Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Rode Podcaster microphone. If you have an interest in starting a podcast but don’t have much of a recording setup, you may have started looking into USB microphones as a first step.
Rode is a phenomenal company and has a myriad of great products, but let’s see if the Podcaster lives up to the company’s reputation.
Our verdict on the Rode Podcaster
The Rode Podcaster is not the greatest microphone in the world, and we don’t find that the quality of its performance warrants the overall cost.
Ultimately, there are less expensive USB microphones that have all the same features, and for our money, perform just as well if not better than the Rode.Available at: SweetwaterAmazon
Polar pattern and frequency response
The Podcaster is a large-diaphragm dynamic USB microphone. It has a cardioid polar pattern and a reported frequency response of 40 Hz – 14 kHz. It has a signal to noise ratio of 71 dB, a max SPL of 115 dB, as well as 18-bit resolution with 8 kHz to 48 kHz sampling rate. It is compatible for both Windows and Mac.
Most USB microphones tend to be condenser mics, so for Rode to decide to make the Podcaster a dynamic mic is a fairly bold choice. However, with the use of a 28 mm neodymium capsule, Rode has designed the Podcaster to compete with the likes of the RE20 or the Shure SM7B – two of the best broadcast microphones available.
Tonally, the Podcaster doesn’t deliver most of what is expected out of a broadcast mic. We find that the bass response is fairly lacking, and that clarity is not its greatest strength. Its performance may be passable for a novice, but not for any professional setting. Obviously, most of this might be due to the microphones’ USB connectivity, which sacrifices a huge amount of sound quality.
The best we can say is that the microphone’s built-in pop filter allows it to handle plosives extremely well.
The Rode Podcaster’s performance meets the bare minimum of how a professional broadcasting microphone should perform. It’s perfectly usable for podcasters who are either hobbyists or just starting out on their podcasting career, but we don’t believe this microphone is much more than a starting point in your setup.
In other words, be aware that if you intend on getting more serious about your craft that you will most likely want to upgrade at some point.
The low and mid ranges, while they do provide a solid amount of depth and pronunciation, are still lacking the heft and body that a microphone such as the SM7B could provide. There is some pleasant top end that adds some shine to your vocals.
If you absolutely have to, the Rode Podcaster can feasibly be used for recording other instruments than just vocals, but the sound quality isn’t quite there and we wouldn’t recommend it for anything other than demos.
That being said, we’re sure there are instances where using the Podcaster might make sense stylistically, but this is not what the microphone has been designed for.
It’s specifically built and tailored for vocals, and we find that this doesn’t translate well over different sound sources in any meaningful way we should mention.
The bottom line is that this microphone should be bought with the intention of recording podcasts or voice-overs, not for recording music.
The all-metal chassis ensures that this microphone is heavy and durable. The overall build will definitely last you years of use if treated properly.
Rode has given the microphone an LED to help you visually monitor your levels, although you’ll probably want to depend more on your DAW for gain staging.
There is also a 3.5 mm jack for headphones as well as a rotary dial for controlling your headphone volume.
Otherwise, the grille is nice, the mounting system is nice, and the microphone is overall very well built.
Compared to other microphones
Here are some alternatives to consider before purchasing the Rode Podcaster.
Rode Podcaster vs. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
The AT2020USB+, in our opinion, delivers results of equal quality for a mere fraction of the asking price. Plus, it has a wider frequency response and a higher SPL level.
If you’re a podcaster who is just starting out, why not save some money and slowly save up until you can get your hands on a better setup?
Rode Podcaster vs. Blue Yeti
Again, here is a microphone that performs just as well, if not better, than the Rode Podcaster. Furthermore, it’s half the price and has a wider frequency response.
Rode Podcaster vs. Shure SM7B
We’ll start off by first stating that this is not a fair comparison. The SM7B is far more expensive than the Podcaster, and will also require you to have an audio interface as well as an XLR. However, we’re listing this here to provide a future goal.
The Podcaster is perfectly fine if you’re just starting out, but if you want to get more serious about podcasting and make a career out of it, you should keep this microphone in mind for when you’re ready to invest more into your passion.
Check out our Shure SM7B review
You can also check our recommendations for the best USB microphones on the market right now.
Who is the Rode Podcaster best suited for?
This microphone is best suited for podcasters or voice-over artists who have either no setup or a very minimal setup. We can’t recommend this to more serious or intermediate recording artists or podcasters.
- Easy to use.
- Well built.
- Plug in and play.
- Adequate sound quality.