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How To Start A Podcast - The Ultimate Gear Guide

Podcast Guide
Podcast Guide

Podcasting is more popular than ever, and it’s a lot easier than you think to get started. Read our guide to see what gear you'll need.

By Daniel Martin-Lemmon | Published 28.02.20

SHOP NOW | Podcasting Gear

Sport? Horror? Penguins? No matter what your interests, you can guarantee there's the perfect podcast out there for you to enjoy. But what if you want to create your very own podcast to broadcast to the world? Well, getting started might be a lot easier (and more affordable) than you think.

In this podcast gear guide, we'll show you the essential gear you need to produce your first show. Then it's over to you to unleash your creativity.

Ready to shop now? See our complete selection of Podcasting Equipment.

Looking to produce music at home? Read our Home Recording Guide.


  1. Overview – what gear do you need?
  2. Gear for solo producers
  3. Gear for interviews and groups
  4. Essential accessories
  5. Microphones
  6. Mixers, interfaces, and portable recorders
  7. Podcast bundles

What do I need to podcast?

A podcaster needs a microphone to speak into, a recording device to capture audio, and a way of hearing a recording played back. You can easily achieve all of that with your own mobile phone, but if you'd like a clearer sound, you might want to invest in some slightly more specialised equipment.

What is the best podcast gear?

The best podcast gear is the very same equipment used by a professional radio show. But for most users, that will be overkill. You can achieve a great-sounding podcast with a far more modest setup.

The solo show

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Some of the most successful podcasts have a single presenter and a simple selection of gear. If you have a laptop or a computer, you're almost ready to record. Simply attach an external USB microphone and you'll get a professional sound in an instant.

Quick to set up, easy to use, and fantastic sound quality - many USB mics also have features such as mute buttons and headphone outputs. They start from as little as £40 and are a great option for turning your computer into a complete podcast setup.

You may also consider some headphones so you can hear yourself. In-ear headphones are an affordable choice, but over-ear headphones are generally clearer and more comfortable for long sessions. Look out for closed-back headphones which won't let sound escape back into your microphone.

There's a lot of people in here...

SHOP NOW | Podcasting Gear

Looking to interview people and have guests in your studio? You could crowd around one microphone, but multiple microphones allow you to record each voice independently for a much clearer sound.

USB mixers and USB interfaces combine multiple microphone sounds together before sending them to your computer. Once inside your computer, recording software allows you to manipulate each sound independently - perfect for balancing levels when people speak at different volumes.

Some mixers include extra features for podcasters such as additional headphone outputs, built-in storage for direct recording, enhanced connectivity, and more. These kinds of setups are perfect for a multi-person podcast. And they can even be used for a solo show if you're looking for extra flexibility and expandability.

The extras

If you've got a recording device or laptop, microphones, audio interace/mixer, and headphones - what else is there? You'll need important accessories - microphone cables, microphone stands, and software for your computer.

Some microphones, particularly the USB variety, come with their own desktop stands. Other microphones don't, and lots of podcasters like the 'boom' stand variety - they are designed for placement perfectly in front of your face. While USB microphones come with their own USB cable to connect to your laptop, other microphones need an XLR cable to plug into an interface. Make sure you think about the length you'll need for your studio!

Finally, there's the software. Recording software lets you blend sound sources together and add effects or music jingles. You may be able to use freeware (Garageband is fantastic for Apple users). You'll can also find free editions of many popular studio-grade software packages. They're well worth a try, and if you enjoy using it, you can always upgrade to the full edition later.


Podcast Microphones

Podcast microphones come in a variety of shapes, sizes and types. Here's the options you might want to consider.

Dynamic microphone: If you're recording in a noisy space, you need something that's not going to pick up too much background noise. That's why a lot of podcast creators use dynamic microphones. Their design is a little less sensitive to distant noises, so your voice is more isolated and you'll get a clean, high-quality recording.

Condenser microphone: If external noise isn't too much of an issue, or if you have a well-isolated recording space, condenser microphones capture crisp, detailed recordings. They require extra power to work ('phantom power') - this is a switchable power supply that you'll find on most mixers and audio interfaces.

Don't forget about cables! Some mics and packages will come with them included, especially USB microphones. But for a lot of XLR microphones, you may need to grab some extras. Just make sure that they're the right length for your needs.

Take a look at some of the best podcast microphones below.

See all of our podcast microphones here.

Shure SM7B

SHOP NOW | Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone

When it comes to podcasts, there's nothing quite like the Shure SM7B. There's a reason that it has become the go-to-choice for top podcasters, and even some of the most prestigious radio stations all over the world. You'll experience outstanding clarity from this dynamic microphone, and all without having to worry about interference or background noise.

A built-in pop shield means you can get up close and personal and capture something truly special. Because those difficult plosives, breath noises, and unwanted external noises are eliminated. The SM7B simply focuses on what's directly in front of it. So it's just you and your audience.

  • Microphone Type: Dynamic
  • Connector: XLR
  • Equipment Needed to Connect: Audio interface or mixer, XLR cable

SubZero SZC-500-USB

SHOP NOW | SubZero SZB USB Condenser Microphone

With a plug-and-play design that gets you up and running in seconds, the SubZero SZC-500-USB is perfect for podcasts. It boasts a large diaphragm condenser design that's powered directly via the USB socket. So you get that signature condenser sound quality with exceptional clarity and detail, but without the hassle of extra gear or phantom power requirements.

It even comes with a dedicated microphone cradle. This helps to eliminate any physical noise from vibrations or movement around the microphone. The SZC-500-USB is incredibly easy to setup too. All you need to do is plug it in, configure your chosen recording software's inputs, and hit record. It's as simple as that.

  • Microphone Type: USB condenser
  • Connector: USB
  • Equipment Needed to Connect: None (direct USB connectivity from the mic with the included cable)

Rode PodMic

SHOP NOW | Rode PodMic Dynamic Podcasting Microphone

Rode have developed an envious reputation when it comes to microphone quality, and the Rode PodMic is no exception. Purpose-built for podcasts, the PodMic puts superior sound and trusted reliability in your hands. This intelligently designed dynamic microphone is easy to setup and is ideal for podcast newcomers and veterans alike.

It's not just the broadcast-quality sound of the PodMic that makes it an ideal choice for podcasts either. This is a mic designed to give you the flexibility you need in a podcast environment. The handy mounting bracket that's attached to the mic is easy to mount to a variety of stands, and it gives you a huge array of positioning options. There's also an internal pop shield that combats troublesome plosives. And with its rugged metal construction, the PodMic can withstand the demanding nature of life too.

  • Microphone Type: Dynamic
  • Connector: XLR
  • Equipment Needed to Connect: Audio interface or mixer, XLR cable

Audio Technica AT2020USB Plus

SHOP NOW | Audio Technica AT2020USB Plus Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Hailed by many as the perfect home studio microphone, the Audio Technica AT2020USB Plus gives you revered sound quality with incredible ease-of-use. This standalone USB microphone needs no additional equipment. Simply plug it into your Windows or Mac computer with the included cable, mount it on the included stand, and take advantage of its powerful features for exceptional podcast recordings.

There's a lot more to the AT2020USB Plus than meets the eye too. Inside, there's a high-quality headphone amplifier that you can plug your headphones into via a 3.5mm stereo minijack. This lets you monitor what your mic is picking up in real time with absolutely no latency. A dedicated volume control lets you adjust the level of the headphone output, and there's even a unique mix control that lets you blend in any pre-recorded audio from your computer. So you can get the best out of your podcast recordings every single time.

  • Microphone Type: USB condenser
  • Connector: USB
  • Equipment Needed to Connect: None (direct USB connectivity from the mic with the included cable)

Mixers, interfaces, and portable recorders

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USB mixer: A USB mixer looks like a standard mixing desk you'll have seen in a studio or at a gig. They allow you to plug in multiple microphones or other sound sources, and then send the sound digitally to a computer via USB. Once the sound reaches your computer, you'll be able to mix the sounds independently with recording software. Mixers include extra dials for controlling your sound, and you can find purpose-built mixers for podcasts with additional features - anything from extra headphone outputs and controls, to full-scale built-in recording solutions and effects processors.

Audio interface: Audio interfaces are very similar to USB mixers above, but they are more compact and generally don't have a large control panel of dials on top. You can still connect multiple microphones and send the sound to your computer digitally via USB, ready for mixing in your recording software.

What about USB microphones? If you're planning on getting a USB microphone, you won't need an interface or a mixer! A USB mic combines the functionality of a mic and an interface. This is great, but generally only applicable to single microphone setups.

Mixers and interfaces range from small devices with a small amount of inputs and a few simple controls, to large multi-input consoles with a whole host of controls and features. Here are some of the best mixers and audio interfaces for podcast creators.

See all of our podcast mixers here.

See all of our podcast interfaces here.

Rode RodeCaster Pro

SHOP NOW | Rode RodeCaster Pro

Four channels of pure podcast production power. The Rode RodeCaster Pro will have you recording your show in minutes. Whether you're just starting out, or you're looking to upgrade your current setup, the RodeCaster Pro is a fully-fledged podcast console with a whole host of features. Four microphone inputs, the ability to handle phone calls from remote guests, and even eight high-quality pads for triggering sounds and effects.

One of the biggest things that sets the RodeCaster Pro apart from the competition is the fact that you can use it standalone with an incredibly simple interface. A microSD card slot on the back means you can record everything directly to your storage device, making it perfect for hands-on podcast creation and portable use. But you can also take advantage of multitrack-to-USB recording and integrate the RodeCaster with your computer. It's an all-in-one solution with everything you need to create high-quality content.

  • Device Type: 4-channel mixer/podcast production console
  • Operation Modes: USB multitrack, microSD card standalone
  • Channels/Connectivity: 4 x XLR microphone inputs, 1 x 3.5mm mobile device input, 4 x 1/4'' headphone outputs

Zoom LiveTrak L-8


With its flexible connectivity and in-depth controls, the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 puts you in control. This eight-channel digital mixer has eight input channels, so you can connect a huge variety of mics and devices. Switchable phantom power and input types add even more flexibility, whilst things such as attenuation switches, adjustable 3-band equalisation, and high-quality effects give you complete control over your sound.

This high-end mixer allows you to record up to twelve tracks at the same time, and even lets you record interviews and discussions with callers. Take advantage of studio-grade recording via USB, or insert an SD card to mix and record your podcasts without being connected to a computer. Plus, with the ability to be powered via four AA batteries, it's an outstanding choice for portable use too. The LiveTrak L-8 is a truly feature-packed monster. And if you want to maximise your podcast rig's capabilities, it's definitely worth checking out.

  • Device Type: 8-channel mixer/podcast production console
  • Operation Modes: USB (12-IN/4-OUT USB interface), SD card standalone
  • Channels/Connectivity: 6 x XLR-1/4'' combo inputs, 2 x1/4'' line inputs, 1 x 3.5mm TRRS mobile device input, 4 x 1/4'' headphone outputs

SubZero AI2 USB Audio Interface

SHOP NOW | SubZero AI2 USB Audio Interface

Accurate, clean recordings are made easy with the SubZero AI2 audio interface. With two XLR-1/4'' combo inputs complete with switchable phantom power, you can hook up a wide variety of microphones and line-level devices. Each channel lets you adjust the gain and switch inputs devices, and they both have handy clip LEDs so you can keep everything at the right level.

The AI2 simply connects via USB, and provides you with an effective way to capture and transfer your voice to your computer with studio-quality performance. There's also a handy 1/4'' headphone output that you can use to monitor your inputs with precision, whilst two XLR outputs on the back let you connect a pair of active speakers. And without the need for a power supply (the AI2 is powered via your computer's USB socket), you can turn any laptop into a portable studio in seconds. Perfect for portable podcasting.

  • Device Type: 2-channel USB audio interface
  • Operation Modes: USB (2-IN/2-OUT USB interface)
  • Channels/Connectivity: 2 x XLR-1/4'' combo inputs, 1 x 1/4'' headphone output

Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen)

SHOP NOW | Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen Audio Interface

Focusrite have dedicated years to creating the powerful audio interfaces for musicians, performers, and broadcasters. And the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) is their latest studio-grade solution that's a perfect fit for podcasters. With a single XLR mic inputs as well as an additional 1/4'' input, the Scarlett Solo features Focusrite's "best-sounding Scarlett mic preamp yet." You can enjoy phenomenal sound quality with an incredibly easy-to-use design. It's ideal for small-scale podcast setups where sound quality is key.

Switchable phantom power gives you the capabilities to make use of condensers as well as dynamic microphones. Whilst Focusrite's unique Air technology adds a classic sonic signature to your sound. And best of all, the Scarlett Solo can be up and running in minutes. Rapid USB-C connectivity and a simple but effective interface make recording your podcasts a breeze.

  • Device Type: 2-channel USB audio interface
  • Operation Modes: USB (2-IN/2-OUT USB interface)
  • Channels/Connectivity: 1 x XLR mic input, 1 x 1/4'' input, 1 x 1/4'' headphone output


No podcast setup is complete without a pair of good quality studio headphones. Headphones allow you to monitor sounds during recording, and mix sounds after you're done. This is useful for making sure the sound is balanced and as clear as possible, especially if you have multiple people in the podcast.

First and foremost, headphones need to be comfortable, and when it comes to comfort, nothing beats over-ear cans. These sit around your ears and many feature luxurious pads - perfect for the longest of sessions.

Over-ear headphones also have fantastic sound isolation. As well as keeping external sound out, they also keep sound inside the headphones too. This means you don't have to worry about feedback between your headphones and your microphone.

Here's a few suggestions that will help you get the most out of your podcast experience.

beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

SHOP NOW | Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro Headphones

There's nothing quite like the beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro headphones. Their luxurious comfort, exceptional isolation, and superior sound has meant that these over-ear cans have become the ultimate choice for industry professionals all over the world.

With their closed-back design, the DT 770 Pros keep your sound in, and external noise out. So you can enjoy that revered, signature sound of your headphones without interruptions. And what a sound it is...

From the deepest bass, to the uppermost treble bands, the DT 770 Pro headphones reproduce your sound with phenomenal clarity. And you can listen for longer thanks to ultra-soft ear and headband pads. Perfect for those long podcast recording sessions, and for listening to your favourite podcasts too!

SubZero SZ-MH200

SHOP NOW | SubZero SZ MH200 Headphones

High-quality sound, incredible comfort, and an astonishing price. The SubZero SZ-MH200 headphones give you everything you need to monitor and mix your podcasts without destroying your bank account. Over-ear, closed-back ear cups give you all the isolation you need, as well as enveloping you in comfort.

Their ergonomic design means you can wear the SZ-MH200s for even the longest of sessions without fatigue or pain. The lightweight headband features a clever non-slip design too, so they're not going to fall off your head if things start to get rowdy. If you're looking for a reliable, high-performance pair of headphones for your podcast setup, the SubZero SZ-MH200s are an excellent, budget-friendly choice.

Sennheiser HD 280 PRO II

SHOP NOW | Sennheiser HD 280 PRO II

With over half a century in the headphone game, it's safe to say that Sennheiser know a thing or two about making high-quality products. And the HD 280 PRO II headphones certainly prove that. Again, these headphones are closed-back with an over-ear design. That means you've got excellent isolation and comfort, making them perfect for podcast creation and more.

The ear cups themselves boast an ergonomic shape that fits perfectly around your ears too, adding to the already-exceptional comfort when you're wearing them.

These are perfect for portable podcasting too. An innovative collapsible design means you can fold them up and place them in your bag or case with ease. This not only makes them easier to fit inside your bag, but it also minimises the potential for damage when you're on the move.

Stands and studio arms

You're going to need something to hold your microphone. Some mics, particularly the USB variety, will often come with integrated desktop stands. These are perfect for keeping your microphone in position without taking up much space.

If you like that format, there's also a diverse range of desktop stands for mics without integrated stands. These just require you to fit your microphone's clip or stand mount to the top, giving you a compact and sturdy solution that will fit neatly in front of you.

But if you're looking for more flexibility, we recommend an adjustable studio arm. These are incredibly sturdy, and most can simply be clamped to the edge of your desk. They can sometimes take up a little more space than a standard tabletop stand, but they offer a wide variety of positioning options.

Have a look at some of our most popular podcast stands and arms below.

Gravity MST01B Table Top Microphone Stand

Simplicity at its best. With the Gravity MST01B, positioning your mic is quick and easy. It boasts a robust design with a sturdy cast-iron round base. This means your mic isn't going to topple over and ruin your recording or cause damage to the mic itself.

But it doesn't stop there. The base even features a handy rubber foot. This stops any vibrations from being picked up through the stand, and eventually through your microphone. It's these vibrations that can destroy your work without you even realising until it's too late.

Due to its compact design, the MST01B is perfect for placing on your desk or workspace, directly in front of you. All you need to do is screw your microphone clip or cradle on top, and you're all set.

Table Top Boom Mic Stand by Gear4music

If you're looking for a compact design, but you want a bit more flexibility with the position of your mic, the Table Top Boom Mic Stand by Gear4music is perfect. It has a fixed-height design, but it's also equipped with a handy adjustable boom.

This can be tilted up or down, and it can even be positioned further forward from the base or close to it. It still boasts a sturdy round metal base, and a small footprint to remain unobtrusive, but you can adjust your stand to find the perfect position for the perfect blend of comfort and performance.

Studio Arm Mic Stand by Gear4music

For maximum positioning options, a studio arm is the ultimate choice. And the Studio Arm Mic Stand by Gear4music puts all that flexibility in a highly affordable format.

This rugged studio arm can simply be fixed to the edge of your desk with the integrated clamp mechanism. It can accommodate desks and tables of varying thicknesses and will remain secure and stable until you decide to undo the clamp.

The arm can be extended to 70cm, so even if you're sat quite far away from the stand, it can reach. But that's not all. This high-quality arm offers full 360-degree rotation, so you can find the perfect position in seconds no matter where you're sat, stood, or crouched.

Complete packages

We've made it easy recording a podcast with these bundles. Simply add a laptop or computer and you'll be ready to record. Some bundles can even record standalone, without a computer, so you'll have everything you need straight out the box!

Our podcast packages accommodate almost any size of production - you can find some of the most popular ones below.

See all of our complete podcast packages here.

SubZero SZC-500-USB Podcasting Pack

SHOP NOW | SubZero SZC-500-USB Podcasting Pack

Easy-to-use with an ultra-compact footprint. The SubZero SZC-500-USB Podcasting Pack gives you the SubZero SZC-500-USB condenser microphone, a pair of SubZero SZ-MH200 closed-back headphones, and a handy table top microphone stand.

Because the microphone connects via USB, you don't need an audio interface or a mixer. Simply plug the mic into your computer, attach the included mic cradle to the stand, and monitor with confidence through the headphones.

This budget-friendly package is ideal for solo shows and newcomers to the podcasting world.

Rode RodeCaster Pro Bundle

SHOP NOW | Rode RodeCaster Pro Bundle

Step up your podcast game. With the Rode RodeCaster Pro Bundle, you have an entire podcast studio in a single package. With the extensive feature set of the RodeCaster Pro and the exceptional sound quality of the two Rode PodMics, you're all set to create high-quality podcasts in an instant.

This package also comes complete with two pairs of SubZero SZ-MH200 closed-back headphones for high-quality monitoring, and two XLR cables for connecting your PodMics to the RodeCaster Pro. You can mount and position your mics with ease thanks to the two included Gear4music Studio Arm mic stands too.

Zoom L8 Podcasting Bundle

SHOP NOW | Zoom L8 Podcasting Bundle

Want to expand? The Zoom L8 Podcasting Bundle is for you. With the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Mixer complete with two Rode PodMics, you can plug in and record incredible podcasts in an instant. The L-8 boasts a high channel count for adding even more microphones or devices into the mix too. So if you have regular guest appearances, extra hosts, or you just want the ability to grow your studio without having to invest in more mixers, this package is ideal.

The LiveTrak L-8 also features a vast range of powerful features and controls for sculpting your sound and capturing your creations. Whether you prefer to work standalone or with a computer, in your studio or on the move - the L8 Podcasting Bundle lets you create exactly the way you want to.

Tascam US-32 Podcasting Bundle

SHOP NOW | Tascam US-32 Podcasting Bundle

An elegant fusion of power and portability. With the Tascam US-32 Podcasting Bundle, you have everything you need to create high-quality content without sacrificing space. Featuring a Tascam US-32 MiNiSTUDIO audio interface, the legendary Rode PodMic, a pair of HP-210 headphones, a table top mic stand, and an XLR cable, you can be setup in seconds and ready to record.

The US-32 is an all-in-one broadcast interface that can be integrated with your favourite software, and even interfaced with iOS devices. It boasts a range of built-in DSP and effects, including equalisation, compression, reverb, and more, and even features a diverse range of connectivity. And it's all contained in one ultra-compact device that fits neatly into even the most space-restricted areas.

Taking things further

If you want to take your podcast setup to the next level, you can create a dedicated space for your creations. One of the best ways to achieve that is to make sure that the room itself sounds great. You can do this with a variety of different acoustic treatment methods. And if plosives are giving you trouble, you could try a handy external pop shield such as the SubZero Vocal Pop Shield.

Over to you

Hopefully you'll now have everything you need to start making your podcast. It's time to get recording, releasing, and making yourself heard!

Find out more | Podcasting Equipment at Gear4music

Posted on 20 Mar 2020 10:58 to category : Instruments News

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