So after months of talking about it, you’ve finally decided to start a podcast. You may have a clever show title or lined up an impressive first guest, but what you don’t have is the podcast equipment to make it happen.
If you’re looking for podcast equipment for beginners, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll break down the minimum gear you need to launch a podcast and how you can expand your gear as your show grows.
Trust us, the Foundr Podcast with Nathan Chan and From Zero to Foundr Podcast have combined over 88,000 downloads per month. But this reach from our podcast network didn’t happen overnight. We started right where you are, with a podcast idea, a goal to reach an audience, and a passion for recording.
Disclaimer: Be Wary of Podcast Equipment Absolutes
Before you start spending your hard-earned cash on microphones and editing software, be wary of the subjective opinions of podcasting equipment.
Just like guitarists squabble about amplifiers or gear heads defending their preferred oil brands, so too does podcast gear fall under the strain of user preference. You should be wary of absolutes when shopping for podcast gear. Opinions like “Only real podcasters use this mic” or “This brand above all others” are foolish to listen to at this stage of your journey.
Podcasting is still a young medium with room for creativity. Some of the most successful podcasts began with a simple equipment setup. What made them successful was the content, not the equipment.
Dropping $1,000 on professional microphones will make you sound legit, but if your podcast doesn’t offer value to an audience, then your gear is as good as a Lamborghini sitting in your garage that you never drive.
Using his experience as a public speaker, Rob hit record and started talking. He didn’t have a fancy microphone or audio producer, but what Rob lacked in a professional setup he made up for with an engaged audience and powerful words.
Focus on what words are coming out of your mouth, not the equipment that’s recording them.
With that disclaimer, check out our equipment recommendations to get you started making the best podcast possible.
4 Equipment Bundles for Podcasting Beginners
Before you jump to product links and start adding to the cart, ask yourself about the theme of your podcast and where you want it to go. The structure of your show will determine what podcasting equipment you need. Ask yourself:
- Will I have a co-host?
- Will I have a consistent space to record?
- Will I be conducting in-person or remote interviews?
- Will I need additional post-production editing (sound effects, music, audio clips)?
- Will I need to record in the field (outside of a recording studio or space)?
Now that you’ve thought through your podcast’s structure, you’ll be better suited to start with one of the 4 podcast bundles below (estimated dollars in USD).
The Beginners Bundle ($100-$200)
If you’re starting a podcast to expand your brand’s reach or want to build connections by interviewing experts in your field, then this is the setup for you. It’s affordable, tech-friendly, and can get you started podcasting ASAP.
- Type of Podcast: A basic remote interview show, advice show, or solo opinions.
- Recording Space: As a beginner, you’ll need a minimal setup to record your voice or remote interview. All you need is a laptop, internet connection, and a place to record with low ceilings and preferably carpeted flooring.
- Hosting Platforms: Your website’s RSS feed or podcast plugin (free), Libsyn basic plan ($5 per month)
- Editing Software: Audacity (free), GarageBand (free for Apple users)
- Microphones: AirPods, phone recorder, Audio Technica AT2020 ($99), Blue Yeti Mic ($133)
- Interview Tools: Google Meetings or Zoom Pro ($8 p/m)
Additionally, you’ll need to ensure that your RSS feed (the URL that joins your podcast from a host to an app) connects to the leading podcasting apps.
Some paid hosting platforms will automatically do this step for you. But if you want to save costs and bootstrap your podcast, you’ll need to copy and paste your RSS feed into podcast apps. Here’s a list of the top podcast apps that you’ll want to create an account for and link your podcast to:
If this seems too complicated, all-in-one podcast platforms like Anchor.fm have simplified the creation experience even more. Do your research before you commit. Most of these tools require a hefty monthly fee, and you’ll lose levels of independence (and sometimes ownership) as a creator.
The Pro-Level Bundle ($300-$500)
Are you the type of person that skips a show’s title sequence on Netflix? If yes, then this bundle is for you. The podcast equipment here will immediately make your podcast feel professional and polished. The up-front investment may seem pricey, but you won’t have to worry about upgrading the gear in 6 months once your podcast takes off.
- Type of Podcast: A co-host show, in-person and remote interviews, additional audio effects, and audio clips.
- Recording Space: To produce high-fidelity audio for your interviews or co-host recordings, you’ll need a space that can handle multiple people and doesn’t have background noise. A traditional office or meeting room with low ceilings will suffice (beware of loft spaces, wood floors, and exposed beams). Also, most local libraries have small soundproof rooms that you can rent for free, and they’re generally known for minimizing background noise.
- Hosting Platforms: Libsyn Pro plans ($15-40 p/m), Soundcloud ($12 p/m), PodBean ($14 p/m)
- Editing Software: Adobe Audition ($20.99 p/m), Avid Pro Tools ($29.99 p/m)
- Microphones: Samson C01 ($80), Shure SM58 ($99), Rode Podcaster Mic ($230)
- Audio Interface: Now that you’re using XLR microphones, you’ll need an external recorder or audio interface to record the audio. The Behringer Xenyx 1002B ($59), M-Audio M-Track Duo USB Audio Interface ($69), or Mackie Mix8 8-channel Compact Mixer ($89) is perfect for a co-host setup.
- Microphone Stands: Since you’re likely recording at a desk with a co-host, make sure you have a solid microphone stand like Auray TT-6220 ($13) or a boom stand like the On Stage MS7701B ($38).
- Headphones: A quality pair of headphones with a cord (no Bluetooth headphones) are helpful when you have a co-host or need to interview a guest remotely.
- Interview Tools: Zoom Pro ($8 p/m), Riverside.fm ($8 p/m)
Riverside.fm is a new solution to remote podcasting. Essentially you can produce an entire show (including editing) remotely using the tool.
If you’re not planning to have any in-person interviews for your podcast then Riverside is a clear winner for kicking off your podcast production. The platform will produce higher-quality audio than a Zoom recording and also makes it easy to export promotional video from your recording.
The Storyteller Bundle ($500-$700)
The talk show format is one of the most popular podcast styles because all you need to do is get more than one person in a room (or virtual room) and hit record. But what if you’re looking to tell a more in-depth story?
Maybe you’re planning to create the next Serial, record “man-on-the-street” interviews, or include soundscapes from events? This bundle will give your podcast legs so you can have the flexibility to tell stories like a BBC Radio journalist.
- Type of Podcast: Storytelling, investigative, or event-based.
- Recording Space: A mixture of “in the field” and “in the booth.” For voice overs, you’ll need a small space to record, like a closet, small office, or use an isolation filter ($130) to provide a professional feel.
- Audio Interface: The Zoom H6 Handy Recorder ($350)
- Hosting Platforms: See pro-level bundle
- Editing Software: See pro-level bundle
- Microphones: Shure Shure MV7 ($250), Shure SM7B ($400)
- Microphone Stands: See pro-level bundle
- Headphones: Sony MDR-7506 Professional Headphones ($100)
- Interview Tools: See pro-level bundle
The Outsource Bundle ($800-$1000 +)
As an entrepreneur, time is your greatest resource. Starting a podcast is a significantly cheaper marketing channel than video or social media ads. Still, it requires just as much time and creative energy—especially if you want your podcast to stand out.
This bundle is if you want to start a podcast but don’t have the technical skills or team bandwidth to generate a consistent show.
- Type of Podcast: Interview style with heavy post-production edits.
- Outsourcing: The heavy lift in starting a podcast is in the production. That includes recording, technical support, editing, and optimizing uploads to platforms. A contractor should take up a majority of your podcast budget. Podcast producers and editors range in pricing and quality. We suggest budgeting $30-60 per hour or $200 – $400 per episode, depending on how much you have them contribute.
- Recording Space: Rent a studio space or outfit a meeting room with sound-damping panels ($60 each) and studio foam ($150-$250).
- Audio Interface: Behringer U-Phoria ($169), Zoom PodTrak P4 ($220), Zoom PodTrack 8 ($550)
- Hosting Platforms: See pro-level bundle
- Editing Software: See outsourcing
- Microphones: Shure SM58 ($99), Rode Podcaster Mic ($230), Shure Shure MV7 ($250), Shure SM7B ($400)
- Microphone Stands: Rode PSA1 Studio Boom Arm ($100)
- Headphones: See storyteller bundle
- Interview Tools: See pro-level bundle
Additional Podcasting Equipment
Our bundles don’t cover everything and won’t fit every podcast. So mix and match. You can always invest more into your podcast once you grow your listeners and/or partner with advertisers.
Build your podcast set up to reflect the vision of your show and the practicality of your budget. If audio fidelity is the most important thing to you, bundle a Shure MV7 with a boom arm and produce the rest of your podcast using Riverside.
The best thing about podcasting is that you can create whatever your mind (and ears) can think of. Most of all, make sure your podcast connects to the brand you’re trying to build.
Here’s some additional podcast equipment to add to your wish list as you grow:
Promote and Grow Your Podcast
Now that you have the podcast equipment to begin, you need the tools to promote it. Gone are the days of podcasts growing by people only finding them on podcast apps. Instead, you’ll need a robust marketing strategy to get your podcast in the ears of the right audience.
Browse our selection of free business courses, and you can learn the tools to expand your business reach using Instagram, email, and more. You’re putting in the work of creating an incredible podcast. Make sure people will hear it.