This guide will go over three of the best microphones you can get for your podcast/streaming purposes. This guide will cover the best budgets for getting a good mic, as going below a certain point would be counterproductive. With so many options out there on the market, it can get quite confusing about which one to pick and whether it is the right choice to go for. In this guide, we will help you make a better decision in that regard.

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Audio Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone

Shure SM7B

Rode Procaster

Mic types: Condenser vs. Dynamic?

Condenser mics generally pick up more sound than Dynamic ones, which could be a pro or a con to you depending on your usage scenario. If you find yourself in a quiet environment that does not have much going on around it, then a condenser mic would be better for you.

Dynamics microphones generally pick up less sound. You could use it in an environment with a lot going on and set the range at which sound is picked up depending on your sound mixer gain. Another critical thing to note is that most condenser mics require phantom power (48 V) to operate. In contrast, dynamic mics don’t need it.

Audio Technica AT2020

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Side address (sound is picked up from the side)
  • Sound quality holds up very well for its price
  • Offers a USB version
  • Amazing build quality for the price

Cons:

  • First came out in 2002
  • Requires phantom power

The Audio Technica AT2020 has been a favorite of the home podcasting/streaming community. It offers impressive performance for the price. It manages to keep up with the higher-end mics that cost twice or as much as 4 times its price!

With that being said, that does not mean that it does not have some drawbacks. The fact it came out in 2002 feels kinda weird, even when considering that it is still in production and the one you get was probably made in the last year or so. Still, this is a witness to its sound quality and build material.

The mic has a cardioid polar pattern, a frequency response of 20-20,000 Hz, a sensitivity of -37 dB, and a maximum input level of 144 dB at 1 kHz. As for the USB, this version is generally a brutal version of the AT2020 to find, but it is perfect for those who only want a new mic without buying a sound mixer/card. As for the build quality, it comes with a metal body with a nice cold-metal finish.

The mic itself comes with a soft protective pouch and threaded adapter for different mic mounts. The mic can also come as a part of a set with a headphone included with it (ATH-M20X, to be specific), alongside a desk-mounted mic stand, which offers excellent value for the money.

Rode Procaster

Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • A well-known mic with a good brand and reputation
  • Dynamic
  • Does not require phantom power
  • Front address
  • Comes with a solid carrying pouch
  • 10-year warranty
  • Amazing build quality
  • Internal shock mount and pop filter

Cons:

  • Price
  • Came out in 2004

Generally speaking, the Rode Procaster and Podcaster are in the same family of mics, which means that the Podcaster is another good option to investigate. However, we will look at the Procaster in this guide and highlight its best features.

The Procaster has some pretty impressive specs. It comes with a cardioid polar pattern, a frequency range between 75-18000 Hz, an output impedance of 320 Ohms, and a -56 dB sensitivity. The Rode Procaster is a classic among the home podcasting, streaming, and music recording community.

It has seen use in all these different scenarios. It can be used for all your streaming and podcasting needs, instrument recording, and for vocals too. This is one of the two dynamic mics we will be talking about in this guide, so it is essential to consider. The mic does not require phantom power, which is excellent for those who do not have a costly sound card. Still, ideally, it would be best to pair this mic with a good quality sound card, especially when considering its price.

The nice thing about this mic is the fact that it comes with a 10-year warranty, which allows you to use it for a long time, knowing that even if something happens to it, the warranty will cover it (to an extent). Note that in order to get this 10-year warranty, you need to register the product on the rode website. In conclusion, the Procaster is a great option to explore if you are in the market for something that gets the job done well without costing the same price as some higher-end models.

Shure SM7B

Pros:

  • Comes with an additional windscreen
  • The gold standard when it comes to build quality
  • Extra control options at the back of the mic
  • Internal air suspension system
  • Natural sound profile
  • Superb background noise reduction

Cons:

  • Price
  • Quiet

This next mic has become an integral part of the home studio community. It has gained a reputation for its versatility and its superb quality. The mic comes with great specs, including being a dynamic mic, which means that it does not require phantom power. It also comes with a frequency range from 50 to 20000 Hz and an impedance of 150 Ohm. It has a sensitivity of -59 dB, making it one of the more sensitive microphones on this list.

It also comes with an internal air suspension, which means that it does not need an external shock absorber. It also comes with an integrated pop filter, which means you do not need an external pop filter. The mic comes with a natural sound profile, but that can be very easily edited on the fly, using the dedicated switching options found at the back of the mic. As the mic is a dynamic mic, it comes with excellent background noise reduction, which has also been the cause for one of its cons: it is a little on the quiet end when it comes to general audio levels.

The extra switches at the back offer bass roll-off, mid-range emphasis, and the switches being slotted response selector switches. It also comes with different swivel assembly adapters for maximum compatibility.

XLR Microphone Info

What is XLR?

XLR is professional audio. It’s what you see singers on stage and radio professionals use. XLR cables carry balanced audio giving the best possible sound quality. If you are using one of the microphones recommended above you will also need XLR cables and an audio mixer in your setup. The audio mixer sends the signal to your computer.

What Do I Need To Setup An XLR Microphone For Streaming?

  • Microphone
  • XLR Cable
  • Audio Interface
  • Computer

You will need all of these components to get your microphone setup up and running. After the microphone the most important piece of kit is the audio interface. You need an audio interface to connect your microphone to your computer.

A good option for an affordable Microphone setup is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface. This allows you to connect you microphone to the audio interface which then connects to your computer via USB.

Focusrite 2i2 Audio Interface

  • Affordable
  • Connects via USB
  • 2 Pre Amps
  • Phantom Power

Another great option is the GO XLR which is an audio interface made specifically for streamers. It allows you to control 4 audio channels on the mixer so you can adjust voice, game and chat volume on the fly. It also has some cool features to brighten up your stream like the 8 different vocal effects allowing you to adjust your voice.

Go XLR Mixer

  • Made specifically with streamers in mind
  • Comes with XLR cables
  • 4 Audio Channels
  • Voice Changing effects

Conclusions

In conclusion, mics are an essential upgrade to your overall sound setup. It allows you to deliver a noticeable upgrade to the quality of your stream/podcast. Hopefully this article has helped you choose a great microphone for your stream. Your audience will definitely notice and appreciate the upgrade in your setup!

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Author

James is a marketer by day and gamer by night. He loves sharing his Marketing background in the world of streaming. When he's not working on campaigns he's likely to be spotted in Verdansk.

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