Customer Reviews: Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars53
Price:$229.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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I've been a big fan of BLUE microphones for some time. Frankly, I still am for some applications as they provide great quality at a reasonable price.

However, I was curious about how much difference there would be with a microphone that claimed to provide Broadcast Quality Audio when used in a non-broadcast setting... no sound board, no sound engineer, no nothing but me and the USB port on my computer.

I put together the attached video that provides such a comparison. There is a difference and, to me, the Podcaster sounds a better and captures my voice more accurately.

BTW, I feel that honest, effective reviews, accompanied by detailed videos, can take the place of first-hand experiences that are often lacking in online shopping. I've always appreciated the help I've received from other reviewers and try to return the favor as best as I can. Please let me know if found this review helpful and the video at least entertaining. If there was anything you thought was lacking or unclear leave a comment and I'll do what I can to fix it.
88 comments|98 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 2, 2007
I picked up the R0DE Podcaster a few days ago, and it sounds great -- much better than I expected. I honestly expected it to sound cheesier because it's USB instead of XLR. I made a couple of test recordings and gave them to my wife, who is always saying that I don't sound like myself in my recordings. She said that this is the best-sounding mic I've ever used, and that I sound just like myself. My background in audio is a couple of years in podcasting and some live interviews. Equipment I've used in the past includes the Audio Technica 4033a, Heil Pro PR-40, Symetrix 528e, Zoom H-4, and the M-Audio MobilePre.


Sounds great.

Very competitive price when compared to decent XLR mics.

Direct to USB (computer sees it as a sound card).

Headphone jack built in for direct, live monitoring (huge plus), with volume control (which does not effect recording volume).

Allows remote recordings to a laptop (with all the nice software) without lugging around extra devices to convert a "real" mic to USB or Firewire.

Works automatically on a Mac.

Feels very solid and sturdy -- very well made.

Front-firing cardiod-pattern dynamic mic (helps reduce most "background" noise).

Completely USB-powered.


Direct to USB: No possibility of using a hardware mixer or voice processor, and you can't use more than one at a time (except maybe with special software).

Large and heavy. Not really a big deal if you keep it on a mic stand like I do, but you need a real stand -- not a cheap one.

Doesn't come with any kind of padded box for storage/travel like pro mics. It's probably not meant for travel, but its functionality and all-in-one design certainly encourage it.

White plastic body and white USB cable. Sure, it matches my MacBook, but for some reason it feels a little weird that it's not silver or black. Personal taste, and I couldn't find much else to complain about.

All in all, it exceeds my current needs, and I'm selling my "pro" equipment to fund my other hobbies. I would recommend this to any podcaster who doesn't need multiple mics or a hardware mixer. If you just want to sound great on Skype, this'll do the trick, although it will probably be overkill.
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on March 19, 2007
For recording my voice (baritone), it does a great job. For extra warmth that means close-miking, which in turn means not popping your p's, etc. If you hold it close to your mouth but don't directly face it end-on, that's easily done (or get a pop filter). [...].

The microphone electronics are extremely quiet - the audio is sampled at 18 bits.

It comes with a warranty which is easily extended to 10 years for free.

The real-time headphone monitoring is a great idea and works well.

It's a bit heavy (part of being built like a tank), and you need to think a little about how you're going to mount it, since some cheap desktop stands can barely manage it.

Some things to keep in mind are:
1) It likes close-miking (at least for male voices)
2) It is USB-only
3) It is a on the bit large and heavy side.

If those don't bother you, and the price is in your range, then you will probably like it a lot.
0Comment|42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 30, 2009
Ok - this is one heavy mic! I'm using it to create podcasts and training video's. The sound quality is excellent - studio quality. I had to purchase On Stage DS7200B Adjustable Desk Microphone Stand, Black to keep it from falling over. The problem is the the mic must mount from the rear, so all the weight is hanging over. I also strongly suggest Rode PSM1 Shockmount. It serves a few purposes; 1) it changes the center of gravity when mounting the mic since it attaches to the mic stand in the middle and allows the mic to hang more rearward and it provides a shock absorber. Using it on a MAC with VM - has no issues being recognized by XP and OS X. Overall, very happy with the mic.
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on May 8, 2014
I am an audio professional of over 20 years in Nashville, both recording and sound reinforcement (live sound).

All-in-one USB mics are all compromised to begin with since it is a mic, mic pre, and analog to digital converter all in one unit. But with the right mic, the tradeoffs can be worth it. This is NOT the right mic.

The Podcaster is the worst of its breed and price range. Check out what The Wirecutter says about it in their tests...

Tonally it is very mid-rangy and "open" sounding, and tends to get harsh and "honky" (mid-rangy/nasal). Many podcasts I listen to use it and I can hear it's bad sound instantly.

The internal electronics of mic pre and analog to digital converter are worst in class. These electronics are just as critical as the mic element/pickup, so dedicated pre+converter is always better. With the Podcaster, it's cheap electronics not only add to the bad sound, but also allows it to distort easily. I can't stress how terrible this device sounds to my trained ear.

Typically a dynamic mic like this should be less susceptible to ambient and handling noise. One podcaster I consulted with was getting 400Hz resonance reflections from proximity to his computer monitor, and it was picking up typing noise and him bumping his desk all of the time (it was on a desk stand without a shock mount). Another one was picking up his MacBook Pro's fan noise plain as day, which had to be gated. They say it has "good rejection". Wrong!

The first guy upgraded to the Shure PG42 USB (almost same price), and tonality is much improved, as is ambient noise - despite the fact that it's a more sensitive condenser. It comes with a shock mount too! It is a little brittle sounding, but all you have to do is cut some 3kHz in your EQ...

Back to the Podcaster. EQing this mic is a nightmare and compressing it only makes its bad qualities stand out. I would give it zero stars if I could. Røde is not a professional brand - zero professional recording studios in Nashville have them. Shure is the best mic brand in my opinion across the board and is in every studio in town (SM57, SM7B, Beta52, KSM44A, etc.). If you want a cheap all-in-one mic for podcasting, go with the Shure PG42 USB.

Keep in mind that in recording if you choose a good mic+pre+converter setup, you'll save tons of time on EQ and editing out ambient noise. The better the source audio you have to work with, the easier time you'll have in editing and mixing.

Pro mic tip: keep your mic's pickup element/diaphragm from being parallel with any vertical surface like computer screens, note/music stands or walls. Angle it up a few degrees and speak down into it, and turn your body/mic so that it not directly in front of your computer monitor or music stand. Use blankets or curtains on reflective surfaces close to you.

Have fun recording (with a different mic)! :)
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on July 13, 2010
I'm using this mic for screencasts. I record with TechSmith Camtasia. I don't have any software installed, other than what comes with Windows7 and Camtasia. Talking less than 1 inch away from the Samson mic, I have to put the record volume on 100% gain, and then I have to increase the volume 200% in post production. Then the audio is clear - but it seems overmodulated.

With this new (new to me) Rode Podcaster, I have the gain at 40% and I don't have to increase the volume in post production. The sound is crisp and clear - and has very little background noise.

HIGHLY recommend this mic for podcasting.
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on May 23, 2013
I've been podcasting on and off since late 2005, and I've had a lot of different mics. I've even had an Electro-Voice RE20, and more recently, an Electro-Voice RE320. I like this mic better.

It is so easy to get clean sound out of this mic, and to not get the fuzziness and scratchy sibilance I was getting with the more expensive RE320. It's just dead silent when I'm not speaking, and when I am speaking, it's clean and clear and not at all fuzzy or noisy. I think you could probably get the same sound with the RE320 if you had it going through a very clean and powerful interface, but it wasn't happening for me, and I tried two different preamp/mixer combinations and a Shure X2U as well. Granted, I don't have thousands of dollars to spend on really good equipment.

It's just clean and clear and sounds great. The true test was when I guested on another podcast and heard how good I sounded even recorded over Skype. It sounded great. With my previous mic, even if I sounded fine in my own recordings, I always sounded terrible on everyone else's, but with this mic, it just sounds good.

On the Mac, you will have to crank the input volume for this mic up quite a bit. I have mine set to 83%, and it sounds quiet on recording before putting it into Logic with my EQ and gain settings. On the other hand, the volume was perfectly fine to others when I have used it on other podcasts or just conversing with people on G+ or Skype.

If you're a podcaster, you could buy a bunch of equipment, and maybe you think you want to. But you don't. Unless you're running a ton of inputs into your system, you don't need a mixer, and you don't need a Heil PR 40. All you need is this one mic, and preferably the boom arm and the shockmount. You'll not regret it.
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on January 25, 2010
The first one arrived DOA (headphone monitoring jack had no audio), but other than that it had been very nice to work with. The Rode tech support called me back within an hour of submitting a case on the DOA product and offered a fast turnaround by sending it directly to them. I was going to send it back to the Amazon vendor, get a refund, and then order another one, but the support team convinced me to just send it straight back to them for a faster turnaround. And to be honest, looking at a few scratches here and there on the one that I was shipped left me with enough to suspect that I may have been sent a used/broken one by the Amazon reseller anyway, so I didn't want to send it back to them only to have it shipped out again to some other poor soul down the road. In then end it cost me an extra $25(ish) to FedEx the mic to them and the whole turnaround took about 8 days (they sent it Ground back to me, which is really my only complaint there, especially for a DOA product that was sent to them 2-Day Air). Still, what arrived back was a brand new replacement unit that has worked perfectly and I am quite pleased with the purchase and remain comfortable that any support issues will be reasonably addressed.
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on October 16, 2014
Love it!
I use it every day for my youtube channel, online courses etc.
The sound is great and there is just no background noise at all, perfect!
Also sits well on my Hercules stand :)
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on February 15, 2014
This mike is excellent it gave me perfectly clear sound for some commercial quality screen captures I was doing. It needs the support structure basket/swivel mount to be used to full effect. I would have liked a little more help in how to put all the pieces together but that's a minor issue
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