7 Best Podcast Starter Kits to Get Started

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A podcast starter kit has most or all the hardware you need to produce audio files. The other great thing about kits and bundles is that the included items are made to work well together. They can save you money, time, hassle, and frustration right off the bat, and that makes a lot of sense. This guide reviews seven popular starter sets. My short introduction here can help you to make the right choice.

The sections below look at the equipment used to create successful podcasts. I also link to a few products for each. The mini-reviews that follow look at some popular starter kits for podcasters.

MAONO Podcaster Kit
Connection: USB
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Clear audio, scissor boom arm, shock mount, pop filter, foam windscreen.
Check Amazon
Best Value
Audio-Tech AT2020PK Mic Pack
Connection: 3-pin XLR
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Low noise, ATH-M20x headphones, adjustable 360° boom, storage pouch.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
Focusrite Scarlett Studio Bundle
Connection: 3-pin XLR
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Condenser mic, microphone clip, crisp, clear audio, USB audio interface, cable.
Check Amazon

Podcasting Tools of the Trade

The question every budding podcaster should ask is this: Is my audio file LISTENABLE? Several things make ear-catching podcasts. However, there’s nothing more important than the quality of your audio. You can develop voice, style, and topics, over time, but no one ever sticks around if the sound sucks. Don’t worry. There’s no need to invest a small fortune to succeed at this.

Below are the essential tools for building a home recording studio. You don’t need everything here right away. Still, you should at least know why they’re so useful for podcasting and how things work. A computer is self-explanatory, so I’ll assume you have one of those and leave it off the list.

  1. External microphone (XLR or USB)
  2. Microphone stand
  3. Shock mount
  4. Pop filter
  5. Audio interface
  6. Headphones
  7. Headphone amplifier

OK, let’s briefly go over the items so that my reviews make a lot more sense when you get to them.

About My ‘Podcaster Starter Kit’ Guide

There are many podcaster starter kits available, and some are much better than others. I’ve sifted through many of the current favorites and come up with a shortlist of seven. These are USB and XLR podcaster mic sets for all budgets. The first three kits are the Editor’s choices. They include the Best Budget podcast mic, Best Value, and then the Top pick.

Podcaster Starter Kits Comparison Table

1. MAONO USB Podcaster Mic Kit | Best Budget

MAONO USB Podcaster Mic KitView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

My Best Budget podcaster starter kit goes to the affordable MAONO AU-A04. It includes a USB condenser type microphone with a cardioid pickup and a bunch of extras.

  • Best feature 1: Plug-n-play simplicity
  • Best feature 2: Broad compatibility
  • Plus points: Clear audio, scissor boom arm, shock mount, pop filter, foam windscreen
  • Minus points: Background noise, no storage box

MAONO USB Podcaster Mic Kit Highlights

Microphone Compatibility: Windows PCs and laptops, Apple Mac computers, Apple iPhones. NOTE: Phones require the OTG (not included with this product).

MAONO AU-A04 USB microphone is a plug-n-play product ready for immediate use. It’s compatible with a broad range of computers and mobile devices. This good-looking mic comes with some essential studio extras. They include an adjustable boom arm that attaches to the side of a table, a pop filter, and a foam cover. The audio is surprisingly crisp and clear, considering the low-price tag of this mic.

The MAONO AU-A04 microphone set is worth consideration for any podcast newbie. It has all you need to start your journey. Be sure to check out some of the user video uploads and feedback.

The Not So Good

There can be a fair bit of background noise with this condenser mic. Reducing the volume can help to lessen ambient sounds. Recording in a quiet space or audio-treated room is an even better option. There isn’t a storage case included, which is not surprising considering what you do get. You may want to find something to protect the equipment if you can’t leave it set up permanently.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Mic Type: Podcast Condenser
Connection: USB 2.0
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Frequency Response: 30 Hz to 16 kHz
Sampling Rate: 192kHz, 24-bit
Sensitivity: -38 dB+/ -3 dB
Package Dimensions: 17 x 8 x 3.5”
Total Kit Weight: 49.6 oz.
Warranty: 30-day return
The Pros
Complete podcast studio kit
Desktop table clamp
Variable scissor arm stand
Plug-n-play simplicity
Crystal clear audio
Metal shockmount
Pop filter
Foam windshield
The Cons
Sensitive to background noise
No storage case

2. AT2020PK Mic Pack for Podcasting | Best Value

AT2020PK Mic Pack for PodcastingView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The best Value podcaster starter kit goes to Audio-Technica’s the AT2020PK. It’s a simple studio set that offers the kind of quality normally associated with costlier products.

  • Best feature 1: Clean, super-crisp audio quality
  • Best feature 2: Durable, all-metal mic
  • Plus points: Low noise, ATH-M20x headphones, adjustable 360° boom, storage pouch, value
  • Minus points: Needs an interface, no XLR cable

Audio-Technica Podcast Kit Highlights

Podcasters could pay more and do worse than this set. The Audio-Technica AT2020PK XLR mic is a brilliant first choice for enthusiasts. The kit is one of the four exciting podcast bundles currently offered by the company. They include two USBs and two XLRs, and they’re all popular. The extras in this set include a mic mount, versatile boom arm, and a pair of quality ATH-M20x headphones.

Podcasters Love It

Many podcasters praise this mic in the comment sections of online stores, and rightly so. The audio reproduction is superb for vocal applications in a controlled environment. You can expect to hear a crisp, natural sound with next to no ambient interference. Now add the low-noise characteristics, cardioid pickup, and affordable price. This handy pack is a no-brainer for the home podcaster.

The Not So Good

This is an XLR condenser mic. Thus, it needs a preamp or audio interface to work (see introduction for XLR mics and interfaces). It’s not a con, but it is an extra cost, so novice podcasters need to know this before they decide. There isn’t an XLR cable included in the bundle. That’s not so unusual, but new buyers should have one ready for when the kit arrives.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
: Audio Technica
Type: XLR condenser
Cable: 3-pin XLR
Power Supply: Phantom
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Dynamic Range: 24dB
Maximum SPL: 144dB
S/N Ratio: 74dB
Mic Dimensions: 6.38 x 2.05”
Product Weight: 12.17 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Durable, all-metal mic
Clean, super-crisp audio
Low noise
High SPL handling
ATH-M20x headphones
Adjustable 360° boom
Storage pouch
Excellent value
The Cons
Needs an interface
XLR cable not included
Flimsy storage pouch

3. Focusrite Scarlett Solo Podcaster Bundle | Top Pick

Focusrite Scarlett Solo Podcaster BundleView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

My Top Pick is for the color-coordinated Focusrite Scarlett bundle. It’s for podcasters who are ready to move up a level or beginners who don’t mind spending a bit more.

  • Best feature 1: Versatile vocal microphone setup
  • Best feature 2: Excellent value low-mid-range studio bundle
  • Plus points: Condenser mic, microphone clip, crisp, clear audio, USB audio interface, cable
  • Minus points: Average headphones

Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio Kit Highlights

This bundle is almost—but not quite—perfect (see below). It’s a superb solo podcaster studio kit and an excellent setup for vocalists. The respectable CM25 XLR condenser mic produces beautifully crisp, natural audio. Add the USB Focusrite interface, XLR cable, and mic clip, and there’s your podcasting kit. You may need a mic stand if you don’t already have one, though.

The mic preamp has a musical instrument input on its front panel. You also get two RCA unbalanced outputs, 48V phantom power, and a headphone output with gain control. The Scarlett interface works seamlessly with both Windows and Apple Mac computers.

The Not So Good

The only major negative with this podcast bundle is its HP60S headphones. They have a closed back and extended frequency response, but they’re still average or just below. Some wearers even find them uncomfortable. Everything else about this kit is of exceptional value. But I would advise podcasters to invest in a better headset if they don’t already have one.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: Focusrite
Mic Type: XLR Condenser
Mic Connection: 3-pin XLR
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Phantom
Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 13 x 8.6”
Product Weight: 6.35 lbs.
The Pros
Versatile vocal microphone setup
Crisp, clear audio
CM25 condenser mic
Microphone stand clip
Focusrite Scarlett Solo Interface
Excellent value studio bundle
Compatible w/ Windows & Mac
XLR cable included
The Cons
Average headphones

4. TONOR Pro XLR Mic Podcasting Studio Kit

TONOR Pro XLR Mic Podcasting Studio KitView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

Meet the TONOR Podcasting Studio mic and accessories. There are a lot of extras in the box for a budget-end bundle. Everything is decent rather than exceptional, but that’s fine for beginners.

  • Best feature 1: Decent XLR condenser mic
  • Best feature 2: All-metal shock mount
  • Plus points: Scissor arm stand, table clamp, pop filter, windshield, phantom power supply
  • Minus points: Sound needs tweaking, decent, not exceptional

TONOR Pro XLR Podcasting Kit Highlights

This entire XLR podcasting kit comes in at less than 50 dollars at the time of writing. It includes a lot of stuff too. There’s the condenser mic, pop filter, windshield, a scissor arm stand, and a table clamp. Another bonus is the 48V power supply and XLR cable. It’s incredible what they’ve managed to pack into the box at such a low price. But is it any good? Let’s check out the assembled equipment.

Testing, 1 2 3

This entire kit looks fantastic and is well-made for its category. It doesn’t take long to set up, and everything is easy to use. The scissor arm stand keeps your desktop free of clutter and gives total freedom to position the mic. The audio is crisp and clean, but it lacks warmth for speech applications right out of the box. EQ can easily fix that, but a raw novice is unlikely to want the bother.

The Not So Good

This is a capable microphone for podcasters, but it needs a little work to get the best out of the audio. That means some post-editing or running it through a mixer. Only consider the TONOR Pro if you’re comfortable with audio tweaks. Otherwise, there are better options out-of-the box. Everything about this kit is a good average, and nothing is exceptional. It’s still an excellent starter kit, though.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: TONOR
Mic Type: XLR condenser
Mic Connection: XLR cable
Power Supply: 48V phantom
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
Equivalent Noise Level: 16dBA
Package Dimensions: 17 x 11.6 x 3”
Product Weight: 4.35 lbs.
Warranty: 1 Year
The Pros
Full podcasting kit
Easy to set up and use
Decent XLR condenser mic
All-metal shock mount
Adjustable scissor arm stand
Table clamp
Pop filter & windshield
Phantom power supply
Excellent value
The Cons
Sounds a tad thin (lacks warmth)
Average everything

5. Blue Yeti Blackout USB Mic Podcaster Kit

Blue Yeti Blackout USB Mic Podcaster KitView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Most entry and intermediate level podcasters love the Blue Yeti, and for good reasons. It’s one of the best USB options for speech applications. But this puppy is cable of so much more if you need it.

  • Best feature 1: Multi-pattern selection
  • Best feature 2: USB plug-n-play simplicity
  • Plus points: Well-built, full podcasting kit, fine-tuning, versatile, detailed instructions
  • Minus points: Potential issues with the Knox boom arm, cheap knobs

Blue Yeti Blackout Podcaster Kit Highlights

Blue’s Yeti Blackout is well-built, as are all the included extras. Plug-n-play USB mics are so easy to set up and use, which makes them ultra-convenient. The Blackout Edition here is no different. It’s a convenient podcaster’s kit that includes the mic, a desk stand, and a studio arm. There’s also a pop filter and a pair of closed-back headphones in the box. That’s it—you’re ready to start podcasting.

Exploring the Blue Yeti Microphone

The mic is big—and some would say gorgeous—with useful on-body controls. Its multipolar pattern selector is incredibly valuable for different recording situations. The options are cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and stereo. That offers a lot of diverse recording opportunities. There’s also a handy Mute button, Gain Dial, a Headphone Input, and a Headphone Volume Knob.

It’s fair to say the Blue Yeti series of mics sound remarkable for speech. It’s feature-packed too, and that makes it a truly versatile, multifunctional microphone. You can fine-tune it to perform exactly how you want it. That’s not something most mics can offer without lots of mixing or post-editing. Shortlist this beautiful bundle if it’s within budget.

The Not So Good

There have been several complaints where the mic doesn’t fit the Knox boom. Not everyone has the same problem, but there have been enough reports to make it a ‘potential’ issue. The reviews tend to be mixed, so be sure to check for updates if you’re keen on this podcast bundle.

Another gripe is with the Gain and Volume knobs even though they work perfectly well. It’s just that they’re cheap and wobbly, and thus seem out of character compared to the rest of the mic.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: Blue
Microphone Type: USB condenser
Connection: USB 2.0 and newer
Polar Pattern: Multiple
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Max SPL: 120-dB
Bit Rate: 16-bit
Max Sample Rate: 48-kHz
Dimensions: 4.9 x 4.7 x 11.6”
Weight No Stand: 19.2 oz.
Weight of Stand: 35.2 oz.
Warranty: 2 years limited
The Pros
Full podcasting mic set
Multi-pattern selection
USB plug-n-play simplicity
Well-built, sturdy mic
Suspension boom scissor arm
Knox pop filter
Tascam closed-back headphones
Potential to fine-tuning settings
Versatile for voice and music
Detailed English instructions
The Cons
Potential issues with boom arm
Cheap volume & gain knobs

6. Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Mic Set

Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Mic SetView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

Rode is a well-known brand for quality mics at affordable prices. This one is the company’s NT1-A (Anniversary Edition). It’s a studio condenser microphone that excels for speech and vocals.

  • Best feature 1: Exceptional build quality
  • Best feature 2: Shockmount with attached pop filter
  • Plus points: Sounds incredible for voice, versatile mic, storage pouch, XLR cable
  • Minus points: Needs additional hardware, learning curve

Rode NT1-A Vocal Mic Set Highlights

Rode’s NT1-A is an XLR condenser type microphone that needs phantom power to function. The all-metal build is phenomenal, and you can appreciate its quality just by holding it. The set includes a metal shockmount with an attached RODE pop filter. There’s also an XLR cable in the box, and that’s not a given with most mic sets. It’s a worthy kit for both voice and instrument applications.

The Rode NT1-A is a perfect upgrade for any podcaster or vocalist looking to move to the next level. Beginner podcasters, though, can get by with a much cheaper product of decent quality. A microphone in this price category is mostly for podcasters with a passion for perfection.

The Not So Good

The NT1-A Anniversary is not suitable for raw beginners because it needs extra hardware. That includes a mixer and or a dedicated pre-amp with phantom power. These things add to the complexity and the cost. There’s also a learning curve with mics like this due to the above.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Rode
Mic Type: XLR condenser
Connection: 3-pin XLR
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: 48V phantom
Acoustic Principle: Pressure gradient
Maximum SPL: 137dB
Frequency Range: 20Hz to 20kHz
Max Output Level: 13.7mV
Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.5 x 11”
Weight: 4.6 lbs.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Popular mic, positive feedback
Exceptional build quality
Shockmount w/ pop filter
Sounds incredible for voice
Versatile kit, broad usage
Soft storage pouch
Includes XLR cable
The Cons
Needs additional hardware
Learning curve

7. PreSonus AudioBox Ultimate Podcast Bundle

PreSonus AudioBox Ultimate Podcast BundleView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: x/5

The final review—for now—goes to the AudioBox Ultimate Recording Kit. It has all the hardware and software needed to start creating awesome podcasts from the comfort of home.

  • Best feature 1: All-in-one recording solution for PC or Mac
  • Best feature 2: Studio One Artist software
  • Plus points: AudioBox, large-diaphragm mic, headphones, studio monitors, value
  • Minus points: Learning curve software, instructions not novice-friendly

PreSonus AudioBox Studio Bundle Highlights

Consider the PreSonus AudioBox Studio Ultimate Bundle if you need a complete audio kit. All you need to bring to the show is a Windows or Mac computer. The rest is in the box and ready to record:

The full kit includes the following items:

  • AudioBox USB 96 audio interface w/ cable
  • Compact Eris E3.5, two-way active studio monitors
  • HD7 monitoring studio headphones
  • M7 studio condenser mic w/ cable

M7 Condenser Studio Microphone

Large-diaphragm condenser microphones are excellent vocal recording tools. The M7 studio mic here has a warm, detailed sound that brings out the best in voice and instruments. The pack even includes the cables needed, and a handy desktop mic stand. You also get a pair of high-definition HD7 monitoring studio headphones.

Studio One Artist DAW Software

The Studio One Artist software provides unlimited tracks. It has an intuitive interface with full drag-n-drop functionality. You get an automated full-featured mix, a bunch of virtual instruments, and 20 native sound plug-ins. Some of those include EQ, amp modeling, reverbs, and much more.

Audiobox USB

The incredible Audiobox USB is at the heart of this bundle. It sports a 2CH interface and comes packed with a host of valuable features. It’s housed in a rugged all-metal chassis and incorporates metal knobs. Another standout feature is the Bus Power. That means you don’t need a regular power cable.

Other AudioBox features worth noting include:

  • High-quality microphone preamplifiers
  • 2 combo inputs with phantom power
  • Headphone output
  • Stereo 1/4” outputs
  • Midi IN/OUT

The Not So Good

The software is not what you might call beginner-friendly. It has a lot going on, so new users may need time to get to grips with it all. The technical instructions don’t help either. They’re okay for anyone who knows about recording software, but a little hard to follow for those who don’t.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: PreSonus
Mic: Large-diaphragm condenser
Mic Connection: 3-pin XLR
Audio Interface: AudioBox USB 96
Audio Software: Studio One Artist
Studio Monitors: Eris 3.5
Monitoring Headphones: HD7 studio
Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 16”
Product Weight: 13.4 lbs.
The Pros
All-in-one recording solution
Well-made, rugged hardware
Compatible with PC or Mac
Studio One Artist software
Feature-packed AudioBox
Large-diaphragm M7 mic
Studio headphones
Pair of active studio monitors
Excellent value
The Cons
Learning curve (software)
Instructions not novice-friendly
0/50 ratings