Whether you are new to the podcast world or you are a veteran podcaster already, everyone needs the best portable podcast microphone. One of the essential things that make your podcast more interesting and help you tie your listeners down is your sound quality.
Even if you deliver essential information they need to hear, and your sound quality is low, they will always look for alternatives. Hence, one of the best decisions you can make before starting your podcast network is to get the best microphone. No one will have any excuse for not listening to you in that way.
Offered at different prices, and with numerous features, there are several microphone options you can pick from, but you guessed right, they are not all the same quality.
To make the selection process easier for you, we will be considering some of the essential criteria that should be considered when making your selection, some tips on how to set up and use the podcast, and deliver five of the best portable podcast microphones you should use.
Essential Criteria for Selecting the Best Portable Podcast Microphone
As stated earlier, not all podcast mics tick the box as the best ones. As such, you need to pay more attention to details to make the right choice. Here are some of the essential factors to consider when selecting the best portable podcast microphone.
The first question you need to ask yourself is, what kind of podcast are you recording? Will you be doing the talking alone, or others will hook-up with their separate microphones from other locations? Will your recording be on the go? Or do you have a special room for recording?
The format refers to the form in which you will be recording or making use of the microphone. These factors will influence the type of microphone and mic setup you will buy. You can get an excellent microphone, but if your setup is not appropriate, getting the best out of the microphone will be hard.
Podcast recording equipment and accessories
Pop filters make your sound clearer, getting one is a plus for your podcast setup. Getting a microphone that comes with one is the best option for you. A mixer is another accessory that makes podcasts more interesting; it will make editing your podcast easier.
Microphones that come with Mic stands are another excellent option; holding your mic can be tough for you. A homemade mic stand will definitely interfere with your mic sound quality.
Hook up type
This is another important decision you have to make. Will you be getting a USB or XLR microphone? The type of setup you have will influence the type you will be picking.
For new podcasters, it is best to go for a USB microphone as they are very easy to operate and connect to your system or other devices without installing any additional application. If you have been podcasting for a long time, you should have no trouble with the XLM microphone; they are very good options too.
Dynamic vs. Condenser mic
Another essential point you must ponder on is getting either a dynamic or condenser microphone. With dynamic microphones, your voice options differ; it produces a casual feel and can be exceptionally clear.
The condenser microphone, on the other hand, is super exceptionally clear but comes with a major drawback; it can easily pick surrounding noise, especially when you are recording in a noisy location.
Best Portable Microphone for Podcast
1. Shure BLX14R/MX53 Wireless Microphone System
This is one of the best portable microphones for podcasts you can buy for your recording. This is a complete set that comes with a single wireless receiver, bodypack transmitter, earset, single and dual mount kit, wave antennas, power supply, and batteries.
Depending on the region where the microphone is used, it has up to 12 compatible systems per frequency band. To make a recording at the best frequency possible, this microphone features a one-touch Quick Scan frequency selection; this helps you locate the best frequency easily.
Shure wireless microphone features a Microprocessor-controlled internal antenna diversity; this makes all recording crystal clear, as it will be done at the best frequency.
Since the microphone is wireless, you can be more flexible while recording your podcast and use it with or without power supply. It comes with ¼ inch and XLR audio outputs. As such, you can have a balanced recording experience.
2. Zoom R24 Multi-Track Recorder, Interface, Controller, and Sampler with Samson Supercardioid Neodymium Dynamic Handheld Microphone
As one of the best portable microphones for podcasts, this mic can work as a stand-alone multiple track recorder, such performance is what you expect from a high-quality microphone. The microphone features a USB 2.0 computer audio control surface, battery-powered field recorder, drum machine, sampler, and mixer.
This microphone is compatible with Mac and Windows and supports up to 32GB SD cards. The mic is powered by an AC adapter, or in a situation where there is no light; you can rely on the 6 AA batteries, which can last for almost 4 hours. As a handheld microphone, your voice will be as bright as you desire when recording your podcast. It comes with a 16GB memory, and 2 big XLR cables.
3. Sennheiser MD441U Super-Cardioid Studio Dynamic Microphone + Xpix Microphone Stand and Accessories
This microphone is the most accurate, dynamic, and best portable microphone for podcasts. It is also perfect for vocals, studio recording, and works for all musical instruments. The microphone features a super-cardioid polar pattern, which results in an impressive off-axis rejection, which is often given birth to by monitors, mechanical noise, room ambience, and other external properties.
This dynamic capsule is designed to handle very high sound pressure levels and deliver an excellent frequency response of 30 – 20,000 Hz. The microphone has a 5-position low-frequency roll-off switch and an additional 2-position high-frequency contour switch, which makes the microphone more versatile. This is one rugged and reliable metal construction microphone that comes with a shock mount, which helps deliver an exceptionally clear signal quality.
4. C414 XLii Multi-Pattern Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
This is one unique large-diaphragm condenser microphone that features cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns. This dual 1-inch capsule switchable microphone comes with 3 switchable bass-cut filters, which include 6, 12, and dB pads.
The microphone comes with a universal shock mount that helps you get more comfortable while recording. This microphone also comes with a SA 60 stand adapter for straight shaft mics. The mic also comes with W414X Microphone Windscreen for C414B-XLS and C414B-XL II. For exceptionally clear sound quality, the microphone features an H50 Stereo Bar for Two Microphones & pop filters; as such, you can have a uniquely clean recording experience.
More than recording your podcast, this is a versatile microphone that you can use with your other musical instruments. It is undoubtedly one of the best condensers microphones you can lay your hands on for your podcast.
5. Studio Recording Microphone, Zeal Sound Condenser Broadcast Microphone
As one of the best portable microphones for podcasts, this microphone is uniquely packed with amazing and excellent functions. This microphone can easily be connected to your phone and PC laptop for recording your podcast, thanks to the 3.5mm port it features.
The microphone also features volume and echo slide buttons, which help improve your recording experience. The in-built sound card mixer controller is also professionally designed to help you reach a perfect voice when recording. For zero-latency monitoring, the microphone comes with a 3.5mm stereo headphone. As such, you can monitor the input of the microphone in real-time.
One good thing about this microphone is its portability and durability. The omnidirectional polar pattern of this microphone makes capturing sound from all angles easier and more effective. With this microphone, your next podcast is bound to be clearer and a wonderful one.
The Best Microphone Technique for Podcast
Now that you are getting the best portable podcast microphone, it shows you are ready to start podcasting, or you want to improve your podcasting skill. Developing a good microphone technique requires paying attention to four essential elements. Here are the elements and how to make them work for you.
Before you start your podcast, you need to ensure that you set your mic level. There are two professional terms “gain” and “input level” which describe the number of signals that your microphone can accept. The interface of the mixer helps for setting the gain or the input level.
If you do not set the input level correctly, even the best microphone will deliver poor audio quality. If the gain is set too little, an hiss is introduced into your microphone. Too much will also result in overdrive. To set the right gain, speak into the mic as you would when recording your podcast, and keep adjusting the gain until you hit the peak on your meter in the -10dB range.
The distance between you and your microphone determines the proximity effect on your recording. How close you are to your microphone determines the sort of frequency information you will pick. The closer you are, the higher the low-frequency information you will pick, and as such, you have a fuller sound.
The further you are, the lesser the low-frequency information you’ll pick, and that will result in a distant and roomy sound. You should not be too far from your mic; the general rule is four finger width from the microphone. This may also depend on the sensitivity of the microphone you are using. You can make use of the microphone stand to place your microphone close to your mouth.
Your voice level is another important factor to consider. This is so important that it influences the sound pressure level (SPL) that enters the microphone. How you speak affects the SPL that hits the microphone. If it is too loud, it may result in clipping or overdrive.
Your voice level also determines the amount of reflection that will be coming from your wall and floor. If there is more than one microphone in the setting, speaking too loudly will bleed into the other mics. For a balanced recording, you must maintain a steady pace while speaking.
While you are not expected to whisper, you must endeavor to speak at a considerable volume that is not too loud. You may turn off electronic devices that may cause unwanted noise in the room.
Each mic comes with a unique sound, and their sensitivity to varying frequencies influences these sounds. Darker microphones are those that are more sensitive to low frequencies.
Brighter mics, on the other hand, are more sensitive to higher frequencies, while warm mics are more sensitive to midrange and less sensitive to high and low. Experimenting with your mic will give you a perfect picture of the impact of your voice on the mic. The on-axis and off-axis recording refer to the placement of the microphones.
For on-axis recording, the mic is pointing straight at your mouth, this gives birth to brighter recording, and more high-frequency content. Off-axis recording requires you twist the mic slightly to the side, and it helps get rid of high-frequency harshness.
Many podcasters have given up because they couldn’t record their podcast the way they want. That should not be your story now; this review has professionally introduced you to the essential information about the best portable podcast microphone. Now you are familiar with some of the important features to watch out for in a podcast microphone.
We also talked about the microphone techniques that you must know; discussed four of these features, and how to make them work for you professionally. This review has also introduced you to five of the best portable podcast microphones, providing the unique features that make them one of the best microphones.
When you get all these important tips right, you can then record your podcast, delivering your information clearly and perfectly. Your listeners deserve the best; it’s up to you to deliver the best for them.