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The Definitive Podcasting Gear Guide for Any Budget

by John Lee Dumas
music & audio

podcasting gear guide

Though the medium is still relatively new, it’s clear that podcasting is having a moment. One of the largest factors of its success? The ease of entry. With a computer and an internet connection, anyone can create audio content and disperse it to the world. But before you get started with your own podcast, you should make sure you’ve got the stuff you’ll need to make it sound clear and professional — plus, you’ll need to figure out how to get it from your computer into other peoples’ earbuds.

Fortunately, there are a lot of options for new podcasters that are either very inexpensive or downright free, making it even easier to give this medium a whirl.

Microphones:
Regardless of your budget, one thing is for sure: The microphone that your computer came with is probably not going to cut it. Not only are stock microphones notorious for letting in way too much ambient noise, they also make it nearly impossible to conduct a proper interview. But a pretty great microphone doesn’t need to break the bank. John Lee Dumas, founder and host of EntrepreneurOnFire, shared with us his must-have podcasting gear for any budget. Here are his picks for microphones:

Low Budget: Logitech Clear Chat,  $32.99
Medium Budget: ATR-2100,  $53.97
High Budget: Heil PR-40, $327

Recording/editing software:
Unlike hardware, like a microphone, software is much easier to get for free or very inexpensive. GarageBand comes built in to all Apple computers, but if you’re a PC user, you still have shareware choices that are high-performing, but low-cost. John recommends the following:

Low Budget: Audacity = Free, both Mac and PC
Low Budget: GarageBand = Free, Mac only
High Budget: Adobe Audition = $20/month

Media Hosts: 
Finding an efficient, easy, affordable way to host your podcast is arguably one of the most difficult elements. There isn’t really a perfect free host or platform out there, but there are several that get the job really well for a very nominal amount of money. Here are John’s picks:

Low Budget: Soundcloud, which begins as a free service, but moves to “freemium” once you upload enough content
Medium Budget: Libsyn, starting at $5 per month (but use the promo code ‘fire’ to get two free months)
Medium/High Budget: Blubrry, starting at $12 per month

Want more information about how to launch your own podcast? Join John for his CreativeLive class, Podcasting 101.

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John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas is the founder and host of EntrepreneurOnFire, a podcast in which he interviews today’s most successful and inspiring entrepreneurs.