I have over 30 years of experience working in audio production for companies like the BBC, including recording and editing podcasts. So, I’ve used all the kit – good and bad – and know exactly what you need and don’t need to make a good podcast.

So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, I’ve got you covered with the best podcast equipment list for every budget. Find out exactly what hardware and software you’ll need to start spinning audio gold – without overspending.

What’s all the fuss about podcast equipment?

I’ve got a phone and a laptop. Surely I’m good to go, aren’t I? In theory, yes. But not if you want it to sound professional, compare well against the competition, and keep your listeners with you until the end.

Key Takeaways

  • Basically, your budget dictates your podcast setup. But even basic setups can sound really good for as little as $20.
  • The essential gear consists of a microphone, headphones, computer, and recording software.
  • Advanced podcast tech includes podcast mixers for blending the audio, cameras and lighting for video podcasts, as well as accessories like pop filters and mic stands to enhance audio quality.
Podcaster using all his podcast equipment during a podcast

Essential Podcast Equipment

Starting out on your podcasting journey can be as daunting as it is exciting. And which kit to buy is often cited as one of the first hurdles that stop people from making that leap. Just as a chef needs the right knives to slice and dice, a podcaster needs the right gear to produce audio that sounds good. I’m going to assume that you’ve got a computer to record on. You’re definitely going to need one. Other than that, the core components of any podcast setup are:

  • Microphones
  • Headphones
  • Audio interface
  • Recording software

Choosing the right podcast equipment is sort of an art in itself. Money aside, the key is to balance your choices with your technical proficiency and your podcast’s needs. So let’s take a closer look.


The microphone is your trusty sidekick, the silent hero that can make or break your show’s audio quality and professional sound. With so many mics to choose from, the decision can be overwhelming. For a start, there are several different categories:

  • USB Microphones plug directly into your computer via a USB port. No drivers, no fuss! These are beginner favourites because they are easier to set up and can produce a decent sound. A good-quality USB mic will cost around $100.
  • XLR Microphones are plugged into a mixer (which is plugged into your computer) and are more popular in professional setups, requiring a little more technical know-how.
  • Dynamic microphones are a bit livelier and ideal for loud backgrounds. They’re durable, good on your wallet and great all-rounders. You can also plug these straight into your computer.
  • Condenser microphones have a lovely warm sound but are very sensitive and pick up any background noise. You’ll only want one of these if you have a soundproofed space to record in. (And they need their own power source before getting to your computer.) One for the pros.
  • Lavalier microphones are the tiny ones that clip onto your clothing. You see them used in TV studios all the time. These are ideal if you need to move around, record outside or travel light. They can also put your guests at ease because they’re so unobtrusive.

Here are 3 podcast microphones I recommend:


Blue Yeti microphone

Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti usually comes in under $100 and is a really versatile mic. You can set to record sound directly into it, or from a wider angle – perfect for picking up multiple voices. It has a stand and is plug-and-play straight into your computer via USB. It has a good, crisp sound quality, and I always find it incredibly easy to use. You’ll spot this one on a lot of YouTube videos.


RODE NT-USB microphone


The RODE NT-USB comes with a pop filter and stand and is a step up from the Yeti. RODE mics are always reliably good. Thanks to USB-C connectivity, you can even use it to record on a tablet. I didn’t love using RODE’s audio-processing software, but it gives you more control to help get the best sound from your individual voice. You also get a 6-metre cable, which I found really handy.


Shure MV7 microphone

Shure MV7 USB

The Shure MV7 is a really nice mic. It gives your voice a lovely warmth… and just sounds nicer than the rest at or below this price point. For me, I think it’s worth the extra money. Needs a little more time to set up, but that’s because this mic gives you more options. Even then, you can set and forget.


RODE Wireless PRO lavalier microphones

The RODE SmartLav+ has been around for a long time and perform well. You can’t beat the value at around $50. If you want to go wireless, the Saramonic UwMIC9 is really good value. They are well-made and easy to pair, have a good range, and have decent sound quality. However, I found that sometimes there’s a faint hiss in the background, which takes some fiddling around to get rid of. The RODE Wireless PRO takes it to another level. They sound great and even have a ’32-bit floating’ feature that makes it almost impossible to distort, in case you sometimes get a bit excited while recording.

Podcaster wearing and using headphones while recording


The reason you hate hearing your own voice played back is that it sounds very different to how you hear it when you talk. That’s because some of what you hear vibrates from within you. So, what you want from a pair of headphones is to (a) only hear what your listener will hear, (b) block out any background noise, and (c) be comfortable, as you’re going to wear them for several hours at a time. So, it’s important to invest in some good headphones. Here are 3 of the best – all over-ear, closed-back headphones to stop sound leaking out and feeding back over your recording.


Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x is very good value. Personally, I find the lower build quality frustrating, just because they feel a bit plasticky. Yes, they feel a bit cheap, but at around $50, they are cheap for all that they do. And if you’re on a budget, they do the job nicely. There is little sound leakage, but they sound clear and bright.


Sony MDR-7506 headphones

Sony MDR-7506

Sony’s MDR-7506 headphones are a step up in price and quality. They’re very comfortable to wear. Voices sound clear and detailed, so you can pick out any clicks or mistakes when recording. However, they’re not as good at blocking out background noise as some more expensive models. But, for the price, they are really solid.


BeyerDynamic DT770 PRO headphones

BeyerDynamic DT770 PRO

I have used BeyerDynamic DT770 headphones for well over a decade now and recommend them. These are broadcast-standard headphones and have been used in every audio company I’ve worked for. They’re comfy and don’t bleed sound (unless you have them turned up very loud). To be honest, I find the dynamic range ever so slightly flat. However, they are excellent for picking out any sound imperfections, which is exactly what you want.

Woman sitting confidently in front of a podcast audio console

Audio Interfaces (Podcast Mixers)

If you’re recording with guests, you’ll need a mixing console (or mixer). Don’t worry, they’re pretty small now – your kitchen won’t look like Abbey Road recording studios. Even if you’re flying solo, you’ll need one if your mic has an XLR plug (3 pins). You plug all your mics into the console, and then the output from the console goes straight into your computer using one lead. That output is known as ‘auxiliary/AUX out’, so check that feature when buying your console, along with how many mic inputs, or ‘channels’, there are.


Mackie Mix8 audio console

Mackie Mix8

Mackie makes good-quality audio products. I have used many. And the Mix8 is no exception. It’s compact, well-made, good value and works right out of the box. Ok, so it’s not the best sound quality in the world, but it’s definitely good enough and comes with 2 mic and 2 stereo inputs.


Yamaha MG10XU audio console

Yamaha MG10XU

I’ve been using Yamaha consoles for decades. They are bullet-proof and last forever. The MG10XU with 4 mic inputs (and little sister, the MG06XU with 2 mic inputs) have a quality sound and are simple to set up and use. There are great features, like EQ and reverb to give your vocals a little warmth. And a USB cable will plug straight into your computer.


RODECaster Pro ll audio console

RODECaster Pro ll

The RODECaster Pro ll is a joy to work with and I love using it. It is much more expensive but made for podcasters. If you’re going to be adding music or sound effects live on your podcast, this unit does all this and more. You can connect your phone via Bluetooth and even record directly to the unit’s own memory card – ideal if you’re recording on the road. (Just upload the audio files via USB when you get home.)

Woman editing a podcast on her laptop using audio editing software

Recording Software

If you’re going to hit record, first you need something to record onto. Ok, yes your computer! But, in order to transform your trusty laptop into a digital audio workstation, you need some recording and editing software. Luckily, there are multiple options, whether you’re on a Mac or a PC.


Audacity audio editing software


The reason Audacity is the best budget software is because it is completely free. The design looks a little more basic than the other packages, and as a result, it’s not the most intuitive layout. But, it does everything you need. Actually, when I first used it, Audacity was quite basic. But now it’s feature set is much more advanced. And because it’s the world’s most popular audio recording app, there are tons of tutorials available.

Special shout out to GarageBand, which is also free and easy to use for audio recordings. Another good choice for any beginner. The downside is that it’s only available for Apple Mac.


Reaper audio editing software


Reaper is really enjoyable to use. It has more tools than Audacity and looks and feels much nicer to use, though a little more complicated. The editing tools are excellent, and it has some great effects plugins, like the de-noise feature that lets you clean up any background noise. You can download it for 60 days free, and after that, it’s only $60 all in.


Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition is what I’ve been using to edit podcasts for decades. It is very feature-rich and intuitive if you’ve used any of Adobe’s other products. This is probably one for the more experienced editor, as it might be a little overwhelming to begin with. There are lots of options for noise reduction and cleanup. It is more expensive at just over $20/month, but you get a 7-day free trial to see whether you like it.

Special shout out to Pro Tools, which is the gold standard in editing. I’ve been using it for over 30 years, and it is simply the best. There’s even a free version. However, the learning curve is steep, and it would be like using the proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Soundfproofing material for a podcast

Advanced Podcast Gear

As your podcast and experience grow, so will your ambition. So, let’s look at how to take your podcasting game to the next level with microphone accessories and acoustic treatment.

Having discussed the advanced equipment, we must also consider the equally important microphone accessories and acoustic treatment solutions. These are the little things that can make a big difference in your audio quality. A pop filter, for instance, may seem inconsequential, but it’s the shield that protects your recordings from harsh plosive sounds. And let’s not forget the mic stand — it’s the trusty stead that keeps your mic in place, ensuring consistent audio levels and reducing the risk of movement-induced noise.

Acoustic treatment is the secret sauce to achieving that crisp, clear sound in your recordings. It’s all about controlling the reverberations and background noise that can muddy your audio. Whether it’s through professional acoustic panels or a DIY setup with blankets and pillows, treating your recording space can elevate the sound of your podcast to rival that of a professional studio. Think of it as creating the perfect canvas for your auditory art — it’s worth the extra effort.

Pop Filters

Pop filters are the unsung heroes of the podcasting world, sitting quietly between you and your microphone, guarding against those explosive ‘p’s and ‘b’s that can irritate your audience. Whether you opt for a nylon mesh pop filter for its affordability and effectiveness or a metallic mesh for its durability, the choice will significantly impact the smoothness of your podcast’s sound. Many mics have built-in filters, and others come with pop shields you can clip to the microphone or stand. And for those looking for an all-in-one solution, microphones with built-in pop filters like the Pyle PDMICR42SL Classic Retro Microphone can save the day by minimizing popping noises in your recordings.

But pop filters don’t just protect your audio; they protect your microphone too. A good pop filter can extend the life of your mic by stopping saliva and other particulates in their tracks. It’s a small investment that pays off in the long run, ensuring your podcast’s sound quality remains top-notch for years to come. So, don’t overlook this essential accessory — it’s the guardian of your podcast’s audio integrity.


OnStage Foam Ball-Type Microphone Windscreen microphone filter

OnStage Foam Ball-Type Microphone Windscreen

This filter is only a few bucks and is simply a piece of foam to cover your microphone. It’s definitely effective, but for me, you lose some of the richness in your voice. It’s also worth checking to see if your microphone has a specific shield you can buy for it.


Nady MPF-6 microphone shield

Nady MPF-6

The Nady MPF-6 probably looks familiar because it’s arguably the best-selling pop filter in the world. It’s a pretty simple design, stopping you from getting too close to the mic. It clips onto your mic stand and is really well made, so it lasts. The only downside I’ve found using it is that these goose-neck filters are so big that they’re often in the way.


Ktondic microphone isolation shield

Ktondic microphone isolation shield

If your room is big and echoey or just poorly soundproofed, try an isolation shield. I have used one like this at home for many years, and it’s surprising how effective it is for a relatively small piece of foam. You just pop your mic inside it and talk into the regular pop shield at the front. It saves you from sitting under your duvet to record.

Microphone Stands

While pop filters take on the plosives, it’s the microphone stand that battles the bumps and grinds of daily podcasting. It’s a bit like the suspension on your car, absorbing the vibrations that can rumble through your audio. A stand keeps the mic closer to your mouth and away from your hands, cup of coffee, pen, etc.

Ideally, you don’t want your mic stand on the desk because if you accidentally bang the desk or drop your pen, it will reverberate all the way up the stand and down the mic. The alternative is to have a stand on the floor, but then you have to worry about any vibrations under your feet or dropping your pen on the floor. So, you’ll have to decide which option will work best for you. I’ve tried both and found the floor stand option best, though not in an apartment with thin floors!


InnoGear Microphone Stand, Tripod Boom Arm Floor Mic Stand

InnoGear Microphone Stand

This InnoGear boom arm on a tripod is completely adjustable, and you can easily fold it up and carry it anywhere, too. It has several different mic clips to fit most microphones. You can stand or sit and even have the mic above you off-camera.




You’ll often see this style of stand on YouTube. It clamps to the side of your table or desk, and you can feed the mic cable through the arm, which looks tidier. It’s a more elegant solution than the floor stand and it too is portable, of course.


Rode PSA1+ Pro Studio Boom Arm for Podcasting

Rode PSA1+ Pro Studio Boom Arm

And for podcasters who are serious about their craft, investing in higher-end gear like the RODE PSA1+ boom arm or the AKG H85 shock mount can make all the difference. These pieces of equipment not only provide superior sound stabilization but often come with cable management features to keep your space tidy and your recordings clean. Remember, every rattle or knock can be a distraction for your listeners, so it’s important to minimize those intrusions with the right microphone stands and shock mounts.

Acoustic Treatment Solutions

Taking it up a notch, you can buy acoustic panels to dampen the sound in your room. This may sound like a step too far, but it can save you hours cleaning up background noise in post-production every time you record.

If you’ve got a spare room and can use it as a studio, you could try adding acoustic tiles to the wall. These ones will at least make your spare room look less like a recording studio.

Something that works surprisingly well is the RF-X SE Electronics Portable Vocal Booth. It attaches directly to the mic stand, so it’s easy to install. The downside is that it limits your movement and makes reading scripts a little more challenging.

Before you start, there are also plenty of DIY options, like buying a rug for your floor and hanging thicker curtains – anything you can find to absorb the sound.

Video Podcasts

But why stop at audio? If you’ve gone through all the trouble of recording content, why not squeeze more value out of it by filming your podcast and live streaming it, putting it out on YouTube or cutting it into video shorts or social media posts? You can build your profile on an entirely new platform for the cost of a camera and some lights.


Some of your audience will prefer to watch videos, and many will make a deeper connection when they can see you. Incorporating video content into your marketing can significantly enhance audience engagement.


iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone Pro

You may not need to buy anything. The latest smartphones can record video in 4K and have a range of features, like Dolby Vision. This, and perhaps a tripod, is enough to get you up and running on YouTube.


Sony ZV-1 digital camera

Sony ZV-1

The Sony ZV-1 is a brilliant camera for beginners. It’s a premium compact camera, so it has (a) plenty of quality – excellent autofocus, for example, and (b) features, like a touchscreen that flips to the side, allowing you to see yourself while filming. You get a really good bang for your buck. This is what I use, and I love it.


Panasonic LUMIX GH6 digital camera

Panasonic LUMIX GH6

The Panasonic LUMIX GH6 is a powerhouse. It’s on Netflix’s approved list for filming, so you know it’s good. It is an incredibly versatile camera – anything you want to do with it, you can. It’s great in low light and really robust – actually, a little heavy, but we’ll take that because it’s dust and splash-proof.


Newbies often overlook this subject, and I see it on YouTube all the time. Good lighting can elevate your video from average to professional. And that’s really important for gaining credibility and authority with your audience. For most solo podcasters, a simple and cheap ring light can be a game-changer, eliminating shadows and casting an even glow around your face. But if your podcast studio needs more comprehensive lighting, LED studio lights offer adjustable brightness and even soft color to give your videos brand-color consistency.

Don’t forget this same principal goes for social media images or videos, too. When setting up your lighting, think like a photographer. Here are some options:

  • The cheapest and easiest option is a ring light. It’s a circular ring of LED light on a stand that allows you to put the camera in the middle at face height. Simple but effective. And less than $20!
  • Two-point lighting is probably the most popular setup: two softbox lights placed at 45 degrees to your subject for balanced illumination.
  • If you’re going all in, hoping for a studio-quality look, a three-point lighting setup adds depth and dimension to your video. Again, two lights at 45 degrees to the subject, but with an additional backlight that adds separation from the background.


On a budget? There are tons of videos online that show you how to do it even cheaper with regular lighting from your local home improvement store.

Remote Recording

The ability to record high-quality audio remotely is no longer just convenient — it’s essential. Whether it’s interviewing a guest on the other side of the planet or co-hosting from different cities, remote podcasting brings its own set of obstacles. How do you make it sound like you’re all in the same room? It’s something to think about when choosing your podcast recording equipment.

Like anything, a podcast is only as strong as its weakest link. Just because you’ve done everything at your end, your guest may not be as well set up as you. So, consider FedExing them a USB microphone for the day (as well as any cables, connectors and instructions). This way you can ensure the audio quality remains consistent across all participants, creating a more professional and engaging podcast experience for your audience.

Remote Recording Software

When picking your recording software, consider some additional platforms that host interviews AND record them locally. This eliminates any gaps in the recording caused by internet glitches or dropouts. Some even come with post-production tools that may eliminate the need for additional editing software.

Riverside company logo

Riverside is a browser-based audio and video tool, much loved by the podcasting world. It can record audio and video on separate tracks from you and your guests, which makes editing afterwards much easier. It comes with editing tools and other useful features, like a teleprompter – and all for a very reasonable monthly price.

Squadcast company logo - one of the names on our podcast equipment list

Squadcast has now been acquired by Descript. So, it was already one of the best tools on the market for remote interviews and co-hosts – and now you get to use Descript’s editing capabilities. You can record each person on a separate track and then edit visually using AI. You can literally edit the words: remove one from the transcript of your podcast and the editing will be done for you. I didn’t find that the results were always great, but you can always go back in and tweak it manually. And it makes editing oh-so-simple! Pricing is similar to Riverside.

Podcast Setups for Different Budgets

Every podcaster’s journey is unique, and so is their budget. Whether you’re bootstrapping your way to podcast fame or investing heavily to go hard from the get-go. The key is to prioritize your spending based on your podcast’s needs and goals. From a simple iPad recorder to a full-blown studio setup, the options are as varied as the podcasts themselves.

In this section, I’ll guide you through different podcast setups tailored to varying budgets. Whether you’re a solo podcaster or part of a team, making smart choices with your equipment can result in a podcast that sounds professional without costing professional fees. And anyway, as your podcast grows, so too can your setup and budget, with incremental upgrades that ensure your audio quality keeps pace with your expanding audience.

Budget-Friendly Setup: $20-$250

Starting a podcast doesn’t have to mean emptying your bank account. A budget-friendly setup can be as simple as recording on your existing laptop or smartphone with a cheap mic. Yes, you could theoretically use the mic built into your laptop or phone, but you definitely don’t want to do that. Competition is fierce, and people will move on if you don’t have a basic level of quality. Spending $20 on a USB mic will take you to the ‘minimum viable product’ level.

Add in free editing software like Audacity, and you’re well on your way to producing quality content for minimal cost. In the beginning, you just want to get started and see whether you like it. Once you’re on your way, you’ll soon figure out the pain points and what does or doesn’t sound great and needs an upgrade.

Intermediate Setup: $250-$500

If you’re ready to step up your game, an intermediate setup strikes a balance between affordability and quality. At this level, you’ll want to ensure each guest has their own microphone – and for $99 each, you can get a really good sound without breaking the bank.

In addition to microphones, investing in higher-quality pop filters and other accessories can further refine your podcast’s sound. With just a few smart purchases, your intermediate setup can provide the professional sound you’re aiming for without the need for a professional studio budget.

Professional Setup: $500-$5,000

When you’re ready to really commit, a professional podcast setup is the way to go. This typically includes buying an audio interface for multi-channel recording, as well as better mics and professional headphones.

But a pro setup doesn’t end with the gear. Think about creating a dedicated recording space that sounds consistent every time you press record. Combine that with advanced audio editing software and you have a setup that’s capable of producing top-tier audio content.

While the investment is significant, the payoff is having your own podcast that sounds as good as any out there, ready to compete with the best in the business.

Want more money-making ideas?

The Bottom Line

You can buy all the gear in the world, but remember that your podcast starts with quality content. It can sound as professional as the best podcasts available, but if there’s no reason to keep listening, what’s the point in spending all that money?

It’s also worth considering your level of technical expertise or experience. I’m constantly guilty of this. You don’t want to spend weeks working out how to use everything when your competitors are busy beating you to the punch putting out new podcasts and building up a following.

A professional sound starts with clear, high-quality audio. It may be boring, but spending your budget on a good microphone is the best investment you’ll make. Remember that your listener is probably listening on headphones or earbuds. I’m a voracious podcast consumer, but I regularly skip when I can’t hear what’s being said over the hum of the train or when loud plosives or clicks hurt my ears.

It’s an intimate medium that lets you start a relationship with your listener. Complete strangers will feel like they know you, so make good use of the equipment to make that one-to-one connection sound as natural as possible. Good luck and happy podcasting!


How do I make a podcast checklist?

First, define your objectives and target audience. Then, name your podcast, Finally, set an episode schedule and prepare for recording. Good luck with your podcast! choose the format and length, and make sure your recording equipment and editing software are in order.

What should a podcast include?

Your podcast should include an intro, main content, and an outro. The intro sets the tone and explains the podcast format and what the episode is about. The main content delivers your message or interview, and the outro wraps it up nicely and sets up the next episode. To make it successful, consider adding original ideas, engaging guests, publishing regularly, and having a relatable host.

How much is the equipment to start a podcast?

You can start a podcast for as little as a few bucks! But for a better quality and more enjoyable experience for your listeners, I would recommend spending around $100-$250 for beginners or $500-$5,000 for a business podcast. So, the cost of equipment is really flexible, depending on your goals and needs.

What equipment do I need to start a podcast?

You can start with just a microphone, computer, headphones, and a quiet room. As you grow your audience, you can invest in enhanced tools like better microphones and recording software or an audio mixer. This will help take your podcast setup to the next level.

Do I really need a podcast mixer for my podcast?

You do not need a mixer, especially if you’re flying solo. However, having an audio console can provide advanced functionality and control, especially if you have multiple hosts or guests. This can streamline the recording process, making post-editing much easier.

Editorial Process

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Image of the author Richard Riviere

Richard Riviere

Richard Riviere is a former wage slave who decided there must be more to life. Turning 50, he quit his job to try earning an income online and get his life back. From knowing zero about e-commerce, he managed to replace his 9-5 income within a year. He now teaches other midlifers how to start living life on their own terms.