Microphone Basics: A Beginners Guide to Best USB Microphones for Podcasting & How To Use Them

September 29, 2021 3 min read

We often hear from customers who want to start recording a podcast but are kind of baffled at the technology. If you’ve never recorded anything besides a voice memo on your phone, the idea of jumping into the world of recording equipment can be intimidating. The good news is, if you’re hoping to record audio for a podcast, you only really need one piece of equipment: a good microphone.

The good news is, if you’re hoping to record audio for a podcast, you only really need one piece of equipment: a good microphone.

There are many great options for podcast microphones, but in this post, we’ll focus on a practical mic that will get you from unboxing to recording. We'll show you why a USB microphone for voice recording might be your best option to choose when it comes to microphones for podcasting.

Why USB Microphones?

USB microphones are an excellent choice for anyone who is starting a podcast or beginning their recording journey. They are standalone and don’t require any other equipment besides a laptop or desktop computer or even your smartphone. 

Traditional microphones require an interface, a device that converts the analog signal captured by the microphone into digital information that can be processed by a computer. A USB mic can transfer recorded audio directly through your computer’s USB port, which makes it the best beginner's choice for easy recording.

To get started using a USB microphone forpodcasting,follow these steps:

  1. Connect the microphone via your computer’s USB port.
  2. Once you’re plugged in, go to your internal audio settings, and select the USB microphone from the available “Audio inputs.” The default setting for the computer will often be something like “Built-in microphone.”

Now you’re ready to open whatever music program you use to record and edit. We’ll do a deep dive on some great audio editing software in the next blog post, but Garageband, Audacity, and Anchor are good,beginner-friendly programs if you’re looking for a free or low-cost DAW (digital audio workstation) to use withyour podcast mic.

In your DAWs setting, you’ll also need to select the USB microphone as your audio input. Now you’re ready to hit record and start capturing your hilarious or informative or spooky podcast. 

In your DAWs setting, you’ll also need to select the USB microphone as your audio input. Now you’re ready to hit record and start capturing your hilarious or informative or spooky podcast. 

Best USB Microphones for Voice Recording & Podcasting

Movo offers a number of excellent options for USB mics, ranging from mics that are perfect for beginners on a budgetto offerings with a whole suite of features. 

Starting off our UM line of USB condenser microphones is our brand new UM300 mini USB microphone. With a compact design and super functional features, this mic is perfect for a brand new podcast producer on the go. 

The UM300 features two polar patterns: cardioid, which focuses on sound directly in front of the mic, and omnidirectional, which will pick up in a full 360 degree around the microphone capsule. Using an omnidirectional pattern is great if you’re looking to record multiple people, but only have one microphone.This double feature makes this USB mic one of the best on the market, especially for beginner podcasters.

If you’re looking for a USB microphone with even more versatility, our UM700 and UM800 offer 4 distinct polar patterns. They both feature Cardioid and Omnidirectional patterns, as well as Stereo, which is excellent for recording music, and Figure 8, which provides two polar patterns on either side of the microphone while blocking sound in the middle, perfect for capturing a conversation with limited outside noise. 

The UM700 connects to laptop and desktop computers via a USB cable. If you want to take your podcast on the go, you might want to consider themore versatile UM800.It has three cable options, including USB for recording with a computer, a lightning cable to record directly to your iPhone or iOs device, or USB-C for connecting to Android USB-C devices.

No matter which mic you choose, USB microphones are a great way to quickly and easily record your podcast. For more info, check out our video on picking a podcast microphone, and our whole How-to video series on podcasting.