Best Portable Podcast Equipment in 2020

A podcast is the best way to let your voice be heard amongst thousands of people. It’s a great way to communicate with your audience, and the popularity of podcasts is only going upwards. 

According to reports, 51% of the American population, above the age of 12 listen to podcasts regularly, which explains why it has become such a sought-after way of content creation. Podcasts are less resource-intensive compared to other forms of content creation such as video production etc. 

It is essential to have the right equipment with you to increase your audience and grab listeners’ attention. Proper equipment ensures good audio quality, which will enhance the audience’s listening experience. Choosing the right equipment can be a very daunting task. It is crucial to invest in the right equipment. 

You shouldn’t let your equipment restrict you from recording in just your studio or house. Sometimes, you need to record podcasts on the go, especially when you have an important guest. That is why we have compiled this guide of the best portable podcast equipment for you.

Before we dive into the different products available, let’s look at the most necessary podcasting equipment you need. 

Must-have podcast equipment

Microphone and Accessories

You just can’t record high-quality audio without a good microphone. This is an essential item for your podcasts. Never use your computer’s built-in microphone. You’ll find two types of microphones available in the market – USB and XLR. 

A USB microphone is the easiest to get started with, as you can plug it into your computer and get started. If you have multiple people on your podcast or need more flexibility, then you will need a microphone with an XLR output.

An XLR microphone has a three-pronged connection and required an audio interface to connect with a computer. These are more expensive than a USB microphone but produce audio of superior quality. 

In addition to the microphone, it is also recommended that your purchase accessories such as an adjustable mic stand, shock mount, windshield, and pop filter. A pop filter helps remove raspy sounds, and the shock mount and windshield protect from sudden movements and vibrations. 

Audio Interface

An audio interface is a bridge between your microphone and your PC.  It is an analog-to-digital converter with multiple inputs and output channels and is used to connect an XLR mic to a computer. An audio interface isn’t required unless you are using an XLR microphone. 

Mixer

A mixer is similar to an audio interface and gives you more control over audio levels, inputs, outputs, etc. You can add various sound effects, audio transitions, equalization, and musical instruments using a mixer. 

The most significant advantage of this device is that it reduces the need for post-processing of audio. However, an audio mixer often complicates the recording process and is also quite time-consuming to set up. 

Therefore, if you plan to move around a lot when recording your podcast, it might be useful to leave the mixer behind. But if you record in a studio often, then a mixer is a fantastic addition to your kit. 

Digital Recorder

A digital recorder records different audio signals and stores them in the form of digital files. It is crucial to select a compact and lightweight recorder that lets you connect to multiple input devices. 

If you’re doing interviews on the streets, then a digital recorder is your best friend. You can always whip out your phone and start recording, but a digital recorder will give you more flexibility and better audio quality. 

Most smartphones also won’t let you connect external USB or XLR microphones, but this isn’t the case with a digital recorder. It is vital to keep a portable recorder handy in case you face any adverse situations. 

Headphones and Accessories

Headphones help you monitor audio in real-time and prevent many mistakes and retakes. It can be weird to hear yourself live at first, but you will quickly settle in after a few days. You don’t want to record an hour-long interview only to realize that the background noise has overpowered the vocals, right?

There are different headphones available in the market with varying price ranges. We recommend that you buy a pair of closed-back on-ear headphones to prevent sound from leaking into the recorded audio. Also, look for collapsible headphones to fit into your travel case. 

When you have several hosts, you can supply each pair of headphones with its dedicated amplifier. Amplifiers let each guest adjust the output audio levels according to their preference.

Laptops

What’s the use of recording podcasts on the go if you can’t edit them right afterward and upload them? You also have to transfer your audio files from the recorder and take multiple backups, which is why a laptop is an essential item. 

When looking for a laptop, look carefully at its specification such as RAM, internal memory, CPU speed, battery life, etc. and make sure that it is light and easy to carry around. 

Essential Portable Podcast Equipment in 2020

Microphones

  1. Audio Technica ATR-2100x 
Audio Technica ATR-2100x

This handheld dynamic microphone has both USB and XLR outputs. Priced at $99, this is one of the most versatile microphones and has impeccable sound isolation. It also has a built-in headphone jack that lets you monitor the audio in real-time.


  1. Blue Yeti Blackout Microphone Kit
Blue Yeti Blackout Microphone Kit

The Blue Yeti is an excellent option at a reasonable price if you’re looking for an all-in-one mic kit. The mic features multiple pattern selection and has built-in volume and gain controls. It is a plug-and-play mic along with which you also get a mic stand, adjustable boom arm, pop filter, and a pair of headphones.


Digital Recorders

  1. Zoom H6
Zoom H6

The Zoom H6 is a six-track digital recorder than ensures superior quality audio. The recorder has two interchangeable built-in mics and also has a power supply for condenser mics. It is an excellent choice because it weighs less than 10 ounces, making it an extremely portable device. 

The device does come with a high price point, so this may be a good investment for pros but not beginners. 


  1. Olympus Linear PCM Recorder Black (LS-P4)
Olympus Linear PCM Recorder

This device features three high-quality built-in microphones and seven pre-programmed recording scenes. It also weighs less than 3 ounces, making it very suitable for a portable kit. Beginners may find this device a good investment as it has a more reasonable price point than other products available in the market.


Headphones

  1. Audio Technica ATH M50-X
Audio Technica ATH M50-X

These headphones are collapsible and have detachable cables, making it one of the most suitable headphones for a portable podcasting kit. It does an excellent job of eliminating background noise and replication of the audio without any additional warmth. The price is reasonable for beginners to invest in. 


  1. Panasonic RPHJE120 in-ear headphones
Panasonic RPHJE120 in-ear headphones

On-ear headphones are usually recommended when it comes to podcasting. But they can be bulky and not suitable to wear for more extended periods. If you’re looking for good quality in-ear headphones, then these Panasonic ones are perfect. They’re also extremely affordable, making them a popular choice for many.


Laptops

  1. Apple Macbook Pro 13’’
Apple Macbook Pro 13

The Apple Macbook Pro is quite pricey but is definitely worth the money. The device features a quad-core 8th Gen Intel i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and offers up to 10 hours of battery backup. It weighs less than 3 pounds and is truly an excellent device for both audio and video editing. 


  1. Asus Zenbook UX331UA
Asus Zenbook UX331UA

If you are a beginner and do not want to spend money on a device as expensive as the MacBook, then Asus Zenbook is an excellent option for you. This reasonably priced option has all the MacBook features and has an ultra-slim body, making it a perfect portable device. 


Miscellaneous Items

It is also vital to purchase the right accessories for your equipment. The most important is a protective case for storing and carrying your gear. Two of the best options are the Lowepro Pro Runner BP 450 AW II and Zoom PCF-8n Protective Case. 

Also, remember to carry spare XLR cables, SD cards, and extra batteries with you. You never know when an emergency pops up, so it is good to be prepared beforehand for such situations. 

Conclusion

Podcasts are the new trend right now, and it seems like everyone is hopping on it. If you want to stand out, you need to provide your audience with engaging content delivered with high-quality audio. 

You might have to be on the move to accommodate guests on your podcasts, which is why having a travel-friendly portable kit is essential. We hope this guide has helped you decide what equipment you need when on the road and what to buy. 

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