(2023) Podcast Equipment Bundles: From Entry Level To Advanced
Podcasting is a great way to share your thoughts and ideas with the world. It's also a way for you to build an audience, get more exposure and make money from ads or sponsorships. But if you want people to listen, you need a set of quality recording equipment.
In this article, the Cleanvoice team has put together three podcast equipment bundles—each designed for a different budget and skill level. By the end, you’ll know exactly what you need to get started on your podcasting journey with the best podcast starter kit for you!
What Equipment Do You Need to Start a Podcast?
The equipment you need to start a podcast largely depends on characteristics of the podcast itself.
A simple example of this is the number of hosts you're planning to feature. If you're launching a solo podcast, one mic will be perfect. However, if there are going to be two hosts, you'll likely want to invest in a second.
With that being said, there are a few pieces of equipment that are essentially mandatory for anyone who's serious about getting their podcast off the ground.
Let's go over those now:
What's one thing that all successful podcasts have in common? Audio quality that ranges from average to exceptional. If you want people to enjoy listening to your podcast, you need to invest in a microphone that will give you a clear, crisp sound. If you have problems removing dead-air sounds sounds, considering investing in an AI tool like Cleanvoice, which automatically removes these noises.
There are many different types of microphones on the market, so it's important to do your research and find one that best suits your needs. Here are a two of our favorites:
- Dynamic Microphones: Dynamic microphones are generally considered to be the industry standard for podcasting. They're durable, have a high sound quality, and are relatively affordable.
- Condenser Microphones: Condenser microphones are a great option if you're looking for a high-end mic that will produce studio-quality audio. They're more expensive than dynamic microphones, but can be well worth the investment.
Both of the above options come in two formats:
- USB Microphones: USB microphones plug directly into laptops and computers, meaning you can record directly into your digital audio workstations (DAW).
- XLR Microphones: XLR microphones require an audio interface to connect to your computer. They typically have a higher sound quality than USB microphones, but can be more complicated to set up.
If you do for an XLR mic, you'll also need an audio interface. An audio interface is a device that allows you to connect XLR microphones to your computer. If you're using a USB mic, you won't need an audio interface.
Even if your podcast sounds great on your computer or phone speakers, you'll want to invest in a good pair of headphones for editing and final listening. This is especially important if you're doing a lot of interviews, as you'll want to make sure the guest's audio is clear and distortion-free.
There are a ton of different headphones on the market, so it can be tough to decide which ones are right for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Closed-Back Headphones: Closed-back headphones block out external noise, making them perfect for editing and listening in noisy environments.
- Open-Back Headphones: Open-back headphones allow you to hear your surroundings, making them ideal for use in live settings.
- Noise-Cancelling Headphones: If you're frequently podcasting in busy areas (like a café or coworking space), noise-cancelling headphones help to drown out any unwanted sounds and allow you to focus on your audio.
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
In order to record your podcast, you'll need some type of recording software. Whatever software you choose, make sure it's easy to use and has all the features you need to create high-quality podcasts.
For a more detailed review of the DAWs we'll be mentioning in this article, check out this guide about creating the ultimate podcast editing software stack.
The Best Podcast Equipment Bundles For Every Skill Level
Today, we'll be covering three levels of podcast equipment packages:
The bundle you choose will depend on things like your budget, experience level, and podcasting goals. So, while we can't tell you which bundle is best for you, we can recommend a wide range to choose from.
Let's get started!
1) Podcast starter kit
We designed our beginner podcast equipment bundle to be affordable, reliable, and simple to use above all else. The podcast starter kid is a great option for amateur podcasters who are just starting their journey and aren't ready to invest a ton of money into their hobby yet. Don’t be fooled by the price tag of this podcast starter kit, though—cheap podcast equipment doesn’t mean bad quality!
This podcast starter kit includes:
- Microphone: Samson Q2U ($69.99)
- Headphones: Audio Technica ATH-m20x ($49)
- Digital Audio Workstation (DAW): Audacity (Free!)
Beginner Microphone: Samson Q2U
The Samson Q2U is a dual output USB/XLR microphone that can either plug directly into your computer or into an audio interface. It's perfect for people who are just starting out and don't want to invest in a more expensive microphone yet.
Beginner Headphones: Audio Technica ATH-m20x
The Audio Technica ATH-m20x are a great pair of closed-back headphones for anyone just starting out in podcasting. They're affordable and provide great sound quality for the price.
Beginner Digital Audio Workstation (DAW): Audacity
Audacity is a free, open-source digital audio workstation that's perfect for beginner podcasters. It has all the features you need to get started, and it's easy to learn how to use.
2) Intermediate Podcast Equipment Bundle
If you've been podcasting for a while and are looking to take your show to the next level, our intermediate podcast equipment bundle is for you. This podcast equipment kit is designed to deliver high-value at a midrange budget.
This bundle includes:
- Microphone: AKG Lyra ($160)
- Headphones: Sennheiser HD 25 ($149.95)
- Digital Audio Workstation (DAW): Adobe Audition ($20.99/mo)
Intermediate Microphone: AKG Lyra
The AKG Lyra is a professional-grade, USB condenser microphone that's perfect for intermediate podcasters. It plugs straight into your computer, so no need to worry about any additional equipment.
On top of the simplicity, this mic has a wide range of pickup patterns, making it ideal for interviews, voice-overs, and music recording. Oh, it also looks great!
Intermediate Headphones: Sennheiser HD 25
The Sennheiser HD 25 are a pair of closed-back headphones that provide great sound quality and durability. They're perfect for anyone who wants to take their podcasting to the next level.
These headphones are lightweight and comfortable—perfect for extended interviews and editing sessions. On top of that, they perform incredibly well in noisy environments, even though they aren't technically noise-cancelling.
Intermediate Digital Audio Workstation (DAW): Adobe Audition
Adobe Audition is a professional-grade digital audio workstation that's used by podcasters and audio professionals around the world. It has all the features you need to create high-quality podcasts, and it's incredibly easy to learn how to use.
3) Advanced Podcast Equipment Bundle
If you're looking for a professional-grade podcasting equipment bundle, our advanced podcast equipment bundle is for you.
This bundle includes:
- Microphone: Shure SM7B ($399)
- Audio Interface: TC Helicon GoXLR ($460)
- Headphones: Shure SRH1540 ($499)
- Digital Audio Workstation (DAW): Pro Tools Ultimate ($79.99/mo)
Advanced Microphone: Shure SM7B
The Shure SM7B is a longstanding professional-grade, dynamic microphone that's perfect for advanced podcasters. The sounds quality you get with this microphone is exceptional, and your listeners are sure to appreciate it.
This is the first XLR microphone on our list. That means two things:
- It gives you a ton of freedom to mess around with levels, filters, and audio settings.
- It requires an audio interface to function (more on that now).
Advanced Audio Interface: TC Helicon GO
The TC Helicon GO is a professional-grade audio interface that's perfect for podcasters. It has all the features you need to get the most out of your advanced microphone, including XLR inputs and outputs, phantom power, and a built-in headphone jack.
Advanced Headphones: Shure SRH1540
The Shure SRH1540 are a pair of closed-back headphones that provide great sound quality and durability. These headphones are wireless, but they also offer podcasters the option for wired connections if they so desire.
We love these headphones because of their incredibly well-rounded ability to accurately relay audio characteristics like tonality, pitch, and bass.
Advanced Digital Audio Workstation (DAW): Pro Tools Ultimate
Pro Tools Ultimate is the gold-standard when it comes to DAWs. It's used by professional producers, podcasters, and musicians all around the world because of it's incredibly deep functionality.
The learning curve (and price tag) may be steep, but there is essentially nothing that Pro Tools Ultimate can't do when it comes to editing and mixing your podcast.
Is There Anything Else You’ll Need?
As you start investing more time and resources into your podcast, you’ll start to notice weakness and limitations with the podcast kit you’ve assembled. That’s a normal part of the process! The good news is that there are tons of niche tools available for any kind of issue you run into.
For example, if you or your listeners are getting annoyed by audible mouth sounds and Uhhhhh’s in your recordings, Cleanvoice has an automated solution for you to check out.
If you’re curious about learning more, check out our free demo. We promise it won’t disappoint!