The best podcast and live streaming gear (2021): mics, mounts, pop filters and more

Although it is increasingly possible to record podcasts or broadcast live audio on smartphones, it’s faster, easier, and generally more professional to create and deliver content on a personal computer. The good news is that it doesn’t matter if you have a PC or a Mac, and the vast majority of modern laptops and desktops are more than fast enough for the audio tasks required.

However, if you plan to stream live video or games from a PC, you will need a powerful computer that allows you to both play the game and run your streaming software. If you plan to record or edit video, you will also need a fast computer for rendering.

Here is our favorite gaming PCs right now, all of which are up to the task. Or you can check our MacBook guide which breaks down whatever suits you. Also consider build your own pc– it requires more work, but you will save money. But if you are only doing audio recording and processing, one of the our favorite laptops (or really any modern computer) it will be fine.

Audio equipment for podcasting

Audio is the most important component. Here’s what you’ll need to make sure your podcast or stream sounds the best, from microphones to the right headphones.

USB microphone

Micro snowball blue

Photograph: Blue

Most of the mics built into headphones, phones, and laptops do the job for Zoom calls and meetings, but they’re not clear enough for podcast stories or feeds. The easiest way to upgrade your audio is to use a USB microphone. These mics plug directly into your computer and let you record audio with surprisingly high fidelity given their ease of setup.

There are plenty of good ones out there, but also a sea of ​​weird, off-brand models on retailers like Amazon. Avoid them. My favorites come from Blue and JLab Audio. Entry-level mics like the Blue snowball ($ 70) and JLab Talk Go ($ 49) are good options for beginners.

You can also get closer to true studio-quality sound if you opt for high-end models like the Blue Yeti X ($ 170), Jlab Talk Pro ($ 149), Shure MV7 ($ 249), and Presonus Revelator ($ 180), which come with better capsules and better processing.

An audio interface

Focusrite Scarlett 2I2

Photography: Focusrite

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