You often see various mics used by your favourite DJ’s like Ryan Seacrest, Chris Moyles, Howard Stern, or even recording artists like Ed Sheeran, but you might not know what mics they actually use – So what are some of the best microphones for online radio?
Here we cover off some of the best industry standard microphones on offer for online radio broadcasters, podcasting, voice overs, and other studio uses.
Best Microphones for Online Radio
So what are the best microphones for online radio? Here are what we consider the best desktop microphones for broadcasters based on what the professionals are using in the industry and their overall quality.
Used by national and commercial stations: BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, and NPR
Widely considered by the radio industry as the best mic (and one of the best microphones for online radio) – The Neumann U87 has been an ‘industry heavyweight’ used in recording studios since it’s release way back in 1967.
Nearly almost every recording artist has used this mic at one time or another, from The Rolling Stones to Justin Bieber, so you know it’s got a big following for it’s audio prowess.
The German mic retails for around $3,200 / £1,800.
Neumann TLM 103
Widely used in commercial radio by professional broadcasters like Howard Stern and many local stations in the UK use this mic.
Howard Stern actually uses the Neumann TLM 103, so it’s a very popular microphone in radio broadcasting, and actually uses the same capsule as the more expensive Neumann U87, so it’s like the little brother of mics.
You see this mic in lots of commercial stations in the UK, both local and nationals stations using this microphone, so it’s pretty much considered another widely industry standard, particularly for radio broadcasting.
The German mic retails for around $1,000 / £600
Audio Technica AT4033ASM
Another industry heavy hitter adopted by a lot of stations in the UK.
The Audio Technica AT4033ASM is an industry heavy hitter that’s kind of old school now in a lot of ways as it’s been used for years, but you see this in a lot of local stations in the UK as it’s a bit more affordable.
The Japan mic retails for around $700 / £300.
Really common for broadcast applications, it was even used to record Michael Jackson’s Thriller!
Interestingly you don’t see this mic used in the UK very much, but you usually see this in a lot of stations around Europe like Paris, Amsterdam, Germany, and even parts of the USA as well.
Rather then being a condenser mic like the previous ones covered, the Shure SM7B is a dynamic mic. You can use this as a way to filter out background noise as it’s perfect for up close recordings.
Retails around $700 / £300.
Popular talk show presenters like Ryan Seacrest use this as their defacto mic.
This is the industry standard mic in the USA – Every single radio station has pretty much got a Electrovoice RE20 which has been used for decades in the USA and is even used by talk show hosts like Ryan Seacrest.
Broadcasters like this mic as it gives them that ‘radio sound’. It picks up on the bass and the higher end notes, so you add that sparkle to your voice which is a classic sound associated with talk radio.
Retails for around $700 / £300.
Mic specifically aimed at podcasters for it’s dynamic qualities and low price point.
Used a lot at home for people who are setting up their own podcasts and internet radio shows. The dynamic mic offers some excellent results with it’s background cancelling qualities and you can plug it in via USB, but it’s main selling point is it’s low price point.
Retails for around $200 / £140.
Used by a lot of community and internet stations who are on a budget.
A recommended mic that we use on a regular basis at Radio.co – A good pick for community radio stations, school stations, or people who are on a budget at home that want to have an entry level mic but still want that quality radio voice.
It has a nice wide diaphragm, so it’s got a really good frequency response that will give you that sparkle that you’re looking for with professional results.
Retails for around $100 / £70.
Most microphones need a 48v power supply known as ‘phantom power’ to work.
Most microphones (apart from USB ones) need routing through either a mixing desk or audio interface which provide ‘phantom power’, a strong enough voltage supply to run your mic.
If you don’t have a mixing desk then we recommend the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, that way you can connect your microphone from the interface directly to your PC or laptop.
Retails for around $180 / £100.
Which is the Best Microphone?
We recommend the Behringer B1 as a lot of communities and internet stations pick this up for it’s overall quality and affordability, however when it comes to asking yourself “what are the best microphones for online radio?“, you have to think about what you need.
There are plenty of microphones to choose from, but there’s only one radio solution that makes it easy to get setup. Radio.co can help you get broadcasting online in a matter of minutes; there’s loads of help guides, tutorials, and expert technical support on standby to lend you a helping hand.