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What is the Best Microphone for a Podcast?

Many people have asked us what our choice of microphone is for recording a podcast. The answer is two-fold. The reason is it is two-fold is because we record both in our home studios and on the road. Hands down, the best quality is obtained with the Shure SM7B. The Blue Yeti USB Microphone is the best choice if you’re moving around.

Buy the Blue Yeti USB Microphone if it’s your first microphone.

The Blue Yeti USB Microphone was my first microphone and it took me a while to maximize it’s potential. It really makes no sense to jump straight into a Shure SM7B o equivalent microphone if you can squeeze sound quality with accessories and most importantly your environment.

One of the great things about the Yeti is its multi-mode versatility. It has multiple pattern selection – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo. It also allows you to directly connect headphones to the microphone to monitor without any lag. Another useful feature is the mechanical mute button.

The sound quality recording with a Blue Yeti can be greatly improved with three accessories: The stand, the pop filter, and the shock mount.

The above accessories are a must if you are already spending the money on a mic like the Blue Yeti. However, the single biggest factor in improving the sound quality of my recording was improving the acoustics of the room.

Buy the Shure SM7B Microphone once you have mastered your environment.

The Shure SM7B is a superb mic that can take your recording to the next level. However, you need the right setup to take advantage of its capability and sound quality. If you have a limited budget I suggest targeting accessories and the acoustics of the room first.

One of the big differences between the Shure SM7B and the Blue Yeti USB Microphone is that the Shure requires a sound mixer such as the XENYX 1202FX. you can view this as a disadvantage because it’s not as quick and direct as using the plug and play Blue Yeti USB Microphone with basic physical controls right on the mic. However, the mixer allows you to refine the sound and apply basic filters. The mixes will be a must if you’re recording with multiple microphones in the same room.

In summary, go with the Blue Yeti USB Microphone if you’re starting out and are looking for a quality recording with little fuzz. Go with the Shure SM7B if you already have some experience under your belt and are committed to focusing on much more than the microphone to obtain a professional-grade recording.

Jose J. Ruiz
Jose J. Ruiz
Jose Ruiz serves as Alder Koten’s Chief Executive Officer providing vision, strategic direction and the roadmap for the firm’s future. He is a recruiter involved in executive search work focused on board members, CEOs and senior-level executives; and consulting engagements related to leadership and organizational effectiveness helping clients create thriving cultures. An important part of his time is spent on research work focused on organizational effectiveness centered on leadership and culture. Prior to joining Alder Koten, Jose was a Principal with Heidrick & Struggles’ Global Industrial Practice based in Houston, TX and Monterrey, Mexico. His professional experience also includes leadership positions in engineering and operations management for manufacturing organizations in the US and Mexico. This experience includes serving as vice president and general manager at Holley Performance Products. Jose holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from the Instituto Technologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. He is fluent in English and Spanish.
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