If you’ve been thinking about starting a podcast for a while and you’ve decided it’s time, then aswell as having a good idea you also need to make sure you pick up the right equipment to start it!
The right equipment for podcasting will make or break your project because podcast audiences demand not only entertaining content but high-quality content too.
After all, that’s what people respond to. It’s not just about having a good idea, it’s also about executing it well.
Equipment You Need to Start a Podcast
To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of all the equipment you need to start a podcast. We’re focusing only on the essentials today, so we won’t talk about accessories or extras. We’ll also provide the best options on the market so you can consider them. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
A Tablet, Laptop or PC
This one is pretty obvious, isn’t it? You’ll need a tablet, laptop, or computer to record, save, and upload your .mp3 files, so it’s very important for your podcast. Most people already have one of the three, so it’s a matter of determining if you need an upgrade or not.
If you do need an upgrade because the one you already have is too slow or too old, then consider investing in a tablet, laptop, or PC that will last you a long time. You also want it to have good storage capacity so you can keep all your recordings in one place and a good processor so you can work well.
An alternative to this is to use your phone. The iPhone comes bundled with the GarageBand App. Within the app is a Voice Recorder which supports microphone recording and you can even edit it in the app.
I personally use an iPad Air 2020 for recording my podcast. If you don’t want the expense of buying an iPad you could always buy a slightly cheaper alternative. There are hundreds, if not thousands of deals to be had.
Something like the Huawei Media Pad is perfect for starting your podcast, it’s great set of features is powerful enough to record and edit. Hit the affiliate link here to check it over on Amazon.
A Good Microphone
The last thing you want to do is use the built-in microphone that comes with your tablet, laptop, or PC to record your podcast. Instead, you should get a USB microphone. This is a great option for beginners because they’re easy to use, they can be used by multiple people, and they allow a lot more flexibility.
You could also get a bunch of USB condenser microphones and have one each! That would make for a brilliant sounding podcast in terms of audio quality. A great microphone is cheaper than you think, check out this Genesis Radium 600 Review I wrote recently. This USB mic would be perfect to start a podcast with.
If you can spend a bit more money, you can get a dedicated XLR microphone instead of the USB one. Now, an XLR isn’t really necessary but they can and do provide greater sound quality. And, you’ll have much more control as well in terms of post production editing and gain.
To choose the right microphone, you need to consider your recording environment and research all the options available to determine which one will work best for you.
But, please remember. A microphone is only as good as the room it’s being recorded in. An expensive XLR mic used in room that isn’t well insulated in terms of sound won’t sound any good!
We’ve found these awesome mics for sale over on Amazon. Hit the affiliate link here to check them out over on Amazon.
One of the great things about having a podcast is that you can record anywhere you want. You can set up a space for it in your home, whether that’s in the basement, bedroom or home office. You can also have a mobile setup to record on the go, wherever you are, whether that’s in a public space, a hotel, your car, etc. In the end, the location doesn’t really matter as long as you’ve taken a reasonable approach to sound insulation.
However, many people believe it’s better to have a designated space. This provides more structure and it allows you to have more control over the quality of your content. Many people start in basements or offices at home, and if that’s what you’re planning, you need to consider soundproofing.
Soundproofing will allow you to have a quiet space to record in and it’s not a big investment. You can easily find soundproofing material and do it yourself; this way, you can keep the noises of your home and the outside world away from your recording space.
This is particularly important if you live in a busy home with a lot of people, children, and pets. If you don’t live with a lot of people or you can agree on a schedule so everyone can keep quiet while you’re recording, soundproofing may not be necessary. It’s up to you and your circumstances.
A sound shield may help. You could also get foam and do something to decorate it, like cover it in some sort of material, that way in blends in with your walls better.
The main goal of sound proofing is to deaden the space, so the more stuff you have layered against your walls the better. It’ll help to soften the acoustics and capture the sound.
You could also consider putting foam or a think curtain around your PC, if that’s the main source of the noise. You’ll need to be careful not to cover the vent, or it could over heat!
If your podcast recording space doesn’t have carpet it’s wise to get a thick rug and cover as much of the floor as possible. You could also buy some second hand curtains to create a canopy to hang from the ceiling using a blanket.
If you want something that looks a bit more professional, you could opt for some acoustic foam squares. They are fairly cheap and will allow you to deaden the sound a lot easier than the home made remedies.
Here’s an affiliate link to some amazing acoustic foam sound insulation over on Amazon. It’s fairly cheap and comes in a pack of 50, so you’ll be able to cover a large area. Hit the link here to check it out.
Equipment You Need to Start a Podcast – An Audio Mixer
An audio mixer will help you control the levels in the recording room with a knob or fader. Thanks to this equipment, you’ll have more control over the levels, but also the outputs, inputs, and more. They’re easy to use and they’re key if you plan on inviting remote guests quite often because it allows you to set up a mix-minus line for them.
If you’re recording using a USB mic you won’t really require one, they’re more of a ‘nice to have’ part of your podcast equipment. They really help elevate a podcast from an amateur one to a more professional setup. If you want to take your podcast to the next level, then you should really consider getting one. They don’t have to be expensive either.
Audio mixers are fairly easy to use, so you won’t have any issues getting the hang of it and there are many options on the market that won’t break the bank. There are also USB mixer options that you can connect directly to your tablet, laptop, or PC.
One of the most easy to use and simple audio mixers is the FIFINE 4 Channel Mixer. It’s budget friendly and is perfect for people who are new to the world of podcast recording and, audio in general.
Hit the affiliate link here to check the FIFINE 4 Channel Mixer over on Amazon.
Reliable and Effective Recording Software
Recording software is another essential tool you need for a high-quality podcast. This is what will allow you to edit your audio and they provide many different post-production options so you can clean up your sound, boost your levels, add compression, make cuts, and so much more.
Luckily, there are many different recording software options available out there and most of them are free or super affordable. Some operating systems even provide pre-installed recording software that can cover all your needs. But if that’s not the case for you, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from!
One of the simplest and easy to use is bundled with iOS on the iPhone or iPad. I record using the iPad Air 2020. It’s bundled with the GarageBand app. I came across this method as I was looking for something that was not only cost effective but simple aswell.
I used an USB external sound adapter and USBC to USB3 adapter and GarageBand Audio Recorder. Simply plug in your USB mic and you’re ready to start recording! The recording sounded clear with no noticeable background noise from my PC’s / Servers that I could notice.
Hit the Amazon affiliate links above to check them out.
Last but certainly not least, you’ll need a good pair of high-quality headphones to make your podcast equipment complete. Headphones will help you prevent retakes and mistakes because they allow you to hear yourself as you’re recording. Everyone hates the sound of their own voice, I certainly found it a bit strange but I soon got used to it and it’s something you can get used to as well.
Headphones will save you from failed recordings because they will allow you to determine if something’s not right, if you’ve turned everything on, or if there’s anything you need to tweak for a clearer sound.
Of course, there are many types of headphones and you’ll find there are tons of options on the market. But for your podcast, you’ll need closed-back headphones! You want to avoid open-back headphones because the mic will pick up the sound. You don’t need a premium set of headphones for them to be high-quality, you just need to make sure they provide a clear sound and are comfortable enough.
Something like the Edifier H850’s are perfect for monitoring Audio. They’re actually marketed as professional headphones specifically for the purpose of monitoring live music or audio. They are really reasonably priced too so they are well worth buying. We recently reviewed them on the blog so go check that out!
Summary – Equipment You Need to Start a Podcast
So, there you have it, that’s pretty much all of the equipment you need to start a podcast. There’s a lot that goes into preparing for a podcast, but if you follow this list, you’ll have all the equipment you need to get started as soon as possible.
The only thing you’ll need now is to record a few practice podcasts and listen to them back to understand how they sound! It’s also a good idea to practice your voice tone. You should have notes, but you don’t want it to sound scripted. So practicing how you read your notes into the mic will allow you to sound natural.
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