Best podcast equipment for beginners under $200
You don’t need to spend a fortune to get started with podcasting. In fact, you can start recording high-quality episodes for less than $200. Here’s how:
What You’ll Need
First things first: let’s take a look at what you’ll need to get started. For this setup, I recommend the following equipment:
1. A USB microphone
I recommend the Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB on a budget.
It holds a special place in my heart because it was my first microphone that is still working 7 years later. It was a slightly earlier model than this because they don’t make it anymore. But the Audio-Technica ATR2100X is a stellar product for the price ($80).
Another option is the Blue Yeti, which is very popular amongst many podcasters.
I’ve owned it and sold it. Great microphone. I just didn’t like the shape or style of the microphone. Especially when you attach it to a boom arm stand. But if none of these bother you, then the Blue Yeti USB microphone is still my recommendation for only $117.
This third option is the Maono USB Microphone or FIFINE setup.
Both hit home with a lot of folks because of the boom arm style + sleek studio look.
You get both for only $50. I’ve had clients use this as a starter mic. And it’s done a good job.
Keep in mind that if it’s too far away from your mouth, on a desk stand for example, then it won’t work as well.
Check out the Maono USB Microphone here.
And the FIFINE setup here.
If you’re using a Macbook or Apple computer, just make sure you have the right adapter.
Some older models have a normal USB port. If you have something like mine or later, which is a 2016 model, chances are you might need a USB-C adapter.
2. A webcam for your computer
The built in webcams are usually terrible. An easy way to skyrocket production quality is with video. Even if you’re just going on as a guest on podcasts. The hosts will appreciate your setup and be more likely to share your content. No one wants to share clips that are pixely.
The most stunning and simple plug and play option is the Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam ($98).
Here’s a $65 option called the Logitech C920x.
And if you want something really budget friendly, the NexiGO N660 is only $40. Just know that these inexpensive options can burn out after 6-12 months. But still worth it for the price.
That’s really it in terms of essentials that give you a high return on investment! Especially to match a $200 budget.
What’s nice to have (optional)
Once your essentials are covered, you might be curious about upgrades that are worthwhile to your new setup. But STILL somewhat essential.
1. A set of headphones (to monitor your recordings)
This is purely optional. You might have some earbuds laying around already that you could use. But if you wanna check our best headphones for podcasting, check out this post.
Over ear recommendation:
Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 – Gets mistaken for beats regularly ($80)
Most of the microphones above come with some stand, whether it’s for the desk or a boom arm. Which is nice because I like to have my hands free when recording. It’s not necessary to switch out your stands, but can be a nice upgrade at some point.
2. Editing software (Premiere Pro, Garageband, Adobe Audition, Audacity, Descript, etc)
I recommend Descript software for beginners. It has limitations. But you can edit your episode almost like a Google Doc. Doubles as a video editor for when and if you want to add that version to your podcast.
This can make or break your setup. Natural light is free. But when your recordings are at night, on a gloomy day, or maybe you just want more control – then I recommend some form of artificial light.
Finding something that’s not too harsh is important. Especially if you’re like me and wear glasses.
I own several sets of lighting and stand by the big softbox styled ones. It diffuses light much better than the smaller lights. You’ll notice the small lights might cast more of a shadow if used without a diffuser.
Now this isn’t essential at all, but it makes your studio POP. This Govee Bar light ($99) has beautiful color tones and give your video a pleasing look.
You’ve probably seen it on a lot of YouTuber’s backdrops. The problem with finding variations of this can be flickering. I set up a whole LED strip on my bookshelf. Turned on the camera and realized it flickers.
Setting Up Your Studio
Now that you have all your gear, it’s time to set up your studio. If you have a dedicated space for recording—like a home office or spare bedroom—that’s great. But if not, don’t worry! Any quiet room in your house will do.
Just make sure to close any doors and windows to minimize outside noise, and clear away any clutter that might create unwanted sounds while you’re recording.
Trust me, nobody wants to hear your cat scratching his nails on the desk while they’re trying to listen to your latest episode!
Once your room is ready, it’s time to set up your equipment.
If you have a microphone stand, great! Place it in front of your chair or desk, making sure the microphone is at about mouth level.
If you don’t have a stand, no problem—just place the microphone on your desk or table. Then position yourself so that you’re sitting directly in front of the microphone, about 6-12 inches away.
This will help ensure that your voice is being picked up clearly without sounding too echo-y or distant.
With just a few pieces of affordable equipment and a little bit of creativity, you can easily set up a professional-sounding podcast studio on a budget.
Need some help choosing the right equipment, designing your studio, or offloading production? Drop a note here with your project idea.
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself. And all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.