11 Gifts for the Podcaster in Your Life

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Podcasting—all the cool kids are doing it. Maybe your kid wants to be cool. Maybe it’s your dad who wants to pontificate online (let him, it’ll keep him quieter at dinner). Or maybe you’ve got a friend who’s getting into podcasting but doesn’t have all the bells and whistles just yet.

If that’s case, check out this holiday gift guide, geared toward the podcaster—or wannabe podcaster—in your life!

1. Studio Broadcasting Mic on a Budget: The RØDE NT-USB Mini

A previous version of this GUIDE advocated for the RØDE PodMic, because it’s a great and wallet-friendly choice for a gift. It’s still a great choice, but for this year, we’d like to go digital and recommend the RØDE NT-USB Mini USB microphone. Think of this mic as a stand-in for how far the technology has come in the past few years. Click here to read more about the RØDE NT-USB Mini.

Rode NT-USB Mini USB Microphone
Rode NT-USB Mini USB Microphone

Coming in at less than $100.00, the mic offers a performance that’s low on distortion and high on dynamic range. It’s built like a tank, and it’s protected against RF interference, which can be abundant in the home studio. Record audio at broadcast-quality 24-bit/48 kHz and monitor straight from the mic. The integrated tabletop stand makes setup a breeze. What more could you ask for at the price?

2. Legendary Live Microphone: The Shure SM58-LC

If your buddy is an aspiring comedian/podcaster, consider giving them a Shure SM58-LC. This classic live mic also excels at recording, especially on comedy podcasts, where friends tend to hang out and shoot the breeze, holding the mic in their hands. A cost-efficient option, the mic is recognizable to most comedians who’ve ever graced a stage.

Shure SM58-LC Vocal Microphone
Shure SM58-LC Vocal Microphone

Keep that “stage” part in mind as you consider this gift for your comedy-podcast friend: see, this is a time of increased hygienic awareness. So why not give your buddy the gift of a classic microphone to serve two purposes. They can use it at home for their own podcasts and take it on the road whenever they do perform, minimizing the risk of sharing mics with people on stage.

3. The Perfect Mic for Remote Interviews

Last year, we showcased the RØDE NTG2 for interviews in the field, spotlighting its ability to capture neutral sound in a shotgun form factor, especially when paired with a pistol grip. But this season we’re not exactly encouraging people to go outside.

So, how do podcasters interview people in the current environment? Remotely, of course—and luckily, PreSonus has a USB mic tailor-made for remote interviews.

It’s called the Revelator, and it’s a lot more than a mic: it’s a recording system that can capture high-resolution audio from you and a guest. This mic has the ability to capture two loopback streams from your computer, meaning you can record a guest over the Internet right into your editing software or DAW. Add high-quality effects from PreSonus and a budget-friendly price into the mix, and you’ve got a great gift for the aspiring interviewer.

PreSonus Revelator USB Mic
PreSonus Revelator USB Mic

4. The Best Overall Hybrid Mic for Podcasting: The Shure MV7

Recently, Shure released the mic we at B&H hoped it would, and this is the perfect place to show it off.

Before I tell you what it is, let me tell you about a little mic called the Shure SM7B. The SM7B is a gold standard in the broadcast and podcast spaces, used by famous and infamous podcasters alike. This led us to ponder, when is Shure going to make a SM7B-style mic in a USB form factor?

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone
Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

The “when” is now: behold, the Shure MV7 Podcast Mic. It looks like the SM7B, and it offers similar performance features (warm tone, directional polar pattern, end-address design). Like the SM7B, it has an XLR output for interfaces. But it also has a USB connection, giving you broadcast-quality 24-bit / 48 kHz sound. So, your buddy can plug into a hard disk recorder, an interface, or directly into a computer, doing so at a lower price than the famous SM7B. Click here to watch a video review of the Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone.

5. The Simple At-Home Interface: The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4

Maybe your buddy hasn’t gotten started yet. They need a great interface to get them up and running at home, something simple that sounds great.

For those needs, the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 fits the bill, with two inputs, zero-latency monitoring, and the ability to take phone calls over VoIP, thanks to virtual loop-back inputs. If your friend and one other person are podcasting, with the occasional Skype call-in, this is a great, wallet-friendly starter piece. For a video review of the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4, click here.

Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 4x4 USB Audio/MIDI Interface
Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 4x4 USB Audio/MIDI Interface

6. The On-the-Go Recorder/Interface: The PodTrak P4

People love the Zoom H5, which we listed last year, but that didn’t stop Zoom from outdoing itself by creating a purpose-driven recorder for podcasters alone. It’s called PodTrak P4, it makes getting high-quality podcast recordings exceedingly easy.

Zoom PodTrak P4
Zoom PodTrak P4

The device accommodates up to four microphones and four headphones. It also provides multiple, simultaneous options for handling remote guests from smartphones or computers, either hardwired or over Bluetooth. Record multitrack to SD cards, or use it as a 2-in/2-out interface.

If the ability to handle four mics isn’t enough for your friend or loved one, consider the PodTrak P8, which offers many of the great features in the PodTrak P4, with added mic channels and headphone outputs, as well as faders. Click here to watch a video review of the Zoom Podtrak P4, and click here to see a video review of the PodTrack P8.

Zoom PodTrak P8
Zoom PodTrak P8

7. The Complete Interface Package: The RØDECaster Pro

The RØDECaster Pro is the most expensive item on this gift-giving guide. But it’s arguably the most complete, as well. Need to record four people with high-end pristine mic pres? Check. Need four low-noise headphone outputs for everyone to listen to their headphones? Check. Want to EQ or compress the vocals on the spot? You’re good to go. Want to record to SD cards, sans computer? You got it.

Rode RODECaster Pro
RØDE RØDECaster Pro

Now you may be wondering, what distinguishes the RØDECaster Pro from the Zoom PodTrak P4 or P8? A different design concept, to be sure, but there’s a more central difference:

The RØDECaster lets you record multitrack audio straight to computers for all of its inputs. Whereas the PodTraks are 2-in/2-out interfaces, the RØDECaster can handle up to 12 tracks of your audio sources (plus a stereo mix), separated into their own channels on the way in. This makes it perfect for easier, computer-based editing down the line. Interested in watching a video review? Click here for it.

8. Quality Headphones at a Wallet-Friendly Price: The Sony MDR-7506

Your podcasting friend will need a powerful pair of headphones, one that can handle monitoring purposes (hearing their own voice while recording) and mixing the final product. Last year, we recommended the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x for this purpose, a by-now classic pair of over-ear headphones in the sub-$200 category.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Monitor Headphones
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Monitor Headphones

We still hawk them heartily. This particular author would be lost without his pair. But today, we’re advocating the SONY MDR-7506s, a pair of headphones that have stood the test of time in the mission-critical field.

Sony MDR-7506 Headphones
Sony MDR-7506 Headphones

What swayed the needle? First, these headphones are ubiquitous in broadcasting, so it pays to “learn” them early, if you’re planning on making a carrier in the industry. Secondly, these cans are more wallet-friendly the ATH-M50x.

But the third reason is where the real money is:

If any vocal is remotely sibilant, these headphones will let you know! They have a way of translating pesky top-end transients that is undeniable.

In an age where podcasting from home is now ubiquitous, so is the rise of harsh, sibilant audio. So, think of us advocating for these Sony headphones as a kind of public service. If your buddy catches sibilance in these puppies, they’re far more likely to spare the listening public in the resulting mix.

9. A Frequently Sought-After Accessory: the Cloudlifter

A question we get a lot is, “Help! When I pair my mic with my recorder, there’s a lot of low-level noise! What do I do?” The answer is frequently the same: “get a Cloudlifter.”

The Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1 adds transparent gain to passive mics, such as the ones frequently used in podcasting. This simple little device makes it easier to get a louder, but less noisy sound out of a dynamic mic.

Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1 Mic Activator
Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1 Mic Activator

It’s a problem solver, but it’s not eye or ear candy. This makes it a perfect gift, because you’re saving your friend from having to buy it.

Speaking of…

10. Essential Accessories No One Wants to Buy

Cables are not fun to buy, yet they are necessary. So, do your podcasting friend a favor and buy them some spare XLR and USB cables. Also, they might be interested in a spiffy broadcast arm, which you can check out here.

Batteries are also necessary, especially for portable recorders; you can never have too many AA batteries.

Panasonic eneloop pro AA Rechargeable NiMH Batteries
Panasonic eneloop pro AA Rechargeable NiMH Batteries

SD and MicroSD cards are boring. No one wants to spend money on them, but they are a necessity for recorders like the Zoom PodTrak 4 and RØDECaster Pro. So, buy your podcasting friend an SD card, especially if your friend already has everything else for a podcasting setup. We have multiple kinds available here.

SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro CompactFlash Memory Card
SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro CompactFlash Memory Card

11. All-in-One Kits

Did you know that B&H carries a variety of packaged, all-in-one kits for podcasting? Whether you’re looking at a USB mic and a pair of headphones, or a comprehensive suite of plug-ins for audio cleanup, you can find many wallet-friendly kits by clicking this link.

Conclusion

We hope that you enjoyed this list! Do you think we left anything vital out? Let us know in the Comments section! Someone will read it!

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