On this page, I've listed my top picks for podcasting gear and related services. I've spent years buying and testing products from different vendors so you don't have to. The lists below represent the best-of-the-best. Hopefully, this page will save you time and money. I recommend you bookmark it for future reference.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you click them and purchase a product or service from one of these vendors, I receive a small commission. Whether you purchase through these links or directly from the vendors themselves, you pay the same price. I only recommend products and services I have used myself. And I only recommend products and services I believe you will get value from. You should only purchase these products if you need them, if you can afford them and if they will help you reach your online goals.
HostGator: I use HostGator for all my websites. They’re reliable, affordable and easy to set up. If you’re just getting started online, I highly recommend them as a first web host. HostGator has plans for all budgets and you can upgrade your plan as your web traffic and needs grow. They’re my top pick for web hosts.
ActiveCampaign: If you’ve been online for any period of time, you’ve likely heard of email service providers (ESPs) such as MailChimp, Aweber and ConstantContact. ActiveCampaign is the new kid on the block. I’ve checked out almost all of the top ESPs and decided on ActiveCampaign because: a) their entry-level plan is very affordable and b) their email automation is the best-of-the-best. My top pick for email service provider!
Pretty Link Pro: This is one of the coolest things you can imagine. It allows you not only to create shorter and easier-to-remember links to web pages (i.e. not just your own but any page on the web) but it also allows you to track clicks to those pages. It’s not expensive and is a hugely valuable tool once you start marketing your podcast.
GIK Acoustics: A few years ago, I took the plunge and installed GIK Acoustics bass traps in my office / studio. They turned a terrible sounding room into a great-sounding room overnight. I’m not an affiliate of GIK Acoustics but I am a big fan. Their pre-sales support was tremendous. I had at least 20 email exchanges with them before making a purchase and they were very patient and helpful in every email. GIK is my top pick for acoustic treatments. (PS: Here’s the the link to a blog post comparing my living room to my treated studio. If this doesn’t convince you bass traps make a difference, nothing will!)
Shure SM7B: This is one of the grand-daddies of broadcasting and podcasting. Any time you see a radio studio in movies or on TV, look carefully — you’ll likely see this microphone everywhere. Some popular users of the SM7B include:
- Michael Jackson – On the Thriller album.
- Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers) – In the documentary film Funky Monks.
- James Hetfield (Metallica) – In the documentary film, Some Kind Of Monster.
- Robin Quivers – Co-host of the Howard Stern Show.
- Marc Maron – Host of the famous podcast WTF with Marc Maron.
Needless to say, it’s a popular mic. It requires a good, powerful preamp. But if it’s within your budget, you won’t be disappointed.
Audio-Technica ATR2100: For me, this is one of the most surprising finds. For a long time, I was dead set against USB microphones. That was, until I heard a podcaster comparing it to a much more expensive mic. I was blown away. Expensive microphones have their place. But if you’re just starting out in podcasting and your budget is limited, give this puppy some serious consideration. I own it myself and it amazes me every time I use it!
Heil Sound PR 40: The PR 40 is a terrific microphone. In the past couple of years, it’s become very popular among podcasters. It’s not a cheap mic but it sounds terrific, is built to last and won’t disappoint you.
INTERFACES & RECORDERS
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2: The 2i2 is an inexpensive but solid, reliable USB interface. Plug this puppy into your computer and you’re up and running in no time.
Tascam DR-100mkii: If you’re starting out and have to choose between an interface and a recorder, this is the recorder I recommend. You can use it in the studio and on the road. I own this one myself and it’s never let me down. Good preamps — can easily drive either an SM7B or a PR 40. It has a built-in rechargeable battery AND also takes 2 AAs. Get this — it magically switches from one battery source to the other when the power runs low. Never ruin a take.
Pop Filter: No ands, ifs or buts… You definitely need a pop filter. This is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to make your podcast recordings sound more professional. Plosives (i.e. ‘P’ sounds) against an unprotected microphone are something you only hear from amateurs who don’t know better. Don’t let you microphone go unprotected. And at less that $20, don’t even try to talk yourself out of it. Get one today!
Desk Stand: Don’t even think about holding a microphone in your hand while you record. The sound of your hand fidgeting on the microphone body will end up on your recording. And everyone listening will think you can’t afford an inexpensive desk stand. And they’ll laugh at you. You won’t hear them. But they’ll laugh. Also, your arm will get tired. And that’s the real problem. That and the laughing. Don’t risk it. Get one of these today.
Headphones: You probably think one of two things: a) I don’t need to monitor my voice through headphones when I record — I can hear myself just fine OR b) I’ll just use my iPhone earbuds — they’re all I need. Don’t. Just don’t. Not monitoring your recording through proper headphones is like driving a car with your eyes closed. Except it’s a little less dangerous. Take my advice. Be safe. Wear headphones.
DAW SOFTWARE & PLUGINS
Audacity: Audacity was created by some very smart people — a professor and a team of graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University. It’s free and available for Windows, Mac and Linus operating systems. It’s fairly easy to use. If you’re starting out and you’re on a tight budget, definitely download it and give it a try.
GarageBand: If you own an Apple computer, you likely already have GarageBand ready to go. If not, you can download it for free HERE. Because it was made by the good people at Apple, it’s intuitive and easy to use. A number of people use GarageBand to create podcasts so you’ll find a lot of tutorials online if you need help. Definitely a good choice for a beginner looking to start podcasting on the cheap!
Music Creator: Being a Windows guy, this is my go-to software when I record and edit using my laptop. It’s inexpensive (i.e. just $50) and offers a lot of functionality free software doesn’t. I’ve been a Cakewalk customer for over 20 years and their products get better and better every year. Music Creator is my top recommendation for the beginning podcaster who’s committed and doesn’t mind spending a little to invest in their show.
Melda Free Plugin Bundle: Plugins are small add-on pieces of software that extend the functionality of your DAW. They tend to do things like EQ, Compression, Limiting, Gating, etc. Once you’re familiar with the production techniques I teach in the Free Podcast Mastery Course (you’ve already enrolled, right?), you’ll want to experiment with some higher-quality plugins. This Melda bundle is exactly where you want to start. It’s free. It contains 25 plugins. And it’s available for download right now. For free.