There’s a new way to enjoy your favorite podcasts, and it involves using an XLR microphone. Podcasts have become incredibly popular in recent years, and for a good reason: they’re a great way to stay informed and entertained.
But until now, the only way to really get the most out of them was by listening on a computer or mobile device. With an XLR microphone, however, you can enjoy your favorite podcasts in a new way: by actually hearing them how they were meant to be heard.
In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at XLR microphones and their various uses in podcasting. We’ll start by discussing what an XLR microphone is and how it works. Then we’ll move on to a discussion of the different types of XLR microphones available on the market today.
Finally, we’ll offer some tips for choosing the right XLR microphone for your needs. So whether you are a seasoned podcaster or just getting started, read on for everything you need to know about XLR microphones!
What Is An XLR Microphone?
An XLR microphone is a type of professional-grade, wired microphone that uses three-pin connectors to connect to audio mixers and other sound systems. XLR microphones are typically used in recording studios, live performances, and broadcast applications like podcasting. They are designed for optimal sound quality by cutting out background noise and capturing the full range of frequencies.
XLR microphones are less likely to produce electrical interference, and they can be used with a variety of different audio devices. In addition, XLR microphones are generally more durable than other types of microphones and can withstand higher levels of sound pressure. As a result, they are often the preferred choice for use in live sound applications.
Related: Best XLR Cables For Microphones
Types Of XLR Microphones
When it comes to choosing an XLR microphone, there are a few different types to consider.
1. Condenser Microphones
Condenser microphones are the most commonly used type of XLR microphone and are ideal for recording vocals, instruments, and spoken-word applications. They work by converting sound energy into electrical signals, which can then be amplified or recorded. Condenser mics tend to produce slightly higher quality sound than dynamic XLR mics do and are often used in professional recording studios.
2. Dynamic Microphones
Dynamic microphones are another type of XLR mic that is used in live sound applications. Unlike condenser microphones, they don’t require power and generate a weaker signal per sound pressure level. As a result, they are better suited for use in loud environments like concerts or theater productions.
These are just two of the most common types of XLR microphones. There are also USB mic models and specialty mics like shotgun mics, which are designed to capture sound from a single direction.
The 10 Best XLR Microphones
Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of XLR microphones Let’s discuss the top-rated models on the market today.
1. Audio-Technica AT2035
The Audio-Technica AT2035 is a versatile mic that offers great sound quality for a variety of recording applications. The cardioid polar pattern helps to reduce the pickup of sounds from the sides and back, improving the isolation of the desired sound source. The large diaphragm provides a smooth, natural sound with low noise.
The pop filter helps to eliminate the annoying “plosives” from your recordings. And the 10ft best XLR microphone cable provides a professional connection to your recording device. The microfiber cleaning cloth helps keep the mic clean and free of dust and dirt. It also comes with a shock mount to reduce vibration and handling noise.
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Large diaphragm for smooth, natural sound
- Pop filter included reducing plosives
- 10ft XLR cable included
Related: Audio Technica AT2035 vs Rode NT1
2. Shure SM58
The Shure SM58 is a performance-tested, industry-standard vocal microphone with an integrated on/off switch. It features a consistent cardioid pick-up design for ultimate gain and a customized frequency response especially designed for vocals, with gladdened midrange and bass roll-off.
Its advanced pneumatic shock mount system, steel-mesh grille, and enamel-coated metal construction provide effective protection against the elements. The built-in pop filter ensures clear, interference-free vocals.
SM58 comes with a zippered storage bag, a break-resistant stand adapter, and extreme durability. It’s the perfect choice for all types of live vocal performances, and its sound quality is sure to impress! In case you’re looking for your first vocal microphone or a reliable workhorse for the road, the Shure SM58 is a perfect choice.
- Uniform cardioid pick-up pattern
- Tailored frequency response for vocals
- Advanced pneumatic shock mount system
- Built-in pop filter
3. Rode Procaster
The Rode Procaster is a dynamic microphone with an XLR connection. Like any other USB mics, it has a cardioid polar pattern, allowing it to pick up sound from the front while repudiating sound from the back and sides. This makes it ideal for use in recording studios and live venues. The Procaster also has a low self-noise, which means that it will not produce as much background noise as other types of dynamic mics.
This makes it perfect for use in environments where noise levels are already high. Overall, the Rode Procaster is a great choice for anyone looking for a quality dynamic microphone.
- XLR Connection
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Low self-noise
- Built-in pop filter and shock mount
4. AKG Pro Audio C214
The AKG Pro Audio C214 is a large-diaphragm condenser mic that is designed for professional studio and live applications. The C214 has a warm, clear sound with the superb transient response and excellent attenuation of background noise. It also offers a wide dynamic range and low distortion, making it an ideal choice for close-up recording of lead vocals, acoustic instruments, and drums.
The C214’s integrated suspension reduces handling noise, while the switchable 20 dB attenuator and bass-cut filter provide additional flexibility for close-up recording. The C214 also includes a rugged carrying case and shock mount, making it an ideal choice for podcasting and field recording. If you’re looking for a great sounding microphone at a reasonable price, the AKG Pro Audio C214 is definitely worth checking out.
- Large-diaphragm condenser design
- Warm, clear sound with superior transient response
- Switchable 20 dB attenuator and bass-cut filter
- Integrated suspension reduces handling noise
- Includes rugged carrying case and shock mount
5. Electro-Voice RE20
The Electro-Voice RE20 is a professional quality dynamic cardioid microphone with a classic sound. It has a natural, smooth, and controlled sonic character. Its heavy-duty internal pop filter and Variable-D design excel at decreasing proximity effect and liberating a clear, articulate audio interface. The interior element shock mount reduces handling noise and protects the delicate internal components.
The steel case and hum-bucking coil help to reduce electromagnetic interference. RE20 is ideal for voice-over work, podcasts, audiobook narration, sports announcers, talk shows, broadcasting, radio, and music production. It is the perfect choice for a reliable microphone that will deliver professional-grade sound. With its classic design and rich, warm tone, the Electro-Voice RE20 is sure to be a favorite among podcasters and audio professionals alike.
- Classic sound
- Variable-D design
- Heavy-duty internal pop filter
- Internal element shock mount
- Steel case and humbucking coil for electromagnetic interference reduction
6. MXL Instrument Condenser Microphone
The MXL Instrument Condenser Microphone has a FET-based design that is transformer balanced. It also has a vintage body style with a champagne finish. It includes a custom shock mount, mic stand adapter & carrying case.
This microphone has a silky sweet high end that retains tight, solid low midrange reproduction. The power requirements for this microphone are Phantom power 48V (+- 4V). This is a great microphone for anyone who wants to get the best sound quality possible. It is perfect for podcasting, live streaming, and recording music.
It is also a great choice for gamers who want to capture their audio with unparalleled accuracy and clarity. With its FET-based design, this microphone is the perfect tool for capturing the nuances of an instrument or vocal performance. Whether you’re creating professional recordings or just having fun, this microphone will help you get the job done.
- FET-based design
- Transformer balanced
- Vintage body style with a champagne finish
- Includes custom shock mount, mic stand adapter & carrying case
- Silky sweet high end that retains tight, solid low midrange reproduction
- Phantom power 48V (+- 4V) for optimal performance
7. Heil PR-40
The Heil PR-40 is another popular mic choice among podcasters. The Heil PR-40 is a professional-grade dynamic microphone with a copper-wound voice coil and neodymium magnet structure. The steel body and zinc die-cast bottom ring provide excellent durability, while the 28Hz to 18kHz frequency response delivers clear, accurate sound reproduction.
With a balanced impedance of 600 ohms, the PR-40 is ideal for use in a variety of recording and live sound applications. And with an output level of -53.9dB @ 1,000 Hz, it can handle high SPLs without distortion. It also has a dual-layer pop filter that helps to reduce unwanted noise, and breath pops when recording.
Finally, the included shock mount adds an extra layer of protection against vibration and handling noise. With its impressive sound quality and durability, the Heil PR-40 is an ideal choice for serious podcasters who are looking for professional results.
- Copper-wound voice coil and neodymium magnet structure
- Steel body with zinc die-cast bottom ring
- 28HZ to 18kHz frequency response
- Balanced impedance of 600 ohms
- Headphone output level of -53.9dB at 1,000 Hz
8. Telefunken M82
This dynamic microphone is a great choice for podcasting that requires a rugged and reliable mic. The M82’s cardioid polar pattern helps reduce room noise, making it perfect for recording podcasts in less than ideal environments. The Telefunken M82 is a dual-EQing microphone that offers a wide range of sounds, from vintage to modern. It has excellent build quality and superb low-frequency capture.
You can tailor the microphone’s response to the source by adjusting the high- and low-frequency EQs. This allows you to get the perfect sound for your recording. The M82 is an excellent choice for any studio or live performance, as it delivers excellent sound quality for recording, broadcasting, and podcasting. So if you’re looking for a microphone that will give you great results, the Telefunken M82 is an excellent choice.
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Dual-EQing microphone
- High and low-frequency EQs
- Excellent build quality and low-frequency capture
- Ideal for recording, broadcasting, and podcasting
9. Shure SM7B
The Shure SM7B is a high-quality microphone that is perfect for studio recording, home recording, podcasting, and streaming. The microphone has an XLR connection, and at least 60dB of gain is recommended. The SM7B’s dynamic cartridge with smooth flat, wide-range frequency response is perfect for the natural reproduction of both music and speech.
The air suspension shock isolation and pop filter eliminate any unwanted noise. This microphone is the perfect choice for anyone who wants the best possible sound quality. It features advanced electromagnetic shielding to reduce background noise, and its rugged construction makes it ideal for use in live performances.
The detachable close-talk windscreen and switch cover plate help to protect the microphone against the elements, and the bass roll-off and mid-range emphasis provide a clear, natural sound. It also includes a switchable low-frequency filter to help reduce any low-frequency interference that may be present in your recording.
- Air suspension shock isolation and pop filter
- Detachable close-talk windscreen
- Switch the cover plate for protection against the elements
- Advanced electromagnetic shielding
- Rugged construction
- Bass roll-off and mid-range emphasis
- Switchable low-frequency filter to reduce interference
Related: Shure SM7B vs Rode PodMic
10. Neumann U 87
The Neumann U 87 is a studio microphone classic. It is a pressure-gradient transducer with a double membrane capsule and three directional characteristics: Omni, cardioid, and figure-8. The large diaphragm microphone is great for capturing those subtle nuances in your recordings. The three directional characteristics allow you to tailor your recording to the specific needs of the moment.
It’s known for its smooth sound, with great off-axis rejection, making it ideal for podcasting. Its impressive versatility means that you can use it to record vocals, instruments, and even voice-over work. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a reliable microphone that will stand the test of time.
- Large-diaphragm capsule
- Smooth sound with great off-axis rejection
- Three directional characteristics: Omni, cardioid, and figure-8
- Versatile enough for vocal recordings, instrument recordings, and voice-over work
- Reliable construction that will last for years to come
These are just some of the top-notch XLR microphones for podcasting that you can find. With a little research and testing, you’ll be able to find the perfect mic for your needs!
Tips For Choosing The Right XLR Microphone
When it comes to choosing an XLR microphone, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Consider The Sound Quality
Make sure you consider the sound quality when choosing an XLR microphone. Look for a model that offers excellent sound quality and accurate frequency response for your recordings. It should also have a good signal-to-noise ratio and low self-noise.
2. Think About The Type Of Recording You’ll Be Doing
Think about the type of recordings you’ll be doing with your XLR microphone. If you’re using it for voiceover work, look for a model that is designed for vocals. If you’re recording instruments, look for models with a flat frequency response and higher SPL handling.
3. Consider The Design And Build Quality
Make sure to take into account the construction of your XLR microphone when choosing one. Look for a model with rugged construction and durable components that will last for years. Because XLR microphones are often used in live performances, consider models that offer good shock isolation and pop filter protection.
4. Consider Your Budget
The cost of XLR microphones can vary widely. If you’re on a budget, look for models that offer great sound at an affordable price. However, keep in mind that the more expensive models usually offer better quality and performance.
5. Test And Compare
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, test out the models that interest you. Listen to recordings done with each microphone and compare them to find the one that sounds best for your needs.
These tips will help you find the perfect XLR microphone for podcasting. It is important to consider the type of microphone, its features, and its performance when it comes to recording.
Related: Best Budget USB Microphones
Now that you know the best XLR USB microphones for podcasting, it’s time to decide which one is right for you. Take into consideration all of the features and specs of each microphone before making your decision.
The microphones mentioned above all offer excellent sound quality, so you can’t go wrong. However, the dynamic mic that will work best for your podcast is ultimately dependent on your budget and what features are most important to you.
No matter which mic you choose, having an XLR USB microphone in your podcast studio will drastically improve the overall sound quality of your episodes. We hope you found this guide useful and that it helped you decide on the perfect XLR dynamic microphone for your podcasting needs!