The Rode Podcaster is the right microphone if you want a USB podcasting microphone and not an XLR connection aboard. If you love to do podcasting and have not tried the Podcaster Rode, you have been missing big time.
The Rode Podcaster requires a little setup because it does not have a stand to sit on. It is meant to be mounted when you use it. Using a standard mount plate, you can use an elaborate arm or an expensive desktop USB mount to hold it just fine.
The Rode is a superbly built USB mic weighing 2.4 pounds. It is so robust that you could throw it into your bag without worrying about breaking it.
On the microphone itself, there is a headphone jack. What is important about the jack is that you can plug headphones into the mic, monitor your volume, and listen to your voice while podcasting. If you cannot listen to yourself while recording a podcast, there is a possibility that you play it back only to discover that you are “popping out” or that the volume is bad and the recording sounds terrible. Also, if you are using your computer to listen to your playback, the USB connection has a latency, and then you would have a delay in the audio, so you would be hearing yourself a few seconds after you have said something.
To get the most out of the Rode, I highly recommend a swivel mount microphone boom arm because it will allow you to move the mic around easily and float in the position you move it to. You can adjust it perfectly for your podcast show, and the mic will remain counterweighted. The spring system makes it so that there is not a lot of sound transfer into your audio recording. You can even go one step further by buying a spider mount to hang the Rode inside the spider mount so it becomes shock-resistant. If you bounce on the table or bump the stand, the sound isn’t transferred into the mic.
The overall audio sound quality is superb. It is 48 kHz, so you are beyond CD quality, and it has an indicator light on it to let you know that it is active, and these types of visual cues are great. The audio quality is quite near some $300+ microphones on the market today, such as the Heil PR-40 mic. When you talk about plugging the PR-40 into an amp and a board along with the stands needed, you are approaching $800, but you can rival the same sound quality with the Rode Podcaster mic.
The only drawback that I could find is that you will have to buy a stand because it does not come with one. To get the best sound out of this mic, you will want the complete configuration mentioned above to help you sound like a pro. The boom arm is easy to set up as it is just a C-clamp that you clip onto your desk, making it easy to move around.
The Rode Podcaster feels, looks, and sounds great. It is a directional mic, so moving your mouth off-mic noticeably affects the sound quality and how well you can be heard. What this means is two things:
- If you have a co-host on your show, you will not pick up each other on your microphones as much, making a huge difference in your overall sound quality. If you have ever done a show with two mics at once and you mute one channel and allow one person to talk, then unmute the other in a bouncing back-and-forth manner, you will notice a huge difference in how it sounds.
- If you have a loud case or something that makes a lot of noise in the background, such as a fan in the room or a PC humming, the Rode will not pick it up.
The one disadvantage with a directional microphone like the Rode is that you cannot pick up the sound very well if several people are in the room. If you are looking for this and only have one microphone, you can choose a mic with an omnidirectional pickup pattern like the Blue Snowball or the Samson C03U.
The Podcaster also does not have any settings to change. When it is on, it’s in its best fidelity mode. However, having the audio built into the microphone more than makes up for the absence of many settings.
So if you аre ready to get serious about your audio, I recommend this microphone as the way to go. You have pro sound directly into your computer. The good thing about a USB microphone is you avoid the machine noise often inherent in many sound cards.
The Rode USB microphone has its built-in filter, so I think a pop screen is unnecessary. In conclusion, you cannot go wrong with the Rode Podcaster microphone, and I assure you that you will not be disappointed once it is in your hand.