So, if you’re looking to start a podcast, or take your already existing podcast experience to the next level, you’re going to need the right tools for the job to do it.
Fortunately, there are more than enough microphones on the market right now that can help you make the best show possible for your audience.
However, that’s kind of the problem itself now!
With so many quality microphones out there on the market, it can be hard to narrow down your options.
Not to worry, however. That’s why we are here to help you!
We’re going to help break down some of the options available to you, by showing and comparing two of the most popular options available to you out there right now, the Rode Podcaster, and the NT1A microphones.
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Starting with our first titular product, we have the Rode Podcaster.
Rode is well-known for its long line of quality microphones that are made for a variety of settings and uses.
The Podcaster is a microphone that is more tailored for use with laptop and computer setups, as well as laptop-focused audio equipment.
You can tell that this case simply from looking at its input options, or how it connects to other audio equipment.
The Rode Podcaster, unlike many other models on the market right now, uses a USB input connection, meaning that it can be plugged directly into your laptop that uses your podcast audio editing software.
Plus, as a directional microphone, it can help tune out background noise that similarly powerful and sensitive microphones would pick up, keeping the focus entirely on your voice, and your voice alone!
With a microphone stand, you can adjust the direction of this Rode microphone to hone in on your voice and avoid feedback (also see, ‘Best Podcast Mic Stand‘).
As we stated before, Rode is known for their wide range of microphone models, so it probably shouldn’t be too surprising that the NT1A is also another Rode model.
The NT1A is built to the same standard and high quality that many other models from the company are built to, so you can expect a solid chassis, and excellent directed microphone head from this model.
Outside of the immediately noticeable features, this microphone is tailored for picking up the more extreme tones and notes of a person’s voice, as well as catching more subtle inflections and parts of your voice that other microphones may not be able to.
This is because this model is a condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern.
These features together mean that, when positioned correctly over the microphone, the kind of clarity you’ll be able to get from this piece of kit is unparalleled!
Comparing The Two
So, we’ve seen a little of what these two microphones are great at.
So, let’s take a look at just how well these two models fair against one another!
Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first. A good microphone NEEDS to sound good. Otherwise, you’ll have just spent your hard-earned cash on the world’s most elaborate and useless prop!
Fortunately, this is not an area where either of these products struggles. Both produce a beautifully crisp sound that is suitable for and indistinguishable from any professional recording studio setup (also see, ‘How To Create A Podcasting Studio‘).
However, there are differences between these two microphones’ audio quality, even if they are only subtle.
The Rode Podcaster uses a dynamic mic setup in its chassis.
This allows the mic to tune out ambient noise that may otherwise interfere with a vocal performance, as well as smooth out inflections in your voice, giving a rich and consistent sound when received and recorded.
The NT1A meanwhile is a condenser microphone. This has a much more dynamic range and can pick up the more subtle tones and nuances of a recording. It is one of the quietest microphones in the market right now, with an ultra low noise of just 5 dBA.
It is best used for recording vocals and acoustic guitar, as well as other sources that require a more delicate touch. The built-in shock mount and pop filter makes the NT1A an excellent choice for recording vocals with minimal noise interference (also see, ‘Rode ProMic Shock Mount‘).
For some, this might sound like a bad feature. Heck, we just spent a few paragraphs saying that cutting that out made the Podcaster such a good mic!
However, if you’re looking to get the more subtle tones that otherwise might be easy to miss in a dynamic mic, then the condenser mic in the NT1A is a great option for you.
Headphone output in both the Rode Podcaster and NT1A is a big plus, letting you monitor your recording and sound pressure level in real-time.
On a related note to sound quality, a good pop filter is also a quality that you should be looking for in a good microphone.
As you speak, you are also sending small puffs of air into the microphone, which (when large enough or too close to the mic), can be picked up by the audio equipment, causing it to register as a sound, potentially affecting or even ruining your vocal performance.
Pop filters help to catch any air from entering the mic as you speak, leaving you with just the sound of your voice.
The Podcaster has an exceptional in-built pop filter that comes with the microphone, meaning that your voice should come through nice and clear, without any other interference.
While the NT1A also comes with an in-built pop filter. This more sensitive microphone may still pick up the occasional puff of air that is released when you speak.
This isn’t a game-breaker. Pop filters can also be bought and sold separately at a reasonable price.
But for in-built options, the Podcaster seems to come out on top.
Being a condenser mic, the Rode NT1A needs phantom power to work. You’ll need a separate preamp or audio interface with phantom power if you’re using the mic for recording (also see, ‘RE20 Mic Phantom Power‘).
The Rode Podcaster, on the other hand, is a USB mic that does not require phantom power. This makes it easy to plug directly into your computer and start recording without any extra gear.
The Rode Podcaster also has a built-in preamp, so you don’t need an external preamp or audio interface for recording either (also see, ‘Best Audio Interface‘).
While price can often be a decent indicator of quality, it is not the be-all-end-all. You can find very good microphones at very low prices, and subpar mics in the higher price brackets.
The NT1A certainly isn’t a subpar mic by any means. However, it is usually considered a more expensive microphone than many entry-level models.
Still worth every penny, but a lot of pennies nevertheless.
By contrast, the Podcaster is often sold as an entry-level mic, meaning that the price tag is often lower to encourage new customers.
Final Verdict – Which Is Better?
Well, that depends on your needs and personal preference.
If you want a great mic that can pick up every part of your voice and has lower self noise, go with the NT1A.
If you want your voice to sound even, or are on a budget, you should go with the Podcaster.
More Rode Podcaster Comparisons
- Rode Procaster vs Podcaster
- Rode Podcaster vs Blue Yeti
- Shure MV7 vs Rode Podcaster
- Rode Podcaster vs Heil PR 40