Choosing the best microphone for podcasting
Podcasting and streaming have gained massive popularity in India, with the widespread availability of affordable internet connections. Anyone with a message has started a podcast to establish deeper relationships with their existing audience and attract new ones. Over the last few years, India has seen a steady increase in the use of podcast entertainment. DIY platforms have facilitated this rise along with popular streaming platforms like Spotify, Youtube, and Apple Music. According to KPMG’s media and entertainment report, India’s podcast consumption has jumped by 29.3% since the pandemic. India is the third-largest consumer of podcasts after The United States and China, with 57.6 million monthly listeners.
For someone listening to a podcast, the audio quality is of utmost importance. Before listening to the content of a podcast, listeners judge the podcast in the first few seconds based on the audio quality. Every top-ranked podcast on Google Play or iTunes has one thing in common: consistent, superior audio quality for every episode. Remember, having high audio quality shouldn’t be an exception but the norm. Excellent audio quality is essential to delivering an immersive experience to the listener.
Having a high-quality sounding podcast starts with recording and depends on the recording environment. There are a lot of other factors involved, but a high-quality recording mike is crucial for high-quality audio.
Shopping for a recording microphone can be confusing due to multiple variants in the market from different companies, each with different features. We have made a comprehensive guide that will help you through this process.
Sound recording basics for the people who are new to the sound recording
XLR vs. USB
A three-pin XLR cable has been around for ages and will continue to be so. Top-end microphones usually rely on this cable. It is essential to know that computers and laptops do not have an inbuilt XLR extension and will require an audio interface or mixer.
USB microphones are gaining popularity as they can be directly plugged into any computer or laptop. Many microphones in the market offer both XLR and USB built-in extensions.
Dynamic vs. condenser microphones
Dynamic microphones don’t require external power. They are a perfect fit for anyone podcasting out of a controlled environment. Dynamic microphones are durable and moisture-resistant. They capture loud sounds and are ideal for live events, gigs, and environments where natural conditions work against you.
On the other hand, condenser microphones are best-suited for controlled environments like studios and closed rooms. They require an external power source and capture a wider sound frequency range due to their sensitivity. Condenser microphones are fragile and should be handled with care. Condensers are considered a no-brainer choice when it comes to improving the audio quality of a podcast.
Omni-directional vs. cardioid microphones
Omni-directional microphones record sounds from each direction equally. They capture sound from a 360-degree area around the mike. You need to hold an omnidirectional microphone close to the subject if there is other background noise.
Cardioid microphones have a unique shape that allows them to capture sound from the front and reject sound from the back. They focus on whatever the microphone is pointed at and have a more extended reach than omnidirectional microphones, which is helpful if you can’t get close to the subject.
Beginner vs. semi-professional vs. professional
Whether you’re just starting, upgrading your existing set-up to a better one, or an experienced host, knowing your budget is crucial before shopping for a microphone.There is a range of options in the market offering the latest recording technology at competitive prices for beginners. Though the finishing and quality of materials aren’t high-quality, they allow a newbie to explore options.
For semi-professional or professional podcasters, premium brands are offering top-notch headphones. Premium microphones come built-in with features like shock mounting to reduce handling noise. They have a better build quality that increases longevity and have components that can be easily repaired.
Recording at home vs. recording at the studio
The recording environment plays an essential part in the audio quality of your podcast. The significant difference is the access to high-end equipment. Studios provide you with several types of high-end microphones. Not only that, but a professional recording studio also has proper soundproofing, acoustic treatment, etc. Renting a professional studio also provides you with experts who can advise you through your recordings. You pay a hefty price to rent out a studio, but it’s worth it.
Beginners can also convert a simple room into a semi-professional with a few pointers and good equipment. But recording at home doesn’t allow you the superior audio quality that a professional studio can bring out.
Delivering a podcast with superior audio quality for your listeners does not have a formula. It is achieved through trial and error. What works for others should be used as a reference, and you should modify it according to your setup. There are a lot of factors involved in a sound recording, so purchasing a mike does not guarantee you the quality you desire, but it is a great asset to upgrade.
beyerdynamic is a renowned German brand that offers podcasting microphones built with long-lasting materials at competitive prices. Their M 70 Pro X is a dynamic podcast microphone that is perfect for streamers, podcasters, and YouTubers. It comes with a built-in shock mount and pop filter and has a speech-optimized sound.