. Preferences like near or far mode allow you to adapt the mic to suit your recording style, with saveable presets, so you can be comfortable and know this is working to record you accurately. It is not the cheapest microphone on the market, but the quality and features definitely live up to what you pay for.

Buy it here.

Shure SM7B

Price: $359.00

🔌 Connection: XLR

🎤 Type: Dynamic

👍 Pros: 

  • Smooth and warm for speech and vocals
  • 3 frequency response settings
  • Low noise and natural reproduction
  • Used very often in professional studios

👎Cons: 

  • Cost (but worth every penny)
  • Requires an audio interface for use which will also add to the price
  • Not ideal for novices / generalists

The SM7B is a testament to Shure’s attention to detail, high and long-lasting quality, and top-notch construction. The mic is XLR with a detachable close-talk windscreen, internal shock mount, and toggle switches on the back panel with a graphic display of the setting. Many professional hosts and podcasters such as Alex Cooper from the Call Me Daddy podcast and Hasan Abi from his daily political live-streams on Twitch utilize this top-of-the-market microphone. 

The large diaphragm and housing are designed for an extended low-end and wide frequency response as well as loud bursts of sound. The heart-shaped cardioid polar pattern is impervious to background noise and is forgiving when it comes to precise mic placement. If the Shure SM7B is in your budget, I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Buy it here.

Electro-Voice RE20

Price: $449.00

🔌 Connection: XLR

🎤 Type: Dynamic

👍 Pros: 

  • Maximum background rejection
  • Deep and smooth sound with neutral tones
  • Considered to be the industry standard
  • Used very often in professional studios

👎Cons: 

  • Cost (but worth every penny)
  • Requires an audio interface for use which will also add to the price
  • Somewhat bulky/heavy

The Electro-Voice RE20 is an industry standard dynamic broadcast microphone that offers maximum background rejection without sacrificing the quality and tone of the voice. It was originally developed to compete with the rising number of condensers being found within every recording studio, and the level of performance is outstanding. 

The RE20 is considered the industry standard for audio equipment and surpasses many other broadcast mics when it comes to signal quality. The downside is the mic is more expensive than any others on this list and may require other pieces of equipment, such as preamp to be on par to get the best of it. Whether you are in the world of podcasting, streaming or the music industry, look no further than the RE20 because this mic is truly one of the best out there.

Buy it here.

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