Podcasting gear

Best Podcast Setups for Every Budget [2021]

The podcast equipment you use to record your show can make or break its quality, so it's important to know your options.

This guide breaks down everything you need to choose the best podcasting setup within your budget!

Before you get started

Make sure you have the basics

Fortunately, you probably already have the basics you need to get started. Before buying additional podcast equipment, make sure you have:

  • an iPhone or smartphone,
  • computer or MacBook, and
  • are set up with a podcast hosting service like Buzzsprout.

Pick a room

If you plan to record in your home, it's a good idea to pick the room before getting your equipment. Try to find a room that:

  • doesn't share a wall with a noisy room,
  • has minimal hard surfaces,
  • has carpeted floors and minimal wood furnishings, and
  • isn't too big.

If you don't have a lot of options, go with what you have. There's a lot you can control about the final product even if you don't have the ideal location.

Soundproof or sound treat your space

No matter where you record, your sound quality can benefit from acoustic treatments to mitigate reverb and background noise.

While soundproofing refers to isolating you room from external noise, sound treating mitigates the noises coming from within the studio.

You can lessen the effects of reverb without a lot of time or money. We recommend the following:

As a free option, you can fill your recording studio with pillows, blankets, and soft couches and chairs to absorb and diffuse reverberant noise.

Decide on your format

Your podcast's format determines the kind and amount of equipment you'll need and even what kind of editing software needed for post-production.

For instance, if you plan to record with multiple people, you'll need a podcast microphone with XLR hookups.

If your podcast format requires heavier production, you'll need a digital audio workstation that has more options for spoken word.

Determine your budget

How much you choose to invest in your podcast equipment is a big part of what setup you choose.

Only you can decide your podcast budget, but remember you don't need to have the best podcast equipment on the market to get a great recording.

Decide which kind of mic you need

Thankfully, microphones like the Samson Q2U and the Audio-Technica ATR 2100x are affordable and come with XLR and USB hookups.

Generally, though, USB mics are less expensive and connect straight to your USB port without an interface.

XLR mics are typically more expensive and are required to hookup to most mixers, interfaces, and audio recorders. XLR microphones tend to be higher-end and open up more options for recording multiple in-person guest or co-hosts.

Keep it simple

Podcasting has a low barrier to entry, and you don't need to spend a lot of money to get quality results.

As long as you don't get the cheapest gear on Amazon, you can have stand-out audio quality at any budget.

5 Best podcasting setups for every budget

Disclosure: Some of these product links are affiliate links, which means Buzzsprout might receive a small commission if you decide to purchase them.

1. Hobbyist: ($146-$304)

This setup is best for a solo podcaster who plans to record by themselves or remote interviews via software like Zoom.

This is also a good solution for people who don't want to deal with a bunch of cables and connectors.

Recording equipment:

Software options:


2. Video podcaster ($293-$1,316)

If you decide to record video of your podcast, you'll need a few extra pieces of equipment. Here's what you need to get started.

Recording equipment:

Camera options:

Software options:


3. In-person interviewer ($539-$1,145)

Recording in-person interviews requires more equipment than remote recordings but also results in more intimate and high quality recordings.

Recording equipment:

Software options:


4. Intermediate podcaster ($542-$962)

This setup offers high-quality gear with flexible functionality and more options post-production.

This list offers good options if you've been podcasting for a while, or just want more control over your audio.

Recording equipment:

Software options:


5. Professional ($1768-$2,217)

If you have the budget and skill set, working with professional equipment can get you studio quality recordings without leaving your home.

Recording equipment:



Things to avoid

Some podcast equipment can hurt your final product or just waste your money. Here a few products to avoid in your podcast recording setup.

Blue Yeti mic

The Blue Yeti and Blue Yeti Pro are popular mic recommendations, but they have several drawbacks.

The Blue Yeti is a USB condenser mic, which means it's more sensitive to picking up ambient noise. To get a good recording, you'd need a very well-controlled, sound-proofed studio.

The Blue Yeti also uses omnidirectional and bi-directional polar patterns so you can hypothetically record several people with one mic.

But the end result is a hollow tone and you're much better off getting each person their own mic.

Condenser microphones

While we're at it, avoid condenser mics altogether! Again, these mics are more sensitive than dynamic mics, and pick up a lot of background noise.

Dynamic microphones are much better for podcasters recording in a home studio, closet, or bedroom.

Headset microphones

The audio quality from a built-in headset mic sounds cheap, just like it would if you used your laptop's built-in mic.

Podcasters need a dedicated set of headphones and a separate microphone to get a quality recording.

Recording on your phone

Recording podcast audio on your phone means relying on the built-in mic in your earbuds or your phone.

While this can work in a pinch, you're always better off investing in a dedicated headphone set and microphone so you can have more control over your audio and mitigate distracting noises.

Alban Brooke

Alban Brooke

Alban Brooke is the Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout and the co-host of Buzzcast. Have any questions about this guide? Reach out on Twitter.


What equipment is needed to create a podcast?

The equipment you need to record a podcast depends on how many people you plan to record and your budget. For most podcasters, all you need to get started is a USB mic, a pair of headphones, a computer, and editing software.

What is the best setup for a podcast?

For most podcasters, we recommend the Audio-Technica ATR2100x microphone, Audio-Technica's M20x headphones, and one of the following recording tools:

  • One person: Recording software like Audacity
  • Two people: The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 fed to recording software
  • Three or four people: Zoom Podtrak P4 or RodeCaster Pro

What equipment do you need to record a two-person podcast?

To record a two-person podcast, you need an XLR or USB microphone, headphones, an audio interface or digital recorder like the Zoom Podtrak P4, and a computer. You can edit the audio file in a digital audio workstation like Audacity or GarageBand.