Getting all the gear together to make a B2B podcast can be a haul. The microphone alone can have so many attachments that it feels more like you’re building a Lego version of the Sydney Opera House than setting up a podcast mic.
Knowing what you need to make a podcast can make a huge difference in your comfort level and the quality of your podcast. Putting together a podcasting kit makes it easy, whether you’re an on-the-go Mac user or you’re sitting in your home office.
The key to remember is that you don’t need the best of the best. You’re not making music (unless you are) so you probably don’t need music production-level equipment.
You’re podcasting, so you want crisp, clear audio, good enough for a talk show but not necessarily good enough for Taylor Swift-level vocals (but who am I to judge?).
What do you need in a B2B podcasting kit for Mac? A full podcasting kit for a Mac user includes:
- Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
- Mudder Microphone Windscreen
- On Stage MY-420 Shock Mount
- Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead Broadcast Boom
- LyxPro HAS-10 Headphones
- Logitech C920 USB Certified HD Pro Webcam
- Garageband for Mac Audio Editing Software
There are a million options out there for microphones, headphones, and webcams, for example, but it can be tricky to find the right ones for your B2B podcasting kit, especially when you’re looking for one with Mac compatibility.
Knowing what great options are for everything you need can make your podcasting kit the best one possible.
A breakdown of what’s in a good kit:
- Mic stand, tripod, or arm
- Pop filter or mic cover
- Audio editing software
A good microphone that you know how to set up and use is the most important part of a podcasting kit. Without one, you have nothing.
Harsh, I know, but true. If the core of your podcast is people listening and you don’t have something they can stand to listen to, you’re done for.
The Sweet Fish-favorite Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB Cardioid Dynamic Microphone ($99) is a great option. It’s a good midrange choice in terms of price and value for cost.
I like that this mic comes with a tripod and is specially designed to not pick up background noise and other unwanted sounds. Plus, it’s USB, and has a built-in headphone jack.
USB compatibility is especially handy with a Mac, since some newer Macs (the laptops, for example) only have USB-C ports requiring a “dongle” to plug standard USBs in.
USB to USB-C dongles are the most common, so anything that can be converted to work on Mac via USB is a great choice.
For a more inexpensive option
Check out the Blue Snowball ($70) microphone. It’s a USB mic so it’s easy to plug into a Mac, and it’s got great-quality audio recording. It’s super easy to set up, as an added bonus.
One note about the Snowball is that it may be more difficult to pair with some additional accessories because it does not have a standard shape (if you didn’t already guess, it’s… snowball shaped).
Higher-end, great quality
The Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone ($399) is well-reviewed and looks sleek and cool. It comes with a great mount bracket and built-in pop filter, meaning even better audio.
It can also cut out background noise like a computer whirring or a laptop fan, leaving you with essentially perfect audio and making this great for a busy Mac user with tons of tabs and windows open.
Mic stand, tripod, or arm
A mic stand is pretty self-explanatory, since obviously you won’t get top-notch audio recording if you’re holding a mic (hello shaky hand) or have it perched on top of a stack of books.
For on-the-go ease
The LyxPro Desktop Weighted Microphone Stand ($18) is a decent price and really simple to use, making it a great option. It would also be good for on-the-go gear if you don’t mind the weight.
For a lighter, foldable option, the Moukey Desk Mic Stand ($13) is great. It works with lots of different mic types and is the perfect choice for people who will be traveling with podcast gear.
Perfect for the home office or desk
If you want to get a little fancy (and also look really good if you’re creating a video), the Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead Broadcast Boom ($149.00) has the classic podcaster look, plus is great for people who plan to work from the same location each time.
It can keep everything in its place without getting in your way while you do other work.
If you’re working in an environment with enough background noise to be picked up by the microphone, consider the Neewer Tabletop Isolation Shield with Tripod Stand ($64).
An isolation shield is built into the tripod stand, and helps block out echos and background noise. Plus, it’s portable.
A shock mount is another great accessory to help you get the best audio. They prevent the microphone from vibrating and picking up vibration noise.
The On Stage MY-420 Studio Microphone Shock Mount ($29.99) is popular at Sweet Fish and fits lots of mics, and is easy to use.
Pop filter or mic cover
Pop filters and mic covers are designed to keep the mic from picking up popping sounds caused by air hitting the mic when you speak.
You don’t need both, but could use them if it makes a difference for you.
Pop filter for more advanced protection
A pop filter attaches to the mic and sits a few inches away from it, between your mouth and the mic. This is what you see singers using; it helps prevent more forceful breaths from causing pop sounds.
The Neewer Professional Microphone Pop Filter ($9) is an awesome choice. It’s inexpensive, easy to attach, and has two layers meaning it can work to prevent pops even on the hardest “S” or “P” pronunciation.
A mic cover for more comfortable use
A mic cover, or windscreen, is designed for lower-energy breaths hitting the mic. It works perfectly well for picking up conversation-level audio, though some people don’t like that it can make voices sound slightly less rich.
The Mudder Mic Cover Handheld Microphone Windscreen ($12.99) is a 5-pack of mic covers at a great price, so I think it’s a great deal. They’re also really easy to set up.
Excellent headphones can really make a difference when you’re trying to judge the quality of your audio and make it as perfect as possible.
It’s a bit of an investment, but the LyxPro HAS-10 Closed Back Over Ear Headphones ($44.99) are wonderful. The audio on these bad boys is impeccable.
They also block out background noise so you can hear exactly what you need to hear, they’re really comfortable, and are adjustable so you can work for as long as you need to.
Get the job done
If you want a more inexpensive option and don’t need such precise audio, check out the Panasonic RP-HT161-K Headphones ($15).
They’re lightweight and over-the-ear, so they should be comfortable for as long as you are working.
Some computers come with pretty good cameras, like Macs. But “pretty good” isn’t always good enough, especially if you’re trying to create visuals as well as audio.
To make your final product (as well as your interviewee’s experience) great, the Logitech C920 USB Certified HD Pro Webcam ($142.99) is a good choice.
The USB compatibility means it’ll be easy to connect to a Mac, while the HD ensures you’ll have great definition throughout your podcast.
And with low-light correction, you don’t have to worry about lighting issues that can happen if, for example, the sun goes behind a cloud for a moment.
Audio Editing Software
Lucky for you, your Mac comes pre-loaded with some pretty awesome, easy-to-use software to edit your audio (including for podcasts!). Ever heard of Garageband?
That fun music-creation software you might’ve messed around with when you were bored one day could come in handy now.
You have all the basic tools you need, and it’s fully designed for Mac with some pretty sweet keyboard shortcuts.
If you’re looking to step things up a bit, Audacity is free and works well on Mac. It’s a simpler way to edit, without all of the extra Garageband options like sound effects or your music library cluttering parts of the screen.
If you want to test your audio MP3, a handy trick is to drag it into good old iTunes — it’ll download like a song would and you can play it to your heart’s content.
All-in-one editing and distribution
To edit and distribute your podcast to places like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts, try Anchor. You can even record with Anchor, so it’s really an all-in-one.
Added bonus: Anchor could not be easier. You record, edit, and push one button and your podcast is distributed to every place you can listen to podcasts. It’s. So. Easy.
Macs come with lots of great features, which make them a wonderful computer to have if you’re trying to get into podcasting. But when you’re trying to step things up, it’s time for something new.
Your Mac webcam and microphone can definitely be good enough in a lot of ways but when you want to have great audio, an external microphone and webcam are the way to go.
Having perfect audio, beyond a new microphone, could mean getting a pop filter or mic cover, and probably means you’re getting some sort of support (arm, tripod, boom) to hold your mic.
It also probably means learning how to edit better and better as your podcast improves and gains traction, and wanting to have the best possible editing and listening experience.
While it may seem like getting a new microphone means you need tons of other new accessories, each addition can make your podcast audio even better — and better sound = better quality.
Listeners love quality. And you probably love listeners.
If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have read this far. So go on, think a bit about what you want to improve about your podcast and then give it a go.
You’ve already got a Mac so even if you’re starting from square one, you’ve got easy-to-use tools and can add perfectly compatible gear to sound and work even better.