written by
David Hooper

$30 Mic vs. $500 Mic – The 8-Mic Shootout

Podcast Production 2 min read

Is a $500 microphone that much better than a $30 microphone? Is it better at all? How much are we influenced by a brand's price, reputation, or popularity?

I wanted to find out for myself, so I recorded the same copy eight different times, on eight popular podcasting microphones. I then took those recordings to Chris Curran from Podcast Engineering School to get his professional opinion.

Because people are biased, I didn't tell Chris which mics I used. He had nothing to go on other than the recordings, which had zero processing or "tricks" to make them sound better.

Is this a scientific test? No. But if you're curious to dive deeper into what makes a great podcasting microphone, listen up.

Can't Hear The Difference?

It's subtle. But it's the little things that make a difference in the way you sound. Like knowing how to use your mic:

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But Chris' knowledge goes way behind just picking out the best mic and knowing how to use it...

How To Improve Your Podcast

I can help you grow an audience for your podcast, but I'm not an engineer.

Most people start podcasts because they want to spread a message, not fiddle with mics, mixers, and audio equipment. But one of the things I've noticed about podcasting is, the longer you do it, the more you notice flaws in your sound quality. What you thought was "good audio" a few months ago, isn't the level of quality you thought it was.

If this hasn't already happened to you, it will. As I mentioned in the above episode, I've been at this for years and I'm still noticing room for improvement, which is why Chris and I did this mic test.

If you're thinking "I could make my podcast sound better," check out what Chris is doing at Podcast Engineering School. You'll walk away with all the necessary podcast production skills and knowledge to give yourself a huge advantage that will benefit you in more ways than just sounding better.

Want More Listeners For Your Podcast? Fix Your Audio

I primarily help podcasters do two things:

  1. Grow an audience of dedicated fans.
  2. Effectively spread a message to that audience (and beyond).

Because of this, one of the top questions I get is people looking for "the one thing" that will help them make these two things happen.

It takes more than "one thing" to grow an audience and spread a message via podcasting...

With that said, one thing that's very easy to implement and will go a long way in helping you reach your podcast marketing goals is fixing your audio.

People judge your podcast not only by the content you deliver, but also by how that content is recorded. A study by USC and the Australian National University backs this up, showing that audio quality influences whether people believe what they hear and whether they trust the source of information.

So fix your audio. You can start by subscribing to Chris' podcast, The Podcast Engineering Show, via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS.

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