Best Podcast Microphones of 2019 – Ultimate Review

Podcasts are all the rage and a great way to connect with like minds while delivering entertaining or informative content. But there is one thing that is even more important to any podcast than the content or the subject… the quality. The quality of your sound can be a deal-breaker for any podcast and that means you need the best podcast microphone you can get.

In this guide, we are going to give you everything you need to know about podcast mics as well as some of the best options available to you today.

The best podcast microphones capture the full range of one’s speaking voice while minimizing background noises and static. Some users also require a microphone that can pick up multiple voices in an interview, or a mic that can be set up easily on the go.

For this guide, we found the best USB podcasting microphones that cover all of these uses. 

Comparison of the Best Podcast Microphones

Product

Rating

Price

Rode NT-USB

Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Best Overall

Audio Technica AT2005USB

Audio Technica AT2005USB Handheld Dynamic Microphone

Runner-up

Samson Go Mic

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

Best for the Money

YouMic Lavalier

Lavalier Lapel Microphone ?? Omnidirectional Mic with Easy Clip On System ?? Perfect for Recording Youtube / Interview / Video Conference / Podcast / Voice Dictation / iPhone

Best for iPhone

Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Blackout Edition

Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Blackout Edition

Honorable Mention

Are All Podcast Microphones The Same?

There are many different types of podcast microphones, and in the reviews below we will examine them in-depth. For now, let's just talk about the basic differences. The biggest difference between our options below is the style.

While the Rode and Samson Go are both condenser mics, the Audio Technica is a dynamic mic. Both options have qualities that work well with podcasting one of the differences in the efficacy of these mics is the way the recording sounds and how they handle background noise. 

The dynamic mic is great if you are recording in a room that has echoes or a lot of background noise. On the flip side, the condenser mic needs a better studio or room as they tend to pick up everything (see more in the types of mic section below). Another way that these options differ is how they are hooked into your computer or system. 

There are a few like the YouMic and the Audio Technica that require a headphone jack port to be used, whereas the other options use a USB connection. This difference has really no effect on the quality but is more about the preference of equipment and ease of use.

Why Are These The Best of the Year?

When looking for the best podcast microphone, there are certain features that one must consider in order to find the perfect one for them. We have narrowed this down to just a few that will make the most difference.

Type

There are two main types of microphone: dynamic and condenser. Each has qualities that work well with recording voice tracks. When considering this aspect of your mic section, you really need to think about your recording environment. If you are recording in a professional studio then choosing a condenser is a great choice, as you will have better quality sound. However, if you are not recording in that studio, going with a dynamic will allow you to negate background noise and echo, which will improve your sound quality.

Polar Pattern

A polar pattern is a design that defines how the mic picks up sound. Though like with everything else this a personal preference, most podcasters will suggest you use cardioid pickup pattern. This mic will focus on pricing up the sound from directly in front of it while decreasing the influence of the sounds picked up from the side. There are three types of this polar pattern: cardioid, super-cardioid, and hyper-cardioid.

Connection

Most podcasters will be using a computer as their chosen recording device, so making sure that you have an easy hookup to your equipment is important. There are two main types of connection. You can go with a mic that uses a USB connection (which is the most frequently used by podcasters) or one that goes with an XLR hookup, which uses a port resembling a headphone jack to connect to your audio input source. This is good if you are working in an actual studio and not out of your home studio or office.

Condenser vs. Dynamic vs. Lavalier: What Does it Mean?

These are 3 different types of microphones that handle sound in different ways. Here’s all you need to know, without getting into the nitty gritty:

  • If you have a soft voice, go with a condenser like the GoMic or NT-USB. The higher gain and range will add more *umph* to your voice. Condensers are also the best mic for ASMR recordings, as they’ll pick up that airiness in your voice.
     
  • If there’s a lot of background noises in your studio, go with a dynamic mic like the AT2005. This will reduce sound from unwanted sources, including air vents, refrigerators, neighborhood sounds, children in the house, etc.
     
  • If you need to move around while you talk, go with a lavalier like the YouMic. This tiny condenser mic clips into your shirt, and can plug into a smartphone, making it much more portable than the other mics.

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Here are the best podcast microphones:

  1. Rode NT-USB
  2. Audio Technica AT2005USB
  3. Samson Go Mic

Review of the Best Podcast Microphones

Now we are ready to get into the best podcast microphone options. We have carefully looked at what makes a superior mic and chose the following models accordingly. Each of them has its own advantages, but all of them are great for podcasting.

Best Overall:
Rode NT-USB

Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone

PROS

  • Plug and play straight from the box.
  • Excellent vocal clarity for crisp sound.
  • Compatible with multiple OS systems.
  • Can combine signal with additional audio.
  • Pop filter is included to help negate harsh consonants.
  • Excellent noise cancellation of limited hum and noise capture.

CONS

  • Lack of gain control.
  • Stand is a little flimsy.
  • Does not have multiple pickup patterns.
  • Not easily transported, as stand doesn’t compact nor fit in a case.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have a lot to say about this awesome mic. The ability to mix your input and output as you go is a plus. The ability of the Rode NT to reduce background noise and filter it out is handy. Though some buyers have complained about the flimsy, not easily portable mic stand that the microphone comes with, the biggest thing that they complained about is the lack of polar pattern options. This limits the control and versatility of podcast style.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This mic may not have the versatility of many of our other options, but it is from one of the best companies in the world when it comes to audio recording, and it shows. It is compatible with multiple OS systems, meaning that no matter whether you are a PC or Mac person this mic will work for you. The team at Rode also has included some nice accessories to make your recordings that much better. Though many users complain about the lack of polar pattern options, we see this as a plus as it is the way that this mic is able to cancel so many unwanted noises from recording.

It really doesn’t get much better than the Rode NT-USB, unless you were to buy some full-blown studio gear. This mic will pick up the full range of your speaking voice and gives it that “larger than life” quality.

If you have a soft voice, or if you need to interview multiple people, you can turn up the gain while barely adding any signal noise (although it will still pick up background noises).

This microphone also works great for recording vocals and instruments -- whether that’s guitar, woodwind, string instruments, piano, etc. This might be more than you need for a podcast microphone, but it also means you’re a lot less likely to upgrade later when you can pack so many uses into a single microphone.

Who Will Use This Most 

This mic is outstanding for just about anyone, but particularly shines when you are a podcaster. No matter what level you are at, incorporating the Rode NT into your equipment would be a great choice. The only catch is that it is best for podcasts that are doing interviews via some sort of messenger app like Skype. If you are doing in-person interviews, you may want to invest in multiple Rode N’s so that you have the best sound quality possible.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a great mic that will allow you to record an informational podcast instead of an in-studio interview style, then this mic will suit your needs just fine. It is a high-quality well-built mic that gives you more control than many of its competitors.

Audio Technica AT2005USB Handheld Dynamic Microphone

PROS

  • Incredibly user-friendly.
  • Constructed to be lightweight and durable.
  • Additional output options give more adaptability.
  • Elevated sound quality with an enhanced intelligibility.
  • Application diversity is great (interviews to presentation).
  • Immense versatility in functionality and recording environment.

CONS

  • Maintenance is difficult.
  • Issues with the headphone jack quality (fragile).
  • No rubberized grip makes it hard to get a good grip.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love the versatility and ability to adapt to multiple surroundings. It is a durable and nice-looking mic that offers compatibility with multiple OS’. You can take it straight from the box and get going on your projects easily. This mic offers spectacular sound and an elevated control, though there have been some issues with audio output levels being too low.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The biggest thing that stands out with the Audio Technica 2005 is its wide range of versatility. The ability to use the mic in different environments with superior control is a plus for anyone looking to invest in a great mic.

As a unidirectional mic, the AT2005 cuts out on background noises. You position it close to your mouth like a traditional vocal mic, and speak directly into the diaphragm. This helps reduce the amount of background noise in your recording and also gives your voice a richer, deeper tone.

Because this mic needs to be positioned more closely, it’s not ideal for group podcasts or interviews (unless every participant has their own microphone). It’s also not well suited for quiter, whispery voices, as dynamic mics do not pick up as much high end. On the flipside, it works wonders for loud, boomy voices.

Who Will Use This Most 

This mic is good for podcasters or presenters. With its portability and options, you can use it anywhere, anytime with ease. Podcasters that travel or public speakers will get the most from this model from Audio Technica.

Bottom Line

Overall this mic is a great choice for darn near anyone. The lightweight, durable construction combined with the wide range of applications available to its user is why this is one of the best podcast microphones on the market today.

Best for the Money:
Samson Go Mic

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

PROS

  • Versatile range of options.
  • Price vs. value is amazing.
  • Works well and is compatible with multiple OS.
  • Clear, rich signal offers enhanced sound quality.
  • Compact and lightweight design makes it easy to transport.
  • Wide range of set up options with the highly adaptable stand.

CONS

  • Designed with no gain knob.
  • Catches harsh consonant easily (will need external pop filter).
  • Picks up a hiss that will need to be edited for professional-grade sound.

What Recent Buyers Report

The value for the price is amazing. It is easy to transport and offers a level of sound quality comparable to many of its more expensive competitors. But there have been some issues with external dictation software as well as their proprietary software. Some users have also had issues with them being too sensitive the longer it is used.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This mic has many features that make it shine. The ability to switch between patterns and its portability are the two biggest factors that stick out for us. With these capabilities, it is the perfect option for podcasters and interviewers alike. It’s compact and versatile and offers a wide range of set up options.

For a few extra dollars, the Samson GoMic packs in a lot more features and longevity. Not only is this mic a step up in terms of sound quality and durability, but it can pick up more sound at a distance, making it suitable for interviews, group podcasts, or even musical performances.

The GoMic conveniently clips onto a computer monitor, or rests on a table with its built-in stand. The entire apparatus folds into a small carrying case, so it's just as portable as the YouMic, yet much less fragile.

On the flipside, as a large diaphragm condenser, this mic will pick up a bit more background noise, including air conditioners and refrigerators. If there’s a lot of background sounds in your studio, you may want to consider the YouMic or Audio Technica instead.

Who Will Use This Most 

Podcasters will love this mic for its ability to switch its pickup pattern. This is especially true when those podcasters are heading out to one of the conventional and want to catch some interviews with experts in the field. It is also great for that beginner vocalist or musician. 

Bottom Line

This mic doesn’t have as many features and such as other mics. Still it is a compact model that is easy to transport, easy to use, and vastly superior to catching your audio from whatever internal mic your equipment is equipped with.

Best for iPhone:
YouMic Lavalier

Lavalier Lapel Microphone ?? Omnidirectional Mic with Easy Clip On System ?? Perfect for Recording Youtube / Interview / Video Conference / Podcast / Voice Dictation / iPhone

PROS

  • Includes a 2-year warranty.
  • Value for the price is exceptional.
  • Compatible with most smart devices.
  • Compact and lightweight for easy transport.
  • No external power source needed (plug and play).

CONS

  • Some may feel that the mic is too sensitive.
  • Issues with compatibility for some PC or laptops.
  • Audio is not as good as other models in its category.

What Recent Buyers Report

Though many wish that this device's cable was just a hair longer, the quality and portability of this mic wins out over many of its competitors. Great sound is vital when recording vlogs or podcasts and having a mic that gives great quality but is also easy to take with you is an advantage few users could pass up. Plus, the price is right!

Why it Stands Out to Us

The biggest thing about this mic that makes it stand out is its durable, well-crafted, easy to transport build. Though we could talk about the sound quality as well, the ease of mobility that this mic offers is the primary factor that makes it easily one of the best mics for anyone, especially those using any smartphone as their recording device.

For a very low price, it doesn’t get much easier than the YouMic Lavalier Microphone. Simply clip to your shirt and plug into your smartphone or computer. As a tiny omnidirectional condenser mic, this guy will pick up your voice regardless of how you position it -- just as long as it is close to your body.

The sound quality is great, a huge step up from any built-in microphones. But to be clear, it’s no audiophile sound. If you want booming lows, or crisp, clear highs in your voice, it’s better to upgrade to one of the more professional microphones on this list.

Who Will Use This Most 

Vloggers and podcasters! This mic is superb at giving you the freedom to move about your day. Any vlogger or podcaster that needs a mic for their remote work will be ecstatically happy with the YouMic Lavalier.

Bottom Line

This compact and easy to travel with lavalier mic will help you with any project you do outside of your studio. In fact, if you like to move and take the sound quality and the mobility you are offered, this just may be the best option for you.

Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Blackout Edition

PROS

  • Good sound quality.
  • Great for any home studio.
  • Flexible and durable design.
  • Various mic patterns to choose from.
  • Easy to set up and use on any computer or laptop.
  • You do not need an SD card at all, as it records directly to its input device.

CONS

  • Not easy to mount.
  • Does not have good portability.
  • Picks up a lot of consonant sounds.
  • Tenuous controls including the dial that switches modes.

What Recent Buyers Report

Built to be able to handle sound from multiple directions with its various sell pattern capability and specs that allow it to record professional-grade audio, you could not go wrong with this as your choice of a USB mic. That said, there are some complaints about its pickup of harsh consonants and the fact that you cannot mount it very easily.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Even with those few drawbacks, the Yeti is still one of the most popular USB mics on the market, and there must be a reason. The reason is that this mic is a well-crafted, high-performance mic that anyone can use with ease. The ability to choose your polar pattern is the best function of this mic. This gives you control over your overall sound quality and options of how you want to record.

Who Will Use This Most 

This mic is great for any home studio or office. It shines with any form of voice-over work, including podcasts or YouTube video creation. It is easy to use, so any level of experience is sufficient to use this mic; this means that it is a great all-around choice no matter what your content of choice is.

Bottom Line

In spite of its minor flaws, the Yeti is unquestionably among the hottest USB mics on the market, thanks to its accessibility, innovative build, and dependable performance.

Types of Podcast Microphones

There are several subdivisions of microphones. Below is a look at the four main types.

Dynamic

Dynamic microphones offer better sound quality and are great if you are worried about background noise or echo, as they tend to filter this out better than the next type of mic.

Condenser

These mics are great if you are dealing with a professional soundproof box. Condensers give you a brighter and crisper sound, but also tend to pick up every little sound.

XLR

Each of those styles has models that fall into this category. XLR is about the way it connects to your equipment. An XLR cable uses an audio input that looks like the one you use for your headphone jack. They can range in size and material composition. These tend to be used more in professional studios. If you choose to go the XLR route, know you will need to get external hardware to create a power source.

USB

If you choose to use your computer as your power source, you will want to look for a USB mic. These tend to be condenser mics, which may not be the best option unless you go with a cardioid polar pattern.

Perks of Upgrading Your Current Podcast Microphone

Upgrading your podcast microphone can bring you a lot of additional capabilities and perks. You may be ready to up your game a bit, and here are the main reasons why you should take that next step with your podcast mic:

Better Sound

Your mic may be good, but by looking at the options above or any of the more professional options, you will be ensuring that you are recording with better sound quality. In the end, your content can be subpar, but if your sound is disappointing then you have a major problem. That is why making sure you have a podcast mic that is top of the line when it comes to sound quality is key. Upgrading can benefit you in this area.

More Functionality

Maybe you are changing your format and want some extra functions or features. Upgrading your mic may allow you to add in new software capabilities or even easier use of mixing as you go. 

Upgrade Your Studio

Perhaps you are looking to move from semi-pro to pro while upgrading your studio. Looking at upgrading your mic should definitely be one of the first things you do. With the right mic, your studio will be well on the way to pro-level in no time.

Conclusion

When you are starting out or just looking to up your podcast game, ensuring that you have the best microphone for your needs is crucial. There is a lot to consider and every aspect will change not only the sound quality but also the overall quality of your content. Hopefully, with our guide, you feel just a bit more equipped to make that decision with little to no stress.

Choosing the right podcasting microphone is really a matter of checking off the factors. Do you record in a noisy environment (AT2005)? Do you have a soft voice or need to record multiple people (GoMic or NT-USB)? Or, do need something portable that can plug into a smartphone (YouMic)?