Sound Quality for Podcasting and Broadcasting Podcast Season 1 sound quality Music Radio Creative

Podcast Studio Equipment

Up until now, Izabela and I have been podcasting using a single condenser mic. I know it’s terrible and many of podcasters will say no to using a condenser microphone mainly because it picks up audio all around the mic. If you’re podcasting at home, the condenser microphone will pick up sound everywhere like clanging in the kitchen and your kids running around. Whereas dynamic microphones have a straight line of sight into the microphone and they reject sounds coming from the back.

Microphone For Radio Broadcasting

Generally in radio and the voice over industry they use condenser microphones due to the fact that most radio stations and most voice over artists are using a professionally sound proofed booth. You’re not going to notice the difference in sound quality when using earbuds but definitely you are when producing professional quality audio. Dynamic microphones are much more suitable to 2 people talking to each other in a room because this mic will not pick up any sound coming from the back of the mic.

Getting The Best Podcast Sound

You know very well that we at Music Radio Creative like to process things and make them sound great. So in this podcast episode, I have added a little light compression and slight EQ to the voice before finally publishing this audio for any listeners who are listening in their car or at the gym so they can hear everything particularly when we whisper or lean off mic. All of this experimentation is to achieve a very natural sound. So we’d love to hear what you think about the changes we made to our podcast audio quality this week. Has it sounded better than the previous episodes?

New Podcasting Equipment

Heil PR40

When we did the YouTube Marketing Tips Podcast Episode that’s when I really realized that we’ve really got to upgrade our microphones. So I’m happy to share with you what we purchased for the upgrade. We purchased 2 brand new Heil PR40 Microphones which are the podcasting gold standard microphones. Sadly these microphones are very difficult to get hold of in the UK. Heil Sound is based in the USA so they’re manufactured there too. This microphone is very popular in the US. In fact,  many US professional podcasters use this microphone such as Leo Laporte and Cliff Ravenscraft.

Is There A UK Microphone As Good As The Heil PR40?

We’ll be really interested to hear your thought about this. Leave a comment down below.

Shock Mount & Boom Arm

To make the perfect setup, we also needed to get some other kit such as the shock mount (Heil PRSM-B) which cost around $120 and a boom arm (Heil PL2T) which costs about $130. I know it’s a little expensive but you really need to pay the price of having the best quality equipment.

Upgrading Your Podcast Equipment

We’d like to know if more people in the UK are looking into upgrading their broadcasting equipment. What have you looked at so far? Also, Izabela wants to know if you’re a radio broadcaster, are using a condenser microphone or a dynamic microphone? What’s the reason behind that?

Your Feedback On The Audio Quality

We’d love to hear your thoughts on our sound quality. Was it any better or worse? Let us know in the comments section below.

UK Podcasters Group And Meet Up

We’ve started a group on Facebook wherein we want to connect all the UK Podcasters and there’s some great people who already joined the Facebook group. You can search for that in Facebook, just type in UK Podcasters and look for the closed group and just request to join and we will approve you. There’s already many discussions on the best podcast equipment, discussions on the BBC’s influence on podcasting and more. If you are based in the UK and you’re podcasting or thinking of podcasting get involved in the UK Podcasters Facebook Group.

The Podcast Movement

Also, a big shout out to our friends at the Podcast Movement! They’re organizing the very first US podcasting only conference and we’re very proud to be gold sponsors of the conference. If you want to know more head over to The Podcast Movement.


49 Responses

  1. Your heils sound fabulous Mike, i’m sure most will agree. I use the shure sm7b, simply because of my noisy studio background. Always loved the sound of the pro40, clear and concise but i like the versatility of the shure and it suits my voice (well I think it does). Studiospares in the UK are stocking the Heils now. My top 3 mics in order for me are 1. shure sm7b 2. ev re20 3. Heil pro 40. (all dynamic strangely) I’m sure everyone has a fave mic and preamp combo though.

    1. Thanks Spike. I really enjoyed using the Heil – it’s a super microphone – I found that I needed to add very little in the way of post processing. I’m hoping this will give the podcast more of a natural sound and less of the radio “fully processed” sound.

      I appreciate you sharing those top 3 mics and good to hear more UK places are stocking Heil!

  2. Hi Mike and Izabela
    Its David here….Well I must say I like the sound your getting on your PR40 nice and esp on Izabela’s voice, its warmed it up and given it a wonderful feel. Very cool indeed. Not that it wasn’t nice anyway 🙂 You asked what other mics could be an option well I would very much suggest two around this PR40 price range. First being the Electro-Voice RE320 a beautiful mic, very crisp sound, nice low end, lots of output and really good pick up. One amazing thing with this mic is you can be off the mic a fair bit even say 9 inches and it still picks up really really well and you do not get the large drop off that the PR40 tends to produce imo its an amazing mic for the money! The other mic would be the Shure SM7B a total Radio Classic but more costly. I have the PR40 but interestingly am not using it now. I am using a tubed condenser mic (My Studio Room is Sound Treated that helps heaps) Stay well and have fun both of you and continue doing a great job in providing such amazingly good content for us all like you have been doing. Till next time David.

    1. Thanks for the solid recommendations and the compliments David. Greatly appreciated and good to know there are plenty of options out there 🙂

  3. Mike your microphone sounds great but there is a lot of popping. I think spending a lot of money on a quality mic is ok but why not spend a few dollars more and get a pop shield.
    On mics I use a Condenser as I do radio and voiceover mostly and have a portable soundkeys sound booth at home.
    Great podcast keep them coming.

    1. I’m grateful for the feedback. Thanks!

      We do have pop shields attached to the Heil PR-40 microphones but I guess microphone technique can also save those pops too, right? 😉

  4. I use (and love) the Shure SM7B. It’s a dynamic also, and produces a very smooth and natural sound. Furthermore, It’s a broadcast classic. With the SM7B I can get a better sound than you can hear in a lot of radio stations (even big ones!) around the world!

  5. On the sound quality in the Music Radio Creative podcast, It’s even better, there is no doubt! But, what about trying the SM7B?

  6. Hi,
    Really there is a big differences in this episode.
    The sound is crisp and really golden deep.
    I was considering buying only the AT ATR2100 but can not survive getting the Heil PR-40.
    The best offer I’ve found was the BSWUSA where you get the mic, popfilter, mount, boom arm all for 369 usd
    But if you may possibly share the other hardware you used to record this particular episode that would be awesome.
    Thanks a lot.
    Mohamed 🙂

    1. Thanks Mohamed. The ATR2100 is a great budget solution from what I’ve heard but remember you also need to factor in the cost of a boom arm and pop shield for it too.

  7. wwow mike this new sound is really good. started smiling at only the podcast number. not sure what mick I am using at the moment as had to move house and not re erected my studio. also but to get back to the point I would love it if all new podcasts sounded like this one.

    1. Thanks Peter. I’ve heard plenty of great things about the RE20 and will have to check it out!

  8. I am a huge fan of the Shure SM7b, the best dynamic mic around. It is used for radio, I used them as far back as the early 80’s, and use one for Voice Over work. It is used extensivley in studio recording as well. Michael Jacksons “Thriller” was recorded with it, just look it up. The USA have always used more dynamics and manufacture great dynamics because of the huge number of radio staions here. The only drawback of the SM7b is the need for a great deal of clean gain. It is internally shock mounted, comes with two wind screens all for about $350.00 US.

    The only problems I have with the audio of your podcast are two fold, you could back off on the compression a bit and your high end is a little siblant and exaggerated. Turn both down a notch or two, perfect! The Heil is a kicing mic BTW, just like the Shure better.

    1. Thanks for the solid suggestions David – I appreciate them – I’ve eased the processing a little on this episode and will look to do some more tweaks on compression and treble over the coming episodes 🙂

  9. Hi Mike and Isabella,

    Quite a lot of podcasters now use the Heil PR-20 mike, I think it was actually Leo Laporte who started the craze for it.

    I like what it’s doing for Isabella, who gets a nice fill and more detail to her voice. For you Mike, I find there is a slight “warbling”, and the level seems a bit high, so I think you might be a little over-processing your end there 🙂

    I agree with Isabella, there certainly are European brands that could replace the Heil. I myself like the German-made Behringer B-1 mike. This is not a dynamic, but a large-capsule cardioid condenser mike. And even though it’s really cheap (from 85 EUR up), it sounds very nice. I use a Focusrite Scarlet 2i2 and a Scarlet 18i20 as audio-interfaces, which provide the phantom power t needs. I have one Behringer B-1 (ordering another one real soon), one matched pair of C-2’s, which are small-capsule cardioid studio condenser mikes, and a set of 3 XM1800s dynamic mikes for voice, which are actually also quite good (and cheap).

    So there you are… I think they’re reasonable alternatives for the (much more expensive) Heil. Actually, my entire collection of mikes costs less than one Heil PR-40!

  10. Hi Mike and Izabela,

    The radio station I work for uses dynamic mics. Specifically, we use the Sennheiser MD421. In fact, all the stations in our building (our company owns 3 in Minneapolis, US) use that mic. I have a pretty nice home studio where I use it as well. I like it, but I just bought a Shure SM7B and love it. It’s a great mic. Like the Sennheiser, it’s not cheap… but worth it if you produce pro audio for your job.

  11. I had to try and make the dollar go as far as I could and settled on a Rode NTG-2 that I could mount to my Canon XA10 and double for the podcast mike.

    I built a home made Pop filter from a embroidery ring,old nylon stocking, wire coat hanger and electrical tape.

    Coupled with the inbuilt effects in the soundbooth audio recorder program we can get a good sound and have versatility with the equipment.

  12. I much prefer the sound of Mike’s voice on this podcast over other ones. I suspect this is much more about removing compression and other processing than the mic though. I wish I knew the technical term for this (and please don’t take offence at this) but Mike’s voice had the same kind of ‘scratchy’, ‘tinny’, sound that I feel has become a signature of many of the audio pieces you supply to other podcasts. I’m afraid I just don’t like this particular effect, though it does sound very professional and radio-like.

    That said, I think this was a great discussion on equipment. I use a dynamic mic for my online radio show as it allows me to use monitor speakers rather than having to use headphones all the time.

    1. I love the feedback Richard. “Scratchy” and “tinny” are certainly sounds I need to get away from 😉

      Glad the dynamic mic is doing its job 🙂

  13. I moved to the RE20 about 30 episodes ago because I found the Heil extenuated sibilants on my voice. Sounds to me as if you had the same issue Mike. Isabela’s voice though was perfect with the Heil.

    1. Interesting Jon. Thanks for sharing!

      I am processing both Izabela’s and my audio on separate tracks. I record myself on the left and Izabela on the right then mono the output using a bus in Adobe Audition multitrack. Perhaps I should tweak the EQ on my channel a little to ease of on that top end sound? Appreciate you listening and the insight Jon 🙂

  14. Great sound on both your voices with the PR-40, Mike. Much better than previously.

    Would it interest you in a future episode to talk about a set-up for a partly controlled space outside your studio? I don’t mean ‘snatch and grab’ sound bite interviews on a conference show floor, but more, say, interviewing in a hotel room or someone else’s flat, especially when miking more than two people.

    I’ve tried using the Blue Yeti USB condenser which has various pick up patterns (including all-sides conference mode), but I got a lot of room echo. I get good results from 2 Samson 2QUs plugged into a Tascam DR-100 mkII, but Ideally I’d like to record 3 or 4 people and I can afford to splash out on another Tascam! Maybe the solution would be a digital interface. Anyway, thought I’d throw that out there, especially since you may be looking to get good quality audio at a future meet-up of UK Podcasters 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for the positive feedback Craig. I appreciate that!

      Great idea for a future episode too 🙂

      1. That would work well for home use JulaybibWEB , but I’m interested in a more portable solution when I’m away from my flat. Maybe the iPad’s the way to go, but there’s still the problem of multiple mics.

        1. Check youtube for complains about iPad and which application would fit more. I remember there is a video for Ray Ortega about using iPad with H4N with ATR2100 which is exactly the same as Samson Q2U, and an application on iPad dedicated for podcast but do not recall the exact video title.
          But I’ve read many advices regarding buying a hardware for podcast to always take future expansion into consideration.
          The reason for suggesting the x2442usb is the ability to do more then once mix minus, and regarding the interview in a hotel or in another flat, you can always use a mixer that make things more easier unless you are really on the go on a car.
          Especially that the cost of the hardware to do a portable podcast is a bit expensive so you can compare the cost and if the cost deserves the quality or not.
          Also there is an application by rode microphones on apple store that many reporting many crashes.
          But if I did understand you correctly you will have a scenario for 4 persons podcast using 4 microphones with 2 digital recorders, right?
          Also you can try to buy a used ones from eBay, you may not believe that I’ve bought EV RE20 in a very good condition for $267.
          That is all I’ve in my mind and I do wish you best of luck as all I am thinking about right now is avoiding buying any hardware right now and find yourself do need to buy others for any given reasons.
          Good luck
          Salam Alaykoum

  15. Hi Mike and Izabela! I’m just about to start my journey into podcasting and wanted to find out if you could point out who is this retailer here in the UK who’s bold enough to be importing Heil PR40, and if they also do the shock mount, pop filter, the boom and the cable. I’m doing Cliff’s PodcastingAtoZ and its week 1, so i’m starting to look into equipment.

    Also, I’m not sure if I can actually build my own studio where I am. I much rather have my interviews done somewhere in central London, somewhat like what Craig suggested in one of the earlier comments. It would be great if indie podcasters who’s got equipment not in use who are willing to share/rent their space/equipment to help new podcasters get things up and running.

    Anyway its London marathon Sunday and I’m here doing the Music Radio Creative marathon. Its good to be reassured that this is a growing trend and we are at the beginning. Thanks for such useful information.

    1. Hi Woon, that’s great to hear. Cliff’s course is fantastic, comprehensive and his equipment suggestions are the best.

      As for sourcing the Heil PR-40 in the UK it is possible, as you heard me say in the podcast, we had a great experience with this retailer:

      They (Runway UK Ltd.) seem to be the sole importers of Heil products into the UK at present. Although, at the time of writing this comment, their website doesn’t look amazingly slick I can assure you that Izabela and I had a wonderful experience with this company. We gave them a ring to check all elements (mic, shock, boom and pop filter) were in stock and chatted to the boss Andy. He was extremely helpful and once we placed our order the equipment was shipped to us using next day delivery.

      Give them a call to check everything is there, before you order, and remember to mention MRC 🙂

      Glad you’re enjoying your MRC marathon Woon and see you in the UK Podcasters community.

  16. Heil PR40 in the UK is easy peasy to get hold of. Just order it from – simples

    Step 1 – go to (ie not

    Step 2 – log into your regular Amazon account with your regular login – it works the same as it does on the Amazon uk site

    Step 3 – search for and order the Heil PR40 – and choose either express international (3 days) or standard (8-14 days) international shipping.

    Step 4 – Pay for it – it will even tell you the shipping, tax and customs duty costs there and then, and you pay them direct to Amazon when you order – it also gives you a delivery tracking service so you can check on delivery

    Step 5 – await delivery

    The total price is the same as what you would pay in the UK if you managed to source it from an importer – around the £200 mark

    There are no cons to doing it this way as far as I am aware?

    1. Great tip Russ.

      I’ve not tried this way myself as I was cautious of import taxes being prohibitive.

      Have you tried this method yourself and can you confirm that it’s a viable option? If so that is great news!

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