Podcasting hardware setup

3 minute read (700 words)

Current recording/playback setup

  • Samson Q2U cardiod XLR/USB Microphone ~ £90
    • USB means no need for a mixer or XLR adapter thing.
    • Seems to be the best price/quality balance for me.
    • The cardiod effect is pretty good, greatly reducing input of noises from elsewhere, especially if you talk really close to it (which I don’t).
  • Proel RSM180 Microphone stand with boom ~ £34
    • Because standing desk, plus the Samson mic doesn’t isolate vibrations from the desk if it’s on a desk mount.
  • AKORD Microphone Swivel Pop Filter ~ £5
    • Because all the cool kids have one, and it was cheap. No idea if I really need it. Edit: yes I do, breathing on the mics and hard “P”s really do create a bass boom without it as the rush of air hits the mic.
  • Some old philips bluetooth headphones connected with a real headphone cable to the line out on the back of the Samson mic. I only use this for recording to avoid feedback from speakers. It has a feedback of your own voice which is disconcerting and nice in equal measure. For conference calls zoom and teams seem to do a decent job of cutting out the feedback, and I use mute a lot anyway so I don’t bother with the headphones.
  • The tiny and highly capable Nobsound G3 2 Channel Bluetooth 5.0 Power Amplifier 100W hifi amp, driving a pair of bookshelf Kefs for editing, music and conference calls.
  • Wharfedale Diamond SW150 Subwoofer hiding at the back, because frequencies below 100Hz are important too.





Everything else


photo of standing desk

Also-ran hardware

I started with a Jabra Evolve 65 wireless headset (~£130 because covid prices) but that heavily processes voice so while it’s great for conference calls it’s not good for anything beyond your third episode as people will unsubscribe just for the sound quality. Still use them for on the go conference calls and phone calls, and occasionally music (though my phone’s bluetooth is currently borked). They eventually also snapped after being thrown in a bag too often, so now I have a…

Jabra Evolve2 65 headset, which I use for conference calls (and it’s great for that), especially out and about, but which is also too heavily processed to be suitable for recording high quality podcast audio.

I tried a Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone (~£75) next, but that picks up everything even in it’s alleged cardioid mode. It did make a good recording of some thunder until the kids talked over it in excitement! You could use this if you have a very quiet environment.

Out of my price range

Some of my friends who take it more seriously splashed out on a Shure SM7B XLR Mic at a mere £389, and you have to by an XLR mixer to run it. I have to say they sound lurvely, and when they knock it you hardly hear it so it’s got excellent vibration isolation built in.

You could also look at the Shure MV7 USB Microphone which has USB as well as XLR so you wouldn’t need a mixer. That’s £250 currently. Presumably it’s also got Shure’s excellent sound and vibration isolation, though I haven’t got one, so let me know if you get one!

See also

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