Whether you’re thinking about starting a podcast or you’re looking to upgrade your podcast tools, it can be overwhelming with all the options out there. Quality podcast equipment sets the tone for your podcast. No matter how engaging your content is, people will likely not listen if the sound quality is terrible.
Our Top Five Podcast Tools
Key podcast tools are the tools you need to record, edit, and host your podcasts. Here are our top five podcast tools.
Every podcast starts with the actual recording of the podcast, so it’s important you chose quality recording tools. There are a lot of affordable tools that will give you great audio. But if you can afford the higher-end ones, you can't go wrong with the higher quality.
Your microphone is the most important tool that will determine how good your sound will be. While editing can help, there’s a limit to how much you can clean up your sound during editing.
You can get either a USB microphone or an XLR microphone. XLR microphones are more complex than USB microphones and are the gold standard for capturing audio sounds. The major difference between them is that you can plug USB microphones directly into your computer, while XLR microphones require an interface, like a mixer.
Generally, USB microphones are less expensive than XLR microphones and are normally used by new podcasters or people who are podcasting as a hobby. Professional podcasters often switch from USB microphones to XLR microphones when they want something with more capabilities.
Top USB Microphones
Some of the best USB microphones include:
Blue Yeti X: Podcasters interested in cutting costs can opt for this mic as it is relatively inexpensive and can get the job done.
Samson Meteor: This is a good option if you’re on the go. Although the Meteor is compact in design, it still delivers good quality audio. It also comes with a built-in stand.
Rode Podcaster: This microphone delivers broadcast-quality audio with the simplicity of USB connectivity. It has a headphone output, internal pop filter, and a 10 foot USB cable and stand mount.
Top XLR Microphones
Some of the best XLR microphones include:
Electrovoice RE20: This XLR microphone has a bass roll-off switch and an internal pop filter so that you can adjust how your microphone records audio.
Rode Procaster: The Rode Procaster has an internal pop filter to get rid of unwanted peaks.
Shure SM7: If you can afford the high price tag, the Shure SM7B comes highly recommended as one of the best microphones for podcasting. It’s designed to reject electromagnetic hum and also has an internal pop filter.
Besides a quality microphone for recording, our other top podcast tools range from audio editing tools to podcast hosting platforms.
One thing that makes Anchor one of our top podcast tools for 2022 is that it simplifies podcasting and removes any entry barrier. With your smartphone, you can record, upload, and host your podcast for free. The catch, however, is that Anchor gets to run ads on your podcasts.
Anchor is the only platform that allows you to record your podcast with your smartphone using their recording app. Every other platform requires you to record your audio file separately, then manually upload it on their website.
If you want to take podcasting seriously to grow your small business long-term, other paid platforms will give you more control. However, if you're still trying to decide if podcasting will work for you, you can start with this platform.
Audacity is a free open-source, digital audio editor. The best thing about it is that it's completely free, and it works on any operating system — macOS, GNU/Linux, Windows, and others. As a small business owner starting with podcasting, Audacity can be a good place to begin. It has basic features you can start with to get a hang of audio editing before you invest in more advanced software.
Audacity may have limited features compared to other paid software. However, you'll have basic features that allow you to record your podcast, edit multiple tracks, copy, paste, splice, use effects to clear up the audio, and export it in different file formats. Audacity does most of what other paid software does. To get better audio quality, you may consider exporting your audio files as WAV and converting to MP3 with iTunes.
Audacity also has other features, such as sync-lock, fading, truncate silence, silence, silence finder, saveable EQ, import and export options, and editing and saving chains of effects.
Starting with Audacity means you get to save the money you would have spent on paid software, so you can invest it in other tools you need, especially if you’re working on a tight budget.
Auphonic is on our list because of its post-production capability. After recording your podcast, the next step is to edit the audio. To edit your podcast, you’ll use a digital audio workstation (DAW) to clean up your audio file. You’ll want to remove any background noise to have a clear audio sound.
The platform automates this process by using a combination of signal processing and AI to edit your audio. All you need to do is to upload the audio file. Auphonic’s algorithm will do the rest. Some of its key features include loudness normalizer, encoding, automatic content deployment, speech recognition, transcription, noise reduction, intelligent leveler, preset, and multi-track algorithms.
You’ll get two hours of audio editing free per month. You may never have to pay if your editing need does not exceed that. However, if you need more, prices start at $11 per month.
Using Auphonic is ideal if you don’t have the skill or time to edit your podcasts manually, your podcasts don't require extensive editing, or your podcasts don’t exceed two hours monthly.
Buzzsprout is an amazing podcast hosting platform that has made podcast hosting and management a breeze. To get started with Buzzsprout, you can sign up on their free plan or go with a paid option starting at $12 per month. Their free plan gives you two hours of upload per month, but Buzzprout will only host your podcast for 90 days.
On the paid plan, you have access to impressive features. Their easy-to-use interface means you can use the platform without hassle, even as a newbie. With their advanced analytics, you can track your podcast performance across different platforms.
After you upload your podcast episodes on the Buzzsprout platform, you can choose to list them on podcast directories like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.
A Buzzsprout account comes with a free website, which is a great tool to build credibility for your podcasts. After you upload your podcast episodes, you can opt for their auto-transcription service at $0.25 per minute. Transcribing your podcast is good for SEO and also caters to persons who prefer reading to listening.
The platform also offers a range of tools that help in marketing your podcast, such as visual soundbites, chapter markers, and social media sharing.
With 104 million Americans listening to podcasts regularly, a podcast can help you attract new customers and connect deeply with your existing customers. Starting a podcast can help you grow your small business and build your brand. Using the right podcast tools makes it easier.