Best Podcast Equipment for Beginner Show Hosts
You likely already have one of the two essential podcasting pieces needed to put together a great show.
A microphone and a computer are the two key ingredients, and many of today’s computers already have fantastic built-in microphones. If you’re just starting a podcast, you don’t have to spend thousands (or even hundreds) of dollars to make your debut.
There’s a big difference between what you need for a podcast and what you want or is available. For beginners, it’s best to stick to a more frugal budget until you can gauge if your podcast is long-term.
Prior to social distancing, some podcasters had multiple people recording in one space. That’s no longer the case now and in the immediate foreseeable future.
If having multiple people recording at once is something you hope to integrate in future podcasts, you’ll also need either a mixer or audio interface so you can avoid the poor quality of using USB mics. XLR microphones are preferable when you have a lot of podcasters, but that’s something to put on the back burner—at least for now.
What to Buy NOW to Get Started
The most important factor for any podcast is audio quality, of course. This means you’ll need a good microphone. The Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB is a good handheld microphone for single hosts.
It has a USB digital output and an XLR analog output. Pair it with the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x headphones, which have advanced engineering for mid-range definition. Both of these products can be found for under $100 and provide plenty of quality for beginner and even advanced podcasters.
You’ll also need recording software to start your podcast, but you don’t need to get fancy. GarageBand for Macs and Audacity for PCs work just fine.
They are free and come with all the editing options you’ll need. If you already have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, try out Adobe Audition. However, if you aren’t a subscriber, you don’t need to sign up for Adobe just for their podcasting options.
Creating Your Space and Place
Once your first podcast is recorded, you’ll need a place to host your MP3 file. There are numerous platforms to do this, such as Buzzsprout podcasting.
At the same time, you’ll want to do more to generate buzz about your podcast than simply pop it up on a hosting site. Getting on other complementary podcasts as a guest and turning your episodes into SEO-optimized blog bosts are two of the best ways to market your podcast, your brand, and your expertise.
It’s not a must to have your own website when you first start podcasting, but it’s a good idea. There are plenty of easy-to-use platforms that allow you to build your own website at no cost or low cost, such as WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, or Webflow.
When fans and future fans start searching for you online, they need to be able to find more than just your podcast. A website and decent social media followings all help with your branding and in connecting with your audience.
Ultimately, you’ll find hundreds of recommendations for the “best” podcast equipment out there. However, the great thing about podcasts is that they’re so accessible to just about everyone and you don’t need to spend a fortune on equipment or marketing to create and build an engaging podcast.
Today’s audio technology is so advanced that you can easily spend under $100 for a microphone and headphones that provide excellent quality.