What is it?
In our modern online world, everyone is diversifying their activities; traditional print journalists are recording videos, musicians, gamers and fitness gurus alike have their own YouTube channels, and literally everyone you’ve ever met now hosts their own podcast.
It’s a state of affairs that has given rise to a new type of microphone, a sort of ‘office mic’, used primarily for spoken word purposes but – particularly in the case of those newly diversified musicians – probably likely to fulfil various other recording duties too.
One of the latest additions to this sphere is Sontronics’ Podcast Pro, a dynamic mic with a super-cardioid pickup pattern designed specifically with podcasters and home-broadcasters in mind. With a stylish, slightly vintage-inspired design, the Podcast Pro is certainly one of the best looking mics we’ve seen in this realm.
It’s available both in black and a striking metallic red and – being superficial for a moment – for those capturing themselves on video, a large part of its appeal will be this visual aesthetic, which certainly lives up to the ‘Pro’ name, even though its price is pleasantly affordable.
Performance and verdict
Fortunately, there’s more than just looks to recommend about the Podcast Pro. The super-cardioid pattern and response range of 50Hz to 15kHz are ideal for recording a single voice, drastically cutting down on unwanted noise picked up from the sides or rear of the recording space and pleasantly emphasising the mid-range frequencies that work best for spoken voice.
That super-cardioid pattern is something worth bearing in mind though – it’s perfect as long as you keep yourself placed in front of the mic, but streamers and podcasters liable to move around will notice a significant drop-off in volume when moving off-axis.
The Podcast Pro also features a built-in pop shield, which does a decent job of cutting down on unwanted sibilance if, perhaps, not quite as well as using a dedicated external pop shield will.
• IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio
The iRig Mic Studio is equally at home on a portable device as a laptop or computer, and the price-to-performance balance makes this a very attractive option for anyone on a budget looking to get into recording.
• Rode NT1
A decent large diaphragm cardioid condenser mic should be high on the shopping list for anyone who wishes to primarily record vocals and this new NT1 is one of the best we have heard in the reasonably affordable price bracket.
The mic is mounted on an adjustable bracket that will easily attach to any standard mic stand.
There are several mics available in this realm of the market that either come attached to their own desktop stand or include one in the box, so first time broadcasters should factor in the need to pick up a stand separately when considering this against its competitors.
On that front, it’s also worth noting that the Podcast Pro is fairly chunky compared to some of the desktop podcast mics we’ve tried, meaning that if out-and-out convenience is your primary concern, there are smaller and simpler options out there – although you’ll likely be sacrificing sound quality.
While spoken word is clearly the primary concern here, the Podcast Pro does a solid job at all-round home studio duties too. We had good results sampling found sounds and recording simple guitar parts. It’s not the crispest, top-end friendly mic, but there’s certainly versatility here that punches well above the asking price.
MusicRadar verdict: The Podcast Pro is a great value, stylish home-broadcasting mic that also holds its own for simple home studio duties.
The web says
"Overall then, I'm happy to declare the Podcast Pro a success. It yields a smooth and very usable sound that responds well to a bit of 'enhancing' EQ where needed, but requires nothing in terms of correction. It's also affordable, yet built to last — I can't really fault it!"
Sound On Sound
"If you’re serious about recording the spoken voice, there is much to admire in Sontronics’ latest. The Podcast Pro is a clean-sounding, no-nonsense and relatively inexpensive bit of kit that’s impressively rich in tone and capable of high-quality results in all spoken-word recording applications."
"In my opinion, the new Sontronics Podcast Pro mic looks amazing, it’s built like a tank and sounds great. Not just on voice but for me, it really shines on electric guitar where it has helped me get a fat punchy tone."
Pro Tools Expert
In The Mix
- KEY FEATURES: Dynamic mic with supercardioid pattern
- FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 50Hz–15KHz SENSITIVITY: -50dB +/-2dB
- IMPEDANCE: 600 Ohms
- CONTACT: Sontronics