Podcast Equipment Recommendations

Dave Jackson is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

People always ask me about equipment recommendations so here we go.


I recently used an ATR2100-USB Microphone. It is the most versatile. It is USB which is good for solo podcasters (providing plug and play), it is dynamic (so it isn't super sensitive), and it is XLR which means you can use it with a mixer. Best of all as of June 2014 its $59 You can also check the price on a Samson Q2U, and the ATR2005 as these two (and the ATR2100) are basically the same microphone.

Good Audio Technica ATR2100USB
Great Electrovoice RE32($279)
Popular Heil PR40 ($327)


If you are podcasting solo you don’t need a mixer, however you could use one to boost the tone of your voice. Mixers run from $50+ (depending on how many mics you can plugin). Behringer makes affordable mixers. I’ve heard that Mackie mixers are better (but they are also more expensive). I’ve used a behringer mixer for 7 years.

Typical Mixer: Behringer Xenyx 802 (for 2 people) $79
Better Mixer: Mackie 402-VLZ4 (for 2 people) $99


You will need cables for everyone. The shorter the better. This helps keep the “Studio” clean, and lengthy cables can pick up noise. To plug your mixer into your computer I use a Dual RCA Cable to 1/8” cable and plug it from the Tape Out of the mixer to the Line In of the computer. You don't need this if you are using USB.

10 Foot Microphone cable: $10

Pop Filter

You NEED pop filters for each person. You can spend thousands on your equipment, and still sound like an amateur if you don’t have a pop filter.

Pop Filter $15


These Audio Technica Headphones will do the trick for a little over 30 bucks. If you have the budget, these Sony MDR7506 Headphones ($99) will do the trick (I've seen them used in Professional Radio studios).

Headphone Amplifier For Non-solo Podcasters

If you have more than one person in the room with you, you will need to use a mixer, and a headphone amp if you want everyone to hear themselves.

Art Headamp4 For four headphones $65. I use this headphone amplifier from Behringer ($24)

Microphone Stands

You will need a stand to hold the microphone. These range from desktop, to boom arms (Which swivel around). I use a boom/radio arm as I never “tear down” my studio. I leave everything plugged in.

Desktop Stand $15 “
MXL BCD-STAND ($69 – comes with cable)
Best: The Heil Pl2 stand is a very durable swing stand, and it can handle heavy microphones ($121)

Shock Mounts

Shock mounts are handy as it isolates the microphone from vibrations. I once heard a hum in my podcast. The vibrations from the computer went through the desk, and I had the mic sitting on a desktop stand (which then picked up the vibrations). It was subtle, but it bugged me. I shock mount (more or less) suspends the microphone in mid-air.

Typical shock mount is around $25

Portable Recorder

Portable recorder are handy if you are traveling. They are also the most reliable way to record your podcast. I did record directly to a computer for years. Using a USB Microphone dictates that you record direct to the computer. In doing this, I’ve had my computer crash and I’ve lost a few episodes. I now record to a portable recorder.  I use a Zoom H5 in my studio. You can plug your microphone into without any adapters.


There are a few titles when it comes to recording. On the mac there is Garageband which comes with the computer. Audacity is free and it also works on a Mac or PC (and is used by many). If you use this software, turn off all the other software that is running when you record, and save your files often.
Sony Music Studio is affordable and runs on a PC. Hindenburg Journalist has a great product for less than $100 and it's great if you are doing interviews. The top editor is Adobe Audition which goes for around $300. The current version has received a lot of negative feedback.

For Mac: Audacity
For PC: Sony Music Studio

Media Hosting

For Media hosting I use Libsyn.com (Get a free month using the Libsyn coupon code sopfree) and I also recommend blubrry.com (get a free month using coupon sopfree). My podcast about podcasting is hosted on Libsyn.com In case you're wondering, yes you should always use a media host.

Website Hosting

For website hosting, I recommend Site Ground as they have a great price, great service, and they don’t require you to order a year in advance. I also have Coolerwebsites.com which is my Godaddy reseller program (their service is amazing)

Places You Can Buy Podcasting Gear

Same Day Music> does not charge tax unless you live in NJ. They also let you pay for items in two payments.

Amazon has some of the best prices.

BSW is a company that carries EVERYTHING audio.

B & H Have tons of gear, and great support.

Free Shipping on orders over $25. From Musicians Friend.com


WordPress (not wordpress.com, wordpress on your own self hosted website – which gives you more control).

Divi From ELegant themes is a super powerful WordPress Theme. There is also Second Line themes which are geared towards podcasters.

Digital Access Pass – This is the membership script I use on the School of Podcasting. It is super flexible. Great support.

If you don't want to use WordPress for your membership site, I use Thinkific for the members area


PowerPress is THE podcasting plugin. Great support, and it does everything.

Akismet – Spam detection tool

Pretty Link – For creating reasy to remember link

Easy AZON – This $47 plguin makes adding items from Amazon a breeze.

Google XML Sitemaps – Helps make Google food.

Poll Daddy – Great plugin for adding polls and surveys to your site.


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About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.
48 comments on “Podcast Equipment Recommendations
  1. Pingback: Podcasting Your Newsletter – Pros and Cons
  2. Judith G. says:

    Thank you very much for all your input! God bless you and those you love. Let go amd let God.

    Judi G.

  3. Pingback: Your Podcast Consutlant Sucks When…
  4. Dave says:

    I was thinking of pod casting but now….
    All for something maybe very few people will listen to
    Hope it works for you

  5. Its not about the numbers. Its about like minded people, friends, and many other reasons. I have about 80 people who listen to my “Feeding My Faith” podcast. That double the people who actually satin pews to listen to me preach. I have 1000 people listen to my logical weight loss. I’ll never get into the 10,0000s of downloads, but I’m not doing it for fame and fortune. I’m doing it as I love these subjects, and I love connecting and helping people.

  6. Adolfo Rubio says:

    Will a Radioshack model 320-0029 mixer work to start a radio podcast show?
    Greetings from Central America

  7. Adolfo,
    Not really. You want a mixer with XLR inputs. You can see my recommendations at http://www.schoolofpodcasting.com/equipment

  8. Brandon says:

    I have a pair of Beats by Dre. Will those be ok to use?

  9. Kind of. Some headphones are designed to boost the bass A LOT. What happens is you might mix it with less bass because the headphones are boosting the bass. hey will work, but be sure to listen to your finished podcast on different devices to see what it sounds like (i.e. your car, etc).

  10. Kate says:

    Great list, Dave – I just ordered some of these based on your recommendations!

  11. Mike says:

    Hey Dave, great website here. I have just started my own podcast and after recording and editing, I ended up with a 550mb podcast. This is just too big for most podcasts hosting, especially since I don’t want to spend a bunch of money on the hosting right away. Any advice? I am using a Zoom R16, Cubase as my software, 3-4 tracks and about 2 hours long… And advice would be great! Thanks

  12. Isabel says:

    Hello! Great information, thank you! I just subscribed and look forward to learning more! Quick question on gear…we plan on doing a video podcast and since we’ll be on camera, were thinking of using lavaliere mics. Any recommendation on these and if the quality would be good? Thank you in advance for the advice!

  13. James says:

    Really appreciate your insights on this equipment. I personally believe you can and should believe that doing the task is the goal. You can be surprised if in the future you find 10’s of thousands have listened in on your work. Expect greatness. Gratitude!

  14. sandra says:

    Hello: My son I’d developing an audio drama for podca st sort of like “We’re Alive”. He wants to use voice actors who will be in different locations. He believes that he can do rehearsals thru Skype and then each actor can do their own part by recording into audacity and then he can edit it all together. He is a novice and I want to help him get the best possible product. I am thinking that is a hell of a lot of editing, going line by line to edit together conversations in a scene. We are trying to keep the cost down as much as possible. Any suggestions on software, equipment etc?

  15. Laura says:

    Do you use the portable recorder along with the mixer? How do you plug more than one mic into the portable recorder? Thanks!

  16. Some units like the Zoom H5 allow you to plug two microphones in. In some cases it’s easier to plug a mixer into the recorder, and plug the mics into the mixer. If you’re looking for gear, check out http://www.bestpodcastinggear.com -Dave

  17. Corinne says:

    Hi there, when I was listening today (#476 I think) you mentioned something about using an eguitar amplifier as a microphone accessory but to be honest I got a bit muddled up with the technology aspect, could you run that past me again in a lower tech way, I am just starting out and whilst I am happy to invest once I have this baby off the ground, I would also welcome a way to use my son’s eguitar equipment whilst he is at school to connect with blab, which you were obviously very excited about.

    PS do you have a hint for me to speak slower and more clearly, I get rather excited and it gets faster and faster, not good if your listeners are not native speakers of English like mine. BLUSH

  18. Corinne, It’s called an iRig that you can use to connect your mixer to your iPad for periscope. – Dave

  19. AS for speaking fast. Lay off the Mountain Dew ?

  20. Logan says:

    Do some people make good money on podcasts? Or is it more of a hobby?

  21. Some make great money. Most do not. Many make gas and beer money. Some make 4 figures a month. What you put into it, you have the potential to get out of it. Some do it to promote their business and service, others do it for fun to connect with like minded people. So the answer is YES to both. -Dave For more information look for my book “More podcast money” on Amazon. -Dave

  22. Blen says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the info! I just need some clarification on a couple of things:
    I use WordPress for my blog (I bought the Blencouragesu.com name), so, do I still need a “proper” website?

    And would WordPress double as my platform and host?

    I’m just trying to keep this all straight in my head.

    Thanks a mil!

  23. The website URL depends on the name of your show. If it works with the name of the show, then go with it. It is a bit of a mouthful, and you can always have multiple domains point at one website. WordPress is your platform (I’ve got a video that explain all this at the School of Podcasting that makes it crystal clear), but you would not use them as you host for your mp3 files (just wordpress). I use Libsyn.com or Blubrry.com for Media hosting (use the coupon code sopfree at either location to get a free month).

  24. Tim says:

    I have the same mixer you discuss (402VLZ4) and got cables to run it from my mixer directly to my macbook, using Garageband to record. However, I got cables that run from the Main out into the audio input, and am getting nada. Do I have to disable my laptop’s mic for this to work? Or am I doing something wrong with the mixer? Do I need to get the cords you mention so I can run RCA cables and use the Tape Out function instead of Main Out?


  25. You want to go from the mixer’s output into the computer’s input. If you’re a member of the School of Podcasting, there is a video that explains this…

  26. What mic do you recommend for non solo podcasters? Is there a USB option?

  27. I recommend the Atr2100, but plugging two usb microphones in can be tricky. It’s better to have the Atr2100 and a mixer. Most of my recommendations are at http://www.bestpodcastinggear.com

  28. Andy C says:

    Very good information on your site for starting podcasters. If you could point me into what you think may be the best equipment for recording where a lot of travel is involved. I will be flying constantly to different destinations to interview people – so sound recording quality from the subject & interviewer will be of paramount importance along with portability.
    Andy C

  29. Andy check out the portable recorders at my Amazon Store http://www.bestpodcastinggear.com/portable-recorder/ I use the Zoom H5. For microphonoes, I use an Audio technica ATR2100 which is at http://www.bestpodcastinggear.com/audio-technica-atr2100-usb-cardioid-dynamic-usbxlr-microphone/ -Dave

  30. Jordan says:

    I am getting ready to buy equipment to start a podcast and will be setting up and tearing down the “studio” every time. I will usually ha 3 hosts so I was thinking I would get 3 mic’s and a H4n. Will that work or do I have to get a mixer?

  31. The third mic is going to be a bit of a struggle. I would get a mixer. With three people it won’t get dusty. This would work (my amazon affiliate store) http://www.bestpodcastinggear.com/behringer-xenyx-1202/

  32. Tim,
    If you have green lights blinking on your mixer, then you might have to adjust the settings in your Mac. Schedule a 15 minute coaching session at http://www.schoolofpodcasting.com/schedule and we can walk through this.

  33. Chanah says:

    I am brand new to this. If using Garageband do I also need audacity?

  34. No. Garageband and audacity do the same thing. I have tutorials on both inside the School of Podcasting- Dave

  35. Hi Dave!

    Love your work. I’m going to order some things through your amazon cart.

    (You helped me with intro a while back.)

    I travel around to do interviews now and would like to get a mixer.

    I have the Mackie 1202VLZ4 that you listed in my shopping cart, do I need the Roland to record/save the .wav file from the Mackie?

    Also, when using the Mackie for xlr mics going directly to record google hangout etc… do I need any tools?



  36. Will C. says:

    I have been using a CAD U1 SE (Second Edition) USB microphone for recording and podcasts, and it works well for me.
    I also use Audacity to record and edit my podcasts

  37. Heather says:

    Hi Dave!
    I toodled over here to see what you use for Ask The Podcast Coach. Now that Google Hangouts and YouTube livestreaming are… awkward friends (at best) are you using an encoder? A particular camera (built-in or something like the Logitech HD1080p)? I’ve been doing a livestream with two friends (me in PA, the others in CA and MN) so it’s been tricky to figure out the best way with the least number of buffering/synching glitches. – no one does it like you do! Thank you!

  38. Christopher Chapman says:

    What should I look at if we have a group of about 6 guys? How would you go about incorporating that many mics together?

  39. See http://www.schoolofpodcasting.com/kits You’re going to need a pretty beefy mixer. That’s going to take some thought and practice to not talk all over each other.

  40. Ok, I am starting out on a budget, but I also want decent quality. So here is the list of must haves that I have come up with.

    Mic Boom Arm
    Mic Accessories like Shock Mount (any recommendations on the shock Mount for the mic I have listed below?)
    External Recorder (Currently looking at the Tascam DR-05)
    Mic (Looking at the EV RE320)

    Right now, I will be podcasting solo, so it sounds like I dont need the mixer. Did I miss anything?

  41. Philip for a budget go ATR2100, Zoom H1, and a boom and pop filter it will save a ton.

  42. Regine Kuchel says:

    Simply wanna state that this is handy , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

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