I’ve been asked this question about podcasting equipment so many times I decided to write a blog to save my future self some time. Here’s the challenge though: it’s got to be 1) Professional quality, 2) Easy and quick to set up and pack away, and 3) Simple enough for my mum to use.
As I’ve spent many years as a videographer and a podcast producer, I’ve extended this to cover video podcasts as well. So, what equipment do I need to record a podcast at home?
First, let’s assume you’re recording your podcast in person rather than using something like Squadcast (like Zoom, but you get higher quality recordings). If that’s the case, you don’t even need a laptop!
The Audio Technica ATR 2100x is a perfect first mic to help you get into podcasting. You’ll need two of these for your new interview podcast.
Its simplicity, ease of use, and sound quality make it a steal, priced at around £80. It’s also used by podcasting royalty – it’s Tim Ferriss’ favourite on the go mic.
It really is ‘plug & play’ with either a USB C connection to a laptop, an XLR cable to an audio interface – which is really useful when recording with my favourite portable recorder – the Zoom H4N.
The Zoom H4N is perfect for on location recording. It’s small and portable, very reliable, and, most importantly, the sound quality is impeccable.
Word of warning: it’s only compatible with SD cards up to 32GB so be careful which you buy. This Sandisk SD card is a great option.
Pro Tip: Always carry a spare!
If you’re a little more tech-savvy (and have a bigger budget), the Shure SM7B is a perfect option – a staple in broadcasting rooms since 1973 and a favourite of musicians the world over. It’s a brilliant podcasting microphone, but it is on the expensive side. If you go for the SM7b option, you’ll also need a Cloudlifter, an audio interface, and a mic stand – bringing the cost to around £700+
The GoPro was designed to be a premium action sports camera. It is. Still, this versatile camera is my number one choice for this blog due to its ease of use, quick setup and incredible video quality, all for only £400.
The latest edition is the Hero11 Black, and comes with all the accessories you’ll need. To enable a professional video to be edited in post production, it’s best to have two, so you can switch between camera angles.
Extra micro SD cards:
As with the Zoom H4N audio recorder, you don’t want to run out of recording space on your camera. Remember though, 4k video files are much larger than audio ones, so 32GB won’t cut it. I use the Gigastone 256GB Micro SD card with my GoPros. Cost: £60 for two (best to get a couple of spares).
The recording time on GoPros is unlimited when plugged in. But often, plugging into the mains is unpractical.
With 45-90 min battery life while recording, it’s essential you’ve got a backup! I always use the official GoPro batteries. This comes with a dual charger. Cost: £60
If you’re going to the trouble of filming your podcast, you should spend that little extra time and money making sure you’re well lit.
Ring lights can be hit and miss. This is one I have found to be reliable, and it does the job without breaking the bank.
Plus, it comes with an adjustable height stand for only £40
This one is simply to make your life easier.
If you’re going to be editing the podcast yourself, you’ll likely want to avoid clogging up your laptop with massive 10GB+ video files.
Trust me, you’ll never look back. Cost: £150
The total cost for everything in this blog (including spare batteries and SD cards) comes to around £1,660. With it, you’re well on your way to a professional-looking and sounding podcast.
If you’re looking to start a podcast for your business. You might want to check out our Ultimate Guide to Starting a Business Podcast
Or simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to chat about your new show.