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The Rode Mic

It all started with a $349 microphone called The Podcaster. It sounds nice in that it plugs in via USB which means no batteries (for the mic, at least) and is "specially" made for podcasters, but the price is outta this world.

Aptly named the Podcaster, the microphone simply plugs into any PC with a USB port via its 5 m USB cable. Rode says the frequency response is tailored for voice, with low self noise, and a switchable high pass filter. It has an “ON” LED, and direct headphone amp.


There's a fundamental flaw in the pricing model of hardware aimed at podcasters. Companies are attempting to produce specialized podcasting hardware (like that's needed??) an attempting to entice podcasters to buy the stuff. The thing that many companies are missing is that they're still pricing their wares for the pro radio industry. They're trying to marry up Joe podcaster who does this for fun and doesn't make any money and a product aimed at professionals.

It's not going to work.

My $30 headset is doing juuust fine and it's not even USB.

8 Comments/Trackbacks

Jon, USB mic has its own market, but I agree $349 is too pricey for a mic. It should build a complete home recording studio for an average podcaster.

Hi Hendry,

Thanks for stpping by; I appreciate the feedback.

I realized after posting this entry that text just doesn't do my thoughts justice. As a podcaster I understand that there is value in the spoken word. To that end, I have posted an audio blurb about my thoughts on my personal blog. If you're interested the link to it is here:


I think that fleshes out my thoughts a little beter.


I tried to visit this page:


But it gives me 404. I have reported this through email to info@knowmoremedia

Hope that it reached you.

Thanks Hendry,

I don't know what happened there, but I rebuilt the page and now it seems to work. Thanks for the heads up.

Just listened to the podcast.

I think it is more about packaging. Vendors are not trying to "cheat" the market into believing that the rig is going to create "better" podcast but they are taking the advantage of the buzz and the reality that most of the crowd do not have a clue about setting their own home recording studio or even getting the most simple portable recorder such as iRiver.

There is nothing wrong with that if the vendor could deliver value to the product beyond the time if they invest to research on the Net to see how easy it is actually to get a podcast recording environment ready.

But until now, unfortunately, we haven't seen such package.

Hey Hendry,

I don't see a big difference between deliberately trying to cheat the market and "taking advantage of the the buzz and the reality that most of the crowd do not have a clue about setting their own home recording studio...". I see that as opportunistic at best.

If you think that vendors are seeing this as an opportunity to rebrand their products, or create a new version of a product which they sell at a bumped-up price then that is opportunistic.

But seeing an opportunity but delivering real value, that is more of a business, I guess. YMMV.

I think we are on the same boat when it comes to the fact that currently we have seen none of the products really are worth the value they are selling, although I would say that is also somewhat subjective.

But, I am completely agree that we almost can't distinguish the quality of the mic. Using a moderately good quality mic is more than enough, especially if the podcast is encoded in lower quality format, which is quite common for talkshow podcast.

You're stating it better than I - yes, I agree that the bee in my bonnet is about the lack of value in the products many hardware vendors are trying to "create the need" for.

I had forgotten about the encoding aspect, but of course you're right. I chose to encode my show at 64kbps and I know that makes the end product sound a little rougher than the uncompressed file. However, each bump up in bit rate equates to almost another 5MB for our 30-45 minute weekly show. I've decided 64kbps is a good mix of quality and file size.

That's just one of the many things that these hardware vendors don't understand about podcasting and likely one of the reasons for the differing opinions between podcasters and vedors on the "multi-hundreds of dollars microphone" issue.

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