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The Tech Gear We Chose for Our Podcast Studio: From Podcasting Mics to Boom Arms + Mixers

After 20+ hours of research (much of that thanks to Tom Buck) and 1.5 years of recording on beginner gear (as seen above), we took the plunge and bought some top-notch tech for our podcast studio. Here’s the scoop on what we got and why we got it.

Our Podcasting Mic

Smooth, clean, quality sound was (obviously) top priority when curating the tech we’d have in the studio… I mean if it doesn’t sound good what are we doing here, right?

The Shure SM7B came up first and frequently. This podcasting mic is seen on every big show so I was honestly a little skeptical, thinking: “Is it really that good or has it become a hop-on-the-bandwagon type of status symbol?”

Let me tell you- I haven’t heard anything sound as smooth as this. Every comparison video I watched, the Shure mic won. (If it’s good enough for Michael Jackson to record Thriller on then it must be pretty good?!)

Here are the few reasons that sold me on why this mic is better than my beginner Blue Yeti Mic:

  • XLR Connection
    • In simplest terms… and from a woman who is NOT a sound engineer:
      • XLR cables generate cleaner audio vs. beginner mics with a USB connection generate fuzzier sounding recordings (aka more editing for you)
        • An XLR cable does require a connector (interface) to stream the recording into your computer or a mixer with an SD card that you record directly on… but again- quality sound is my #1 priority over price
  • Internal Shock Mount
    • I’m Italian which means I’m constantly using my hands, banging them on the table and accidentally hitting them on the mic. With my Blue Yeti I had buy an additional shock mount to limit the problem. But the Shure SM7B addresses that problem with its build… again meaning more pure audio.
  • Simply the Way it Sounds
    • In hearing this mic vs. others- everything else sounded tinny. Not the Shure SM7B– it’s so smooth as if it already had editing filters on it before you record. Add on those filters and…. woahhhh! You’d think you were on a million dollar, highly-produced show.

The only other mic that closely resembled the SM7B Sound is the newer Blue Sona Mic. It comes in $50 less than the Shure mic and also comes in white which I aesthetically loved- but the sound was not quite as good as the mic we bought.

Our XLR Cables

It seems like any high quality XLR cable on Amazon will do BUT the opportunity that came to my mind as a business owner is- brand-ability. So I suggest finding one in your branding colors. Ideally, you’re repurposing your content for Reels, TikTok, Youtube etc. so leave them with something to remember (or at the very least- catch their eye!)

Want to keep it neutral? We also bought this black XLR Cable 2 pack.

Podcasting Interface (aka an XLR Converter)

I really went back and forth on this one. My top 2 contenders: Rodecaster Pro II vs. Vocaster 2 + Fethead (with the Scarlett as an honorable mention if you’re looking at a solo at home studio situation.)

Ultimately we chose the Rodecaster Pro II because:

  • It filters your sound as it records (meaning no sound editing after you’ve recorded)
  • You can add your intro and outro to your sound pad (along with other sound effects)… again no need to edit in post
  • It has an SD card built-in meaning you can record on your computer like normal but always have a backup in case the worst happens
  • And last but not least it allows you to plug in up to 4 mics and connect with bluetooth in case you want to do a call-in style show or share sound from a video on your phone etc.

Since we’re creating a studio that multiple mompreneurs will enjoy at once with features they might not want to invest in (financially or mentally) for their home- this was the best fit for us.

However, the Vocaster 2 + Fethead was a top contender and could be a great upgrade for you! I loved that it:

  • Also filters the sound as it enters your computer (there are a couple of presets so less tweak-ability vs. the Rodecaster Pro II but it’s a feature the Scarlett does not offer)
  • It allows for 2 mic hookups for not much more than the price of the single XLR hookup
  • To get the most of your SM7B mic you will need a booster to increase the gain (aka the volume)- Cloud Lifter comes highly recommended but the Fethead does too for a smaller cost and cleaner look which is why I was considering it.

Microphone Boom Arm

We’re still in the testing phase for this one so we got one of each of these: Elgato Wave Low Profile Arm vs. Rode PSA1+.

What I like about the Elgato Wave Low Profile Arm:

  • It’s low profile meaning your mic won’t cover your face in your videos. I’m all about how we’ll share our recordings and again, the business woman in me is thinking about the branding and making sure your message is heard sans distractions.
  • It’s a clean design- no logos or loud branding.

What I like about the Rode PSA1+:

  • It’s an industry standard which I always like to test and see why- but the quality materials and versatility of the boom arm are what got me interested.
  • At first it seemed a lot like my beginner Blue Yeti Boom Arm which in all honesty- I’m not a huge fan of. But after seeing it configured lower on tables instead of just from hanging above I felt like it was worth trying.
    • Again- something we have to think about in creating the studio is how can we create different vignettes and custom spaces for each of our clients so their set feels like an expression of them. That’s why a versatile arm is so appealing.

That’s what we’ve purchased thus far! I’ll come back and update more once we’ve tested the products and recorded some amazing content with them!