The Best Budget Podcast Equipment Setup in 2021

Everything that you need to create your very own podcast on a tight budget.

Audio Creation
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7
 Min read
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March 8, 2021
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If you’re just starting out, choosing the right podcast recording equipment to buy can be tricky. There’s a lot of podcasting gear out there, but that doesn’t mean you should buy everything at once - your podcast equipment purchases can expand over time. 

Here is a list of everything that you need to create your very own podcast on a tight budget.

Covered in this article

Best gear to kickstart your podcast

  • Laptop
  • The best microphone for you
  • A reliable microphone stand
  • A pair of headphones
  • Headphone amplifier
  • Pop filter for clean audio
  • A soundproof recording space

Choosing the right software

  • Recording Software
  • Editing Software
  • Podcast / Website Hosting

The best budget setup

Summary

Best gear to kickstart your podcast

Laptop

First of all, you will need a laptop to record and edit your audio files. Any computer will do, as long as it has a USB port and a headphone socket. 

We recommend for first-time podcasters that your laptop has at least 8GB of RAM (memory). If you have plans to become a professional podcaster, a computer with 16GB of RAM would be a smarter investment. 

Now that we’ve got that part covered let’s move on to the next most important item of our list: a microphone.

The best microphone for you

A microphone is a necessity in any podcaster’s toolkit. To record professional-sounding audio, you need a mic that enhances your voice. Purchasing a microphone might sound expensive, but many affordable options deliver excellent performance.

USB mics are "plug and play" and work with both Macbook and Windows computers. They make recording new podcasts simple and straightforward without you having to be an audio engineer.

We recommend USB Desktop Microphone.

A reliable microphone stand

To avoid having to continuously adjust your microphone position and making a lot of unwanted noises, you will need a stand. A microphone stand is an excellent addition to your setup as it lifts your show’s quality and protects your gear simultaneously.

Below are two great stands that we think you will appreciate.

Table Stand, Arm Stand.

To detect any problems in your audio recording, you need to be able to hear it while it’s being recorded. For that, you’ll need the right pair of headphones.

A pair of headphones

Headphones are essential to prevent you from making mistakes and having to record retakes. They help you determine whether there are any unwanted noises or if the audio is acceptable. It can be a little strange to hear yourself speaking live through the microphone first, but you get used to it. 

Closed-back headphones are highly recommended to record podcasts. The earbuds that you already own probably aren’t good enough. AirPods are a no-no for many reasons, including connectivity issues.

Avoid using open-back headphones for recording because your microphone will pick up the sound coming out of the headphones, reducing your audio quality.

We recommend Samson SR350 Closed-back headphones.

Now that you are all set, you’re going to want to offer your guests and co-hosts a proper setup as well.

Headphone amplifier

If you want to have several podcast hosts and guests in the same physical space, a headphone amp is needed so that each person can have a pair of headphones. It's like a headphone splitter and amplifier all in one.

Recommended headphone amplifier: Behringer HA400 (you’re going to need a TRS cable to hook it up)

Pop filter for clean audio

Pop filters were created to prevent plosives (the pop sounds you make while you are speaking) by adding a filter layer that slows the airspeed. Musicians and podcasters swear by them as they tend to improve audio sound without adjusting the way someone speaks. 

Without a pop filter, your podcast episodes may contain plosive pops and ultimately degrade your sound quality.

Here’s the one we recommend: Neewer.

A soundproof recording space

Avoid the cost of buying more equipment by choosing the right room to record in; try not to choose big rooms that have lots of flat surfaces. You could record in a closet and use coats to absorb unwanted sounds. Alternatively, you can fill a space with soft furnishings, cover the floors with rugs, close the curtains and stand up some mattresses so that there is less room for reverb. 

Choosing the right software

Recording Software

Zoom

You’re probably familiar with Zoom since it is commonly used for online meetings worldwide. It may come as a surprise that the audio quality it offers can match that of professional audio recording software. Zoom also has an option to record audio locally (called a double-ender recording, in the industry), which protects you from internet connectivity issues. Best of all, it’s a free application that might already be installed on your phone or computer!

Rumble Studio

If the pressure of recording live conversations isn’t your thing, then consider recording asynchronously with Rumble Studio. You avoid scheduling issues and save time, and it makes editing and sharing your audio super simple too. Of course, we’re biased here, so you be the judge!

Editing Software

Once you’ve recorded your audio conversation, you may need to edit it to remove unwanted parts and just keep the best bits. 

Audacity 

Audacity is a free cross-platform audio recorder and editor. It is very commonly used in the world of podcasting and has a lot of special features. It is more than enough if you're a first-time podcaster or even if you're a professional. It is regularly updated and should work with all the latest versions of macOS and Windows.

Podcast / Website Hosting

After you record and edit your podcast episode, you will need a place to upload it and make it available for people as a public podcast. Hosts often provide things like download analytics and sharing tools.

Anchor

Anchor is completely free and is tightly integrated with Spotify. The downside is that it is not ideal for businesses; you don't own your feed URL or your Apple Podcasts account, and they have the right to redistribute your content elsewhere.

The best budget podcast setup

Estimated total price range: $40 to $70

Summary

Anyone and everyone can create a podcast; you just have to find a topic that interests you and your audience. It doesn’t matter whether you are recording in a studio or your bedroom; as long as you have the necessary tools, you can create a podcast that sounds great.

After all, podcasts are very trendy right now, and perhaps a lot of people around you are launching their own. It’s understandable, considering that podcasting offers the opportunity to both be heard and to use your voice for something that matters to you.

Maybe it’s not for everyone, but try to create at least one episode and see how it turns out. You could even rent the equipment if you’re not sure that you’re going to carry on with it. The important thing is to take that first step! 

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