It seems like everyone and their mother has a podcast these days. They’re pretty fantastic to listen to, and even more fun to make. You can talk about anything and everything while speaking directly into people’s ears.
If you’ve got a story you’re dying to tell or a topic you’d like to riff on and share far and wide — we want to help make it happen. Here’s your official guide to starting your own podcast at home with affordable, accessible and easy-to-use equipment.
Step 1: Choosing Your Microphone
When choosing a mic there are a ton of options depending on budget, desired sound quality, portability, etc. Our two favorites for beginners are below. They’re easy to use, easy to set up and will give you top-notch sound without putting too much of a dent in your wallet.
Blue Yeti USB Mic
This mic is compatible with both Windows and Mac computers, connects via USB and allows you to record from anywhere. It’s got four pickup patterns for a variety of sound quality and is available in a wide range of colors to fit any office aesthetic. Plus, it comes with its own stand so you’ll look super official using this mic in your at-home podcast setup.
Blue Yeti USB Mic for Recording & Streaming on PC and Mac, 3 Condenser Capsules, 4 Pickup Patterns, Headphone Output and Volume Control, Mic Gain Control, Adjustable Stand, Plug & Play - Space Gray
Audio-Technica USB Microphone
This handheld microphone connects directly to your computer via USB and is equipped with a smooth, extended frequency response making it perfect for at-home podcast sessions. It even has a built-in headphone jack so you can hear the sound going into your microphone in real-time without delay. You’ll never end up with bad audio at the end of a long recording session with this mic in your arsenal.
Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone
Movo Clip-On Mic Set
This set comes with two clip-on Lavalier mics set up for use with your smartphone. There’s a primary microphone and a secondary one with an 8-foot cable, which is great for conducting interviews. If you’re working on a budget, or find yourself tracking down interviews outside of your studio, this option is a great buy.
Movo Clip On Mic
Step 2. Choose Your Headphones
After a great mic, a good pair of headphones will also come in handy when recording the next binge-worthy podcast. You’ll want to hear what your guests are saying crystal clear. Not only is that huge for conducting the interview, but also editing. The brands below offer quality products at a very reasonable price (since you probably won’t be raking in that ad revenue for at least a little bit…).
OneOdio Stereo Monitor Headphones
These headphones have it all, including: superior sound, comfort, and 90-degree swiveling ear cups for single-ear listening anytime. They’re adapter-free and connect easily to all devices including iPads, iPhones, Android devices and other audio equipment. If you’re looking for an affordable first-step pair of headphones for an amateur podcaster, these are the way to go.
Audio-Technica Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
If you want to take it a step further, consider these affordable studio-level headphones for an even more professional sound. They’re designed for studio tracking and mixing with enhanced low-frequency performance features. These have a single cable that connects to your audio equipment, and provide excellent sound isolation no matter the environment.
Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black
Step 3. Grab a Pop Filter
When you speak directly into a mic certain letters pop and make it harder for listener to understand — mainly b’s and p’s. You can tilt you head and speak into the side of your mic, or you can get a pop filter! They’re cheap and make all the difference. Here’s the one we recommend.
Dragonpad Studio Filter
An easy and very cheap hack for higher quality at-home vocal sounds, this filter blocks the unwanted “popping” sound you get from harsh consonants and the air from your breath moving against the mic.
Dragonpad USA Microphone Pop Filter, for Blue Yeti, Blue Snowball - Flexible Gooseneck Microphone Mount and Double Layer Sound Shield Guard Windscreen
Step 4. Grab a Boom
If you’re buying a handheld mic, a boom can do wonders in keeping you hands-free, avoiding hand cramps and tired forearms while producing the next go-to road trip podcast. Invest in one if you think you might need it, they’re not totally necessary but will round out any podcast setup nicely.
Adjustable Microphone Suspension Boom
This is a professional-grade microphone stand that’s made of durable steel and will fit on most desks and tables, thanks to the adjustable clamp. What’s more, it fits multiple types of mics so you should be good to go regardless of your setup. That said, it’s always best to double check the listing before going through with the purchase.
NEEWER Adjustable Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand, Max Load 1 KG Compact Mic Stand for Radio Broadcasting, Voice-Over, Stage and TV Stations, Compatible with Blue Yeti Snowball Yeti X,etc
Step 5. Get Some Great Editing Software
After you’ve recorded using the best hardware your budget can buy, you’re going to want to mix the audio and edit on some great software. You’ll need to clip some parts out, enhance the sound quality and maybe edit in some sound effects or theme music. This can all be done using the next two tools.
Adobe Audition Sound-Editing
Is there anyone else we trust with our content more than Adobe? They offer top-notch products at affordable monthly-subscription prices. Adobe Audition is their premiere audio editing software designed for podcasters of all levels. After you’ve laid down your tracks, Adobe will help you refine them using the most versatile software to help make your already great sounding podcast sound even better.
*Note, most podcasting software will allow you to tag your episodes with their title, graphic art, etc — but if not, you can use what’s called an ID3 Editor to make sure all that stuff stays with your content.
Adobe Audition Sound-Editing
Audacity Audio-Editing Software
If you’re looking for a free audio-editing software, Audacity is one of the best ones we’ve found. It was made entirely by volunteers and is totally open-sourced, making it super accessible (and most importantly, free) for everyone. You can record, import and export, bump up the sound quality and even add in effects.